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Two Die in Wilkes-Barre High Rise Fire

WILKES-BARRE -- Two people are dead after fire ripped through a high-rise building in Wilkes-Barre, according to city officials.

The coroner said Gloria Nieves, 55 and Luann Gilroy, 62  both died.

Emergency responders were called out just after noon Tuesday to the Lincoln Plaza high-rise building on Lincoln Street in Wilkes-Barre.

The flames forced dozens of people out of their homes and into shelters.

Firefighters had to take more than 150 people from the Lincoln Plaza high-rise in Wilkes-Barre. Many people we spoke to were thankful they got out alive.

Smoke poured out of an apartment at Lincoln Plaza in Wilkes-Barre in what turned about to be a deadly fire.

Down below, Iris Nieves called family. She couldn't find her sister after the fire. Sadly, now we know her sister Gloria was pronounced dead.

"I feel like part of me is missing. We are very close. Until I see her, I won't be happy," Nieves said.

Nieves said the stairwells were pitch black with smoke as residents tried to get out.

"There was just so much smoke, and flames were shooting out of the balcony," Nieves recalled.

Some had their cats in crates and dogs on leashes, but others were in such a hurry, they couldn't even get their shoes on in time.

"This right here puts a damper on everything. I got to be at work. I ain't got no shoes on. I ain't got no ID on me. That's how life is though," said resident Carol Bennett.

Fire crews say it all started on the fifth floor around noon. Residents tell us there have been plenty of small fires here before, but nothing like this.

"It's never been like this before. When you did have a fire, somebody you know put something on the stove and fell asleep, whatever, things like that, but it's not like this," said resident Anthony Marino.

The fire chief in Wilkes-Barre says crews are well trained in fires like these. In fact, they were at a class focusing on high-rise fires moments before the alarm came in.

"Our firefighters did an impeccable job here with this fire. Yes, there were two people who did not make it out, but 150 or 160-some did without injury," said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.

Fire officials have not said what caused the fire.

Investigators say they are still looking into cause but don't consider the fire suspicious.

Cleaning crews have been hard at work getting some floors ready for residents to return on Wednesday.

25 comments

  • Hook And Ladder

    For the people who perished may they rest in peace.

    Fore the people who are spewing forth negative comments about the firefighters that answered this call it is my hope that you will never need to call firefighters for help. The worst thing for a firefighter to attend to is a high rise scenario and you people are some of the most ignorant and base individuals to ridicule what these men and women do every day to save lives.

  • Sgt. Pooptickle

    Those tenants were in a real pickle. Lost lives are worth much more than a nickel. Seriously, condolences from a sullen Sgt. Pooptickle.

  • Tom

    The fire chief should be ashamed of himself, trying to make a tragedy all about him and his crews. Yes, they did a good job but two people died. Let your work speak for itself and honor the deceased.

  • Taco Bill

    “Our firefighters did an impeccable job here with this fire. Yes, there were two people who did not make it out but 150 or 160-some did without injury,” Way to go! Pat yourself on the back after this tragedy. A better way to state it: “Our fire fighters worked desperately to save everyone, but two souls were lost during our efforts.” Be real.

    • warningfakenews

      If it’s a building with a sprinkler system, and the system was working, it’s unusual to have deaths there.

    • George Brandon Stivers

      Fire departments are paid to put out fires not prevent them from happening. That’s exactly what they did. FYI, coroner was called for 2 people as soon as firefighters got there. You know what that means? They were already dead. No it did not take fire dept too long to get there. Response time was pretty effing quick.

    • George Brandon Stivers

      BTW, when things go boom, sprinkler systems can’t save lives. They only slow a fire down. Not prevent an explosion. Ak building management why it took over a half hour to get people out of that building. A half hour in, someone on 2nd floor still needed assistance to get out. 20 minutes in there were still at least 20 people coming down from the upper floors. Why do they (building management) not know where the people reside in that building who need the most help evacuating? That is not a fire department’s job either. Over 150 people got out of that building because the FD did exactly what they are paid to do. They contained the fire.

      • Pocono pete

        Once again Mr. Stivers, please take a deep breath and calm down. Pretty soon the fire dept will have to respond to you and treat you for a stroke if you don’t chill out. You’ll be ok, deep breaths. Deep breaths please. Everything will be ok.

      • The Real El Ma

        POCONO PETE, my guess is that you have never volunteered as a firefighter or known someone who has/does. Your ridicule and baiting remind me of other ID’s on this news site that have baited other posters.

        Thank GAWD for firefighters. And, the proper remark would have been that the desperate efforts were the best that any human being could have made.

      • Ponder Your Navel

        Andy, you must be high. Opioids kill, you know, and there is help out there. You just have to ask for it.

    • George Brandon Stivers

      No not strange. Flames follow air with the least amount of resistance. You know, so it can breath. It’s not strange for flames to come out of openings to the outside of a building from the inside. It’s actually common sense and simple physics. Not only that, but hot air expands. Where’s it going to go if a front door to a unit is closed and the rear is open? Out the back. Simple high school physics. Not strange at all.

Comments are closed.