Jersey Shore fire consumes 2 homes, many homeless

MARK MARONEY/Sun-Gazette These two homes in Jersey Shore, at 500 High St., right, and 502 High St., left, were destroyed in a blaze at 10:30 p.m. Friday.

JERSEY SHORE — Several residents in two homes escaped harm but are homeless today following a two-alarm blaze that consumed both structures.

Citizens Hose Co. Fire Chief Matthew Fausey said as the first engine arrived shortly after the dispatch at 10:30 p.m. Friday both structures were engulfed in flames.

Initially, firefighters were told there was a possible entrapment of an individual in the 502 apartment house, he said.

“You key on that,” Fausey said, concerned there was a person inside the structure and dealing with the dual need to contain the blazes and prevent exposure to the next door property and ensure that everyone inside both houses were outside and receiving medical treatment if needed.

“I called a second alarm,” Fausey said.

With assistance from nine fire departments from Lycoming County and four from Clinton County, Fausey said volunteers, Jersey Shore Area Emergency Medical Services and Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police officers were able to account for one woman who was visually-impaired living at the 500 High St. address and six or seven individuals in a downstairs apartment at 502 High St. and one individual living upstairs in the apartment at 502 High St.

All individuals were accounted for and were not inside the structures, Fausey said, adding that eased his mind.

“Property can always be replaced — lives can’t,” he said.

Fausey, the chief in charge of the fire, then said he set up the water supply lines. Firefighters took in hand-held hoses and used a deck gun mounted on top of the fire truck to spray water on the flames.

The fire moved in between the two buildings and threatened to damage a third home, but Fausey said the efforts of many volunteers spared any further damage to property.

One firefighter did suffer a leg injury, but the injured firefighter continued to battle the flames for another 30 minutes before being taken to a local hospital for treatment, Fausey said.

Firefighters were at the scene until nearly 2:30 a.m., Fausey said.

The properties are destroyed and the heavy rain Saturday prevented any attempt to look for a cause or origin of the fire, Fausey said.

The poor integrity of the roofs and the potential for collapse and bad weather will require the inspection to take place possibly by Monday, he said.

Fausey said contact has been made with state police Cpl. Nicholas A. Loffredo, a fire marshal, who will look for a cause and origin possibly Monday.

A friend contacted the Sun-Gazette late Saturday to say the American Red Cross is offering assistance to those displaced.