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Dogs Credited With Saving Owner, Firefighter’s Home Lost

COAL TOWNSHIP — A firefighter in Northumberland County is used to helping fire victims. Today he found his role reversed and he and his wife are victims.

There is not much left to the Hoffman family home near Shamokin. Their house on West Independence Street in Coal Township couldn’t be saved from flames.

Jim Hoffman was asleep when the fire started. Hoffman credits his two dogs, Zippy and Princess, with saving his life.

“They woke me up and that’s when I seen. Oh, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have got out,” Hoffman said.

The Hoffmans are all firefighters. They know that first responders did what they could to save the home, but simply couldn’t.

Cheryl Hoffman, Jim’s wife, said they were able to save some pictures but lost much more.

“Things I took from my parents’ house, because my father died in 2012, and stuff from 50 to 60 years old from their marriage. It’s gone.”

A State Police fire marshal said the cause of the fire is undetermined right now. He also said a generator was running however he can’t say that caused the fire.

Jim Hoffman said the generator was running because he’s having money problems and the power company turned off the electricity.

Kayla Jilinski is the daughter of the Hoffmans and a firefighter.

“It’s an example that anything can happen at any time. It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re not safe.”

A fire fund has been set up for the Hoffmans. Checks and money can be deposited in the Hoffman Family Fire Fund at any Susquehanna Bank.



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