The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 2, 2014

Fire in former Shikellamy school considered suspicious

SUNBURY — Police are considering a mid-afternoon Monday fire at the former Sunbury Middle School, 115 Fairmount Ave., as suspicious after learning that it started in an empty classroom filled with debris.

The blaze — first seen as smoke by passersby — brought out a quick response from Sunbury Fire Department fire and rescue personnel, who quickly extinguished the flames. They then spent hours checking the empty structure for burning embers or “hot spots.”

The first call came at about 2:15 when someone saw smoke coming out of the building, which is no longer in use.

Firefighters used ladders to get to the top of the structure, from where smoke had been emanating.

They also broke through a door to run water hoses inside the building.

“There was a fire in what was an economics classroom,” said Dan Lehman, safety officer with the Sunbury Fire Department. “We’ve been looking at other locations in the building to contain any fire that might have spread.”

Sunbury police also were involved.

Late Monday afternoon, acting Police Chief Brad Hare said: “We are working with the Sunbury Fire Department and the state police fire marshal at this time. We are considering this a suspicious fire at this point, but we will have a better determination after the marshal does his investigation.”

Hare said the fire marshal will visit the scene this morning.

Fire personnel from Shamokin Dam assisted Sunbury volunteers.

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