Seven unoccupied row homes were destroyed following a fast-moving fire early this morning in Mahanoy City.
Just before 3 a.m., fire companies and rapid intervention teams (RIT) from both Schuylkill and Luzerne counties responded to a fully engulfed row home fire in the 100 block of North Main Street, which intersects Railroad Street.
Despite a rapid response and strong effort by firefighters to stop the fire, the blaze quickly spread to six other homes. Mahanoy City police stated that all seven homes have been abandoned and were due for demolition. Firefighters dedicated their efforts toward saving 37 North Main St., an unattached and occupied home located at the end of the row homes. Firefighters prevented the fast-moving fire from reaching the home.
Nearby witnesses and neighbors said the corner home was often used by homeless people or party groups.
Firefighters were pulled away from the burning structures after two sides of the corner home collapsed, just missing firefighters on the ground.
Responding in addition to Mahanoy City police and fire companies were firefighters and paramedics from McAdoo, Ryan Township, Pottsville, Hazleton, Shenandoah, Frackville and others. Also responding were Tamaqua's RIT team and Hometown Fire Police.
A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal is expected to be on scene today or tomorrow to search for the cause. Volunteers with the Berks/Schuylkill Chapter of the American Red Cross were also on scene providing support to all the emergency responders. No serious injuries were reported.
Firefighters were still on scene as of press time.