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East Stroudsburg Home Gutted

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EAST STROUDSBURG -- Lance Portalatin looked at what's left of his home on King Street in East Stroudsburg. An early morning fire destroyed the two-story home in Monroe County.

Officials said the fire started before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at the home along King Street in East Stroudsburg.

"I woke up this morning and I smelled smoke and I went out to my room and opened my door, which I shouldn't have. The whole room filled with smoke, it was too thick for me to do anything. I couldn't breath or even see," said Portalatin.

Portalatin says the smoke was so thick he couldn't see his hands. He then realized the most important thing at that point was to get out.

"I went for the window, that i knew was on the side, opened it up and jumped out. Climbed out onto the roof and jumped off," said Portalatin.

The fire marshal said around 6:30 a.m. the first call came in. A passer-by noticed flames and smoke coming from this home.

Then, two minutes later, an East Stroudsburg fire fighter passed by and saw the same thing.

Portalatin's neighbors came over to help, they gave him the clothing and offered as much support as they could.

"He's lucky, he's so lucky, I know he lost everything, but you know this could have happened and he could have slept right through it," said Robin McCarthy, one of the neighbors who helped.

A state police fire marshal said there were no working smoke detectors in the home and if there had been this home could have been spared.