After Recovering from Two Floods, Woman’s Home Gutted by Fire

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. -- A woman's house, hit by flooding twice, has now been destroyed by a fire in Bloomsburg.

Antoinette Kester has lived at that house in Bloomsburg since 2006. After rebuilding from a prior flood, she had to start over after the flood in 2011, and now, once again, she's lost her home, this time because of a fire.

Less than 48 hours after flames ripped through Antoinette Kester's house in Bloomsburg, she returned.

Debris was scattered, and windows were shattered at the house on 11th Street she called home for more than a decade.

"I can't understand it," Kester said. "It is hard. It is hard to deal with. I am sorry."

Kester says she was inside sleeping when it all began. She was able to get out safely, but her 6-year-old cat Pia was still inside.

"I could not hardly breathe. There was smoke in the house, and I ran out of the house to my next-door neighbor and beat on his door and told him my house is on fire."

Kester tells Newswatch 16 that the neighbor was able to go in and save Pia. Everything else was destroyed by flames.

"Right now, I am homeless. I don't know what to do and where to go from here, but I have to wake up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other."

Kester's home was destroyed back in 2011. She recalls seeing floodwaters rushing through her first floor.

"The 2011 flood, we lost everything there, too, and we lived at a motel for a couple months at that time as well," Kester said.

That came after the home had been destroyed by a flood in 2006.

Through all the heartbreak of losing her home twice from water, and now from fire, Kester says she will remain positive.

"I am just thankful that we are all OK, and I am trying to see the glass half full here. There is a reason for this. I do not know what it is right now, but there is a reason."

Kester told Newswatch 16 an area pet grooming place cleaned her cat Pia free of charge.

Investigators are still looking for the cause of the fire.

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