10 homeless in Sunbury blaze
SUNBURY - Ten people were left homeless Sunday afternoon when fire ripped through three apartment buildings in the 200 block of Chestnut Street near Third Street.
One mutual aid firefighter was injured battling the 4 p.m. three-alarm blaze, but no other injuries were reported.
Sustaining extensive damage were four apartments at 253-255 Chestnut St., two apartments at 257 Chestnut St. and one apartment at 249 Chestnut St.
Firefighters were able to save the historic Chestnut Inn at 261 Chestnut St. from sustaining any fire damage.
Sunbury Fire Chief Mike Rhoads said the fire appeared to have originated at 253 Chestnut St. and quickly spread to the other apartments. He said state police fire marshal Kirk Renn of Milton is scheduled to inspect the scene this morning in an attempt to determine a cause.
Rhoads said all the fire victims are adults and reportedly are staying with relatives or friends. He said two of the homeless should be able to return to their apartment today when power will be restored.
Firefighters from approximately 10 multiple municipalities, including Sunbury, surrounding areas and Shamokin and Coal Township, battled the blaze for almost four hours before bringing it under control.
Rhoads said all the occupants and their pets were able to escape unharmed.
The fire forced the evacuation of neighboring dwellings.
Numerous flames and dense smoke covered the area for hours and left a haze over the sky in the city.
A train traveling through the city near the fire scene was stopped as a safety precaution.
The scene wasn't cleared until approximately 9:15 p.m.
Rhoads, who coordinated firefighting efforts at the scene with Deputy Chief Ken Kipple, was not able to provide the names of the homeless Sunday night or whether they are insured.
"Wind conditions hampered our efforts at the scene, but I believe all the firefighters did a fabulous job containing the fire to the three properties," Rhoads said.