SHAMOKIN — There is still so much sadness in Shamokin as a community tries to understand why the life of a 13-year-old girl was lost in a fire during this holiday season.
Flames out of control, that’s what first responders faced in Shamokin Tuesday. A row house caught fire and trapped inside the attic was13-year-old Melissa Pangburn. She died.
Police chief Ed Griffiths and Scott Bramhall are very emotional talking about how they both tried to rescue the seventh grader. Bramhall said he then made a second attempt.
“Somebody was yelling about a ladder and me and the kids ran up to my garage and got my extension ladder. By the time we got back here, the fire was coming out the windows. We just couldn’t get in.”
Two insurance adjusters were at the fire scene Thursday. Kurt Hepler said knowing a young girl died makes his job that much harder.
“It doesn’t get any easier and I doubt it ever will so you always hope there is no loss of life and it’s unfortunate in this case.”
Stacy Huber agrees.
“As a mother I don’t know what I would do if I lost a child. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and if there was anything I could do to help I would be willing,” Huber explained.
Charles Wheary said the loss of life affects him. You can see the fire scene from his house.
“I feel bad. Every time I talk about it I start crying.”
It’s clear that some people in Shamokin will always remember what happened in the row home and the young life that was lost.