Two fires broke out a block apart from each other this morning in Lehighton, and at least one is being investigated as arson.
Police took an individual into custody as "a person of interest." As of this morning, no charges had been filed.
Lehighton Assistant Fire Chief Pat Mriss said he has requested a state police fire marshal to assist local fire and police officials in the investigation of both incidents.
The first fire call happened at the residence of Marian Young, 231 Carbon St., at about 7 a.m.
While at that scene, a second call was received for a porch fire in the 300 block of North Third Street; about a block away from the Carbon Street address.
The first floor of the Carbon Street residence had flames, said Mriss. Heavy smoke was pouring from windows throughout the dwelling.
Firefighters from Lehighton, Franklin Township, and Mahoning Township responded to the Carbon Street address.
The East Penn Fire Department was dispatched to the North Third Street address. Little damage was reported to the rear porch, but it is believed the fire was deliberately set.
On North Third Street, police placed an individual into their cruiser. Officer Brian Biechy of the Lehighton Police Department said the male taken into custody is a "person of interest." Because charges haven't been filed against him, he wasn't identified.
Young resides with her son, Russell. Both reportedly escaped without injury from the brick, twin, three-story structure.
Mriss said the fire was contained to the first floor of the interior of the dwelling. He said the cause of this fire "is under investigation."
The assistant chief said the first responders at the scene entered the home and quickly knocked down the fire.
He praised the work the firefighters did, stating, "They did a good job. It was a quick knock-down and there was no extension of the fire into 229 (Carbon Street)."
Residing at 229 Carbon St. are Delbert Laury, his wife, Margaret; their son-in-law, Vernon Watts, and a granddaughter. Richard and Laury were reportedly transported to the Gnaden Huetten Campus of Blue Mountain Health System for smoke inhalation and evaluation.
Watts said his family awoke to get ready for work and noticed their side of the house was filling with smoke. Then the smoke alarm went off so they phoned the Carbon County Telecommunications Center (9-1-1).
Police were first to arrive at the scene and assured everyone was safe from both sides of the structure.
When the second fire occurred, Lehighton police received mutual aid from police officers in Franklin Township and Mahoning Township.
The Third Street fire was declared under control within a few minutes.
Firefighters were at the scene of the Carbon Street fire for more than 1 1/2 hours.
The Lehighton Ambulance Corps also responded.
Fire police handled traffic control.
Heavy damage was reported to the first floor of the Young residence. Mriss said the Laury home sustained mostly smoke damage.