The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 4, 2014

Game Commission officer spots Dornsife barn fire, alerts family

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

— DORNSIFE — A Pennsylvania Game Commission officer, on patrol in his assigned area Tuesday afternoon, might have saved the life of a woman whose equipment barn burned down less than 10 yards from her house.

“I patrol this part of Northumberland County and I know the Zubritskis, who own the house at 969 State Road,” said Jason Kelly, the officer. “I was driving by and saw smoke. I thought the house might be on fire, but when I got there, I saw it was the barn, and it was burning fast.”

Irene Zubritski was inside and had no idea the barn was burning when Kelly knocked on the door.

The vinyl siding of the house that faced the barn was singed, but a wooden stairway seemed secure.

Ed Reed, the fire chief with the Trevorton Fire Company, said that by the time he got to the scene, the barn, which housed two tractors, saws and other tools, had already burned to the ground.

 “I had just bought a rotisserie grill, it was brand-new, and now it’s gone before I could even use it,” Irene Zubritski said, shaking her head.

Vic Zubritski, stood by his barn as firefighters doused the last few flames in the rubble. He was trying to figure out what might have started the fire.

“The spark from a wire, a mouse,”  he said. “I just don’t know.”

He was upset that his equipment was gone, particularly the rotary tillers that he used quite often on his land.

Zubritski said the barn equipment was not insured.

“The good news is that we’re OK,” Irene said. “We have dogs. They were inside. We didn’t lose any animals.”

Assisting the Herndon Fire Company were fire and rescue personnel from Trevorton, Dalmatia and Stonington.

An investigation into the cause of the fire continues.