The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 16, 2013

Update: Five left homeless and dog killed in Milton house fire

By Ashley Wislock
The Daily Item

— MILTON — The “extensive” Tuesday afternoon fire that ripped through a Milton home Tuesday left the family homeless and killed one of the family’s pets, said Milton Fire Chief Sam Shaffer.

No one was home when the blaze broke out and a bystander was able to rescue one of the family’s dogs, but another perished in the fire, Shaffer said.

“They lost one dog and a bystander broke a window and pulled the other one out,” he said.

While Shaffer said he doesn’t believe the fire to be suspicious, the fire marshal will be investigating the cause Thursday morning.

“The cause is currently undetermined,” he said.

The owners of the home at 668 Mahoning St., Mike and Traci Messinger, are being assisted by the American Red Cross, who were on the scene of the fire Tuesday afternoon, said Anne Smith, communications coordinator with the SUN Area chapter of the American Red Cross.

While the Red Cross does not release how they are helping families or coordinate donation drives, people looking to help can call the SUN chapter of the American Red Cross, which will pass along any offers to the family, Smith said.

“That way we can respect everyone’s privacy,” Smith said.

The fire in Milton is the latest to hit the Valley this month, where several blazes have sprung up recently.

An electrical short-circuit sparked a fire at the Brass Key, at North Second Street and Edison Avenue in Sunbury Friday morning. Early Thursday morning, a heater sparked a blaze at a mobile home at 227 8th St. in Point Township.

There’s no real explanation for why more fires pop up at certain times, Shaffer said, though the winter months tend to see more fires than other times of year.

“It seems throughout the area you tend to have them more this time of year, but it’s hard to explain why,” he said. “You can’t really say for certain.”