Seven fires, five days
Monday evenings's fire in Coal Township marked the sixth blaze in five days in eastern Northumberland County, and a seventh fire was reported at East Sunbury and Franklin streets in Shamokin shortly before press time.
"It's been a crazy time," said Kulpmont Fire Chief Raymond Siko II, who is also a Shamokin policeman.
Two fires occurred with 15 hours of each other Thursday in Shamokin, one damaging an apartment building in the 700 block of North Shamokin, the other gutting two abandoned structures three blocks away. Both fires are considered suspicious and police are investigating.
On Friday, flames ripped through the trailer home of George Jones, 26, along Route 125, Burnside shortly after 9 p.m. Authorities say a malfunctioning boiler was the cause of the blaze.
Saturday evening, flames destroyed a ranch-style home owned by the Eshbach family, along Crest Haven Road, Rush Township, midway between Elysburg and Riverside, leaving a family of six, including four children ages 2 through 7, displaced. The family helped to operate the Crest Haven Farm Market along Route 54, which was in front of the home, but not damaged.
Then came Monday, when four homes were destroyed and several others damaged along Chestnut Street (Route 61) in Kulpmont.
"We had firefighters from Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel Township, Shamokin and Coal Township, Ralpho Township, all here today to help up through the mutual aid we called," Siko said Monday from the Knights of Columbus building near the fire scene.
"Our manpower was great," he added. "We had many firefighters come in bad weather and call off sick from work, using their own personal time to stay with us until we got things under control."
On Monday evening, local emergency personnel were called to a house fire at 1479 Wabash St. in the Springfield section of Coal Township. No one was injured, but several pets perished and the home, which was under renovations, was gutted (See separate story).
See Wednesday's editon of The News-Item or newsitem.com for full coverage of the city fire late Monday night.