Two High-Rise Fires In Scranton In Less Than A Day

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Fire officials call it very unusual  -- fires at two high-rise apartment buildings in the city within a matter of hours of each other.

The first fire was at Washington West, a high-rise on North Washington Avenue in Scranton. It sparked around 9 p.m. Wednesday when a chair and a couch caught fire inside a sixth-floor apartment, according to firefighters.

One woman was treated for breathing in too much smoke and about 30 people were forced from their apartments overnight.

Then early Thursday morning came another high-rise fire on Adams Avenue, a place where firefighters say many residents are elderly or disabled.

"I jumped up, takes me a long time to get dressed because I'm disabled and she came to get me," said Brantley Ashley, who lives in the high-rise.

"When I went in to get him, 'cause he can't hurry that's when I smelled it coming out from my apartment," said Carol Apgar of Scranton.

Several people breathed in too much smoke and a firefighter was taken to the hospital with an ankle injury.

Fire officials said the fire started in a second-floor storage unit.

They said this is the second time there has been a fire there in recent months.

"It's very scary like I lost all my winter clothes, all my winter pants, it's very hard when you lose your stuff," said Tony Powell.

Scranton fire officials said they usually have about one high-rise fire in the city every four months, certainly not two back-to-back.

"I'm afraid to live in there anymore, I can't deal with this. I'm so scared," said Theodora Hahn of Scranton.

City fire inspectors are investigating what or who started the fires in both buildings.

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