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Family of three left homeless by Linden fire

PHOTO PROVIDED

The local chapter of the American Red Cross was providing emergency assistance for a family of three who were routed from their burning home early Wednesday morning on McGill Hollow Road in Woodward Township.

The entire house at 376 McGill Hollow Rd. was engulfed in flames when firefighters reached the scene just before 1 a.m. Woodward Township Fire Chief Richard Whalen said.

A man and a woman, along with their 1-year-old child had already escaped the fire and were in a neighbor’s house as firefighters pulled up on the scene.

The woman smelled smoke and found the living room on fire, Whalen said. She alerted her boyfriend and the two bolted out the front door with their child, he added. The name of the family was not known.

With so much fire, Whalen immediately ordered a second alarm.

Nearly a dozen volunteer fire companies were needed to battle the blaze. It took about an hour to bring the fire under control.

“It was strictly a defensive attack,” Whalen said, meaning firefighters did not risk taking crews inside. The house, which was a total loss, dated back to the late 1800s he said.

The ongoing highway construction project on Route 220 was “a major problem in getting water to the fire in a timely manner, “ Whalen said.

“We ran out of water twice because practically all the crossovers have been eliminated by the construction.”

He estimated water tankers had to travel an extra six to eight miles round trip to get to-and- from a hydrant that was the main water supply used for this fire.

The construction and lack of crossovers has created a dangerous situation for all emergency responders handling calls in the township, he said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation. Whalen said there was nothing that appeared suspicious about it at this time.

Besides Woodward, firefighters from Old Lycoming, Jersey Shore, Hepburn, South Williamsport, DuBoistown, Nisbet, Loyalsock, Antes Fort, Montoursville and Nippenose Valley responded to the fire.

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