24 Homeless After Hazleton Fire
Firefighters got the call just before 5 a.m. and found flames shooting from an apartment building on the 100 block of Diamond Ave. It happened in the City of Hazleton Tuesday morning. After searching the rubble for a cause, investigators now know the inferno was intentionally set and two dozen people have no where to call home. It was a terrifying morning for East Diamond Avenue Resident Rose Fedullo and her husband who were rushed out of their home in robes and slippers.
The couple now homeless, along with 22 others, were woken up by firefighters who rescued them from the blaze. Some of the victims were children, losing all their clothes and toys in blaze. Witnesses tell News 13 that they saw residents running for their lives and some jumped from the roof. Two women consoled each other outside the burned out building as firefighters made sure there were no hot spots. Firefighters got the call just before 5 a.m. One person did go to the hospital for breathing in too much smoke. No firefighters were injured, but they did have to deal with not only fire, but ice as they put the blaze out, the water froze causing even more of a hazard. What made this tragedy suspicious right from the start, is that firefighters were called to the apartment building just hours earlier. The first fire was in a garbage can and was put out quickly. A state police fire marshal worked with Hazleton City police and firefighters to search the fire rubble for a cause. The American Red Cross came to the aid of the victims. No one will be able to go back to their Diamond Avenue home and it was ordered to be torn down. Police ask if you know anything about this arson to dial 9-1-1 immediately. A friend of two of the families who lost everything set up a fund for his friends at a local bank. The money will go to the Burk and Gross Families. Donations can be made at Susquehanna Bank on South Church Street in Hazleton.Both families we’re told only have the clothes on their back and several children lost everything too.