Sunbury firehouse damaged by fire
SUNBURY - An early Friday morning fire at Friendship Hose Company gutted the station's kitchen and bar, but spared firefighting equipment, including turnout gear and the station's rescue and squad vehicles.
Sunbury Fire Chief Ken Kipple said the fire is not considered suspicious, and the origin has been narrowed down to the kitchen on the first floor of the three-story station. The second floor, where the kitchen and bar was once located, sustained heavy fire and smoke damage. A two-story addition that houses the company's apparatus and a workout area sustained smoke damage.
"The fire apparatus was untouched," Kipple said. "The first guys that got there whipped out their gear."
Several people traveling near the station reported the fire shortly after 6:30 a.m. The station is located a block west of Market Street (Route 61) along Tenth Street. Firefighters confirmed a working fire and a second-alarm was struck, bringing firefighters from several communities, including Coal Township and Shamokin.
Some of those same firefighters were pressed into action hours later when a fire destroyed a home in Excelsior. (See separate story.)
Firefighters attacked the fire from the interior of the station. Fire was not visible from the exterior of the building, but smoke flowed out of several windows that were opened by firefighters.
"No one was there when the fire was reported," Kipple said. "State police fire marshal Trooper Kirk Renn plans to review inside footage before making a determination on the fire."
Kipple said the last person in the station was a cleaning person a few hours before the fire started; however, that person did not see or smell anything suspicious.
Kipple said firefighters from the Friendship are feeling low, but greatly appreciate the community's support in their time of need.