The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 17, 2014

Danville firefighter injured battling Spruce Street fire

The Daily Item

— DANVILLE — A Danville firefighter was slightly injured when an air conditioner fell on him while battling a blaze at a borough home on Thursday.

The fire, at the home owned by Christine Fishburn at 109 Spruce St., killed two cats and two birds.

An air conditioner from a second-story window fell onto Washies Fire Company Capt. Joe Stigerwalt, Danville Fire Chief Chris Dickinson said Friday.

“I sent him to the hospital as a precaution. Those air conditioners are heavy. He returned about 45 minutes later,” Dickinson said of Stigerwalt, who had been standing on the ground during the firefight Thursday afternoon.

Fishburn and her boyfriend Henry Baez were left homeless. Her adult son Brian Fishburn was at the scene with officials reporting that he didn’t live in the home.

The Danville Chapter of the Red Cross assisted the victims at the scene and determined the family had a place to stay with relatives.

Dickinson said the fire started in wiring where a desktop computer had been plugged into. “The outlet was right before you walked into the living room,” he said of the two-story home which was gutted and had extensive damage in the back. “There was heavy heat and smoke in the entire rear,” he said.

This was the third major house fire Danville firefighters and other area firefighters battled since Dec. 23 when a blaze left an elderly man dead.

A fire, believed to have been started by a space heater, destroyed a home Jan. 7 on Ash Street.

Dickinson commended the volunteer firefighters for how well they have been doing their jobs. “This is the second fire we have had with another structure close by with an exposure issue and twice they have saved the other home,” he said.

“We train extensively and that goes back to training. The Danville and Mahoning Township companies had a great firefight,” he said of the last two house fires. Dickinson took over as chief Jan. 1.

“Everyone did a fantastic job which shows their training and how well they perform their job. We are volunteers but we are professionals in what we do to always serve, preserve and protect the lives and properties of our community,” he said.