By Marcia Moore

The Daily Item

A faulty vehicle engine and a space heater sparked fires that damaged homes in Hummels Wharf and Montandon on Monday evening.

The first fire was reported at 5:50 p.m. by Alma Pauling, of 2550 Park Road, Hummels Wharf.

About 30 minutes after Pauling parked her truck in the attached garage, she heard noises and found the front end of the truck on fire, Hummels Wharf Deputy Fire Chief John Grove said.

The blaze spread quickly to a wooden stairwell that led to the attic, he said.

"The fire went straight up," he said, consuming the truck and another vehicle in the garage as well as destroying the garage and damaging the kitchen.

Pauling and her dog were uninjured, and she is now staying with a daughter, Grove said.

He did not have a damage estimate.

About three hours later, fire erupted in a rented mobile home occupied by Ron Brion Jr. in the Montandon Trailer Park off Route 45.

Brion was outside in a nearby shed when he noticed smoke wafting from the bathroom.

When he and a neighbor went inside, there were flames in the bathroom.

He tried to shut off a space heater he kept in the room, but was unable to extinguish the fire.

That's when he reported the fire, and firefighters from William Cameron Engine Company in Lewisburg responded.

Brion said he bought the space heater at a yard sale last summer and had been using it throughout the fall.

"It worked great keeping the bathroom warm. I had it on all the time," he said.

Firefighters were still on the scene at 10 p.m. Brion said he'll find a new and safer way to heat his home.

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