The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 28, 2013

Blaze damages five houses in Sunbury

— SUNBURY — High winds spread a Sunday afternoon fire to five Chestnut Street houses, forcing a mass evacuation, closing streets and interrupting rail service. Firefighters were on the scene for about five hours.

All residents of the buildings in the 200 block of Chestnut Street were safe and accounted for, according to emergency personnel. The fire was first reported at 4 p.m. at 253 and 255 Chestnut St., a duplex divided into four apartments.

The fire spread to the neighboring houses of 257, 249 and 245 Chestnut St. The house at 245 Chestnut St. was vacant while the rest were occupied, according to Fire Chief Mike Rhoads, of the Sunbury Fire Department. Rhoads said the fire was under control at 6 p.m.

A state police fire marshal will investigate the cause of the fire today, Rhoads said.

Firefighters from Northumberland, Coal Township, Selinsgrove, Shamokin and Upper Augusta, Lower Augusta and Point townships helped the city fire department battle the blaze.

Brandy Heller, of Sunbury, and her husband were visiting her husband’s parents, Ken and Sharon Heller, and his cousin, Eugene Heller, at 249 Chestnut St. when the fire started.

Brandy’s brother-in-law, Charlie Michael, spotted the fire next door when he went outside to smoke a cigarette. He said it looked like it was coming from the basement.

“He came back in screaming the house next door is on fire,” said Brandy Heller. Her husband, Charlie Michael and Ken Heller helped evacuate people from 253 and 255 Chestnut St.

Brandy Heller said that a bird and a cat were left inside one of the houses.

Each of the four apartments at 253 and 255 Chestnut St. were occupied, according to building co-owner Brad Niemiec, although he declined to give any information about the tenants. Niemiec and co-owner Meghan Beck have fire insurance on the house, he said.

Two families lived inside 257 Chestnut St. and were evacuated, Rhoads said, although he did not have their names.

Ken and Sharon Heller will be staying with local relatives, while Eugene Heller, the owner of 249 Chestnut St., will stay with relatives of his girlfriend, Lorri Aucker.

Eugene Heller and Lorri Aucker lived in the downstairs of 249 and rented the top floor apartment to Ken and Sharon Heller. Eugene Heller said his building was insured.

Neither Niemiec nor Eugene Heller had an estimate of damages.

The Red Cross will take care of any families needing shelter, said officer Travis Bremigen, of the Sunbury Police Department.

Chestnut Street was closed from its intersection with Center Street to the railroad crossing just past South Third Street. The city was closed to train traffic during the fire.

Members of the nearby Eagles club and Chestnut Street neighbors gave food and water to emergency workers at the scene.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Union County bridge replacement project begins Aug. 4

    HARTLETON — A PennDOT maintenance crew in Union County will begin a bridge replacement project Aug. 4 on Pleasant Grove Road, Route 3005, in Lewis Township, between Moll Road and Wirth Road, north of Pleasant Grove.

    July 23, 2014

  • DanCrash23.jpg BREAKING NEWS: Woman killed today in Danville area collision

    DANVILLE – An older woman, from the area, was killed in a log truck-car crash at about 1:45 this afternoon at Routes 642 and 54 in Valley Township.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

  • Complainer: Cars whiz by, and drivers take whiz

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

    July 23, 2014

  • spider24online.jpg Arachnid alert!

    We came across this spider brunching on another today near the American Legion post in Herndon. We aren't sure what type of spiders they are. Particularly the one with the full stomach. Do you?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

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.