CARBONDALE -- A brother and sister have lost their home and most of what was inside after a fire broke out there Wednesday morning.
Seven hours after the fire tore through the home in Carbondale, firefighters remained on scene, continuing to fight hot spots.
Brother and sister, Sam and Mary Pellicano were inside at the time but managed to get out safely.
Neighbors Agnes and Jack Ward watched from their home next door as the house was engulfed with flames.
“I saw when I went to look out my kitchen window, the whole back of the house was in flames,” said Agnes.
“How bad was it? Well let’s just say the flames were three times higher than that telephone pole,” said Jack.
Carbondale’s mayor said the home has been in the Pellicano family for 70 years.
Jack Ward said they’ve known the family for decades.
“I’ve known them over 40 years,” said Ward. “I worked with father down at a place in Carbondale a long time ago, Triangle Pacific Cabinets.”
Fire crews said the home is a total loss, and most of what was inside is gone.
Firefighters said the blaze melted the natural gas meter, causing a gas leak that fed the fire and crews had a hard time getting it under control.
“The severe volume of the fire initially and with the gas line not being able to get shut down for quite a while, it hampered our efforts trying to get the fire out,” said fire fighter Tony Balinas.
Other members of the family were at the home, assessing the damage and comforting one another.
The family declined to talk. Neighbors said their hearts go out to them.
“It’s like losing one of your own. They are good people. They don’t deserve something like this, nobody does. Let’s put it that way,” said Ward.
A state police fire marshal is investigating what sparked the fire.