Fire Destroys Historic Hotel in Punxsutawney

More than 100 firefighters worked for nine hours to control a six-alarm fire that destroyed a historic hotel in Punxsutawney, PA, on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. As fire conditions worsened, the interior attack was abandoned and crews were ordered out of...


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Hense requested an additional rapid intervention team from the Sykesville Volunteer Fire Department at 3:35 A.M. Sykesville Squad 8 responded.

At 3:40 A.M., Hense requested the Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Department to respond to the scene. Reynoldsville Engine/Rescue 6 and Tower 6 (a 100-tower ladder) responded. Engine/Rescue 6 laid a 200-foot, five-inch line from East Mahoning Street and Pine Alley to the D side of the building. Reynoldsville Tower 6 was positioned on the D side of the three-story structure and supplied with a 50-foot, five-inch line from Engine/Rescue 6.

Hense asked City of DuBois Volunteer Hose Company Number 1 to respond to the staging area at Punxsutawney Station 20 at 4:23 A.M. DuBois Engine 72 and Truck 72 (a 105-foot aerial ladder) responded.

Hense declared the fire under control at 5 A.M. Mutual aid departments began being released at 6 A.M. The last Punxsutawney units left the scene at noon.

 

Fire investigation

The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Unit conducted an investigation into the origin and cause of the fire. It was determined that the fire originated in the kitchen of the one-story building. The cause of the fire is undetermined. The weather was overcast with a temperature of 28 degrees and 10-mph winds at the time of the fire.

More than 100 firefighters battled the fire for nine hours. Four hydrants on the municipal water system supplied approximately 500,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire. One firefighter was injured when struck by a master stream. Damage was estimated at $900,000.