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Fires displace families in W-B, Dallas; cause of blazes unknown

Two families, including a mother and her three children, were forced out of their homes by separate fires in Wilkes-Barre and in the Back Mountain on Saturday.

Flames first broke out early morning in Dallas Borough.

Firefighters arrived around 2:30 a.m. at the single-story home at 72 Jackson St., which was engulfed in flames, according to Dallas firefighter Justin Swan. Fire destroyed the home and displaced a family of two.

Nobody was injured, Swan said. It was not immediately known where the fire originated or what caused the blaze. An investigation is under way by the state police fire marshal.

Just a few hours later, firefighters were called out to a cellar fire in Wilkes-Barre.

At about 7:20 a.m., relatives living on the other side of the double-block home at 102 N. Meade St. called 911 reporting the structure fire with possible entrapment, according to Wilkes-Barre Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Reilly.

Everybody was outside when fire responders arrived, Reilly said. Four people – a woman and three children – were displaced, Reilly said. They are staying with relatives, he said.

A guest was staying over at the home when the blaze occurred.

Two relatives living on the other side at 104 N. Meade St., including the property owner, Joseph Gross, 84, were able to stay.

The fire is believed to have started in the basement, which was engulfed in flames, Reilly said.

“We advanced two lines into the building and put the fire out in the basement,” he said.

There was moderate damage to the structure’s first floor and basement of 102 N. Meade St., Reilly said. The other side sustained smoke damage.

It took nearly an hour before firefighters could control the blaze, Reilly said.

Firefighters were still working on dousing hot spots in the crawl space until late morning.

The cause of the fire has not been determined pending an investigation by Wilkes-Barre Fire Inspector William Sharksnas.

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