Six people were left homeless - one of whom was burned - Friday afternoon when a garage fire in the 400 block of Penn Street quickly spread to two homes, according to neighbors and city fire officials.
Ron Saiers, 58, of 423 Penn St., suffered first and second-degree burns to his arms and face as he tried desperately to save some of his motorcycles from his burning garage about 2:30 p.m., officials said.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, Saiers' garage was engulfed in flames and the fire had already started to burn the siding of Saiers' home and that of his neighbor, Bill Hammons, at 419 Penn St.
Saiers, who lives alone, was one of those to call 911 after he saw smoke coming from his garage as he was leaving for work.
The garage was just south of Washington Boulevard, about a block east of Lycoming College. Within minutes, thick black smoke, visible from several blocks, filled the sky over the college campus,
A second-alarm was ordered, bringing additional equipment and manpower from South Williamsport, Montoursville and Old Lycoming Township.
A firefighter works to extinguish a fire that destroyed a garage and damaged two homes in the 400 block of Penn Street in the city on Friday afternoon. A total of six people were left homeless, including one who suffered burns, fire officials said.
Hammons used a garden hose on the garage in an effort to prevent the fire from spreading. The fire was declared under control in about 30 minutes.
Hammons, who lived with his girlfriend, their two children and his mother were all staying with relatives or friends. Saiers was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center, but a nursing supervisor said Friday night "I have no information about him."
Initial damage estimates were expected to be in excess of $50,000, officials said.
Both Saiers and Hammons said they had fire insurance. The houses sustained minor to moderate interior damage and both homeowners should be able to move back in after repairs are made.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.