Crews battle structure fire in Plymouth

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PLYMOUTH, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Firefighters worked through extreme heat battling a three-alarm fire in Plymouth Sunday afternoon.

Many people lost their homes Sunday when a building on West Main Street went up in flames. While everyone made it out okay, the heat sent multiple firefighters to the hospital.

“There was this pounding at the door. They just kept pounding. I went and answered it and the guy said get out get out, fire fire get out,” resident Brandi Britt said.

3:30 Sunday afternoon Plymouth Borough firefighters responded to the report of a porch fire on the corner of Coal and West Main Streets.

“Units arrived on scene, saw a working fire. A lot of fire and smoke. Multiple people were home, a bunch of kids were in the residence,” Plymouth Borough Fire Chief Josh Evans said.

The fire quickly spread through the multi unit apartment building. Evans says that was because of the layout.

“The layout of the building was a balloon construction. With a balloon construction, there’s space between the walls. The fire can travel through the floors and the walls. It immediately got into the walls and went right up to the attic,” Evans said.

Britt narrowly escaped the fire. She says the building was engulfed in a matter of minutes.

“Everybody got out. I got the dog and the two cats but we couldn’t find the one. And then just when we went back the fire was on the front porch and my mom’s window just exploded,” Britt said.

Britt is one of 11 people displaced. Firefighters also had extreme heat working against them as temperatures Sunday climbed above 90 degrees. Evans says three volunteer firefighters were taken to the hospital with heat-related injuries.

Fire departments from neighboring communities of Larksville, Edwardsville, and Kingston were called in to assist.

“We needed the manpower just like I said with the extreme heat. Days like this, it takes a toll on all our volunteers. Everybody did an amazing job to work together, and make sure that nobody really got hurt,” Evans said.

Evans says the firefighters have been evaluated and are okay. A Pennsylvania state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

The American Red Cross is helping families who lost their home Sunday. At least one cat is unaccounted for.

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