BLOSSBURG — An 11-year-old girl was killed when flames raced through a neighborhood in Tioga County early yesterday morning.
Tonight, the community of Blossburg is still coming to grips with the tragedy.
Neighbors describe the scene along Main Street in Blossburg as “an inferno”. Some of the houses are less than ten feet away from each other, so when the first house caught on fire, the flames spread quickly.
The smell of smoke and intense flames woke up people who live on Main Street in Blossburg Sunday morning. Lonny Frost took this home video. At least four houses caught on fire.
“The house was fully engulfed. We went to wake up our neighbors and got them out of the house. From there, hell ensued,” Maggi Dorn said.
Neighbors said it was like a scene from a horror movie. A state police fire marshal said a woman and her three children were upstairs sleeping when the fire started. The mother and two children jumped off the roof to safety.
But, authorities and neighbors say 11-year-old Gia Carlone was scared to jump, and ran back inside the burning building. She died inside her house.
“When I went out back she was in the backyard and she was totally stunned. There was someone else in the backyard. I assumed she was safe. When my husband and I came back out she was not there,” Dorn said.
“It’s sad to think that the other ones jumped off the roof and she went back in the house. Not good,” Bill Krouse said.
Because the houses are so close together on this portion of Main Street, the fire spread very quickly, damaging at least four houses on that side of the street and melting the siding off the house across the street.
“This is one of the few places in town where the houses are right together,” Krouse said.
“It’s a horrible loss. It’s a horrible loss,” Dorn said.
Gia’s family and friends set up a memorial for her outside the house, and held a candlelight vigil Sunday night.
The fire was ruled as undetermined, but the state police fire marshal says it is not suspicious. The red cross is helping four families forced out of their homes by the fire. A fund has also been set up. If you’d like to donate, contact the First Citizens National Bank of Blossburg at 300 Main Street.