Fire strikes again at scene of Sunbury fatality
SUNBURY - The Penn Street neighborhood where a fire killed a man Tuesday night was the scene of another fire early Thursday morning, this time destroying an adjoining home that was saved by firefighters less than 30 hours before.
Kriss Berry's home at 1003 Penn St. had no fire or smoke damage inside following Tuesday's fire that claimed the life of Keith "Bo" Bordner, 53, of 1005 Penn St. The buildings are separated by just inches, but damage to Berry's home was contained to siding and part of a porch roof thanks to the efforts of firefighters.
The damage to Berry's home was drastically different Thursday morning. Within an hour of the fire starting, windows were broken, siding was melted and the main roof had collapsed.
Berry - who had praised the work of firefighters while mourning the loss of his neighbor Wednesday afternoon - was awoken by heat and the flickering of flames outside his window around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. Berry and his wife escaped their home uninjured before it became totally engulfed in flames.
The Sunbury Fire Department was dispatched at 1:38 a.m. to the structures near the intersection of South 10th Street about a block-and-a-half from Shikellamy High School. An officer arrived on scene and confirmed that both buildings were on fire.
A second alarm was almost immediately transmitted, which was eventually upgraded to a third alarm, sending firefighters from surrounding communities, including Shamokin and Coal Township, to the scene.
A home at 1001 Penn St. had minor roof damage, according to Sunbury Fire Department Chief Mike Rhoads.
"The fire marshal was up there twice today and can't determine if it's a rekindle or some other cause," Rhoads said Thursday afternoon. He said the cause has been ruled "undetermined" due to the damage.
Rhoads said the fire Tuesday evening originated in the living room of 1005 Penn St., where Bordner was found in an area with multiple power cords and power strips. At approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters investigating the burned shell of a structure brought out what appeared to be a burned power cord, which Rhoads confirmed is suspected to have sparked the fire.
Northumberland County Coroner James Kelley reported Wednesday that he pronounced Bordner dead at the scene in the living room in the front of the house. Kelley was assisted by Chief Deputy Coroner James Gotlob in the investigation.
The death, which was ruled accidental, was caused by thermal injuries, Kelley said.
Rhoads said Bordner's wife, Debra, attempted to get her husband, who may have been in a wheelchair due to rheumatoid arthritis, out of the house, but was overcome by smoke.
Members of the fire department and police department also attempted to rescue Bordner, but were turned back by intense flames, Rhoads said.