Flames Hit Hose Company In Northumberland County

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SUNBURY -- Crews in Northumberland County battled flames at a fire company Friday morning.

Members of the Friendship Hose Company were the first firefighters on the scene of Friday morning's fire at their own fire company. There was a lot of disappointment and tears and members say this was one of the worst days of their lives.

Smoke and flames poured out of the Friendship Hose Company on South Tenth Street in Sunbury.

It was a sight members of the Friendship Hose Company were stunned and saddened to see.

"This is heartbreaking for us," said hose company member Susan Ernest

"Kind of having my worst day in a long time,” said hose company member Rick Shemory.

Sunbury's fire chief says the fire started just after 6:30 a.m. at the Friendship Hose Company.

"It's basically contained to their bar area, second and third floor areas, so they're going to be closed for business for quite some time," said Sunbury Fire Chief Ken Kipple.

A state police fire marshal believes the fire started in kitchen in the area of a gas stove and said it was accidental.

Photos submitted by Charlene Garner, Sunbury, PA

Many of the people fighting this fire are members of the Friendship Hose Company and call this their worst day in a long time.

"You do this all the time and you do your duty and go home, but now it is our home. So it makes it really rough," said Shemory.

"It hits us on a personal level because it is one of our own fire companies. The friendship guys, it is their station. They were kind of awestruck when they first got here," Chief Kipple said.

No one was hurt in the fire, and firefighters say they were able to get all their equipment out of the building as well as their two fire trucks.

The Friendship Hose Company is one of six fire companies in Sunbury.

Chief Kipple says it supports itself with proceeds from the bar, so this will affect them financially while they are closed.

As soon as members of the fire company heard about what happened, most of them rushed there right away.

Longtime member Susan Ernest says the Friendship Hose Company is the true definition of friendship.

"It's family. And at a time like this we all pull together."

Chief Kipple says the building is structurally sound so it will not likely have to be torn down. He says the fire could affect the Sunbury Fire Department financially as a whole in the long term, but he says the fire department is strong enough that it will figure it out.