Pocono View Inn Residents in Shock After Huge Fire

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SCIOTA -- Fire investigators say they can't determine exactly where the massive fire at the Pocono View Inn started late Thursday night.

Fire crews from three different counties were called in to fight the motel fire off Route 209 near Brodheadsville before midnight Thursday.

Burnt pieces of the motel scattered all over the property are what's left of Pocono View Inn in Sciota.

Now 10 different families are without a place to live after the fire.

The blaze lit up the sky in Monroe County for hours as about 20 tanker trucks rushed to battle this fire.

Most of the units -- about 50 -- are rented by residents like John Lowery who was in shock when his neighbor came banging on his door.

"Fire was all the way in the sky. I said, 'Oh, my God, this is bad.'"

The units on the right side of the property were reduced to rubble by the time the sun rose, as 10 different families all sat in the distance in disbelief.

"We just, you know, watched it happen. [We] couldn't leave and we just have to sit back and watch the building devour itself," said resident Marcelino Jerez.

Even neighbors across the street couldn't look away from the devastation, estimated by owners to be more than a $1 million loss.

"We've lived here 32 years and it's going to be very sad to see the charred remains across the street," said neighbor Sheila Tice.

Paul Fava was working in New York overnight and got the terrifying phone call from his ex-wife. He returned to see his home leveled.

"Look at it. It's like a bomb went off. I mean, everyone got out OK," Fava said.

All Fava was able to salvage were a sonogram of his neighbor's baby, a golf ball, his kid's Mardi Gras beads, and a book that's helped him deal with alcohol addiction.

But there was one other silver lining.

"I had taken my laundry with me. I was going to do my laundry on the way home from work, and so I'm thankful that I have some clothes, not just what's on my back."

Now Fava plans to move forward and go give his two kids a big hug after school.

"Definitely, definitely going to hold them tighter, yeah," Fava said through tears.

The fire marshal says he may never know what started this blaze in Sciota because there is just too much devastation.

Owners Devastated

Owners Chet and Trupti Patel looked at what used to be their home and business.

"It's such a nightmare. I can't even. We can't sleep. We can't even eat also, just," said Trupti Patel.

Chet Patel works as an engineer for PennDOT and has invested his life savings into this motel.  He went running door to door to get the ten different families out.

"I'm worried about other people. I'm running to the people to come out and start to help the people I was in my bare foot," said Patel.

Somewhere in this rubble is Patel's wedding ring, cell phone, and countless other items.  This devastation he estimates sits at more than $1 million.

After a sleepless night, Patel broke down, embracing one of his tenants.

"We try to help everybody. And all of our customers, we just feel like they are family," said Trupti Patel.

The Patels hope in the days to come to sift through all of the debris and hopefully find a fire safe box that has some of their important documents in it, just to salvage something.

The owners say they hope to rebuild, but say right now they have no idea where to begin.

"I don't know where to start and how to do it.  I have no clue," said Chet Patel.

Google Map for coordinates 40.929538 by -75.316016.

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