Couple Loses Home In Blaze
According to Emergency Response & Resiliency Specialist Jayme Houck of the American Red Cross serving central Pennsylvania, two adults received “food, clothing, seasonal garments and lodging” following the January 24 fire on the 500 block of Oak Ridge Drive.
Homeowners Leon and Mary Fisher were reportedly at home when the fire ignited in the chimney flue, McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Pete Lynch told the “News.” Leon Fisher reportedly attempted to extinguish the fire himself before it got too far out of his control, Lynch said.
Fisher was able to get himself as well as his wife out of the home and to safety before going to a neighboring home to use their telephone to call for emergency assistance at 11 a.m.
Lynch said he was hopeful at the time the fire would be confined to one wall. However, arriving at the Licking Creek Township residence located at 536 Oak Ridge Drive, firefighters discovered flames already coming out the eaves.
Meanwhile, approximately 30 firefighters from multiple companies worked in unison to extinguish the fire that had fully engulfed the one-story home with several additions.
Lynch said only the shell of the home remains at this time and the home is deemed a “total loss.” Crews and equipment from Mc- Connellsburg went back into service at 2:50 p.m. Some members returned to the scene later that day to check for any reflares.
McConnellsburg received assistance from fellow firefighters from Hustontown and Needmore. Due to the location of the water source, tankers were also brought to the scene from MMP&W, Breezewood, Everett and Hancock, Md. An air unit out of Everett was also in use at the time.
Lynch noted fire companies from St. Thomas, Mount Union, Three Springs and Great Cacapon, W.Va., remained on standby at the three county fire stations.
Only one firefighter was harmed in fighting the blaze, said Lynch, referring to a leg injury suffered by a Needmore fireman.
The Fishers were placed inside an ambulance on the scene due to bitterly cold weather that swept Fulton County last week. Neither were injured, however, Mary Fisher was taken via ambulance to Fulton County Medical Center following the fire for an unrelated medical issue. It was later determined the Fishers were also tested for carbon monoxide poisoning at the hospital.
The Fishers lost their home and all personal belongings in the blaze as well as multiple cats that were unable to get out of the burning structure. There has not been a monetary figure equated to the loss. They did not have insurance, Lynch stated.
American Red Cross officials were not immediately aware of any local collection efforts under way to benefit the couple, Houck said. However, there are plans to follow-up to determine if there are any additional disaster needs.