Two perish in Wilkes-Barre Hi-Rise fire

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. – A fire broke out in the Lincoln Plaza hi-rise at the intersection of South Wilkes Barre Boulevard and East Northampton Street in Wilkes-Barre around noon on Tuesday, December 5.

Firefighters found heavy smoke and fire showing from the fifth floor of the eleven story apartment building owned by the Wilkes-Barre Housing Authority.  Additional truck companies were requested from Kingston, Plains and Hanover Township as first responders found multiple people on their balconies.

Engine 1 was able to secure a water supply from a hydrant in front of the building and fed the standpipe. Hanover Ladder was positioned next to Engine 1 while Kingston’s Tower set up on the “C” side of the building along with two engines.

Crews were able to make a good stop but while working on the fifth floor they discovered the bodies of two people who died in the fire.

Additional crews entered the building and searched all floors while helping to evacuate residents.  Multiple EMS agencies were dispatched to the scene while additional ambulances were relocated toward the Wilkes-Barre area.

The evacuated residents were escorted out of the building and moved to a community room at a nearby residential complex before being bussed to a local high school where a temporary shelter was established.

Smoke and steam were clear of the building by 1 PM as crews had positive pressure fans set up in the stairwells.  Out of town crews began to be released while City officials began their investigation.

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