WILKES-BARRE — A fire late Sunday afternoon damaged a North End apartment building and displaced eight people.
Firefighters arrived on scene around 5 p.m. to find one half of the rear of the building at 584-586 N. Main St. engulfed in flames.
Before they arrived, a neighbor, Angelo Hardy, said he alerted one resident on the 584 side and along with a passerby kicked in the first-floor door on the other side to find no one was home.
The passerby who did not identify himself said he was driving by, saw smoke coming from the building and stopped. He showed a photo taken with his cellphone of flames in the rear.
“I started banging on the door,” Hardy said of his effort to get people out of the building. When a resident answered, Hardy said he told him, “The house is on fire.”
John Mayer stood and watched as firefighters wearing masks and air tanks on their backs entered and exited the building.
He said he was watching a football game on television and heard the commotion in the building. He saw smoke and flames in the rear and got out, but his cat hid somewhere inside the apartment. He said he heard a popping sound in the back of the building and described it as sounding “like someone was lighting firecrackers. “
He and another resident did not need emergency shelter, but the family of six who lived on the 586 half of the building did, said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.
The firefighters “did some really aggressive work” to knock down the heavy flames shooting from the rear, Delaney said.
Flames charred the rear of the 584 side and firefighters focused their efforts on a second-floor porch.
“No one was injured,” Delaney said. “No one got hurt.”
City fire inspector Capt. Alan Klapat was called to investigate the cause, Delaney said.