Fire at Blakeslee Diner

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BLAKESLEE — Fire crews were called out Friday morning to a diner on fire in Monroe County.

Crews responded around 8 a.m. Friday to reports of fire at the Blakeslee Diner on Route 115 in Tobyhanna Township.

Firefighters said the fire appeared to start on the second floor in the back of the building.

The diner was serving customers when a tenant who lives upstairs called to say there was smoke in the building.

 

The owner of the building and a waitress who were both working at the diner at the time of the fire say after they got the call that there was smoke in the back building. They ran upstairs to knock on all the tenants’ doors to make sure everyone got out safely.

John Conti woke up early to run an errand and  when he came back to his apartment in the back of the Blakeslee Diner on Route 115 he saw a sight no homeowner wants to see

“When I came around the corner, when I was walking back, I saw all the black smoke and I was like, ‘oh, God!’ And that is what was on fire and I looked up and saw my room in flames and was like, ‘oh, man, this is not good.'”

Fire burned the back portion of the diner which houses a dozen apartment rooms.

Conti and nine others now need new places to stay.

Investigators say the fire started on the second floor due to an electrical problem with an outside light.

Tenants who live inside the apartment tell us they are just happy the fire didn’t start in the middle of the night because everyone was able to get out safely.

Francisco Fernandez also lived in one of the apartments. He was working in the diner at the time of the fire. He lost pretty much everything.

“I had a lot of stuff, a lot of clothes, two TVs that cost me a lot of money, all of it all of my papers,” said Fernandez.

The Blakeslee Diner only had water damage.

“I just went in but that’s, like, that is what you are supposed to do,” said waitress Patricia Mahoney. “You know, you care for other people; that’s humanity. That is what we are supposed to do and, you know, just make sure everyone is safe.”

The Red Cross is helping the ten people who lived in the apartments.

Owners of the Blakeslee Diner say the business will be closed for the time being but they plan to reopen after everything gets sorted out.