New Year’s Day Fire in Schuylkill County

GILBERTON -- Firefighters spent hours trying to get flames under control at a home in Schuylkill County, all while coping with the intense cold.

No one was hurt in the fire, but firefighters had a pretty big job on their hands not just battling the fire, but trying to stay warm while they did it.

This was not the way Barbara Bright wanted to ring in the new year.

"It was horrible. It was like, oh my goodness, New Year's Day."

Crews were called to the home on Main Street in Gilberton around 10:30 a.m. Monday. Bright lives a couple doors down from the home that caught fire.

"My dog first alerted me. They sense stuff. She started barking, looking out the window, and I looked. Oh my God, there's all kind of smoke."

Firefighters say battling the flames in such cold weather was a challenge.

"We have a water problem with the hydrants. We're not sure yet if they're frozen, but we're only getting a minimal amount out," said Mahanoy City Assistant Fire Chief Joe Gavala

"Today we're actually doing pretty well. It's not freezing that bad, but obviously it's slick. We're trying to throw some stuff down, keep the guys safe, but it's winter and you have to deal with it," said Andrew Carado, Ringtown Valley Fire and Rescue.

Gilberton Methodist Church down the street opened its doors to give the firefighters a place to warm up.

"Usually when something happens in town this church steps up. We open the doors. We do what we can," said Don Dudash, Gilberton Methodist Church.

Mark Mlynek with West End Fire and Rescue was drenched from all the water.

"It's nice to have somewhere where you can actually rehab, you know? So a church is a perfect spot for this," Mlynek said.

Even though the weather made it difficult, and the home is destroyed, Bright was relieved that everyone made it out safe.

"We were blessed that nobody got hurt. Everybody got out of the fire."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

3 comments

  • Husky buns

    I’ve heard that a lot guys who are into guys, join local fire companies as a cover to find companionship. Like Skook fire companies are the equivalent of eharmony. Lots of chubby chasers I guess.

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