Family Endures Another Christmastime Fire

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SCOTT TOWNSHIP -- An older couple from Lackawanna County lost their home to fire Tuesday night.  Almost 39 years ago to the day, their old home burned, but what they haven't lost is hope.

George and Phyllis Kearns moved to the home on Route 347 in Scott Township about 15 years ago for their retirement. Firefighters said it's likely a grease fire in the kitchen started last night's fire. The Kearns family said the home is destroyed.

Christmas is all about family for the Kearns, and the loss puts family in perspective.

Jessica Sachs stood outside her parents' burned out home in Scott Township and counted her blessings.  Her son and nephew were at the home with their grandparents when the fire sparked Tuesday night.

Firefighters said it spread quickly. The owners, George and Phyllis Kearns, were able to get out safely with help from their grandsons.

"If they weren't here, my parents wouldn't have made it out. It was a struggle for my dad and my mom to leave their home. These guys, they did it, they were at the right place at the right time," Sachs said.

Back when Jessica Sachs was only four, the family suffered another house fire. It was December 15, 1977.  Also, just before Christmas.

"For them, making the best Christmas for others is what's most important. This is a lesson for all of us, their grandchildren, myself, to realize what's important and it's them. Looking at this and what we could have lost. It's not worth it," Sachs added.

Sachs did go inside the charred home looking for Christmas presents.  A few bottles of wine were spared, something that made the family smile despite it all.

They know, perhaps better than most, that there's still stuff to celebrate.

"Just being by a Christmas tree with all my family together, all of us, that's what's important. And it's going to be a good Christmas," she said.

The Kearns' grandchildren did set up a Go Fund Me account for the couple, you can find it here.