Fire in Carbondale Leaves 2 Men, 2 Dogs Dead

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CARBONDALE -- Two men and two dogs are dead after an early morning fire in Lackawanna County.

Gordon Thomas called 911 after escaping from a bedroom window of a burning home on 11th Avenue in Carbondale Sunday morning.

"I opened my door, and the black smoke hit me, and I barely got out that bedroom window," Thomas said.

Officials say the fire started on the first floor of the home around 3:30 a.m. A state police fire marshal says the cause of the fire is not suspicious and ruled the fire an accident.

"I went around the front to try and couldn't do nothing because the flames engulfed everything. If I would have been in there for another 15 seconds, I wouldn't be here right now," Thomas added.

One of the residents used a wheelchair and was rescued by crews at the time of the fire but died at the hospital. That person was identified by family members as David Williams, 58, known to his neighbors as Auggie. The coroner identified the other man who died as Scott R. Deemer, 56.

"They were nice guys. They were handicapped. They were in wheelchairs, so it's a shame though what happened. It really is," said Harold Benson of Carbondale.

Only one of the three dogs at the home survived the fire. Samson is the retired service dog of David William, who lost his life in the fire. His sister-in-law is now trying to find a new home for Samson.

"We want to find him a decent home and a safe home. That is what my brother-in-law would want."

Samson is a 14-year-old German Shepard. The family tells Newswatch 16 he would be best suited for a family without any other pets. Interested owners should be aware that he has arthritis in his hips and does have some mobility issues.

Anyone interested in adopting Samson should call Linda Williams at 845-332-7409.


  • Smoke Alarm Guy

    Carbondale is a city of old, unsafe fire traps. Not all, but many. In fact many areas of NEPA have a similar problem. Old wiring, insulation, unpainted, homes close together…… list goes on. Fireman have their hands full and it’s an issue that likely isn’t changing anytime soon. Get a smoke Detector, most fire Depts. will give you one if you can’t afford one. It may be your only chance to have the time to get out, disabled or not.

    • marianna

      Did this house with diabled people not have fire alarms to warn the tenants. I can’t understand how this could happen 2 men and 2 dogs dead. I hope the Fire Marshall checks for fire alarms that could have saved the men and pets. Is this not a law in Pa. especially with ppl in wheel chairs. I’m concerned that renters have no protection. My heart and prayers for family and all who knew these men. My heart is sad.

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