SUNBURY — At least four people are homeless after a fast-spreading blaze struck a home in the 200 block of N. 6th Street Wednesday afternoon.
Sunbury Fire Chief Brad Wertz said the first call came in at around 12:30 for flames showing at 223-225 N. 6th St., and the blaze rapidly spread from there.
Fire crews from across the Valley raced to the home and within 45 minutes, the 75 firefighters from departments all across the Valley had a handle on the inferno, but the home is a total loss, Wertz said.
“Everyone did a great job and acted quickly,” Wertz said.
The fire itself is still under investigation and Wertz said a state police fire marshal was on scene Wednesday evening.
Two animals perished in the fire and at least four people are now homeless, Wertz said. Wertz said the family is working with the Red Cross and he was unsure where the second half of the half-double building would be staying.
Wertz said no one was home at the time of the fire.
Power was cut off to more than 380 people while powerlines were snapped from the heat of the blaze. PPL officials shut off the power while firefighters battled the blaze. Within three hours, power was restored, Wertz said.
Wertz said houses near the home were damaged by heat and water, but those residents do not have to leave their properties as there was no damage inside those homes.
By 12:30 p.m., the home was fully engulfed with smoke and flames on both the first and second floors. Fire crews were overhauling the main fire while crews battled the blaze from all directions.
“Our firefighters are here for the community and this is an example of how many volunteers arrived within minutes in the middle of the day,” Sunbury Mayor Kurt Karlovich said. “It is an absolute shame this tragedy struck these families and to have to lose family pets and all of your belongings is devastating. My heart goes out to them and we as a city are here for everyone.”