Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.
Aug. 3—CRESSONA — A fire caused extensive damage to a double home Monday afternoon in the borough.
Firefighters were called to 47 Ash St. around 2:10 p.m. for a report of a house fire, and were met with heavy fire and smoke coming from the double home.
The fire quickly spread to the upper floors of 47 Ash St. and also into the attached home at 49 Ash St.
Four people, two adults and two children, living in the 49 Ash St. side of the building, were left homeless because of the fire, according to Patty Daley, disaster captain with the American Red Cross Tri County Chapter. Their names were not available.
Daley said the home at 47 Ash St. was not occupied at the time of the fire and was under renovation.
Schuylkill Haven Assistant Fire Chief Aaron Schimpf served as incident commander during the fire because he was the first fire chief on scene.
Schimpf said when firefighters arrived, the entire building at 47 Ash St. had heavy fire and smoke showing.
“There was heavy smoke coming from the entire building but mainly the front and left side that was engulfed in fire as well,” he said.
During the early part of the fire, the chief said, a mayday was called when a firefighter suffered from a medical condition due to extreme heat.
“It was due to the heat. He was evaluated at the scene by Schuylkill EMS and released,” Schimpf said.
Firefighters managed to knock down the majority of the fire within about 30 minutes and had the blaze under control in about an hour.
Schimpf said the fire originated in the basement of the buildings, but investigators do not have an exact location or cause of the fire as yet.
He explained that the basement was basically a common basement, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact area where the fire started.
Schimpf said he and fire officials from Cressona will be investigating the cause of the fire. A state police fire marshal was not requested to assist.
The initial dispatch brought firefighters from Cressona, Schuylkill Haven and Pottsville to the scene, followed by firefighters from numerous other companies when the fire went to a second alarm.
Rapid Intervention Teams from Pottsville, Englewood and Pine Grove were at the scene, as well as area fire police that assisted with traffic and crowd control.
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