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Port Jervis Blaze, Attributed to Charging Electronics, Claims Lives of Family Pets

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

PORT JERVIS, NY - A second-alarm structure fire that occurred early Saturday morning, August 20th in a multi-family Port Jervis house, left a family displaced but uninjured. While none of the residents were injured, sadly, the blaze, believed to have originated from a charging laptop, resulted in the loss of a dog and cat that were trapped in a bedroom of the house.

The fire, located at 67 Franklin Street, was reported at 7:22 A.M. Units that were immediately dispatched to the scene found heavy smoke and intense flames upon arrival. Lines were stretched and the fire was fought from within and around the exterior of the two-story house. Within a short time, the flames were brought under control and interior firefighters had located the family’s pets.

The grandmother of a family that had been living in one of structure’s two apartments is now warning anyone with electronics to be aware of a danger believed to have caused this fire.

“A regular school laptop used for school work was plugged in and charging overnight. It is believed that the batteries in this caused the fire,” the grandmother reported. “I was told by a firefighter that this was one of several fires he was aware of having started this year from charging laptops and other electronics. It’s something people should know about. Everyone charges electronics.”

The grandmother noted that the parents and three children, ages seven, four and three, were sleeping in their apartment when one of her grandsons ran to his parents’ room yelling ‘mommy, mommy, fire, fire’. The room where the fire originated was this grandson and his brother’s room, with beds on each side of the room. Fortunately, his brother had crawled into bed with his parents during the night, and the one who discovered the fire was on the couch in another room when he discovered the fire.

“The family’s eight-year-old pug, Missy, and cat Oreo didn’t survive. But it could have been much worse if the boys had been in their room,” the grandmother said. “The family in the other apartment had moved out just a couple of days before.”

Residents were being assisted by nearby neighbors as firefighters arrived. The Red Cross was called for assistance, and the family is temporarily staying with other family members at this time.

Other departments assisting with this call included Westfall and Matamoras, PA and Huguenot and Sparrowbush, NY. No additional injuries were reported.

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SHARON SIEGELSenior Correspondent

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