Crews battle Christmas Day fire in Quemahoning Township
Crews from four fire departments responded to a structure fire along Schoolhouse Road in Quemahoning Township Christmas Day. (Submitted photo)
Stoystown fire Chief Dave Johnson said crews were called to the house at 465 Schoolhouse Road around 5 p.m. Sunday. Johnson said the fire started in the garage and winds made the flames spread to the home. Johnson said Mary K. Foy and Rick Reed live in the home.
Johnson said that Reed was on the front porch when a passerby alerted him to the blaze. Johnson said at first the wind was blowing away from the home carrying the smoke away.
"He was on the front porch of the house and a passerby said 'you better get out of the house your house is on fire,'" Johnson said.
Foy called 911 as Reed worked to get the cars out of the garage.
"He was not able to get the second car out," Johnson said. "The garage door would not go up and there was too much thick, black smoke."
The garage was fully involved when crews arrived at the scene. The flames began to spread from the house.
"Two rooms on the back of the house were completely destroyed by fire," Johnson said. "The rest of the house had a lot of heat and smoke damage."
Johnson said the home is insured. He thinks that it can be saved.
The blaze was not suspicious. The cause has been ruled undetermined.
"We know it started in the garage, up high," he said. "But what actually was the cause we are not sure."
One firefighter was injured at the scene. Johnson said a firefighter suffered minor burns and was treated on site.
Johnson said given the dwindling number of volunteers and the fact that the fire occurred on Christmas Day he was happy with the turnout from his station.
"We had seven guys on our first out engine, which is very good," he said. "I think everyone worked well. We had enough guys to take care of business."
Assisting Stoystown was Friedens, Hooversville and Boswell fire departments.