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Home gutted; hose does damage

Ladder truck gets tangled up in hose while battling Holland Street blaze.

A hose caught in the wheels of a fire truck damaged a fence, a stone wall, a street sign and three cars, an official says.

This home on Holland Street in Wilkes Barre burned early Tuesday morning. The house, which was vacant at the time of the blaze, was heavily damaged. No injuries were reported.

Clark Van Orden/The Times Leader

WILKES-BARRE – A fire hose set up to battle a blaze that gutted a double-block home on Holland Street got tangled in the rear wheels of an aerial ladder truck early Tuesday morning, a city official said.

Bridget Giunta, city administrative coordinator, said the fire department responded to a three-alarm fire at 76-78 Holland St. at 2:24 a.m.

As an aerial ladder truck turned from Brown Street onto the narrow Holland Street, a hose that was attached to a hydrant got tangled in the rear wheels and axle, Giunta said.

Giunta said the driver, whose name wasn’t released, didn’t realize the hose got tangled. As the truck drove up the steep hill, it pulled the hose, knocking down a concrete road sign and damaging a stone wall and a chain-link fence at 124 Brown St.

Three parked cars on Brown Street were also damaged, Giunta said.

“The hose was already in place from a hydrant,” Giunta said. “The ladder truck needed access to the burning home and was maneuvering along the same hose, and it got tangled up in the rear wheels and axle. It pulled it from there; that’s what caused the damage.”

Giunta said the fire department is expected to submit an accident report to the city solicitor’s office in regards to the personal property damage.

Romell Henderson, 16, who lives across the street from the fire-damaged building, said the residence has been vacant for several years. He said the flames that shot out the first-floor windows at 78 Holland St. spread to the entire structure within minutes.

Giunta said the building had electrical service.

“There was extensive smoke, heat and fire damage,” Giunta said. “Half the roof collapsed.”

Heat from the fire cracked windows and melted vinyl siding at 82 Holland St., Giunta said.

No injuries were reported.

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