Storm Prevents Fire Company From Saving Home

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MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A chimney and smoldering pile of charred rubble are all that's left after a home in the Leisure Land housing development caught fire during a storm that many residents say was powerful and destructive.

"It was just insane, it was really really insane," said a resident.

Another neighbor commented, "You look at a couple of trees, it just looks like the whole trunks twisted, like they just spun around in a circle."

An evening storm with damaging winds, hail,and rain pummeled the Marshalls Creek area and left behind a huge mess: downed wires, uprooted trees, utility poles split in half, and trees on top of homes.

Fire officials said the storm also caused one family's home to catch fire.

The homeowner said he was on this road clearing away trees after the storm when his wife called saying that the house was on fire.  Five minutes later he rounded the bend and saw his home in flames.

The Marshalls Creek fire chief said the storm made it difficult to get to the home because his road was blocked by downed trees.

"We had trees ranging from 18 inches to two foot in diameter, up to 45 trees across the roadways," said Marshalls Creek Fire Chief Joseph Quaresimo.

The homeowner told Newswatch 16 his wife and two young children were home at the time and got out safely. He says he understands the fire department got there as fast as they could.

Crews from a tree cutting businesses helped clear the way.

"So we're trying our best to get them through. It was like one mess after another," said Philip Karasiewicz, of Filo Tree Service.

The homeowner said he plans to rebuild.