Scranton High-Rise Fire Suspect in Custody, People Forced to Relocate

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SCRANTON -- Police say Sunday's high-rise fire at the Mulberry Tower Apartments in Scranton put over 200 residents in danger along with nearly 30 Scranton City firefighters.

Some of those residents had to leave their homes and are now staying somewhere else.

It was shortly before 4:30 p.m. Sunday when authorities were called to a fire at the Mulberry Tower Apartments in Scranton. By Sunday night, investigators had ruled the fire arson and arrested Lamont Wright, 22, who admitted to setting the fire inside his fifth-floor apartment.

"I'm running down the steps and I start tripping over hoses, tripping over firemen, gagging like crazy because the smoke was so bad," said David Tilberry, who lives on the sixth floor.

Residents of the Mulberry Tower Apartments are reliving Sunday's fire that forced dozens of folks out of their homes.

Police say Wright intentionally set the fire in his fifth-floor apartment. Wright admitted to police that he ignited a pile of clothes in his bathtub because he was trying to find a way to move out of his apartment.

This comes just days after a deadly high-rise fire in Wilkes-Barre.

One gentleman who lives only one floor above where the Scranton fire took place recently bought all new furniture. He's afraid it might all be ruined.

"Bought brand new furniture, brand new couch, brand new recliner, box spring, mattress, two brand new dressers, all brand new and I don't know if it's ruined yet or not because I haven't been back in there yet," Tilberry said.

Scranton Fire Chief Pat DeSarno tells us re-occupation of Mulberry Towers is underway, starting at the 12th floor and working down to the seventh floor. Other floors immediately impacted by the flames might not be ready until later this week. One resident we spoke with had to spend last night at United House Apartments in Scranton.

"It's awful because I have a little dog who's sick up there," Carol Martorana, who lives on the second floor said. "She's blind and I don't like leaving her alone, but I have no choice but to come down and visit her every day. I gave her fresh water and food and all and it's really disrupted my life."

Wright is currently locked up in the Lackawanna County prison on $100,000 bail.


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