Family left homeless after weekend fire


MANSFIELD – A smoky fire that broke out last weekend left a family of five homeless.

According to Mansfield Hose Company first assistant chief Jason McMullen, the fire broke out early Saturday morning in the basement at 1368 Route 660, Richmond Township.

McMullen said everyone was still asleep when the fire broke out about 6:30 a.m.

A cause has yet to be determined, but McMullen said at this point “we are calling it accidental or not suspicious.”

The house is owned by Lewis and Ada Boyce, but their son-in-law Randy McCullough and his three sons, all under age 16 were also living in the home.

The home was heated by an oil fired furnace, he added, but didn’t know if that is where the fire started.

The house, a single story house with a full basement sustained damage from the fire amounting to around $150,000, McMullen said.

He said that when firefighters arrived, light smoke was showing from the eaves, “but it had gone through the house into the eaves.”

“Everyone was on the first floor asleep, except one of the kids was asleep on a bed in the basement, who said he had to jump over fire to get out,” McMullen said.

McCullough and his sons were taken to the Wellsboro hospital for minor burns and smoke inhalation, but all were treated and released the same day, he added.

Lewis Boyce was taken to the hospital by private vehicle later in the day for treatment, he added.

The house was declared uninhabitable by firefighters because of damage to about six to eight feet of the floor joists that were burned through, McMullen said.

“We had pulled the firemen out of the room above because the floor was starting to weaken,” he said.

It took the 30 or so firefighters from Mansfield, Wellsboro, Blossburg and Middlebury until about 8:30 a.m. to get the fire out, he added.

A tanker had to be brought from Middlebury because the extreme cold had frozen a nearby pond, he said.

The family is staying with friends in the area.