Fatal fire in Shenandoah
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS
Despite a quick response from area firefighters, a Shenandoah man died after fire tore through his home and an attached home just before 10 p.m. Saturday night. During their response, firefighters could be seen rescuing 52-year-old Samuel J. Nitolo Jr., 222 W. Columbus St., through the front window of the 2-story home. Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Andrew Szczyglak pronounced Nitolo dead at 10:44 p.m., about an hour and 15 minutes after the first call came in about the fire. Flames destroyed the upper floors of the Nitolo home as well as an attached home at 220 W. Columbus St. A garage adjacent to the 220 W. Columbus Street home also sustained heavy fire damage, officials said. Shenandoah fire marshal Rick Examitas said investigators are still investigating and looking into the possibility that the fire started somewhere inside the home at 220 W. Columbus St. and spread from there to the Nitolo home and a garage used for storage at 218. W. Coal St. A MedEvac helicopter landed at the Shenandoah helipad but their services were not needed. Schumack said one firefighter suffered minor heat exhaustion and was treated at the scene. It took crews from Shenandoah and surrounding communities just over an hour to bring the fire under control. Firefighters remained on the scene into the early morning hours Sunday making sure the fire was completely extinguished, as well as securing the scene until investigators arrived.