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Investigators: Faulty Appliance Blamed For House Fire

BUTLER TOWNSHIP — State police have determined what caused an early morning fire that destroyed a century-old home in Luzerne County.

Investigators said an appliance is to be blamed.

A piece of heavy equipment was used to clear some debris from a home in Drums. It was destroyed by fire.  A space was made so state police fire marshals could look for a cause.

Investigators say the early morning blaze on East County Road was sparked by a faulty dehumidifier in the basement. No one was in the house at the time.

The homeowner, Sharon Moore, was too upset to talk on camera. But the fire clearly upset friend Wendy Hildebrand.

“I’m devastated, I spent many of holidays and birthdays with her in this house and my memories and her memories, it’s just devastating. Her house is over a hundred years old that I know of.”

Firefighters are being praised for preventing the blaze from spreading to another only a few feet apart.

Valley Regional Fire Chief Marty James said it was clear to protect the undamaged building.

“That’s where we put our stream our hose lines on that building to stop it so it wouldn’t catch on fire and it worked for us.”

Hildebrand believes firefighters made the right decision.

“It’s just a miracle that they saved the other half of the property, the garage and apartment that’s there.”

April Ochs owns nearby Ochs Farm Market. She helped firefighters by providing lots of water and hot coffee.

“They’re volunteer firefighters and they out their lives on the line whenever they go out to help people in need and we want to help them, too,” Ochs explained.

Friends of the fire victim say she’s in the process of moving and that’s why she wasn’t home when the fire started.

Those friends say they’re grateful knowing how quickly the flames engulfed the house in Drums.

 

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