FOSTER TOWNSHIP — Emergency crews responded to a fire at a historic building near Minersville.
It started after 8 a.m. in a mansion on Mill Road in Foster Township.
Smoke billowed from the blown-out windows of the mansion hours after the fire started.
Crews from all over Schuylkill County worked to put it out but with the roof caved in and the inside gutted, the mansion is a loss.
The owner was in process of remodeling the place that used to belong to a coal baron.
“It’s a shame. You put all that work in, and I don’t even know if he can start over,” said neighbor Bob Halupa.
Halupa has lived next door for 26 years. For most of that time the historic mansion was vacant. The remodeling began about a year and a half ago.
The owner lives in Virginia but construction crews say they’ve put a lot of time into it.
“I know the owner for almost 40 years, and I work for him all this time. His dream is to come and live here,” said foreman David Salazar.
The fire chief says so many crews had to be called in to put out the fire because this area does not have good water supply, and this was such a big piece of property.
“It was a historic piece of property up here in the area. It was one of the main attractions up here, so it’s kind of sad to see it go,” said Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Chris Rowlands.
No one was at the building when the fire started and no one was hurt in the fire. But crews say knowing what went into remodeling, it hurts just the same.
“I was thinking to finish in six more months, but the dream don’t come true.”
Investigators said the fire is ruled accidental. They believe it started with an extension cord in the front of the mansion.