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Devastating fire keeps former residents optimistic

By: WJAC Web Staff

DUBOIS, Pa. -- A week after a fire destroyed a DuBois apartment complex, victims were still trying to salvage what they could.

Fire victim Joseph Aljoe has spent the week sifiting through debris, collecting valuables he said money could not replace.

"There's a lot of debris and molten plastic and it was very discouraging at first glance," Aljoe said.

Luckily, Aljoe found the courage to go back into the apartment where he and seven others lived, hoping he could find something.

"I had trouble believing that there wasn't anything salvageable," Aljoe said.

The father of four was able to dig through piles of ash and ice to find a few sentimental items.

"We did manage to get a few photos," Aljoe said.

He was also able to walk away with his wife's grandmother's silverware. His wife's grandmother died two weeks before the fire destroyed the building.

Aljoe said he took the loss with a positive attitude and forgives his neighbor who admits to starting the fire when her blanket came in contact with a candle.

"It's about rebuilding and starting over fresh, I think we've all been devastated," Aljoe said.

Neighbors said Advanced Disposal stepped in and paid for the family to stay at the Homewood Suites hotel for the rest of the week and they are looking at new place to live.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times