WEST PITTSTON – A fire that swept through a 126-year-old home at 100 Exeter Ave. Sunday night was set, a state police deputy fire marshal said Tuesday.
An investigation into the cause of the blaze by Trooper Ron Jarocha determined the fire originated on a small porch near the carport. Two vehicles parked under the carport were destroyed.
Homeowner Joseph Castellino, 70, and his wife, Joann, 65, have owned the three-story brick house for nearly 38 years. The house was completely filled with antique furniture, knickknacks and pictures, Joseph Castellino said Tuesday.
We lost everything; total devastation, he said. We lost our two cats (Zoey and Oscar). I just buried them today.
The fast moving fire that consumed the third floor and attic was reported at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Firefighters battled the blaze using three aerial trucks. It took about five hours to bring the blaze under control.
The roof of the house collapsed during the height of the blaze, and a neighboring house at 130 Linden St. was heavily scorched by flames and heat.
Castellino said his house was inundated by the Susquehanna River in September 2011.
We just finished dinner and my wife was in the kitchen doing dishes, Castellino said about Sunday night. She saw flames out our kitchen window. I was in the front of the house and grabbed a fire extinguisher that is how I got hurt.
Castellino suffered burns to his face. He was treated and released from a local hospital. His wife was not injured in the fire.
He said his house at Exeter Avenue and Linden Street will need to be demolished.
We bought it in 1974, did some work on it and moved in February 1975. We had to work on it after the flood last year, Castellino said.
Firefighters returned to the house late Monday morning to extinguish a flare up in the attic.