Two Fires in 12 Hours Leave 20 People Homeless

SCRANTON -- Twenty people are now without a place to live after two separate fires broke out within the span of 12 hours in Scranton Sunday. The families and tenants who live in those houses are now sorting through what is left.

Courtney Sussman and her roommates spent the afternoon packing up what they could salvage from Sunday's fire. She lives on the second floor of the three-unit house on Pine Street in Scranton.

We brought mostly clothes, pictures, jewelry. We were able to salvage our TV from the living room last night," Sussman said.

Sussman was at the movies when the fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. She says none of the eight other tenants were home at the time either. Noel Adcroft lives just up the street. She was home.

"I came down, and I saw the fire. The fire department did an excellent job getting it down and knocking it out. I know they saved two guinea pigs," Adcroft explained.

The guinea pigs belonged to Sussman. She says the American Red Cross has given all of the tenants money for food and hotels.

"I mean, it's overwhelming. I'm overwhelmed with love and support from my family, friends, people in the neighborhood," Sussman said. "People I barely know messaged me on Facebook, texted me, if I needed anything, if I needed a place to stay. It's really overwhelming," she continued.

Twelve hours before that, a fire broke out in a home on Moosic Street just before 4 a.m. Sunday. Two families lived in the two-unit home, and 11 people are displaced.

The Red Cross is also helping those two families, a total of 20 people between the two fires.

Scranton fire officials say both fires are still under investigation, but the fire on Moosic Street appears to have started in the basement, and the one on Pine Street started on the third floor and might have been a space heater issue.

The firefighter who was injured fighting the flames in Sunday morning's fire on Moosic Street has been released from the hospital.