Fire at Exeter Gardens apartment buildings on Schooley Avenue displaces four


By Nick Wagner - [email protected]



Members of the Jenkins Township Fire Department climb down a ladder after servicing a fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter.


Nick Wagner | Times Leader

Members of the West Pittston Fire Department discuss the fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter.


Nick Wagner | Times Leader


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    Source: Video provided by Danny Fernandez

    A fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter displaced on family. The first sarted in the back of the apartment complex.

    EXETER — Four people were displaced after a fire broke out at the Exeter Gardens apartment complex at 500 Schooley Avenue around 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

    According to Exeter Fire Chief Donald Skursky, the fire started in the back of Building J. He said the fire was quickly extinguished and the interior of the building received little damage. Everyone in the building made it out of the building unharmed, he said.

    The exterior of the building, however, was heavily burnt. Skursky said the apartment with the most damage was vacant at the time and the cause of the fire is unknown. He did say the blaze started in a shed that is attached to the back of the building.

    Skursky said one family will be displaced because of the damage. He praised the departments for getting on the scene and keeping the blaze under control.

    “Everyone here did a great job,” he said standing just feet away from where the fire started. “It was a quick knockdown.”

    According to Regional Communications Manager Dave Skutnik, the American Red Cross is providing emergency assistance to four people following the fire. The Red Cross is helping the persons with temporary lodging, food and clothing.

    Cynthia Martsell moved into apartment 85 on Friday and was displaced from the fire. The fire departments had to cut a hole in her roof over the bathroom, she said. Martsell and her daughter, Ayvah Satkowski, 8, made it out of the fire unharmed.

    Martsell said the walls in her apartment did take smoke damage.

    Martsell’s fiance, Jason Rinehart, was visiting and cooking dinner when they smelled something burning. They went outside and saw the back of the building engulfed in flames. Rinehart said he filled up buckets of water to try and extinguish the blaze.

    “It was too late by the time I tried to put it out,” Rinehart said.

    Rinehart then went to his grandmother’s apartment and removed her from the building.

    Danny Fernandez, who has been living in an adjacent building for four years, said this was the first time he’s seen anything like the fire. He pulled out his phone and recorded the building when it was still on fire, he said.

    “I came out and just saw a lot of smoke,” he said. “Pretty soon it was up in flames.”

    Several area companies were dispatched to the fire. They were: Exeter Fire and EMS, Wyoming Fire, Medic 29, Kingston Fire, Jenkins Township Fire, Swoyersville Fire, Hughestown Fire, Duryea Fire, Edwardsville EMS, Pittston Township Fire and EMS, and West Wyoming Fire and West Pittston Fire.

    Members of the Jenkins Township Fire Department climb down a ladder after servicing a fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Fire1-1.jpgMembers of the Jenkins Township Fire Department climb down a ladder after servicing a fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter. Nick Wagner | Times Leader

    Members of the West Pittston Fire Department discuss the fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter.
    http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_Fire2-1.jpgMembers of the West Pittston Fire Department discuss the fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter. Nick Wagner | Times Leader

    By Nick Wagner

    [email protected]

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

    VideoID: w9vT_kKX20s
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    Video Caption: A fire Saturday afternoon on Schooley Avenue in Exeter displaced on family. The first sarted in the back of the apartment complex.
    Video Credit: Video provided by Danny Fernandez
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    Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick

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