Couple working towards rebuilding after fire

Jay and Sue McCormick are trying their best to recover from Saturday’s devastating fire that left the interior of their Loyalsock Township home at 1200 Vallamont Drive Northwest in ruins.

“The inside of the home looks like it was sprayed with charcoal,” Sue McCormick said in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon.

“All our furnishings, clothing and curtains have to be replaced,” she added.

“The fire started in the basement and came up through the wall to my husband’s office like a fireball, wiping out everything in the room,” McCormick added.

The couple has been told they will be out of their home “for 10 to 12 months,” McCormick said. “We’re looking for a furnished apartment where we can live during that time.”

She and her husband discovered the fire when one of them opened the basement door after smelling smoke about 2:20 p.m.

Both safely escaped, but the ordeal has been very traumatic for both of them.

“This was our home, where we lived for 50 years, where we raised our family,” McCormick said. “This has been very difficult for us. Everything has to be replaced because of smoke and water damage.”

The couple has fire insurance, but the money can’t replace family photos or numerous other treasured belongings the McCormicks have collected through the years.

“We’ll have to start at the beginning, but we’ll put this house back together,” she said, adding that she knew it was not going to be at all easy at this stage of their lives.

“It’s very hard to go into the house, emotionally. We’ll have to start to get the clothes out, most will have to be thrown out due to smoke and water damage,” McCormick said. “The house smells so bad.”

Firefighters from the township, the city and several other surrounding communities battled the fire for nearly 40 minutes before bringing it under control.

“The firefighters were terrific in putting out the fire. They worked so hard,” McCormick said.

Township Fire Chief Michael Minnier said Cpl. Nicholas Loffredo, a state police fire marshal, visited the fire scene on Tuesday and was expected to return in a day or two as the investigation into the cause of the fire continued.

Despite the heartache left by the fire, McCormick said she and her husband were “going to try to have a good time, try to have some fun” as they rebuild their lives along with the inside of their home.