Fire destroys two garages in Jim Thorpe
Fire destroyed two garages this afternoon on the 400 block of North Street in Jim Thorpe. The fire was called in around 1 p.m. The roof of both garages collapsed. No one was injured in the blaze. The fire produced a plume of black smoke that could be seen from the Mansion House hill leading into Jim Thorpe. "It looked like somebody took a bunch of tires and lit them on fire, that's how thick it was," said Keith Frankenfield, who lives a few blocks away from the scene. Diligent Fire Co. Chief Bill Diehm said that the fire was shooting through the roof when crews arrived. "The guys on scene quickly called for additional units. We then called for tankers because they were taxing the water system on the east side," Diehm said. The owner of the garages, Todd Mason, said he was working in one garage and came out to see his other building, separated by a narrow walkway on fire. Even though both of his buildings were lost, he praised the fire department for their quick response. "I'm just glad none of the firefighters were hurt. They were here in minutes. I was just trying to get everybody to move their vehicles," he said. Chris Sargent, whose family garage next door was spared by the fire, said when he saw the plume of smoke he rushed to the scene and helped move some 'family toys' -- hot rods, motorcycles, and a 1920s era Ford. He said that without the quick response of firefighters, the blaze could have been worse. "Diligent Fire Company, they were here instantly. There's a propane tank in the back that is filled to the brim. They saved (the garage)," he said. Firefighters from Mahoning Valley, Franklin Township, Jim Thorpe, Penn Forest, Nesquehoning, Summit Hill and Lansford all responded to the scene. Diehm said the cause of the fire is still unknown. A state police fire marshal was expected to investigate the fire Wednesday night.