PITTSTON — An early morning fatal fire in Pittston started by accident, according to authorities.
A woman was found dead inside the home. Investigators said it was Sharon Walko, 61, of Pittston.
Flames broke out at her home here along the 700 block of North Main Street after 2 a.m. Thursday.
The smell of smoke is what brought neighbors out of their homes along North Main Street in Pittston.
“I saw smoke coming from my neighbor’s basement and I had my cell phone and I dialed 911,” said Kristen Price.
Investigators said it was Sharon Walko’s home that was on fire. The 61 year old did not make it out. The coroner said she died from breathing too much smoke.
A state police fire marshal ruled the blaze an accident and believes it started in the kitchen.
Minutes after a neighbor called 911, people living nearby described what they saw.
“Tons of fire trucks pulled up right in front of the house, both the roads blocked off down here and down here. They were just rushing in and out breaking the windows and everything trying to get the fire out,” recalled Takoja Metzgar. “More smoke just kept pouring out.”
Although firefighters had flames out rather quickly, the blaze still created plenty of smoke in the area, so much so that it actually caused some neighbors, including the ones living next door, to leave their homes just to err on the side of caution for their kids.
“The police came and they were talking to me at my house and they said if you have little children you better get them out of here. So we went to my mother-in-law’s,” said Debbie Karrott.
The fire marks the second time in just over a week that the Luzerne County coroner responded to a fire scene along Main Street in Pittston.
The first was along South Main last Wednesday. Investigators said a man died of natural causes before the fire started in his first-floor apartment. The cause was ruled “undetermined.”