Outlet to blame for Coal Township fire
COAL TOWNSHIP - A faulty electrical outlet is being blamed for a fire that gutted a township home and killed several animals Monday evening.
Coal Township Deputy Chief Kevin Malukas said Tuesday, following a state police fire marshal investigation, the fire at 1479 Wabash St. was accidental.
"The investigation showed that an outlet on the first floor of the structure malfunctioned and sparked the blaze," Malukas said. "It is being ruled accidental in nature."
Emergency crews responded to the scene of the fire at the corner of Wabash and Sherman streets at 7:25 p.m. and found the first floor of the structure fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters had it under control in a half-hour and left the scene at 10:25 p.m., just in time to respond to another fire call in Shamokin, which was the seventh in five days for local responders.
The occupants of the Wabash Street home, Mike Borich and Lizzette Velazquez, were out to dinner when the fire started. They arrived home to see flames and Borich raced inside the basement to save a pet pit bull. Another pit bull, a cat and several snakes on the first floor perished.
Malukas said fire damage was heavy on the first and second floors. Borich and Velazquez were renting the home from Bart and Danielle Koser, of Coal Township, and doing renovations on the house.
The deputy chief said Koser is insured for the structure, but Borich and Velazquez did not have insurance for their possessions.