NEW PHILADELPHIA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WRBE/WYOU) — A Friday morning fire in Schuylkill County has injured one person and displaced several families.
Officials say a fire ignited in the 160 block of Valley Street in, New Philidelphia, Schuylkill County.
Blythe Township Fire Marshal Brian McMullin says he was the first to arrive on the scene shortly after firefighters received a call for a kitchen fire inside a home at 161 Valley Street.
McMullin says two houses were fully engulfed before the flames spread and made their way through the remaining homes.
Residents of 161 Valley Street say the home they rent does not have any smoke detectors or fire extinguishers.
According to New Philadelphia Mayor, Terri Gibbons, a 16-year-old male was in the home where the fire started, and he was taken to the hospital to be treated for burn wounds.
“There were five homes impacted and three of them were occupied by families, Mayor Gibbons said.
Residents told Eyewitness News there were no fire alarms or fire extinguishers inside the homes engulfed in flames and smoke.
In addition to 161 – 155, 157, 159, and 163 Valley Street are all the homes impacted by the fire, officials say.
According to Fire Marshal McMullin, house number 155, at the far end, has been vacant for some time and the borough is going to be working on demolishing it for fear that it might collapse.
“It’s in pretty bad shape we were concerned about some of the roof, actually falling into the street as we were battling the fire so we had courted that off for safety reasons,” Fire Marshal McMullin explained.
A cat was unaccounted for from one of the homes for a time, but was later found by firefighters and brought out of the home in an animal carrier and given directly to the resident safely and in good condition.
All of these homes are unlivable and The American Red Cross will be assisting those displaced.
Fire Officials say when crews initially opened a second hydrant it wasn’t giving them enough water so they had to call for a “Tanker Task Force” but, ultimately there were no water issues.
There is no word yet on what caused the fire, as this is an ongoing investigation, Eyewitness News will update you with the latest information as it’s available.
Watch the video of the fire below courtesy of Norwegian Township News and Concerns: