Fire Ruins Farmhouse Used To House Resort Workers

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MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Fire destroyed an old farmhouse that was used to house employees from the Shawnee Mountain ski area.

Flames broke out around 11:30 a.m. Monday near Marshalls Creek in Monroe County.

Neighbors along Hidden Lake Drive were the first to spot smoke coming from the farmhouse. By the time fire crews arrived on scene, flames were already shooting out of the home.

Fire crews doused what's still standing of the Shawnee Mountain ski area farmhouse near Marshalls Creek. It was place many of the resort's part-time employees call home for the season.

Amanda Williams lived there for years with her father who works at Shawnee.

"It's the first house. My dad remarried and they had their first child in this house and it's weird to think 'oh, that's his room. That was my room,'" Williams said.

Neighbors along the road were the first to see smoke and called 911.

The ski instructors still living there had left for the day.

"After such a good weekend of skiing and snowboarding, you know obviously to lose one of our facilities, company housing there, one of our houses, it's a sad day," said Jim Tust at Shawnee Mountain ski area.

Officials with the ski area say they're just thankful no one was home.

Fire crews say when they arrived, flames were already shooting out of the home.  Volunteers say there wasn't much they could do.

"It is very old. The timbers are old, lots of wood construction obviously, old wood which unfortunately burns very well," said Shawnee volunteer firefighter Dave Timko.

Fire officials believe the fire started in the back corner of the home but don't know just yet what sparked it.

Shawnee Mountain says with much of this home burned to the ground. It's too soon to say if they'll rebuild.

"We'll just wait to hear just what caused this and get to the bottom of it, but it is a loss," Tust added.

Fire officials in Monroe County say they've called in state police fire marshals to investigate but they do not believe this fire is suspicious.

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