Homeowner Returns To Find House On Fire

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STROUD TOWNSHIP -- Firefighters say it was an accidental fire that destroyed a home in Monroe County Monday.

It left the owner with nothing except the clothes on his back.

Donald Kresge, 72, fought back tears as he watched firefighters douse the flames at his home in Stroud Township.

Kresge lost his 10-year-old son in a fire in 1980. This time no one was hurt  but Kresge lost all that he had.

Fire engines swarmed around the home trying for nearly a half hour to douse the flames.

Kresge rents the home near Stroudsburg and says he had just left for the day when a friend called with the bad news.

"I came back, the house was on fire. Thank God I've got my good buddy here with me, he's with me all the time," Kresge said.

His buddy is his 8-year-old black lab named Onyx who was safely by his side.

It brought back painful memories of a fire in 1980 at his home in Snydersville when he lost his 10-year-old son Michael.

Fire officials believe they know exactly where this fire began.

"First arrived on scene, smoke was billowing out of all the crevasses in the house, the windows. (It) looks like it started in the kitchen area, probably," said Stroud Township Assistant Fire Chief Lee Philips.

Since Kresge wasn't home, the fire was actually first spotted by the owner of Thai Thani's restaurant, who happened to be outside.

"I stepped outside my restaurant checking out my property, picking up the mail, clean the garbage," said Charlie Kiewkhaee.

Kiewkhaee says that's when a truck passing by stopped him, noticing the smoke and he called 911.

He tells Newswatch 16 he's just thankful it wasn't any worse.

"Thank God no body (was) in the house."

Kresge believes this fire may have started over the dinner he had left cooking on low heat while he was gone.

"I put two chickens in there on 200, I only had the oven on 200, which I've done that overnight many a times and never had no problem."

Volunteers from Stroud Township and Stroudsburg worked to put out the fire. One of those volunteers happened to be Kresge's nephew.

The Red Cross was called in to help Kresge who has now lost nearly everything.