Family Who Lost Home In Fire Wednesday Seeking Help To Recover

March 7, 2019
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Family Who Lost Home In Fire Wednesday Seeking Help To Recover

South Scranton resident Rob Baldassano just arrived home after a shift for the Wilkes-Barre post office Wednesday night when he and his wife, Lindsay, noticed an odd smell.

Moments later, the lights went out in the second-floor den where they stood, so Baldassano ran to the basement to investigate. When he came back upstairs, his wife told him their daughter’s room was on fire. Julia, a 16-year-old homeschooler, was visiting her grandparents in Old Forge at the time.

As flames spread through the home at 806 Stafford Ave., Lindsay Baldassano leashed the dogs — Hershey, a loveable chocolate Labrador, and Xander, a gentle mixed-breed giant who stands over six feet tall on his hind legs — and ran outside, while her husband attempted to put out the fire.

“I went upstairs and saw flames, so I tried to grab the hose from the shower to do something,” Rob Baldassano said, adding that when a huge wave of heat hit him from behind, he gave up and ran outside to call 911.

“It went up so quick,” he said.

The couple was treated for smoke inhalation at Geisinger-Community Medical Center and released. Fire crews fought flames for hours through frigid temperatures, but in the end, the Baldassanos lost all of their belongings.

For now, he and his wife and daughter are staying at his in-laws, though the dogs are being temporarily boarded at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter. The family cat, Furby, is missing. Traps have been set for the petite, long-haired black cat, but any sightings of her can be reported to 570-332-6193.

The family seeks women’s clothing in pants size 12-14 and medium size tops, as well as women’s shoes in size 8. Donations for the family can be made online at GoFundMe.com under the Baldassano Recovery Fund, or sent to Stewart Memorial United Methodist Church, 174 N. Main St., Old Forge, PA 18518. Contributions toward the boarding of the dogs can be sent directly to the animal shelter at 967 Griffin Pond Road, South Abington Twp., PA 18411.

Contact the writer: pwilding@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT on Twitter