NORTHUMBERLAND — A state police fire marshal could not determine what caused a fire that burned down a home at 200 Dogwood Lane Monday afternoon, according to Point Township fire chief George Geise.
Trooper Kirk Renn, a state police fire marshal assigned to the Milton barracks spent a part of Tuesday morning sifting through the remains of a home owned by Brian Long.
Renn valued the house, which was completely destroyed, at $300,000.
Geise said that fire was “so hot, moved so fast and engulfed everything, that the fire marshal didn’t have much to work with.”
Long was home Monday afternoon with his two sons and a nephew when the fire started in the garage, which was attached to the house.
“He tried to enter the garage to put out the fire,” Geise said, “but the smoke was too heavy. He was able to keep the youngsters safe, though.”
Long declined Red Cross assistance, and is staying with family and friends.
NORTHUMBERLAND — A Point Township man and his two young sons are homeless, but safe, after their home was engulfed in flames and destroyed Monday afternoon.
The fire began about 1:45 in a garage attached to the four-bedroom house, but the wind was blowing toward the house and quickly spread the flames.
Within 15 minutes, plumes of black smoke and fire could be seen from five miles away.
Brian Long, owner of the house at 200 Dogwood Lane, was left without a shirt on his back and had to borrow a pair of shoes to walk down the road that led to his house, which was set back from Route 11 and built atop a hill.
Long’s two children and a nephew were swimming in a pool behind the house when the fire began. Brian Long was working on his car, his father said.
It all happened so quickly, but Long had time to make sure the three boys were safe.
He then tried to run back into the burning house to save a cat and dog but was pulled out of the dwelling by a neighbor.
The dog was saved. The cat’s fate was unknown Monday night.
“It’s so sad,” said Long’s father, who had rushed to the scene. “The kids are now in a neighboring house watching their own home burn down. My son, he’s lost everything.”
Point Township Fire Chief George Geise said he had two major “enemies” in combating the fire.
“The wind was blowing in a northern direction toward the house,” he said. “And the other problem was where the house was located, up a hillside on a gravel road. It was difficult getting equipment and water to the scene of the fire. There was not an established water supply. I feel very bad that we could not save the structure.”
When fire personnel arrived, the garage was engulfed in flames.
“I’m just glad everyone survived. That was my first concern,” said Point Township police officer Tim Fink, who also was at the scene.
The cause of the blaze was unknown. A state police fire marshal will investigate this morning, Geise said.
A loss estimate was not available. Geise, who is a Point Township supervisor, did not know the value of the house, which was built in 2004.
About 30 firefighters fought the blaze. Assisting the Point Township Fire Company were fire and rescue personnel from Danville, Upper Augusta Township, Riverside, Mahoning Township and Liberty Township.