Firefighters battle blaze at 1838 farmhouse in Kunkletown
Neighbor Devoe Breinich took this photo as the blaze destroyed the 1838 farmhouse at 104 Kunkletown Road, Kunkletown. Firefighters were on scene around 4:15 a.m. Saturday morning. Contributed photo by Devoe Breinich.
This is the aftermath at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Amy Yaple’s 1838 farmhouse at 104 Kunkletown Road was destroyed by a fire. The blaze was noticed by neighbors around 4 a.m. The house is taped up and fire crews left around 8 a.m. Photo by Staci L. Gower
Firetrucks lined the street of downtown Kunkletown early Saturday morning, as a farmhouse built in 1838 was ablaze.
“I got a phone call around 4:20 to look out my window. The flames were already shooting out. It couldn’t tell if it was Amy’s house or the store,” said neighbor Devoe Breinich, who lives across the street.
Homeowner Amy Yaple was not home overnight when the blaze began. Yaple formerly owned the general store next door to the home. The blaze did not spread to the store.
“I’m still in shock. This is crazy. I am OK. I have to think about that. A lot of people are looking out for me,” said Yaple.
She received a lot of phone calls and text messages this morning.
Breinich and her husband, Darryl, watched from their window as fire departments from around Monroe and Carbon counties arrived on scene to battle the blaze at 104 Fiddletown Road, near the intersection with Kunkletown Road. They included Kunkletown, Polk, Blue Ridge, Towamensing, Aquashicola and West End. The roads nearby were shut down for a couple hours.
“We were dispatched at 4:28 a.m. and arrived two minutes later. We tried to go inside but the second floor was already starting to cave in,” said Kunkletown fire chief Kevin Silliman.
Firefighters battled the flames from the outside of the house and set up water supply from a hydrant next to the store and the creek below, he said.
“Once the roof went in, it really started to burn. The air got it,” said Darryl Breinich.
Silliman said the fire started by the pellet stove and is the home is a total loss.
Yaple returned to her home as crews continued their work and cleaned up. Yellow police tape encircles her home, a warning not to enter.
“I don’t know what to do. I have never had this happen before,” she said as she took debris from the porch and put it into a trash can.
She had been refurbishing the home and painted some of the rooms. She planned on spending the weekend doing some more projects.
When the fire trucks began arriving, the Breinichs said neighbors and friends from St. Matthew’s UCC, which is just up the road, began calling them to see if they were OK.
“The fire companies did a heck of a job. They shot a whole lot of water on it,” said Darryl Breinich.
PPL and PennDot were also on scene. The Breinichs said a state truck came through town to cinder and salt the roadway for the safety of the firefighters as the water turned into ice.
Donations are being accepted for Amy. She wears size large shirt, size 4 pants and size 8 1/2 shoe. A Facebook page has been set up with information.