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House fire displaces 2

By Staff | Jan 6, 2015

MUNCY – Steve Walters was in the basement while his wife, Pamela, was in the kitchen at the couple’s West Penn Street home last Monday afternoon when they both heard what sounded like an explosion in their attic.

The two started heading to the second floor to see what had caused the commotion, until they encountered smoke.

“They both turned around and got out of the house,” their daughter-in-law, Michelle, said as she watched volunteer firefighters battle the fire, which broke out about 1:20 p.m.

The home at 331 W. Penn St. has been in the family for several decades, said Michelle, who lives on Lime Bluff Road and was alerted to the fire by a neighbor within minutes after the Walters’ called 911.

This was the second house fire in the borough in 11 days.

“Firefighters were faced with heavy smoke coming from the second floor as well as the attic,” Muncy Area Fire Chief Scott Delany said.

With the homeowners out of harm’s way, firefighters went right to work in battling the fire, advancing hoses through a door on the west side of the home.

Firefighters on Muncy’s and Montoursville’s ladder trucks opened up the roof, allowing dense, toxic smoke to escape into the air. This made it safer for the firefighters fighting the flames from inside the home.

The bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes, Delany said.

No one was injured, and “there was nothing suspicious to the fire,” he added. A state police fire marshal was expected to visit the damaged home later that day.

In addition to firefighters from the Muncy area and Montoursville, volunteers also responded from Hughesville and Picture Rocks.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross was on the scene, offering emergency assistance to the couple, who was expected to stay with relatives.

Firefighters used tarps on many of the Walters’ furnishings in an attempt to limit the damage.

“Most everything on the first floor was salvageable,” Delany said, adding that firefighters were successful in recovering the couple’s collection of firearms as well as prescription medications.

Fire officials estimated damage in excess of $40,000. A vacant apartment on the east side of the property sustained water damage. Family members said the owners had fire insurance.

Another fire that destroyed a home in the first block of North Washington Street and displaced a family of seven on Dec. 17 was determined to be caused by an electrical issue, investigators said.