Tom Warnock does not know what woke him up early Friday morning. It could have been anticipation that his baby boy would probably arrive that day.
But as he lay in his bedroom a little after 3 that morning, he heard something that did not sound right.
“I didn’t hear crackling, but something sounded like a blow torch, like a gas line had caught fire,” he said.
He looked out his window and saw flames across the street from his Carbondale home. He turned to his wife, Danielle, and told her to call 911.
By the time he made it outside, his neighbor, Marie Michalek, kicked out a second-floor window and was on the roof with her dog under an arm. Mr. Warnock grabbed his ladder and helped his neighbor off her roof.
Mrs. Warnock’s contractions had started the night before and grew stronger as eight fire companies worked to extinguish the fire that has been ruled an arson. By the time the flames were out, two homes suffered severe damage and Mrs. Warnock was ready to go to the hospital.
One day after the fire, Mr. Warnock, 30, spent time with his wife, their 4-year-old daughter, Rylee, and a healthy baby boy they have yet to name. While he is happy he could help his neighbor and joyful for his family’s new addition, he is also nervous.
Just a month ago, an arsonist set a fire on the back deck of a house at 37 Wayne St., Carbondale, just a few houses away from Friday’s fire at 25 Wayne St. and 145-147 Eighth Avenue. Police think the fires may have been started by the same person.
“Not only did they lose everything, people could have lost their lives as well,” Mr. Warnock said of Friday’s fire.
The fire on July 11 at 37 Wayne St. started in a recycling bin and caused moderate damage to the home. Friday’s fire started in the middle of the night in a shed just a few houses away.
“Do we think we have an arsonist on our hands? Absolutely,” state police Fire Marshal John Chervanka said Saturday.
As the investigations continue, he urges residents to be even more aware of their surroundings.
“If you see something, say something,” he said.
Anyone with information can call state police at 570-253-7126.
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