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Fire Victim Finds Reasons to be Thankful

Posted on: 4:32 pm, November 28, 2013, by , updated on: 06:16pm, November 28, 2013

WILKES-BARRE — Flames destroyed an apartment house in Wilkes-Barre Thanksgiving morning, forcing three people from their homes.

The fire started around 4 a.m. at an apartment house on Howard Street.

The fire destroyed almost everything Garfield Jones owned, and yet he celebrates Thanksgiving.

“I’m thankful I’ve got my life,” Jones said. “Blessings come in disguise. I told my niece, I was ready to move.”

When fire tore through the place on Howard Street, Jones and his roommate ran for safety. Firefighters say they’re not sure what caused the early morning fire that woke up neighbors and was so spectacular, it was hard for many to go back to sleep.

Teresa Buckley thought the fire would force her family and other neighbors to leave their homes.

“What I saw was flames shooting from that place there,” said Buckley, “shooting up, and the wind was blowing. All these embers were coming over to our house, and we thought, we didn’t know what to think. We were thinking the worst.”

Garfield Jones may never return to this apartment. His wife, Joyce, died three years ago from a heart condition. He built a shrine to her in part of the building, a shrine that went up in smoke.

Jones doesn’t know if his landlord will rebuild, but Jones will have to rebuild his life from scratch after losing everything in a Thanksgiving Day fire.

“Well, life happens,” Jones said.

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