Crews spend hours battling row home fire


SHAMOKIN, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Fire crews spent hours Monday morning battling a row home fire in Shamokin.

“Right now we’re considering the fire not suspicious, but we’re going to look into this a little bit further with our fire investigator.”

Shamokin Fire Department and county entities aren’t sure what started the blaze but Assistant Chief Stephen Jeffery tells Eyewitness News they knew exactly what they were up against.

“Right off the bat we had structural issues with the roof caving in so we decided to do a complete offensive operation on the fire,” said Jeffery.

Daylight reveals the extensive damage done to a row home in Shamokin Monday morning.

The fire chief says at least 15 people have been displaced as the fire tore through seven properties.

Video Courtesy: Calvin Reeder

Calvin Reeder lives just down the block and was getting ready to deliver papers when he saw the engines rush in.

“Lights came up around and they stopped outside and I said ‘what the heck?’ when I came out, all you could see was fire,” Reeder told us.

With row home fires like this, that fire means there’s only minutes to respond before it gets out of hand.

“Obviously you go back to the coal region set-up, Jeffery said. “A lot of the houses are close together. We have common attics that makes the fire run. The idea is to get on top of it as fast as you can.”

Residents understand that notion and were less than surprised to see this two-alarm fire get first responders from across the region.

“We had representation from Coal Township, Mount Carmel, Kulpmont, Overlook as well as Montour County. We had their rehab from Danville Fire Department.”

The community also knows what those brave men and women were up against.

“They were here doing their best,” Reeder told us. “You have to give these guys a lot of credit.”

Luckily there were no injuries reported.

The American Red Cross was on scene to help those displaced as seven homes were evacuated.

Some of the properties were vacant, but there’s still major loss for those who won’t be heading back to Bear Valley Avenue Monday.

Photo Courtesy: Don Scicchitano

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