By Peter Becker
Fire erupted at Keystone Residential Apartments, a group home in Lehman Township, Wednesday, Jan. 9, leaving one tenant dead.
The victim was found in a second story room. State Police, Blooming Grove have withheld the name and gender of the victim, pending notification of the family.
At least 10 tenants were misplaced by the fire and were offered assistance by the American Red Cross, Wayne Pike Chapter.
The blaze was discovered at 12:21 p.m. by a tenant in the building. The apartment house is located at 202 Keystone Court, off Bushkill Falls Road.
The first firefighters on scene reported heavy smoke coming from a second story room. Another tenant in the building was take to an area hospital, but was treated and released. A fireman was also treated for injuries.
Fire departments responding included Bushkill, Marshall's Creek, Hemlock Farms and Dingman Township.
Trooper Sandra VanLuvender said that the cause of the fire is still being investigated. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Blooming Grove barracks at (570)226-5718.
Red Cross assists victims
The Red Cross initially provided food, clothing and lodging for two adults. James Reinhardt, director of the Wayne Pike Chapter, said that as many as six adults are expected to be served. The first two adults had no where else to go, and were set up at a pet-friendly hotel. One man had two small dogs. They were also given seasonal clothing, food and medication.
Other clients from the group home, which services people with special needs and seniors, had family to take them in. Four others were being supplied with seasonal clothes and medications as needed.
Ashley Starnes, the local Red Cross response coordinator, was on scene with a couple volunteers.
Reinhardt said that the Red Cross extends their condolences to the family of the person deceased.
The Wayne Pike Chapter of the American Red Cross was also called the day after Christmas to respond to a fire that displaced a family of two from their home at 164 Pine Acres Lane, Milford. The Red Cross provided meals, clothing and lodging for the family.
The Red Cross depends on donations to be able to assist people in time of crisis. Reinhardt said he was very grateful to public who is able to help, whether it be "50 cents from a little boy" to larger donations, some which come from businesses and corporations. The Red Cross is also extremely grateful for the outpouring of public support for victims of the recent Hurricane Sandy disaster, he said.
Winter time, he added, unfortunately brings an increase in home fires as people try and keep warm and perhaps don't do everything they should to be safe. He recommended looking up fire safety tips on their web site, at www.redcross.org.
Contributions may be sent to the American Red Cross, Wayne Pike Chapter office at the Hawley Silk Mill, 8 Silk Mill Dr. Suite 204 Hawley, PA 18428. The office may be contacted at (570)253-2310.