Fire levels large shed near Dornsife
DORNSIFE - Fire destroyed a large shed and the farming equipment inside Tuesday, but the nearby home of Victor and Irene Zubritski was spared.
The proximity of the house, about 50 feet away, was of concern while firefighters from as far as Coal Township were dispatched to 969 State Road about 2 p.m.
A state police fire marshal is expected on scene today, weather permitting, but Herndon Fire Chief Tony Gilligan said the fire is considered accidental.
"As of now, we are looking at an electrical panel as the cause," he said Tuesday evening.
The structure was fully engulfed in flames by the time emergency crews arrived in the remote area of Little Mahanoy Township on the south side of the Dornsife Mountain.
Several gallons of gasoline and other flammable materials, along with a tractor that had just been used, may have accelerated the blaze, Gilligan said.
The fire was discovered by a Pennsylvania Game Commission enforcement officer who was conducting a routine patrol on nearby Creek Road when he smelled smoke. He got to the Zubritski residence and knocked on the door, alerting Irene Zubritski, who unaware of the blaze.
Her husband told firefighters he had been plowing about an hour before, then left to go to a local feed store. When he was returning home, he saw the smoke and realized it was coming from his property.
Fire trucks had to navigate a narrow, one-lane road to get to the scene.
"When we arrived, part of the barn had already collapsed," Gilligan said.
Trevorton Fire Chief Ed Reed and his crew, along with Herndon Fire Company, were first on scene, and worked to get water from their booster tanks onto the flames. After that, crews from Lower Mahanoy Township and Coal Township set up a reserve pool for more water. The scene was cleared at approximately 4:30 p.m.
The blaze destroyed the structure, the tractor, two tillers, table saws, a patio grill, woodworking equipment and other implements. Gilligan said the couple does not have insurance on the property.
Also responding were fire crews from Hickory Corners, Lower Augusta Township and Pillow.