High Rise Fire in Scranton Ruled Arson

SCRANTON -- A high rise fire in Scranton Sunday afternoon is an arson, according to investigators.

Police charged Lamont Wright, 22, of Scranton, with arson, reckless endangerment, and other related charges. Investigators said he admitted setting a pile of clothes on fire in his bathtub. He told police he was looking for a way to move out of his apartment.

Around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, fire officials were called to a fire at Mulberry Tower Apartments on Mulberry Street in Scranton.

Video sent in by a viewer shows smoke coming from the window of an apartment on the fifth floor.

Several residents were treated for breathing in smoke, but the fire chief said no one was seriously hurt.

Newswatch 16 spoke with a neighbor, who lives on the ninth floor. She says she smelled smoke and had to help other people get out of the building.

"I just heard the alarm going off and it wasn't stopping and then I went down, and I could smell the smoke and I was trying to tell them, this isn't a drill. You have to go," said Donna Prudenti. "The smoke just hit me and it was like 'Oh my God.' It was a reality check right there. It was like 'Oh my God. This is for real," said Prudent.

Scranton Fire Chief Pat DeSarno confirmed the fire started in an apartment on the fifth floor.  The chief said the fire has been ruled an arson and a suspect is in custody.

According to investigators, roughly 200 residents were affected by the fire.

The American Red Cross was called to the scene. DeSarno tells us that some people will have to relocate from their places at the Mulberry Tower Apartments.


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