Crews Battle House Fire in Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- As smoke billowed into the sky, firefighters worked for hours in frigid temperatures Tuesday, battling a blaze on South Meade Street in Wilkes-Barre.

"I actually heard the sirens, opened up my mom's blinds, looked out and seen the smoke, and that's when I woke my mom up and told her what was going on,” said Clayton Kirschner of Hazleton who was visiting his mother down the street.

No one was inside the house at the time of the fire.

Neighbors said crews have been renovating the place for the past few days.

The next-door neighbors were home when the blaze began.

Teresa Gryskevicz was sleeping over at her daughter's house, along with her five grandchildren ages 9 to 15 months.

"I grabbed the grandkids and I got them out of the house, my daughter grabbed the baby, we grabbed the dogs and we got out,” she said.

Neighbors credited the firefighters for their hard work, wetting down nearby houses, trying to keep the flames from spreading.

"They're spraying both houses on either side to keep them up but at the same time, the one in the middle, it's just gone,” said Amanda Gryskevicz.

Water used to keep the flames away soaked the houses.

"My daughter and I were Christmas shopping, everything is gone, it's all in the basement for the kids,” said Teresa Gryskevicz tearfully, but she added she is grateful everyone is ok.

"We're grateful for that, very grateful, God's watching over us."

Investigators said the fire was an accident, started by a malfunction with the property's heating source.

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