Lehighton firefighter Wayne Nothstein saw the celestial aura of the raging fire several blocks away, en route to the scene at 226 Ochre St. shortly before midnight last night. He knew it was bad.
When Lehighton Fire Department members reached the scene, heavy flames were shooting from the front, second-floor bedroom window.
There was a fear of entrapment. Someone had said there might have been a child inside.
The fast response by firefighters caused the fire to be knocked down quickly without spreading to adjoining homes, and fortunately nobody was inside the structure.
Police reportedly had persuaded the lone occupant out of the house earlier.
The fire happened at the residence of Kathleen A. Kattner.
Firefighters said the flames were contained to the second floor of the twin house, with smoke and water damages occurring throughout the structure. The fire was basically contained to the Kattner side of the house.
Because of the velocity of the fire, Fire Chief Gary Frable immediately summoned mutual aid, especially tankers in case the fire spread.
Assisting the Lehighton volunteers were members of the Mahoning Valley, Franklin Township, Jim Thorpe, East Penn, Parryville, and Bowmanstown Fire Departments.
It was noted that some of the responding tankers were not pressed into service because of the quick knockdown.
"The firefighters did a great job," observed Nothstein.
The cause of the fire hasn't been determined. A state police fire marshal has been summoned to assist with the investigation.
The home is located at the corner of Ochre Street and North Center Alley. It is across the alley from the Pyramid Sports Performing Complex, which is the former Scotty's Garment Factory. No damages were reported to the sprawling complex.
There were no reported injuries.
Assisting at the scene were fire police from Lehighton and surrounding communities and the Lehighton Ambulance Association.