Support Shown For Fire Victims In Scranton

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SCRANTON -- Family members in Scranton who were away at church when their house caught fire Sunday are now being helped by the church.

The home, coincidentally, is on Church Avenue.

Fire investigators believe the fire started in the basement and worked its way up.

Scranton city officials condemned both sides of the double-block home shortly after the fire was put out on Sunday.   That leaves two families without a place to stay.

We talked with one of those families about the rally of support from their church family and friends.

We met Pam and Tim Hallock at Tim's mother's house in Scranton, what they temporarily call home. Since Sunday, these two and their 12-year-old son have been through more ups and downs than most of us could imagine.

Their son had just gone off to church. Pam and Tim were juggling their busy days when they got a phone call that their home on Church Avenue in Scranton was burning. Fire inspectors believe the electrical fire could have been smoldering for hours.

What happened next is the good part of this story.

"It's kind of shocking. I've been involved in emergency services for 25 plus years and within the first 45 minutes of the fire, it wasn't even extinguished and I was getting phone calls, 'What do you need? Where do you need us?'" Tim Hallock said.

Now, the family's church -- Providence United Presbyterian Church in Scranton -- has become the headquarters for a huge effort to help get them back on their feet.

"It breaks my heart, but yet, I believe that this is what we're called to do as a family," said Rev. Ken Goodrich, Providence United Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Goodrich was preaching and the Hallocks' son was in a pew when the fire started. Only hours later, the church family turned to the internet seeking donations on Facebook and setting up a PayPal account on the church website. So far, the response has been overwhelming.

"I've got folks from all over the country right now. We went on Facebook and because of the social media, it's not centrally located here in Scranton, it reaches out," said Rev. Goodrich.

The Hallocks want to reach out too, to the people who have helped them start over.

"I extend my thank you, a lot. It means a lot, it really does," Pam Hallock said.

In addition to online donations, Providence United Presbyterian is also hosting a pasta dinner for the fire victims on April 11.

Scranton fire inspectors have not yet determined an official cause of this fire, but they believe it was electrical.

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