WYOMING COUNTY — Volunteer Fire Companies battled two fires Thursday in Wyoming County, both in below freezing temperatures. The first flames shot up at a pallet recycling business around 7a.m. near Factoryville.
Departments from Susquehanna, Wyoming and Lackawanna Counties worked to put out the fire at Northern Pallet Company. David Underhill is one of of the company’s six employees and came across the blaze as he was walking into work, overwhelmed with emotion.
“I worked here 25 years, I mean it`s my living, I`ve got three kids, and a house to take care of,” said Underhill.
Crews from Factoryville’s Fire Department said the roof was partially collapsed when they arrived, and overcame several hurdles to douse the fire.
“Temperatures, time of day, people going to work, people are getting their kids off to school so you`re limited on manpower. Fatigue because of the cold weather. Hose lines freezing, roads freezing, ice,” said Brian Gow, Factoryville Fire Chief.
Despite all of the difficulties crews had battling this blaze, they were able to save the warehouse, and the owner said he`ll be back in business as soon as possible.
“We have to figure out what losses we have, but we expect to be back up on Monday,” said Owner Steve Gris.
Just as the fire crews began wrapping up here in Clinton Township, the volunteers were called to a second fire just a few miles away. This time the fire broke out at a home near Lake Winola.
A neighbor saw smoke coming from the roof of this home along White Ferry Road and called 911.
“I was hopeful no one was in there, but I couldn`t get in more than ten feet, it was too much smoke and nobody was here. I couldn`t go in, and I was afraid I would get stuck in there so I had to keep coming out,” said George Yuhas of Falls Township.
This fire was ruled accidental and started by the wood-burner.
State police Fire Marshalls said they can’t determine the cause of the blaze at the pallet company near Factoryville, but that it was not suspicious.