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Fire Damages Double-block Home in Kingston

KINGSTON -- Flames heavily damaged a double-block home in Kingston Tuesday morning.

It broke out around 7:45 a.m. in the home on Penn Street.

Firefighters said four people lived on one side and two on the other.

That home is a total loss and the fire chief in Kingston said he's very unhappy with UGI Electric.

Teenager Kahseem Crook and his mother live in half of the double home. Crook was in school when he learned his home was on fire. He arrived back here to learn he lost everything he owns. Crook doesn't know what happens next.

"Honestly, I don't know. I guess that's for God to decide," he said.

Crook's mother made it out of the burning home, but she was taken to a hospital to be checked out. Crook says he let his cat, named Smokey, out before he left. The cat's fate is unknown.

Kingston Fire Chief Frank Guido says flames were shooting from the front of the home when he got here. The chief believes UGI Electric could have been there faster, to shut off the power lines that burned off the side of the home.

"I think UGI took longer than I'm comfortable with to get here and we stationed people by those downed lines for the safety of our people. I was very uncomfortable with the response time from UGI," the chief said.

A spokesman for UGI says a crew was there in 40 minutes after they received the 8:02 a.m. call. The spokesman added the case will be reviewed to see if response time could have been faster here, and faster at future fires.

Firefighters in Kingston were also concerned with homes on both sides catching fire as well.

One home on one side has fire, smoke, and water damage.

Stan Budzilek lives on the other side. He was at work when he got the call the home next door was on fire, and he made it back to see the worst.

"The windows in the front completely blew out," said Budzilek. "Big flame came out to this tree and the whole house was completely engulfed."

Budzilek's home has some smoke damage, but the important thing to him his dogs Lila and Bella are OK.

A state police fire marshal is looking for the cause, and the chief in Kingston says there is so much damage the home may have to be torn down.

2 comments

  • Liliana

    How can people help the teen and his mother? School is in session – making this an extra challenge for a teen.

    • Frank rizzo

      There are plenty of bars right there in that neighborhood, perhaps one or several can hold a fundraiser.

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