COAL TOWNSHIP — A faulty electrical outlet is being blamed for a fire that gutted a township home and killed several animals Monday evening.
Coal Township Deputy Chief Kevin Malukas reported Tuesday that, following the investigation of a state police fire marshal earlier in the day, the fire at 1479 Wabash St. was accidental in nature.
“The investigation showed that an outlet on the first floor of the structure malfunctioned and sparked the blaze,” Malukas said. “It is being ruled accidental in nature.”
Emergency crews responded to the scene of the fire, at the corner of Wabash and Sherman streets at 7:25 p.m. and found the first floor of the structure fully engulfed in flames, Firefighters had it under control in a half-hour and left the scene at 10:25 p.m., just in time to respond to another fire call in Shamokin.
The occupants of the home, Mike Borich and Lizzette Velazquez, came home after being out to dinner to find their home on fire. Borich raced inside the basement to save a pet pit bull, but another pit bull, a cat and several snakes on the first floor perished.
Malukas said fire damage was heavy on the first and second floors. Borich and Velazquez were renting the home from Bart and Danielle Koser, of Coal Township, and doing renovations on the place.
The deputy chief reported that Koser is insured for the structure, but Borich and Velazquez did not have insurance for their possessions.