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Family loses everything in Jim Thorpe blaze

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    Firefighters on scene in subzero temperatures early Saturday morning in Jim Thorpe. BERNARD KREBS/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

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    The home on Summit Drive in Jim Thorpe is a total loss. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published January 08. 2018 03:44PM

A Summit Drive residence was destroyed by a morning fire Saturday in Jim Thorpe.

The occupants of the home escaped unharmed, according to Jim Thorpe Fire Chief Vince Yaich Sr., who was the first on the scene around 7:30 a.m.

“It was fully involved with flames coming through the roof,” Yaich said. “The fire marshal was out, but with severity of the damage, he couldn’t even get in to look at it. Half of the floor is missing so he listed it as an undetermined cause.”

Erica Gable said the home belonged to her mother and stepfather and that her two oldest children also resided there.

“My mother and stepfather were home at the time and the smoke alarm woke him up, so he and my mother were able to get out of the home,” Gable said. “They’re a little shaken up today, but they are staying with a family member and trying to come to grips with this,” she said Sunday.

Wind spread the initial fire quickly, Yaich said, with the cold air creating a challenge in fighting the blaze.

“We kept a good rotation of firefighters in and out so that if you were out there for a length of time, you could go back in the engine and get a chance to warm up,” he said.

It didn’t take water long to freeze once it hit the ground around the home, so crews put salt down to keep firefighters from slipping.

Runoff also made Summit Drive itself icy so the local contractor who serves the private development responded to cinder the road.

“We actually had pretty good access,” Yaich said.

“Everyone did a great job and no trucks got stuck or anything like that.”

Yaich deemed the home, which had been occupied by Gable’s family for around seven years, a complete loss.

Erica herself called the residence home at one time and it is where the earliest milestones of her children were achieved.

“It’s emotional because they took their first steps there and said their first words,” she said. “Then just like that everything is gone in an instant.”

The family lost everything including shoes and clothing, and Erica said anyone wishing to help out in any way can contact her at 570-249-8280.

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