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Firefighters battle fire only yards from firehouse

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Firefighters respond to a commercial structure fire in McAdoo Thursday.
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Firefighters respond to a commercial structure fire in McAdoo Thursday.
Published February 04. 2011 05:00PM

Just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a dozen fire trucks and emergency vehicles from McAdoo, Tamaqua, Hometown, Hazleton and surrounding areas, responded to a fire on East Blaine Street and South Kennedy Drive, SR309, in McAdoo.

It began in the lower back part of a vacant photography studio, D & P Multimedia, located at 5 South Kennedy Drive.

Firefighters and witnesses noted heavy smoke emitting from the back of the building. The vacant building is connected to Kline Frank Clothing and Shoe Store, both of which are owned by Stephan Liszka.

The fire reportedly started when Mark Liszka tried to thaw frozen utility pipes. Propane tanks were noted to be located next to the starting point. McAdoo deputy Fire Chief Robert Leshko pointed out that the flames started from the lower outside of the home and spread quickly to the upper floors.

Firefighters used extension ladders as well as ladder and aerial trucks to lift firefighters and equipment to the upper floors and roof, where they used equipment to saw through the roof to exhaust and better extinguish the smoke and fire.

More emergency responders were summoned to the scene due to the expectations that most of them would probably be at work. Most of the damage was centered around the back of the business and there was minor smoke damage to the adjacent business, Kline Frank Clothing and Shoe Store, "Kline's Store", located at 1 South Kennedy Drive.

Kline's Store was condemned by the McAdoo code enforcement for safety, electrical and other code violations following the fire.

PennDOT was also called in to lay salt on the wet and icy roads. Hometown and McAdoo Fire Police closed SR-309 for the duration. It was eventually reopened around 5:30 p.m. No injuries were reported.

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