EAST STROUDSBURG, Penn.-- An ESU student and a woman visiting friends died in a ferocious blaze that destroyed a duplex on Analomink Street around 9 a.m.
One victim, Jeff Dailey, was a well-liked student who was a star basketball player in high school and attended Cabrini College before transferring to East Stroudsburg University last year. He and two other students lived in one side of the house.
Takiea Jackson, 25, of Marshalls Creek visited friends who rented the other half of the house. She stayed late last night, didn't have a ride home and decided to sleep over. She died in an upstairs bedroom.
The bodies of the victims were finally removed around 4 p.m. - a dangerous effort considering the condition of the charred building.
Jackson's friends who escaped the blaze called the house a "shambles" and the owner a "slum lord." The family - Waine and Anne Howell and their two children said the property is in foreclosure.
A blanket on an upstairs bed caught fire, according to the Howells. Their children, 10 and 8, tried to put the fire out with water but could not. The blanket might have ignited by touching a baseboard, the Howells said.
East Stroudsburg Codes Officer John Blick saw the fire, which was shooting flames from the windows and had engulfed the front porch, while on his rounds. He called it in to police at 9:10 a.m.
Blick said the house had been cited twice in the past year for trash violations.
East Stroudsburg Fire Chief Billy Miller said the first house was fully engulfed when police arrived. The fire was on the roof of the second home.
The house at 161-163 Analomink St., a wood-frame house built in 1902, was destroyed. The fire jumped next door to the house at 167 Analomink St. That house was burned on the exterior.
Two neighbors rescued a 25-year-old resident from the roof.
The Salvation Army and Red Cross are on the scene. Analomink and Ransberry streets are closed to traffic.
Republished with permission of The Pocono Record.
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