A faulty oil burner has been blamed for a fire that caused extensive damages to several homes and left 12 people homeless in Mahanoy City.

State police fire marshall Trooper John F. Burns, of the Frackville barracks, said the fire was started by a oil burner malfunction in the basement of the property at 1117 E. Pine St., which was occupied by Cornelius Vanderpluym, 65, and his wife, Mildred, 51, and their son, Joseph, 28. Also residing in the home of Jennifer Tutko, 25.

Burns said the Vanderpluym home and three others were destroyed in the blaze. The other dwellings destroyed were at 1119, 1115 and 1113 E. Pine St. Damages were estimated at $100,000.

The fire was discovered about 12:10 a.m. on Monday.

Others left homeless were identified as Juan and Marissa Tovar and two children at 1115; Robert Schaeffer at 1119; and James Wronski, girlfriend and child, at 1113.

Fire officials said none of the victims had insurance. The Vanderpluym's rented their property while the others owned their homes.

Fire companies from several surrounding communities assisted the Mahanoy City Fire Department in battling the blaze. No injuries were reported.

A story and photos of the fire appeared on page one of Monday's TIMES NEWS.