SCRANTON -- Flames destroyed a building that housed both apartments and two businesses in Scranton's Green Ridge section.
Smoke filled the sky and the streets around 2:30 p.m. Saturday while crews battled the fire at the building near the corner of Sanderson Avenue and East Market Street.
"All the businesses in the block have been compromised. Everybody took on heavy smoke in the whole block," Assistant Scranton Fire Chief Jeff White said.
"I live down the street on the corner and our power went out. I heard the sirens go by and I came down to check it out and I could see all the trucks coming down and I could see the smoke coming up at the end of the street. It was crazy," said Bruce Christian of Scranton.
After the bricks fell and the smoke began to settle, the emotions for people in the area began to set in.
Kristin Martelli owns Grow, a wellness center that was one of the two businesses on the first floor.
"I was at my son's soccer game and someone came running across the field saying, ‘Your building is on fire.’ I just didn't want to believe it. I was in total shock." Martelli said.
Hers, along with one other business, is gone now. On top of that, literally, were the homes for nine people. Their homes are gone too.
"I heard the fire alarm going off. Everything’s gone, everything," said Paul Rutledge who lived in the building. "I have nothing now."
Crews say everyone was able to make it out of the building safely, but the building is likely a lost cause.
"It's my livelihood. It's sacred to me. To see it like this, I can't...or I'll start crying," Martelli said.
According to neighbors, several pets are still missing from the fire, including these two cats.
Officials said it appeared that the fire started on the third floor. Scranton police fire inspectors are still looking for the cause.
A crew will remain on scene for the night in case any hot spots flare up. There will be several road closures in that part of Green Ridge in the meantime.