Six Homes Damaged in Fire in Pennsylvania Town

Aug. 27--MAHANOY CITY -- A firefighter was taken to a hospital for heat-related injuries he suffered while battling a fire that damaged six homes in the borough Tuesday evening.

It was just after 6 p.m. when firefighters were called for a structure fire to the rear of the 200 block of East Centre Street and met with heavy smoke and fire.

Anthony Blackwell, Mahanoy City Fire Department administrative assistant and safety officer, said it is believed the fire originated to the rear of 223 and 225 E. Centre St. and spread from there.

Fire damage was reported to an occupied building at 217 E. Centre St., with heavier fire damage to unoccupied homes at 219, 221, 223, 225 and 227 E. Centre St.

Blackwell said two additional occupied homes at 229 and 231 E. Centre St. sustained some smoke and water damage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and Blackwell said a state police fire marshal will be called into assist.

Blackwell said he did not know the identity of those living in the occupied buildings but said none of the residents were injured.

Blackwell said a Mahanoy City firefighter was taken to St. Luke's Hospital-Miners Campus, Coaldale, for treatment of what was believed to be heat-related injuries while several other firefighters were treated at the scene, also for heat-related symptoms.

Blackwell said when volunteers arrived, there was heavy fire to the rear of the 223 and 225 E. Centre St. buildings. About a year ago, he said firefighters were called to the same area during the nighttime hours when someone intentionally lit a fire under a back porch.

Fire officials would not say whether that fire and the one Tuesday can be related.

Blackwell said the fire was difficult to contain due to the construction of the buildings and the fact that at least one was filled with junk, making it difficult for firefighters to get through.

With the buildings being three stories and connected, aerial trucks were on scene from Mahanoy City, Shenandoah, Minersville, Frackville and Pottsville.

After 8 p.m., fire was still shooting through the eaves of the buildings at 221, 223 and 225 E. Centre St.

Although the bulk of the fire was knocked down within about two hours, Blackwell said that as of 8:30 p.m., it was still not completely under control.

Assisting Mahanoy City firefighters were volunteers from as far away as Tamaqua, Pottsville and Minersville.

Numerous other companies from throughout northern Schuylkill County, along with EMS and fire police units, were also on scene.

Centre Street, Route 54, was shut down for several hours while firefighters battled the blaze.

Copyright 2014 - Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.

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