Two men hurt in weekend blaze remain hospitalized
JERSEY SHORE — As he is recovering in Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Broadway Hotel fire victim Michael Spotts is hoping that the two cats that lived with him in his second-floor apartment at 120 S. Broad St. will be found safe.
“Surprisingly, his spirits are very good, but he is very concerned about his cats, ‘Kitty’ and ‘Maggie,'” Spotts’ sister, Kathleen Spotts, said in a brief telephone interview Thursday night.
Spotts said her 61-year-old brother suffered burns and other injuries when a fire erupted inside his apartment shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday.
“My brother is doing well, but his pain medicine is not helping,” Spotts, a Loyalsock Township resident, said. She said Michael has lived in the hotel for several years.
“He woke up and smelled something. He saw that his space heater was on fire. The fire just took off so quickly he just had to get out. He knew he couldn’t fight it. It was just (spreading) too quickly,” the woman added.
Michael Spotts walked out of the hotel on his own.
Officially, the cause of the three-alarm blaze remains undetermined, according to Trooper Nathan Birth, a state police fire at the Montoursville barracks.
Birth went through parts of the three-story building on Sunday morning and on Thursday. He said Thursday night that it appeared that blaze started on the second floor in the area of Spotts’ apartment.
Investigators have questioned Spotts at Geisinger, but they have not been able to gather sufficient evidence at the scene to support his version of what he said happened.
Due to the massive fire jeopardizing the integrity the building, the investigation is at a standstill at this point, Birth said.
The owner of the building, Silvio DeParasis, had insurance on the structure, Birth said. The insurance company is planning to bring in a contractor to shore up the structure before fire officials can safely re-enter the hotel and resume their investigation into what might have sparked the fire.
Fire damage is in excess of $300,000, Birth said.
Although Kathleen Spotts has not been able to visit Michael, she talks to him every day. “He cries every night for his cats.”
She said she fears that Kitty and Maggie may have perished in the fire, but she isn’t giving up all hope of finding them.
“I’m doing everything I can to find them,” she said.
Another tenant of the building, Matthew White, was rescued from his third-floor apartment by a team of firefighters, who included Citizen’s Hose Co. Fire Chief Matthew Fausey, Assistant Chief Ethan Goodbrod and Independent Hose Co. members Shawn Hummer, Ron Dailey and Jason Clarke. Hummer, on-duty Tiadaghton Valley Regional police officer, was one of the first on the scene.
White, believed to be in his 40s, was taken to the burn unit at the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. He remained a patient there as of Thursday night, but there was no information on his medical condition.
Two other tenants who lived in the building were Michael Decker and a man known only as “Bob.”