Today an Effort home may be boarded up but it's still standing after a fire started just before three-thirty yesterday afternoon. Jimmy Figueroa was working outside in his yard when he spotted smoke coming from his neighbor's home on Sunset Lane located in the Birch Hollow Estates development. He ran over and found the source to be the back bedroom on the lowest level.
Figueroa says, "I yelled to get the kids out of the house and I rushed back to the house here to get the extinguishers so I could get into where the fire was."
Figueroa tells us he crawled under the smoke to where he could use his fire extinguisher. He also closed the bedroom door and the hallway door leading upstairs to contain the flames until Polk, West End and Tunkhannock Volunteer Firefighters could arrive. A viewer sent us pictures of the fire.
Polk Township Volunteer Fire Chief Billy Tippett says, "The best thing you can do is close the house up, starve the fire for air. If you do that, you can stand a better chance of saving your house."
Fire officials tell us Figueroa was instrumental in allowing them to not only save the house but in quickly knocking down the blaze.
Tippett says, "Called Monroe County Control Center that the fire was under control within 30 minutes after dispatch.
Figueroa says he's not a hero and he would do the same thing for anyone.
Figueroa says, "Just the way I am. I was in the military many years ago and I was sort of like a firefighter when I was in the Navy so I already knew some of the steps as to what to do."
We're told the family of six is doing ok and they appreciate everyone helping them. The American Red Cross of the Poconos is providing the husband and wife along with their four kids a place to stay, food and clothing. And they have homeowners insurance.
If you'd like to help the family in any way, just call the Red Cross at 570-476-3800. Executive Director Michele Baehr says, "Financial funding is only coming from the generosity of our donors so we can continue to support families like this if you donate on red cross.org or come by the chapter."
Officials tell us the fire is currently under investigation but it did not seem suspicious.