On Sunday Feb. 26, a devastating house fire completely consumed the Nockamixon home of Scott and Toni Finger, their daughter Erica and her 18-month-old son, Cameron, at 492 Perry Auger Road.
As of this writing, the cause of the fire is suspected to have been electrical in nature, emanating from a rotting wire located in the home’s side porch. Fire officials removed the wires from the property after the fire was extinguished.
As the fire erupted at approximately 2 p.m., the family was napping.
“My husband was deep in his ‘man cave,’ I was asleep upstairs, my daughter Erica and my grandchild were downstairs in their bedroom", recalled an emotional Toni Finger. “Erica’s cat was in a panicked frenzy, which woke my daughter. We remember the air tasted like wood; when she opened her bedroom door, smoke had already filled the entire house, eerily moving across the ceilings, and rising more than knee deep up from the floor.”
Erica yelled for her parents to get out of the house immediately.
“It was a very windy afternoon, but I still could not believe how quickly this fire was spreading. Before I got out of the house, my bedroom windows had started cracking.”
Escaping their home with only the clothes on their backs, the family called 911 just after 3 p.m.
Intercepted radio band audio confirmed several disturbing issues developing on site.
“Husband and daughter have run back into home to retrieve a dog,” squawked a report.
Indeed, Toni Finger confirmed they had tried to find their beloved rescue dog, Scafo, trapped on the far side of the second floor, where the raging fire was at its worst.
“Downstairs, my daughter’s cat was mewling under the bed and would not move. My husband simply could not get through the flames to reach the dog upstairs. We lost both our animals and have buried them in the backyard.”
Radio reports also confirmed that, per police on the scene, the homeowners' firearms stored in the house were discharging. By the time the first of many fire vehicles arrived they reported, “now on scene, flames showing fully engulfed home.”
Toni recounted her emotional state at the time. “I knew how lucky we were that we all got out safely. But I was also in total shock that it happened so quickly and completely. My car in our half circle driveway was visibly blistering from the heat as I watched the baby car seat inside melting.”
The Finger family is deeply grateful for the kindness and generosity of their neighbors who have provided them with clothing and other basic survival needs. “Everything is gone. While I tell myself, ‘Hey, your family got out of there with their lives,’ the loss of all that stuff you take for granted and use every day just to live is still terribly depressing. With nothing salvageable, we have no choice but to start our lives over from scratch.”
Another daughter, Erin, who lives in Warminster, has started a GoFundMe campaign to help her family rebuild the home they had been working on over the past year and which exhausted most of their resources.
The family gratefully welcomes needed assistance options, from long term housing rentals, to gift cards, furniture donations (a storage unit will collect appliances, furniture, and other household items). Erin commented their largest issue is the home rebuilding expenses. “We are currently playing the insurance waiting game. We do not know how many months of challenges we’re in for.”
Donation for the Finger family can be dropped off with neighbor Holly Palmer, 605 Marienstein Road, Upper Black Eddy, from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Erin Finger is also accepting donations at 133 Evergreen Ave., in Warminster.