Cause of Berry Street fire undetermined
BOYDTOWN - A state police fire marshal couldn't issue a definitive ruling on what sparked a fire inside 49 N. Berry St. late Wednesday.
Trooper Kirk Renn does not, however, believe it to be suspicious.
"I don't think there's anything at all suspicious," he said Friday following a four-hour investigation at 49 and 53 N. Berry St.
The blaze gutted all three floors of 49 N. Berry St., home to Antoinette Scicchitano and her boyfriend, John Schulein. It spread to the third floor at Robert Wheary's adjacent property at 53 N. Berry St., which sustained significant damage to the top two floors.
All three fire victims are staying with relatives. Both homes were insured.
Scicchitano's home is a total loss, Renn said. He wouldn't say the same for Wheary's, leaving that to an insurance company to decide.
The fire originated in a front corner of the living room at Scicchitano's. It spread throughout the home and burned into the attic and third floor roof at Wheary's.
It was reported shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters attacked the flames from the three sides of the exterior at 49 N. Berry St. and worked inside 53 N. Berry St. in an attempt to prevent the blaze from spreading. Holes were cut into the roof at Wheary's home to ventilate the structure. Interior walls were busted out to allow firefighters access to shoot water onto flames spreading inside Scicchitano's home.
An estimated seven master streams along with a snorkel engine dumped water on the homes for about three straight hours. Tanker trucks were called to the scene to back up the water supply.
The fire wasn't under control until after midnight, and it was much later until it was extinguished. Emergency responders cleared the scene just before 6 a.m. Thursday.
The homes are located on the township's east end between Tioga Street and Pulaski Avenue near Rock Cut Road.
Renn returned Friday to assess damage. Claims adjustors were also on scene.