Eight people are displaced after a fire destroyed two row homes and damaged three others early Saturday morning in Shenandoah. Firefighters were called to the 400 block of West Centre Street around 3:45 a.m. for a report of a structure fire. Shenandoah police, who responded within seconds of the call, stated the entire back, upper floor of the home was ablaze. The occupants of all homes were able to get out without injury. One pet dog died. Fire Chief Russ Schumack believed the fire started on a second floor, rear porch at 432 W. Centre St. and spread from there; although no cause has been determined. State police fire marshal Trooper John F. Burns is assisting in determining a cause for the fire.
Schumack said a home at 430 W. Centre Street sustained heavy damage, as did a vacant home at 434 W. Centre Street. An unoccupied home at 436 W. Centre St. sustained smoke and water damage. The home at 438 W. Centre Street, occupied by Leonard Selvocki, suffered smoke and water damage.
Schumack added that the firefighters did a great job preventing the fire from claiming other adjacent row homes. Firefighters from multiple departments could be seen working in freezing conditions; preventing the blaze from spreading to nearby homes. A firefighter suffered a bruised ribs and was taken to an area hospital. He was released a short time after. Responders remained on the scene until daylight to make sure the fire was completely extinguished. West Centre Street (SR54) was closed by fire police for the duration. Shenandoah borough workers were seen laying ash on the ice-covered ground.
In addition to providing hot refreshments and snacks to all the responding firefighters and responders, volunteers with the Schuylkill Chapter of the American Red Cross is providing assistance to the displaced families.