Neighbors lead dogs to safety during Pittston house fire


By Nick Wagner - nwagner@timesleader.com



Local firefighters were able to quickly knock down this residential fire at 4 James St. in Pittston Friday morning.


Nick Wagner | Times Leader

PITTSTON — Thanks to a couple of neighbors, three dogs were rescued from a fire that damaged a city home Friday morning, displacing a mother and daughter.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., flames broke out in a second-floor bedroom at a former double block home at 4 James St. Two occupants who lived at the home were not there when the fire broke out, according to officials. Pittston City Fire Chief James Rooney said Pittston firefighters knocked down the fire within “10 to 15 minutes” of arrival, and the fire was contained to just the bedroom and its contents.

“It looks like room and contact with a little bit of exterior,” Rooney said. “We had to open up some walls. Our group did a great job of knocking it down.”

The Jenkins Township Fire Department, Avoca Fire Department, Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance and Pittston city police also reported to the scene.

Mary Pat Duffy, her daughter and their three dogs lived in the home, officials said.

Joe Kopka, who said he is the boyfriend of one of the home’s resident, said that once neighbors realized the house was on fire, someone opened the front door and the three dogs ran out. The neighbors corralled the animals and took them to safety.

“I left here (in the morning) when she went to work and everything was fine at 6:30 (a.m.),” Kopka said. “The dogs were in the front room and, thankfully, they got out.”

Rooney said the fire was accidental and started near the front window when a curtain got caught in a fan in the window, leading to a malfunction. Rooney said there was no need to call in the fire marshal. There’s no word as to whether the occupants will be able to stay in the house in the coming days.

Flames were visible inside the residence when firefighters arrived on the scene. Once inside, the firefighters had an issue locating the stairway, so they used ladders to gain access to the second-floor bedroom.

When the Pittston City Fire Department arrived on the scene, firefighters struggled to get the cap off a hydrant on Vine Street, and ultimately decided to knock down the fire with tank water. Rooney said the hydrant issue did not affect the time it took to contain the fire, and upon leaving, the fire company was able to fill from the same hydrant without issue.

Local firefighters were able to quickly knock down this residential fire at 4 James St. in Pittston Friday morning.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_PittstonFire-1.jpgLocal firefighters were able to quickly knock down this residential fire at 4 James St. in Pittston Friday morning. Nick Wagner | Times Leader

By Nick Wagner

nwagner@timesleader.com

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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