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Fire in Carbondale Leaves 2 Men, 2 Dogs Dead

CARBONDALE — Two men and two dogs are dead after an early morning fire in Lackawanna County. Gordon Thomas called 911 after escaping from a bedroom window...

CARBONDALE -- Two men and two dogs are dead after an early morning fire in Lackawanna County.

Gordon Thomas called 911 after escaping from a bedroom window of a burning home on 11th Avenue in Carbondale Sunday morning.

"I opened my door, and the black smoke hit me, and I barely got out that bedroom window," Thomas said.

Officials say the fire started on the first floor of the home around 3:30 a.m. A state police fire marshal says the cause of the fire is not suspicious and ruled the fire an accident.

"I went around the front to try and couldn't do nothing because the flames engulfed everything. If I would have been in there for another 15 seconds, I wouldn't be here right now," Thomas added.

One of the residents used a wheelchair and was rescued by crews at the time of the fire but died at the hospital. That person was identified by family members as David Williams, 58, known to his neighbors as Auggie. The coroner identified the other man who died as Scott R. Deemer, 56.

"They were nice guys. They were handicapped. They were in wheelchairs, so it's a shame though what happened. It really is," said Harold Benson of Carbondale.

Only one of the three dogs at the home survived the fire. Samson is the retired service dog of David William, who lost his life in the fire. His sister-in-law is now trying to find a new home for Samson.

"We want to find him a decent home and a safe home. That is what my brother-in-law would want."

Samson is a 14-year-old German Shepard. The family tells Newswatch 16 he would be best suited for a family without any other pets. Interested owners should be aware that he has arthritis in his hips and does have some mobility issues.

Anyone interested in adopting Samson should call Linda Williams at 845-332-7409.

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