Cause of Coal Township fire undetermined
COAL TOWNSHIP - The cause of a fire that destroyed four row homes in the 1300 block of West Walnut Street on Sunday has been ruled undetermined.
The fire ignited inside the second floor bedroom of 1334 W. Walnut St., owned by Keith Walczak and rented by Megan Thomas. It is not considered suspicious, according to state police fire marshal Trooper Kirk Renn.
Thomas said a candle may have been lit inside the bedroom when the fire occurred, Renn said Monday. However, he couldn't arrive at a definitive conclusion.
"With the damage up there, I can't eliminate the electrical system," he said.
Renn, who was on scene from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, said 1334 W. Walnut St. is a total loss. It will be up to the insurers of neighboring 1332, 1336 and 1338 W. Walnut St. to determine the extent of damages at those properties.
The fire was discovered at approximately 6:30 p.m. Flames were burning through the front of 1334 W. Walnut St. and spreading to the third floor when emergency responders arrived. It spread through adjoining walls in the third floor and moved east and west.
Firefighters from eight communities worked for more than an hour to extinguish the fire. All four homes sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage. At least seven people were displaced.
Walczak rented out 1334 W. Walnut St. and lived next door at 1336 W. Walnut St. Christine Davies and her son, Calob, resided at 1332 W. Walnut St. Eric Rumberger and his wife, Tracy, and son, Michael, resided at 1338 W. Walnut St.