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Scranton apartment fire leaves one dead, police investigating

Scranton apartment fire leaves one dead, police investigating{ }
Scranton apartment fire leaves one dead, police investigating
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A 62-year-old man was pronounced dead after a fire in Scranton last night- and it was so massive, more than 100 people had to be evacuated and were displaced.

The fire broke out at the United House apartments on Pine St. at around 9 PM last night, with flames being visible from the sixth floor.

The 62-year-old man, identified as Joseph Thomas, had to be rushed to Regional Hospital of Scranton, where he died shortly after.

As of right now, we have not been told how the fire started- but it appears accidental.

FOX56 was on-scene today where clean up crews were seen moving damaged items out of the building while the Scranton Bureau of Fire investigated.

"We hate it, we want to be back in. I have my cat in there," Barbara Bennett said.

"We found out afterwards that an aid was cooking in the apartment, something burned and the aid got locked out of the apartment because she didn't have a key," John Rodgers said.

We're also learning more about Thomas.

"He was a nice fellow, he was an older gentleman," Rodgers said. "He had lost both of his legs to diabetes and he had a dog, and the dog was okay as far as I understand."

The American Red Cross is providing assistance including shelter, resources, and casework. The residents who have been displaced were taken to Scranton High School and slept in cots last night.

"We provide them with 3 meals a day," shelter manager Paul LeVan said.

Red Cross Disaster Action and Shelter Teams working in coordination with county and local emergency officials, building management, and residents established an overnight shelter for affected residents of Union House Apartments.

“We are bringing the full breadth of our services to support the residents who call United House their home; we are offering shelter, meals, community resources, and recovery planning. Our hearts are with everyone who was touched by this devastating experience and we are dedicated to helping support them through this.” shared Michele Baehr, Executive Director, Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

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The Lackawanna County Coroner says more information will be released later today on the victim.

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