Nesquehoning home destroyed by blaze
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS This home is destroyed following a fast moving fire that gutted it early this morning on West Columbus Street in Nesquehoning.
A Nesquehoning home was destroyed and an unidentified man displaced following a fast-moving fire that the resident told firefighters started from a burnt hot dog.
Firefighters and police arrived at 151 West Columbus Ave. around 4:30 a.m. today to see thick smoke and flames rising high into the air from the side and roof of the home.
"The side and kitchen of the home was fully engulfed in flames when we arrived," said Nesquehoning Patrolman Brian White, who was one of the first to respond.
Firefighters added that an adjacent home located about 20 feet to the west of the home was spared major damage.
"The resident told us that the fire started when he fell asleep after leaving a hot dog cooking on a grill," said John McArdle, fire chief, Nesquehoning Hose Company. McArdle said that when firefighters arrived, they saw the resident standing on the second floor roof of the home trying to pull items out of the home.
"All the emergency responders did a great job," said witness and neighbor Donna Trimmel. "They put a quick stop to the fire."
"The upstairs to the home was packed solid with stuff," said Matt Miller, assistant fire chief, adding that the clutter made it a little harder for firefighters.
"This further fueled the fire."
Despite this, Miller said that firefighters had the fire under control within 15 to 20 minutes. He added that firefighters spent the next few hours extinguishing hot spots.
The resident told firefighters that a cat is missing.
McArdle said that firefighters have responded to smaller fires in the past at this home. He added that the structure will probably have to be torn down.
Firefighters added that the Nesquehoning McDonalds, along with a number of nearby neighbors, donated refreshments and food to all the responders.
Responding were firefighters from Nesquehoning Hose Company, Hauto Fire Company, New Columbus Fire Company, Lehighton Fire Company, Jim Thorpe Fire Company and Summit Hill/Lansford Rapid Intervention Team.
Nesquehoning Ambulance also responded and provided rehab care on scene. Nesquehoning Fire Police detoured traffic around the area for the duration.
McArdle added that the fire is still under investigation and a fire marshal is expected to respond later in the day.
The name of the resident wasn't available from Nesquehoning Police as of press time.