WILKES-BARRE — Some families are returning home after a fire forced them out of an apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre Monday night. The flames chased 13 people from their homes.
Charred stuffed animals, shattered windows, and an odor that not even pictures could describe, all because of a fire that forced Randolph Destin and his family out of their apartment Monday night.
“It was a big flame of fire, just coming out the side of the building on the bottom floor and then it started, it looked like an explosion. It started burning up to the next floor,” said displaced Wilkes-Barre fire victim Randolph Destin.
Six families left when the fire sparked at the Interfaith Heights Apartments on Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre. The fire chief says an extension cord started what’s now the third electrical fire in the city in as many weeks.
Property manager Dave Fedorco says his staff is setting up other empty apartments in the complex for the fire victims, most of whom spent the night at the Quality Inn in Wilkes-Barre.
“We have a very good crew, not shy of putting in the hours for the help of people,” said Interfaith Heights Apartments property manager Dave Fedorco.
The inside of these apartments reeks of fire, and that’s one of the concerns about getting these people back into their homes. The property manager says getting the homes up to code is one thing, but getting rid of the smell is another.
“I got an infant. He’s only two months old. And it’s going to be hard to get that smoke smell out of his clothes, and I just bought him a lot of clothes,” said Destin.
Four families are now back in their homes. It will be a few days before the other families can return. But no one was injured and that’s what Randolph Destin says matters most.
“Everybody’s running around. Everybody’s breathing so we’re just happy to be breathing. I’m happy to have my friends so that’s a good thing,” said Destin.
In addition to those four families, another family will be able to move Thursday to a different apartment. The apartment where the fire started is totaled. But the property manager is trying to set up another apartment in the complex for that resident as well.