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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Apartment fire ruled arson

  • Fire broke out in an apartment building in downtown Hawley early
    Thursday less than a day after all of the tenants moved out.
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     - Fire broke out in an apartment building in downtown Hawley early
    Thursday less than a day after all of the tenants moved out.
    The State Police Fire Marshal has declared the blaze an arson.
    The long and narrow, two-story building at 202 Chestnut Avenue stood at the corner with River Street directly opposite the Hawley Ambulance garage.
    Fire was already coming out the windows when Hawley Fire Department was called out at about 6:30 a.m.
    Three hours later, an excavator was on scene ready to tear the remaining structure down at the fire company's
    command.
    Fire Chief Scott Mead said he was not clear why the tenants moved
    or how many tenants were living there. He said they occupied two apartments, downstairs.
    Mead said the landlord, who he said was Ed Goodwin, had been in the building the day before. The landlord was on
    scene Thursday.
    Fire was coming out the first story doors and windows when fire
    trucks arrived on scene, Mead said. Fire was also starting to come out the second story windows.
    Engulfed in flames
    Deputy Chief Eugene Krause said he saw the thick pillar of smoke as he headed down Spruce Street to the morning fire.
    The fire started on the first floor inside the front door. From the Chestnut Avenue side, the most visible damage was across the middle on both floors. No other information has been released on the cause.
    Mead said that because fire had compromised the interior floors and
    that the structure is right in a residential neighborhood, they were having the remains taken down quickly. He stated that the burned structure would present a safety hazard..
    There was double planking, and a metal roof which helped keep the heat
    inside.
    Shingles and tarpaper were still beneath the metal, making a thick layer. Firefighters cut holes in the roof to allow ventilation.
    Firefighters accessed the burning building from a second floor window because of the fire damage below.
    The chief said they were able to knock down the blaze quickly. There were still some fire in pockets they could not reach, which he said was another reason they had to
    Page 2 of 2 - have the building taken down.
    Mead said that there was no injuries.
    White Mills, Lakeville and Forest Volunteer fire departments assisted, and Hawley Ambulance was on scene. Fire Police directed
    traffic away from the area.
    Hawley Fire Department was back at station at 12:08 p.m.
    The house is listed on several Realtor web sites, but marked "not
    for sale" on some. They state the building had four bedrooms.
    One listing said it was suitable possible for a "mother/daughter" or a
    family desiring two living spaces.
    Building history
    The lot where the apartment house stood was the site of a private
    school operated by the late Dr. George T. Rodman's aunt and uncle,
    Katurah (Longstreet) and James T. Rodman, who raised him.
    The "Select
    School" operated in the 1860's and 1870's. This is not thought to have
    been the same building.
    The Realtor listings dated the house to 1900
    or 1910. Rodman died in 1956 after a 70-year medical career in
    Hawley.
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