Questions After Standoff, Fire in Scranton

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Autopsies have been done on a man and woman pulled from a burned-out home in west Scranton on Saturday.

Investigators still need to identify them and recover a possible third person inside.

Neighbors and a family member tell Newswatch 16 that Alan Smith lived at the home on Washburn Street along with his mother Rosemary and his aunt, Angela Miller.

Miller's been a well-known nun in the Scranton Diocese, and now, many fear all three are gone, the result of a fiery standoff between a man believed to be Alan Smith and police.

Soon after flames destroyed the home, people wanted to know what led up to a standoff between a man and police that resulted in the massive fire.

Neighbors and family member tell Newswatch 16 that man was Alan Smith. Smith was arrested in 2006 for child pornography. Those same neighbors say Smith was staying at the home with his mother, Rosemary.

Mary Tsakonas runs a daycare next to the burned-out home where she says Alan Smith threw a tantrum over police who showed up with an emergency protection from abuse order.

"Because his mom told him he had to stop and he had to get out," Tsakonas said.

Tsakonas says Alan Smith got angry when parents would pull into his mother's driveway to pick up their children. That reached a boiling point just one day before the standoff and fire.

"He said, 'I'm going to stop this effing stuff one way or another.' And then the mother called us yesterday to apologize because she knew I heard him, and she said she was afraid to come home."

Smith's aunt, Sister Angela Miller, was also in the home at the time of the fire. That's according to family who tell Newswatch 16 Miller was a nun and teacher at St. Clare's/St. Paul's, a Catholic school in the city.

Tax records also show Miller owns the property on Washburn Street.

"She was also a very caring and kind woman, always interested in other people's lives," said a neighbor.

Parishioners at St. Paul's in Scranton tell Newswatch 16 the monsignor led the congregation in a prayer for Sister Angela and her sister Rosemary because of their involvement in a domestic violence incident.

"Usually, you see things like this on the news and you know it's always like at a distance, but you're just kind of in awe when it happens right around the corner of your house. It's too close to home," said neighbor Stevenson Cifuentes.

The coroner needs medical and dental records before investigators can confirm the identities of the man and woman pulled from the home.

Police plan to be back at the home to look for a possible third body in the wreckage on Monday.


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