Homes, Belongings Lost After Blaze Inside Apartment Building in Mount Carmel

MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. -- A day after a fire tore their homes in Northumberland County, residents returned to survey what's left of their belongings.

Crews battled that fire for hours Sunday afternoon at an apartment complex in Mount Carmel.

Grief-stricken residents gathered at their apartment building on North Maple Street on Monday hoping to salvage whatever belongings that managed to survive the blaze that tore through their homes.

Raymond Dechert and Cassandra White say they've lost just about everything they owned, including all the clothes for their 1 1/2-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son.

“A lot of the stuff we can't even save because where the fire was fully involved with was mostly all our kids' stuff,” said Dechert. “So, we can't even, mostly all our clothes and all of our kids' clothes is all gone.”

“With all the clothes, it's mostly the stuff that we got for them or my mom got for them, and she's passed away so it’s really hard,” said White.

The Mount Carmel fire chief says one person had to be rescued from a second floor but all inside got out unharmed.

Now, these residents are out of a home.

“It was horrible going in there and seeing my home that was my home. And it was heartbreaking seeing it yesterday, go up in smoke, everything that I've worked so hard for,” said Jennifer Johnson.

The tenants we spoke with say they are being helped by the American Red Cross, and there is a GoFundMe page started for the victims, however they say they are essentially starting from the ground up.

Still, if there's one silver lining in this, Dechert says their daughter's cat, Nala, that was left behind was waiting when they returned.

“She was in there all night,” said Dechert. “Our door was still open from the fire yesterday, and she walked to the door, and I just dove in to grab her.”

Mount Carmel police say both its department and the fire department are looking for what started the fire but that it does not appear suspicious.

The fire chief did say there may be too much damage to find a cause.

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