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Fire forces family of 3 from home

By Staff | Aug 26, 2015

MONTGOMERY – A mother and her 15-year-old daughter safely escaped their home at 37 Brook St. early last Wednesday morning after the woman discovered a raging fire in the attic, according to fire investigators.

Janet Batkiewicz was awakened at 3:15 a.m. when the fan in her bedroom suddenly shut off, said Cpl. Nicholas A. Loffredo, a state police fire marshal.

“She went to her electrical panel box in the basement and realized that the circuit breaker for the fan had been tripped,” Loffredo said.

At first she was unaware of any fire “because it was all above her in the attic. She then heard some crackling and when she went to investigate further, she went back upstairs, opened the attic door and discovered the fire,” Loffredo said.

“She got her daughter out and called 911,” he added.

The woman’s 15-year-old son, Brandon Boore, was not home at the time.

The blaze started in the attic and has been ruled electrical in nature, Loffredo said.

“There were heavy smoke and flames coming from the home when firefighters arrived on the scene,” borough Fire Capt. Michael Magyar said.

Batkiewicz, who rented the home from William Wise, and her daughter, Brianna Boore, were on a neighbor’s front lawn across the street as fire trucks started arriving.

Firefighters donned self-contained breathing apparatus and attacked the fire by advancing hoses through the front door and up two sets of stairs.

There were no reports of injuries.

Magyar said the bulk of the fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes. In addition to borough firefighters, crews from Clinton Township, Washington Township, South Williamsport, Montoursville and Warrior Run assisted in fighting the fire or stood by in nearby firehouses, ready to respond to any other emergency calls.

“We were able to salvage to 50 to 60 percent of the family’s possessions on the first floor with about a half a dozen tarps,” borough Fire Chief Brad Harding said.

He said the fire itself was confined to the attic and the son’s second-floor bedroom. Some clothing as well as a rifle were recovered from the room, Harding added.

Loffredo estimated fire damage at about $95,000. While Wise had fire insurance, Batkiewicz had no renter’s insurance.

Firefighters rescued a turtle as well as another animal. Two cats that ran outside later were recovered.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross was helping the displaced family, who are staying with relatives until they can find a new home.

An account at gofundme.com/helptheboores has been set up for the victims.