Victims Struggle After Devastating East Stroudsburg Blaze

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EAST STROUDSBURG -- Several people are in the hospital after an early morning fire ripped through a row home in Monroe County.

Nearly two dozen people who lived there lost everything.

The American Red Cross is assisting 18 of the people who lived in the row homes along Lackawanna Avenue In east Stroudsburg, while several other people remain hospitalized.

Many are worried where these families will go from here after losing absolutely everything.

As night turned to day, many people got a better look at a fire that ripped through several row homes along East Stroudsburg's Lackawanna Avenue putting six families out of their homes.

Melissa Humprhies and Rachel Birk say they smelled the smoke while studying nearby and came to see what the commotion was about.

"We were standing right over here in this front yard and we just watched it burn, like it started at the first apartment and we just watched it go all the way down," said Humphries.

"I couldn't imagine just being able to stand on the street and watch as your house is burning down or as the fire is coming towards you," Birk added.

The Red Cross arrived helping those people watching helplessly, including Cindy Storm.

"All I heard was somebody saying 'get out, get out' and my whole house was filled with smoke, so I got all my family out," Storm recalled. "We're homeless, we lost everything, 22 of us lost everything."

Volunteers spent the morning assisting 18 different people from six different families with food, a hotel stay for three days, and basic needs.

"It averages out to about $1,100 for each family that we've assisted and this morning we had additional resources that were given because there were children involved as well," explained Red Cross executive director Michele Baehr.

Some neighbors say that's just not enough.

"Three days is not enough for somebody who lost everything in their homes. I think they should do more for this community when they have fires like this. It's devastating," said neighbor Barbara Kishpaugh.

This is the third fire within a month that the Red Cross has responded to in Monroe County, helping more than 40 fire victims, and putting a strain on resources.

Officials say they still help each family as much as they possibly can.

"The Red Cross of course follows through and we make sure that we keep them connected with the Salvation Army, the YMCA, and any of the other resources that are available out here in the community," Baehr said.

Fire victims from Lackawanna Avenue tell Newswatch 16 none of them had renters insurance.

A account has been set up to assist the families.

State police fire marshals are investigating.


  • Thomas Hill

    To the lady who complained about the Red Cross not giving enough Financial Aid to the families who are now homeless and lost everything………. I feel terrible that you lost your apartment and everything you own……….but I am sick and tired of people who think they are entitled to receive compensation for everything under the sun! Renters Insurance costs about $50 a year and would have covered all of your belongings………… Entitlements are things that are earned not given……..responsible people have Insurance……… Most everyone believes bad things will not happen to them and when things go wrong, those people want to blame someone else……… Be glad the Red Cross was there to help in your time of need…….even though they didn’t meet your requirements………….. Your not responsible……….and now your ungrateful!

    • Nelson Emerson

      Tom I agree with you the only clarification I’d like to make was that was somebody in the neighborhood that made that comment not someone who had lost everything in the fire.

    • ME

      I don’t think the woman they quoted was involved in the fire. She was a friend to those who did. I agree. People expect too much from everyone. They got help and money from friends, from what I understand. I wish someone would just come and hand me a $50, $100 or whatever. I thought the comment was stupid, but not surprising, coming from that part of town.

      • Thomas Hill

        I don’t live hear Stroudsburg, so obviously I don’t know anyone involved………I am like most people and I usually learn things the hard way……..when we are young we need to be educated and raised with the understanding that things don’t come for free……….. I see way too many people these days looking for handouts and believe the are entitled to everything.

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