WAYNE TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A house fire in Schuylkill County Sunday proved tough to fight for more than just the heat and flames. A winter obstacle got in the way.
Time is everything during an emergency.
“Windows popping and then you can hear ammo going, and the cars blowing,” neighbor Lori Richards said.
Pictures captured flames billowing out of a home on Blue Mountain Heights in Wayne Township, Sunday. A ghastly sight as eyewitnesses watched their neighbor’s home burn.
“It was roughly 10:30ish and I heard somebody spinning up the driveway, the road. And then I came out here and then I seen the flames coming out,” Richards said.
Richards says the private road has been left untreated causing firefighters to struggle fighting an uphill battle to get to the flames.
“So many of them were just standing there, they couldn’t do nothing because there was no water pressure and for what water pressure we have, there was nothing they could have done,” Richards said.
Firefighters had to approach the fire from afar at first. stretching 1,500 feet of hose nearly a third of a mile uphill while drivers of tankers worked to get closer with low water pressure.
“We were fortunate enough that a private contractor sent a truck out and salted the driveway for us so we can get our equipment and our apparatus up and down the hill,” Summit Station Fire Company Chief Chris Krause said.
The home was fully involved before firefighters could even reach it. Their efforts eventually suppressed the flames.
“Difficult. But Mother Nature…You just got to deal with what you are handed with,” Chief Krause said.
The fire is being ruled accidental. The fire chief tells Eyewitness News the owner was removing ashes from the wood stove. Three adults and two dogs were able to make it out safely.
The home is deemed a total loss along with two cars.
“I bought my house in 2016 and this is the first time, any time an emergency people had to come up,” Richards said.
More than 100 firefighters and nearly two dozen fire departments responded. No injuries were reported. The American Red Cross is assisting the family.