Family, Friends Support Couple After Fire Claims Home, Belongings

WEST BUFFALO TOWNSHIP -- A couple in Union County lost their home and almost everything inside after a fire gutted it.

That fire broke out inside a home in a rural area near Mifflinburg Tuesday afternoon.

“Lost most everything,” said Barry Bingaman.

He and his wife Vanessa stood in shock and disbelief as they looked at what was left of their home of 29 years.

The fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. Their daughter-in-law who lives next door called to tell them their house was on fire.

“Well before I even got home, I could see the smoke rising and smoke just coming from all angles of the house, so it was pretty devastating,” said Barry.

“I feel in shock and it can’t be true. You never expected it to happen to you, but it can,” said Vanessa. “I’m pretty sure I lost all my pictures, pretty sure.”

The Mifflinburg fire chief said when they got the call, he immediately put the fire to a second alarm.

“The initial call was reporting heavy fire from the west end of the building, so due to the area we’re in, we’re in a rural situation, so we got about three miles to the nearest hydrant,” said Chief Steve Walter.

Despite their efforts, the home is a total loss. Most of what’s inside is gone.

Family and friends came out for support.

“Well, they’ll have to rebuilt, you know, because it’s not able to be saved. Everything’s a loss,” said Ronda Steen, Barry’s sister.

The pastor of the family’s church also came to offer help.

“As a matter of fact, our church just sent money over here. I’m going to give it to them right now,” said Pastor Brent Lenhart with the Forest Hill Evangelical Methodist Church. “We’re trying to get money together to help them out because it looks to me that they lost almost everything.”

“We have a great support. Our family’s great. Even the bus drivers have stopped and given their support. Church people have been here,” said Vanessa.

The pastor says the church will be collecting any donations of clothes, money, and food. Click here for more information.

The fire chief says the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in the home.