Two homes in Ashland sustained damage early Wednesday morning after a fire started at 1331 Walnut St.

The fire started just before 1:30 a.m. on the first floor of 1331 and the first and second floor sustained heat and smoke damage, Ashland fire Chief Philip Groody said.

"The fire was contained to 1331," he said.

An adjacent house at 1329 Walnut St. sustained "very minor" smoke damage, he said.

Borough firefighters saw heavy smoke from 1331 upon arrival. Units from Ashland, Girardville and Shenandoah were immediately dispatched to the scene after police reported heavy smoke.

Additional fire and EMS units also responded. The fire was quickly extinguished.

While firefighters were battling the fire, Ashland police, Butler Township police and state police at Frackville searched for a man who allegedly ran from the home shortly after the fire. His name was not released.

The man a resident of 1331 Walnut St. was taken into custody a short time later and was released from the borough police station after questioning.

The Ashland police were not able to be reached for comment.

The Red Cross provided one individual with lodging and will contact them if additional assistance is needed, according to a press release the Red Cross.

Groody said about $20,000 in damage occurred to the 1331 address. He does not know if there is insurance on the house.

"It's under investigation," he said about the cause of the fire.

Borough fire police assisted with traffic and crowd control.

Distributed by MCT Information Services