Helping Hand for the Howells After House Fire

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Folks came out for a night of music and entertainment in Wilkes-Barre, all to benefit a woman who was severely burned saving her family from a house fire.

A fundraiser for Judy Howells took over the Kirby Center this evening.

Inside the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, folks jammed out to some live music and it was all to benefit a woman whose arms were severely burned rescuing her family from a house fire.

That fire broke outside the Howells' family home in the 300 block of 16th Avenue in West Scranton on Christmas day, trapping Judy Howells’ husband and her adult autistic son on the second floor.

Her other son, Rich described her heroic efforts.

“She had to run through the flames outside to grab a ladder on the side of the house, grab a ladder, while her arms are still burned up and everything,” said Rich Howells.

Judy was sent to the Lehigh Valley Burn Unit, but Rich says she's now back home recovering.

Friends of the Howells organized this fundraiser to help cover her hospital costs, as well as what the family lost as their home was left gutted.

Businesses donated gift baskets for raffles and the six bands and two comedians provided entertainment for free.

Rich is the owner and editor of NEPA Scene, an online publication that covers the art and entertainment in the area. Those performing are good friends of his.

“He's done so much for everybody over the years, it's the least we could do, play a set, anything we could,” said Mike Boniewicz, with the band Behind The Grey.

“It means so, so much to us,” said Rich. “I've done the reporting on music for many years, I've covered that stuff but never did I expect anything in return.”

“It brings tears to my eyes. I have goosebumps as I look around and see all of these people who have come out to help my family,” said Rich’s wife, Tanya.

Since the Howells lost their home, Rich says his father and brother have been staying with him.

His mother is recovering at his aunt's.

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