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Easy Street Fire Second in Lairdsville

By Staff | Jan 15, 2020

A volunteer member of the Muncy Area Fire Department extinguishes flames that consumed the Miller home of Easy Street in Franklin Township. It was the second fire in three days in which area firefighters—all of them volunteer—rushed to the rescue.

LAIRDSVILLE For the second time in three days, a fire believed to be related in some way to a wood stove, extensively damaged a home Monday afternoon, Jan. 6 in Franklin Township.

During the fire at Terry and Maria Miller’s home on Easy Street, just off of Harding and Dark Hollow roads, a volunteer firefighter rescued Vasari, the couple’s 10-month old cat, from a smoke-filled living room.

Terry Miller, a medical assistant at the Muncy Valley Hospital, said he was at work when his wife, returning from picking up groceries, “found the house on fire” after pulling into the driveway.

She was able to get out the couple’s dog, Naba, and one their cats, Uno, but couldn’t find or grab Vasari in time before escaping a fire that appears to have originated in a sunroom and was quickly engulfing three other rooms in the one-story house.

Firefighters from Lairdsville and surrounding communities donned self-contained breathing apparatus and entered the front door with hoses.

About 10 minutes into the fire, Hughesville firefighter Casey Swank was in the living room when he felt his fire boot touch something on the floor.

“The smoke was very thick. I heard a noise, but I wasn’t sure what it was. It sounded like a bird,” Swank, a volunteer firefighter for 15 years, said.

He then saw Vasari, picked him up and carried him outdoors. The cat was conscious, he said.

“I wrapped him in a blanket, and gave him some water and oxygen,” Swank said. The cat, suffering from smoke inhalation, was then handed off to the Millers who took him to a veterinarian to get additional treatment.

Lairdsville Fire Chief Glen Temple said “flames were showing from the sunroom on the east side of house” when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Firefighters from Unityville, Hughesville, Muncy Area, Picture Rocks and Muncy Valley also responded to the scene. It took about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Temple said the exact cause of the fire remained undetermined, but investigators were focusing their attention on the wood stove in the sunroom as a possible contributing factor. Damage was in excess of $75,000, he said.

Beside the cat, firefighters also were able to recover some of the couple’s personal possessions, including cherished photos.

Miller said he and his wife have renter’s insurance. The property is owned by a Florida couple. The Miller were now staying in a vacant apartment next to the house.

Early Saturday morning, a couple safely escaped their burning home on Bartlow Road, about four miles from Monday’s blaze. Heat from a wood stove’s pipe ignited a partition. The fire spread to the attic and a second-floor bedroom.