Two women, their 12 cats and two dogs, escaped serious injury yesterday afternoon after a fire tore through their three-unit Barnesville home.

Smoke could be seen billowing from the two-story home, located at 562 Pine Creek Drive (SR54), near the intersection of Harmony Lane, and SR1018, as firefighters from two counties responded to the fire.

Passers-by traveling on SR54 reported seeing a man standing on the roof of the home, while a woman was handing him a garden hose in a frantic attempt to extinguish a growing fire inside the second floor of the home.

"There was heavy smoke and fire coming from the middle unit when we arrived," said Dave Clewell, Hometown Fire Company assistant chief, who was one of the first firefighters on scene.

Schuylkill County's Parcel Locator lists Doris Neifert as the owner of the property.

The road was closed for about three hours as fire police volunteers from Hometown and Tamaqua detoured traffic around the fire scene.

PPL also responded and cut power to the home.

A representative with the Tamaqua Salvation Army also responded and offered the women assistance.

"All the responding firefighters did a great job stopping the fire from claiming the entire home," added Clewell.

Responding were firefighters from Hometown, Tamaqua, Ryan Township, Quakake, Hazle Township, Tamaqua Rescue, West Penn Township, Walker Township, Mahanoy City, and others. Also responding were Rush Township police, Tamaqua ambulance, Ryan Township ambulance and rescue.

Clewell added that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.