Mount Pocono, Monroe County – A recreational vehicle fire caused a chain reaction that melted cars, damaged store fronts and cut power at schools.
Route 611 from Fairview Avenue to the Five Points Intersection in Mount Pocono has been closed since about 11:30 Friday morning. Emergency workers are still clearing the mess from the RV fire there.
The charred remains of an RV and several other vehicles blocked the road as firefighters tackled lingering flames and drivers battled traffic Friday afternoon.
An RV and the vehicle it was towing caught fire around 11:30 near the intersection of 611 and Fairview Avenue. Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Chris Wagner explained, “It struck another vehicle and basically caught that vehicle on fire and then another vehicle that was parked on the roadway began to catch a little bit and started melting.”
The heat damaged several store fronts and the Mount Pocono Borough Clock.
Emergency responders couldn’t get into the area right away because fire hit power lines. Wagner explained, “Until we could get PPL to cut the power it really was unsafe for any emergency responders to get any closer than they could.”
The power issue impacted schools. Pocono Mountain’s Swiftwater and Clear Run campuses operated on generators for less than an hour.
Businesses were also impacted. Dave DeSantis was at Burger King in Mount Pocono when the lights flickered. The cable and credit card machines stopped working. He said, “I could see the huge plumes of black smoke from up above the trees over there and there were two small pops like something exploded a little bit.”
Police said there were no major injuries in the fire. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.
The Red Cross is helping the couple who owned the RV with lodging, food, and clothing.