The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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January 30, 2014

Fire destroys historic home along the White Deer Pike

— NEW COLUMBIA — A century-old home is a “total loss,” today after an early morning fire on White Deer Pike.

However, the homeowner and sole resident, Fred Weaver, safely got out of the home and there were no other injuries in the fire, which started shortly after 7 a.m., said White Deer Township Fire Chief Kevin Koch.

Video by Robert Inglis/The Daily Item

The two-story home at 1358 White Deer Pike was built in the 1800s and presented some challenges to firefighters, who feared the building could collapse as fire spread through the structure, Koch said.

“We couldn’t risk getting hurt,” Koch said.

Firefighters were unable to determine a cause for the blaze Thursday since the damage was “so severe,” Koch said. However, Koch noted that the flames appeared to be concentrated on the front end of the home.

Weaver said he has insurance on the home and was planning to list the home for sale in the spring. Weaver said he had just gotten home from work and was shaving at about 7 a.m. when he “heard a loud pop.”

“I looked out of the bathroom and didn’t see anything in the kitchen so I thought it was OK,” he said. “Then I heard a loud crack.”

Weaver said he had a space heater running in the home and that someone said flames were heavy in the basement, which may indicate a problem with the furnace.

Weaver will be staying with his girlfriend and said he is OK, just very shaken up.

“I was pretty numb at first,” he said. “I was out here with no shirt on and I didn’t even notice how cold it was.”

Several fire companies responded to the blaze, including White Deer Township, Milton and Warrior Run.

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