Fire damages Tamaqua house
Fast response by Tamaqua firefighters Friday afternoon averted what could have been an explosive situation. Responders were dispatched to a reported house fire at 212 Penn St. at 3:28 p.m. According to Chief Tom Hartz, a person at that residence was attempting to ignite an acetylene torch in the basement when the unit's fuel tank caught fire. Fire spread to nearby appliances and also scorched wiring. The house sustained smoke and soot damage on all three floors, said Hartz. Damage appeared to be confined to one-half of the double block house, built in 1916. The building is owned by Cyrus and Carol Haldeman. The attached house at 214 Penn St., owned by Heather Zehner and Ammon Hartwell, appeared undamaged but may have been subjected to smoke. Traffic detours were set up by Tamaqua fire police. No injuries were reported.