Renters term Elysburg building fire suspicious
ELYSBURG - The cause of Sunday's fire at a mostly vacant commercial building on East Mill Street may be suspicious in nature, according to Vic Lisiewski and Tim Eckert, who rent the property from owner Jim Levan and use it for storage.
Pennsylvania State Trooper Kirk Renn of the Milton barracks, meanwhile, investigated the scene Monday morning and said the cause is still under investigation and its origin undetermined. Ralpho Township Police Department will be doing a followup investigation, Renn said.
The structure is located behind Vic's Transmissions, operated by Lisiewski. Eckert is one of his employees.
Lisiewski has provided the Ralpho Township Police department with surveillance videos and stills from cameras outside his business. Although none of the cameras were pointed directly at the building, footage shows activity in the area outside of Vic's around the time the blaze started.
Father-son project destroyed
Lost in the fire were two Ford Mavericks, a rare yellow 1969 and a 1972, owned by Eckert, of Coal Township. The 1969 was Eckert's first car that he bought when he was 17 years old and the 1972 was purchased several years ago for his son, Keenan, 18. The father and son were restoring the '72 and it was nearly ready for paint and to hit the road. Neither car was insured because Eckert said they were not being driven at the time. He expects both are a complete loss, and estimated the value at $20,000 for the two.
Even if he could fix his 1969 he said, "It wouldn't be my first car anymore because I would have to replace everything."
Lisiewski would like to reiterate that his business has not been affected by Sunday's fire and he remains open. No customer cars were damaged by the fire.
There were two cars stored inside along with some auto parts and barrels of used oil, and not much else. Levan said Sunday it was "puzzling" that it had caught fire.
He has owned the building since 1992 and said it was rewired in the mid-1990s.
The southwest corner of the large, brick building sustained the most significant fire damage. Elysburg Fire Department Deputy Chief Robert Dluge said Sunday it appears that's where the fire began.