Fire Ruled Accidental in Union County

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A fire in Union County was not a case of arson, but it was destructive just the same.

The fire ripped through a 100-year-old farmhouse Thursday evening near Mifflinburg.  The owner lost almost everything in the fire,  including a pet cat, but firefighters were able to save something very important to the owner.

The owner of the farmhouse near Mifflinburg is a gun collector and had more than 40 guns and four large cans of gunpowder inside the home.  Firefighters were able to save most of the collection, possibly preventing an explosion.

Charles Hulsizer is on dialysis and left his house near Mifflinburg to pick up medicine on Thursday.

"Everything was fine when we left.  We came back down the road, we saw a lot of cars and smoke coming out the kitchen window," said Charles Hulsizer, owner of the house.

The 100-year-old farmhouse in Buffalo Township caught fire late Thursday afternoon.  A state police fire marshal investigated the blaze.  He said the fire was accidental, and started in the home's kitchen.  All Charles Hunsizer could do was watch as investigators sifted through the damage.  He said his pet cat died in the fire, and he lost his clothes, medication and more.

"A lot of pictures and stuff that can't be replaced. An old family heirloom, a kerosene light," said Hulsizer.

Something firefighters were able to save was Hulsizer's extensive gun collection.  He said he had more than 40 guns in an upstairs room that wasn't touched by fire.

"I told the fire chief and his assistant chief if the fire got in that northwest corner I wanted all firefighters out, because there was enough gunpowder in that room to level that house," said Hulsizer.

More than 50 firefighters from the Mifflinburg Hose Company showed up to battle the blaze, a record number for the fire company.  Hulsizer said he is grateful to each one of them.

"I wanna thank the firefighters again.  They did one heck of a job," said Hulsizer.

Charles Hulsizer said he lived in the farmhouse for more than 30 years, and recently renovated it.  Hulsizer said he does have insurance, but the home was destroyed.  He is staying with family until he figures out what to do next.