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Accidental fire sends family out into the cold

PHOTO PROVIDED Firefighters from Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Company work on controlling the blaze in Piatt Township on Sunday night.

JERSEY SHORE ­– A Piatt Township couple and their adult son were left homeless Sunday night after a fire destroyed their house on Cement Hollow Road, according to Independent Hose Company Fire Chief Mike Bletz said.

With at least two to three inches of snow already on the ground, volunteer firefighters from a half a dozen fire companies were dispatched to 1008 Cement Hollow Road about 8:30 p.m. when the mother called 911 to report her house was on fire, Bletz said.

The family’s name was not released.

Tiadaghton Valley Regional police were the first on the scene and reported flames on the upper floor. When Bletz arrived, the entire back addition to the house was on fire. The mother and son were already out of the house, Bletz said, adding the father was not home at the time.

The inclement weather “certainly impeded our response,” Bletz said, adding that the roads were in poor condition because of the steady snowfall.

The home was heated by a woodburner and it was believed that the cause of the fire, which has been ruled accidental, was sparked by a problem with the chimney, Bletz said.

Once firefighters were on the scene, the bulk of the fire was knocked down by 9 p.m., Bletz said, adding that firemen were able to douse the flames with water from just two tankers. The family of three, which did not carry any fire insurance, was staying with relatives, Bletz said. No damage estimate was available.

Firefighters from both companies in Jersey Shore along with Nippenose Valley, Antes Fort, Woodward Township, South Williamsport, Old Lycoming Township and Avis responded to the blaze while other fire companies from Clinton County covered the borough in the event that any other emergencies happened during the fire.

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