This past friday, EMLENTON FIRE CO's, (Venango County, PA) FF Tom Best & Family, were attending the local football game when his garage caught fire. That evening the area was experiencing heavy winds due to the approaching cold front. The garage quickly became involved and spread to his home, within moments his home burnt to the ground.

Tom and his family only have what they have on their backs for now. Tom is married and has 4 Children Ages 11 - 23. Tom had renters insurance but unfortunately not enough to cover his loses and help him recover from this terrible loss. If you can help... Please do.

If you feel you can assist our fellow brother and his family.

Please contact:

Chief Patrick Lowrey

Work: 1-800-262-3271

Cell: 1-814-609-6207


The shipping address for the fire company is:

Emlenton Fire Co.

410 Main St.

Emlenton, PA. 16373

Your Help would be apprechiated !!!!!

Firefighter, family lose nearly everything in fire


The house and garage of an Emlenton firefighter was destroyed during a Friday evening fire.

Early reports on the blaze at the home of Tom and Sandy Best at 2653 Nickleville Road indicated 11 fire companies had been dispatched to the area.

Knox Volunteer Fire Department, the first responders on the scene, arrived to find the garage attached to the home completely involved in flames, according to Emlenton Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Barry Louise.

"The fire had already started hitting the house when Knox got there. By the time our units arrived, the back of the house was totally involved in fire. There was a lot of gusty winds that night and there was nothing we could do," Louise said.

Tom Best has been a captain with the Emlenton Volunteer Fire Department for about 20 years. Best lived in the home with his wife, four children ranging in age from 12 to 23, and the family dog.

Sandy Best was home alone at the time of the fire, which began near an outdoor wood stove about 12 feet from the garage, according to Louise.

"She noticed the fire and attempted to put it out, but the water hose on the garage was already burned," Louise said.

Damage estimates were not available Sunday, but Louise said the family lost nearly everything. Two vehicles inside the garage, some pictures and personal items were all that remained of the family's possessions.

The charred remains of the large two-story farmhouse will be demolished later this week following an inspection by the insurance company.

More than 50 firefighters were at the location until 11:30 p.m. Friday. Personnel from the Salvation Army in Oil City, Red Cross and Emlenton Ambulance also provided services at the scene.

"The help from everyone was incredible. The Salvation Army provided soup, coffee and hot chocolate for the firemen," Louise said.

Several firemen were treated at the scene for exhaustion and smoke inhalation. An unnamed firefighter was transported to UPMC Seneca for minor injuries.

The family is staying in a trailer owned by family members in Nickleville while sorting out their next steps.

While some of the costs of the fire will be covered by insurance, fellow firefighters are planning several fundraising efforts to assist the family.

"Tom is one of the most dedicated fellas we've had. He's always there when you need him. We feel obligated to ask the community to help him out for the all the time he's given to them," Louise said.

Proceeds from the Emlenton Volunteer Fire Department's annual spaghetti dinner scheduled for Nov. 9 will go to the family, Louise said.

Additional fundraisers will be announced at a later date. In the meantime, the fire department will be accepting donations on behalf of the family.

"He's given hundreds of hours to the community and we'd like to help him get back on his feet. Tom and his wife are the type of people that do everything for everyone else whenever something is needed," Louise said.