A devastating fire
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Firefighters were initially called to a brush fire by neighbors who were unaware that it was the Gothard home that was burning.
"It's tragic. Devastating."
Those are the words Pam Gothard replied when she was asked about losing her home at 265 Forest Inn Road, Towamensing Township on Sunday night.
Pam, owner of Gothard Realty, Interchange Road, Route 209, Franklin Township, and her husband, Bill, owner of Lehighton Bakery, First Street, Lehighton, were enjoying the last weekend of the summer with friends by walking the boardwalk in Ocean City, N.J., when they received a call from a neighbor at 6:13 p.m. that their house was on fire.
By 10 p.m., they were met by family and friends at the fire scene.
"We lost everything," said Pam. "My clothes, my shoes everything. Nothing is left."
Gothard said she and her husband were sick when they saw the devastation.
"The fire must have started somewhere in the garage area," she said. "The garage is gone. Completely gone."
Gothard said the home, fronted by brick, was a two-story mostly wood structure with three bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths.
While they were on vacation, their dog was at a dog sitter.
"Maybe its good we weren't home," said Gothard. "Maybe we would have tried to save some of our stuff and gotten burned."
Gothard said that everything is gone, even the swimming pool was destroyed by the fire. The pool was quite a distance from the home, but even the railing and plastic liner were melted.
"We have no idea what happened," she said. "We know we have insurance. Thank God for insurance."
Gothard said that when they saw the ashes of their home they were physically sick. "I'm glad I didn't see it," she said. "I guess there was a reason we were away."
Gothard said she had hoped that the contents of her filing cabinets would be safe, but that everything in them was destroyed.
Gothard said that she did not keep any of her work files at home, only her private records are gone.
Gothard said that a state fire marshal will be at the fire scene this morning.
The couple is staying with family in the Allentown area.
The fire was initially called in as a brush fire. The home is screened from traffic by a small strip of wooded area. In a matter of minutes the neighbor called the communications center that the fire was spreading to a nearby home. When firefighters from Towamensing, Lower Towamensing, and Franklin townships in Carbon County and Polk Township in Monroe County arrived on scene the two story wood frame dwelling was fully involved.