First Arriving Network
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Nine More Houses Go In Shenandoah

Town Being Decimated by String of Fires

THE COAL REGION CITY OF SHENANDOAH, Pennsylvania, took another hit early yesterday morning (Saturday) as the outbreak of house fires did even more damage than usual.  In the past month there have been at least four fires in the town that have destroyed two or more homes.

Republican-Herald image

Nine row homes were destroyed in a fire so destructive that the investigators are having difficulty finding the cause of the fire.  The Hazelton Standard Speaker reported:

A woman who jumped from a third floor window to escape a fast moving fire inside her apartment building remains in critical condition at an area trauma center. Lisa Goida, 43, who lived at 36 W. Coal St. jumped as flames were consuming her apartment building, producing heavy smoke, state police at Frackville said.

The woman's boyfriend, Dean Tessitore, 52, was helped from an adjacent third-floor window by borough firefighters who arrived minutes after receiving the 3:20 a.m. call, Shenandoah police Patrolman Kirk Kirkland said. Tessitore was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center-South Jackson Street and was released after being treated for smoke inhalation, state police said.

Borough fire marshal Rick Examitas said that Goida was taken to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, by ambulance for treatment of serious injuries she suffered when landing on the cement sidewalk in front of her home. He said it was initially hoped to fly the woman to the Montour County trauma center but all medical helicopters were grounded due to inclement weather.

State police fire marshal Trooper Michael J. Kowalick, of Troop L headquarters in Reading, is investigating the fire with assistance from Trooper Thomas Finn.

They said it is believed the fire started in a second-floor, middle room of the apartment of Tessitore and Goida and spread from there. The exact cause of the fire remains undetermined due to a collapse of the area, state police said.

The Shenandoah Fire Chief quickly escalated the response to four alarms because of the rapidly growing fire in the old, wood-framed homes that are mostly sharing common roof spaces.

WNEP-TV image

WNEP-TV has more details plus a good video report HERE. has provided this extensive raw video taken during the fire:


Thanks to Carmine S.

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