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Family of 3 displaced by morning blaze

By Staff | Feb 12, 2016

PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette A family of three was displaced after an attic fire broke out at this home on North Third Street in Hughesville about 10:20 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. A state police fire marshal was investigating the cause of the fire, which was knocked down within 20 minutes. There were no injuries.

HUGHESVILLE – A Third Street family of three has been left homeless after an attic fire broke out in their home about 10:20 a.m. Thursday.

Eric and Joanne Dieterle and their son, Andrew, were staying with relatives following the fire at 108 N. Third St.

Dieterle was working in his home office when he smelled something burning. “As I was going up the stairs to investigate, I heard crackling,” he said.

When he found a fire in the attic, he quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to put it out.

“I have an extinguisher on every floor,” he said.

“There was too much heat, too much smoke and things started popping. It was time to get out,” Dieterle, an accounting consultant for Susquehanna Paper and Sanitary Supply Corp., said.

He and his son fled out the front door with the family’s two small dogs. Joanne was not home at the time.

Borough Fire Chief Steve Stiger said volunteer firefighters had the blaze extinguished in 20 minutes. There were no reports of injuries.

“Everyone worked together,” he said.

Dieterle expressed his appreciation for the firefighters saving his home.

“I’m very grateful for what they did. We got out. That’s all that mattered. Things can be replaced,” he said.

Stiger said that even though the fire was confined to a spare room in the attic, there was smoke and water damage throughout the home.

However, many of the family’s possessions were spared damage because firefighters covered them with tarps.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation, Stiger said, adding that a state police fire marshal was expected be at the scene later.

The Dieterles, who have fire insurance, are staying with relatives. Investigators believed they could be back in their home in a matter of weeks.

In addition to Hughesville, firefighters from Picture Rocks, Muncy Area, Pennsdale and Montoursville responded.