The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 2, 2014

Loss set at $200,000 in fire at Union County dairy farm

ALLENWOOD — A three-alarm fire Saturday caused about $200,000 in damage to a Gregg Township dairy farm, and an off-duty firefighter suffered burns to her hand rescuing a German shepherd that was chained to a beam in a barn.

The Allenwood farm of Henry and Mary Lapp was insured, Warrior Run Fire Chief Mark Burrows said Monday. Structural damage totaled about $125,000, and damage to contents totaled about $75,000. Gregg Township is in Union County.

The cause was ruled accidental, although what exactly started the fire was not identified. Two dairy calves died in the blaze, which began about 5:30 p.m. and brought out first-responders from Union, Northumberland and Lycoming counties.

Karen Poust, 48, and Dusty Treese, 45, both of Williamsport, were on their way to a fishing spot near the farm, Poust said, when they saw the smoke. Poust, a firefighter who declined to name the company she is with, said she saw a fire truck in the farm’s driveway and drove over to help in what she called an “intense fire.”

“I see this dog pulling a beam that was on fire,” she said, adding she jumped out of the car before it came to a stop. The 10-year-old female German shepherd was smoldering, she said.

The dog was attached to the beam by a logging chain, Poust said, and was dragging it and trying to walk. Poust grabbed the chain, she said, which was so hot it burned three fingers and the palm of her right hand.

Treese brought bottled water over and patted down the dog. The two freed the animal, carried her to their car and took her to the Animal Emergency Center of Central Pennsylvania near Watsontown, where doctors determined 75 percent of the dog’s body was badly burned, Poust said.

The dog, now being called “Angel,” was taken Sunday to Metzger Animal Hospital in State College. Happy Valley Animals in Need, of Port Matilda, is covering the dog’s medical costs. Angel is responding to treatment, according to a Monday update on Happy Valley’s Facebook page. “Considering what she has been through, she is doing well, and her lungs are good,” the group said. Her condition is stable, although she has a long road to recovery.

Donations for Angel’s care may be made by PayPal to Happy Valley Animals in Need. People may contact happyvalleyanimalsinneed@gmail.com for information. Donations also may be made directly to the Metzger hospital. For information, call (814) 237-5333.

The Warrior Run Area Fire Department was dispatched to the scene for what was reported as a barn fire. A second alarm was called when smoke was visible from as far away as the Dewart area, about 1 1/2 miles east of Allenwood in Northumberland County.

Firefighters arrived to find three barns connected with heavy flames, prompting a third alarm call for tankers. Fire crews from Washington Township, Lycoming County, assisted Warrior Run in an attack on the dairy barn, keeping the fire from reaching a third barn.

Other fire departments helping Warrior Run were White Deer Township, Milton, Clinton Township, the William Cameron Engine Company, of Lewisburg, Muncy and Montgomery.

The Warrior Run department did not respond to requests for additional information by deadline Monday.

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