JERSEY SHORE - Awakened by the crackling and roar of fire, substitute school teacher Tim Bachman escaped his burning Locust Street home just in the nick of time late Monday afternoon when flames broke out near the front of the two-story house.
"I heard noises, crackling, and ran out a side door," said Bachman, who had been sleeping in a front second-floor bedroom when neighbors reportedly discovered the fire about 5:25 p.m.
He apparently was unaware that neighbors had been trying to alert him to the blaze by pounding on his back door, according to Tiadaghton Valley Regional Patrolman Michael Crawford.
"You could see the smoke from Antes Fort. As soon as I got past the (state) Game Commission office, I saw thick, black, (smoke) from Route 44," said Patrolman Brian Fioretti, who had been doing routine patrols in Nippenose Township when the fire broke out at 139 Locust St.
Neighbor Wayne Hall, a retired truck driver, said the front of the house was nothing more than a wall of flames.
"The front porch was on fire. It went up very quickly," Hall said. "The whole porch collapsed within minutes."
The homeowner of this Locust Street house in Jersey Shore awoke just in time to safely escape with only the clothes on his back when fire broke out late Monday afternoon.
PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette
After donning self-contained breathing apparatus, firefighters initially carried hoses into the burning home through the back door and tried very hard to drive the fire out.
Following a exhaustive 30-minute attack, all firefighters were pulled out because the fire was rapidly spreading and the structural integrity of the house already had been compromised.
Friends and relatives of Bachman arrived and offered what support they could for the homeowner, who watched helplessly as the flames quickly consumed practically all that he owned.
In addition to the two fire companies from the borough, volunteer firefighters from Antes Fort, Nippenose Valley and Woodward Township helped fight the blaze that burned out of control for about an hour.
"It looked to me like the fire went through the walls and into the roof," Crawford said.
Bachman, who planned to stay with his fiancee, told police he had fire insurance on the house.
Citizen's Hose Co. Fire Chief Matt Fausey said there were no injuries, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
It was the latest in a series of house fires in the region that have left families reeling.
from the emotional trauma of having to pick up their lives after seeing their homes damaged or destroyed by fire.
A family was turned out into the cold early Friday morning when an accidental fire broke out in a rental property on Route 405 in Wolf Township.
A Lewis Township couple sustained a heavy lost when fire extensively damaged their home near Bodines on Feb. 24. The couple's dog perished in the blaze.
Smoke caused extensive damage to a Loyalsock Township home in the 2300 block of Northway Road after a fire broke out around a coal stove on the afternoon of Feb. 23. On the day before that, fire destroyed a woman's Eldred Township home and her two garages in the 4900 block of Warrensville Road.