The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 27, 2013

House fire near Herndon kills 2 dogs and leaves family homeless

— DORNSIFE —  A quick-moving fire Thursday evening destroyed the interior of a two-story house, killing two dogs and leaving a Northumberland County family of four homeless.

Renters Dale and Sarah Rice said they and their two children were safe as firefighters from 12 Valley companies battled the blaze at 1104 Otto Station Road in Jackson Township.

“They’re all fine,” said a clearly distraught Dale Rice, leaning against his car.

The family had three cats and two dogs. Firefighters found those two dogs dead inside the house.

It was not known as of deadline what might have happened to the cats.

Rice said he did not know how the blaze began.

“I wasn’t home when it started,” he said. But he said he was extremely grateful that everyone in his family survived.

He and his family will stay with relatives, Rice said.

More than 50 fire and rescue personnel fought the blaze, which Herndon Assistant Fire Chief Ron Hinkley said he thought might have started at the rear of the house.

“We were here within five minutes of getting the 911 call” at 5 p.m., he said.

Bright, red flames fully engulfed the rear of the home, the kitchen and a storage area by the time firefighters arrived.

The blaze rapidly moved through the house to the upper levels, Hinkley said.

“We may know more when a fire marshal comes here to assess the damage,” he said. “And maybe we can find out what started this.”

Bob Wolfe, of Herndon, who has owned the home for five years, said the property is insured.

“I found out about the fire when a next-door neighbor called me and said, ’Your house is on fire,’” he said.

A second alarm brought assisting personnel from fire departments in Sunbury, Dalmatia, Hickory Corners, Pillow, Trevorton, Lower Augusta, Lower Mahanoy, Berrysburg, Millersburg, Hummels Wharf and Shamokin Dam.

“We had the fire under control in about 30 minutes,” Hinkley said.

A hook and ladder was raised to the roof to extinguish flames that shot out from the second story.

Black smoke covered the area in an almost thick soup until about 6:30 p.m., when Hinkley declared the fire extinguished.

“We’ll check everywhere in the house for hot spots,” he said.

n Email comments to

Text Only
  • Baby, 3 others hurt in Route 11 crash near Danville

    DANVILLE — Two women, an infant and the baby’s 2-year-old girl sister were taken to Geisinger Medical Center following a three-vehicle chain-reaction accident at 3:14 p.m. Friday on Route 11 near Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center in Mahoning Township.

    July 26, 2014

  • eyebrows.jpg Coming Sunday: Browsing for brows

    As makeup sales soar, four tips to make your eyebrows raise others'. Coming Sunday

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • William Cameron to spend $12,000 to find new chief

    LEWISBURG — The William Cameron Engine Company will pay a State College consulting firm more than $12,000 to help the Lewisburg fire house find its first paid chief after its first national search to fill the job ended without a new leader.

    July 26, 2014

  • Ann Targonski DA clears officer in Sunbury shooting

    SUNBURY — Three shots from a Taser could not stop 390-pound Erick Trometter from attacking Sunbury’s then-acting Police Chief Brad Hare with a large filet knife, so the veteran officer drew his gun and shot the 22-year-old city man in the leg, according to a report issued Friday.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • stauffer25br.jpg Area cyclist pedals 4,233 miles in 21 days for race

    Growing up in a Mennonite family, Jesse Stauffer often traveled the roads in Snyder County on a bicycle.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amazon worker pilots drone around Space Needle

    Police say an out-of-town Amazon employee was the operator behind a drone that buzzed the Seattle Space Needle this week.

    July 25, 2014

  • Carjacked vehicle strikes crowd, killing 2 kids

    Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her car at gunpoint and drove it into a group of people on a corner in Philadelphia on Friday, killing two children and critically injuring three other people, police said.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man calls police chief "brain dead"

    A Liberty Township man was cited for placing a sign calling Mahoning Township’s police chief “brain dead and hell bound.”

    July 25, 2014

  • New warden returning to Lewisburg penitentiary

    David J. Ebbert has been tapped to replace Jeff Thomas as warden at United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers to escalate wage demands

    Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.