Fire Rips Historic Building In Milford

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MILFORD -- Flames were shooting out of a rehab center early Thursday in Pike County.

Crews in Milford say the historic building was already full of fire when they arrived.

People in Milford were shocked as they watched flames rip through that historic building downtown.

Firefighters worked quickly to contain the blaze, as it destroyed a facility that housed people recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

The fire broke out in the Progressive Health of PA building along East Harford Street around 8 a.m.

John Fleming of Milford was enjoying a morning coffee when he saw it all start.

"Saw the building fully engulfed," said Fleming.  Flames were shooting out both sides of the roof, the whole length of the roof."

Two people lived in the building that houses people recovering from traumatic brain injuries.  Only one resident was home at the time.

Overnight supervisor Shannon Corrao told Newswatch 16 she raced towards the fire to make sure he was okay.

"I ran down to make sure that everybody was out, and luckily the staff that had checked on the clients like 10 minutes before the fire broke out, he saw me down the street and said 'no, no, he's ok, he's ok.'"

Cell phone video sent to Newswatch 16 shows just how massive the flames were as they shot out of the second story windows. People from Milford say they stood watching in disbelief.

"It was just a shock, you know? It was an old historical building. It was just pretty amazing to see how quickly the flames just, the whole roof was fully engulfed, you know?" Corrao added.

More than seven fire departments, including the one in Milford, were able to save a furniture store next door.  Officials say the store had only minimal damage, but say stopping the flames was a challenge.

"We had heavy heat conditions on the second floor, and we also had a tin roof.  That tin roof didn't allow the fire to break through in one area, it hit the roof and spread along the entire attic access," explained Lt. Matt Adames of the Milford Fire Department.

Many in Milford are hopeful the historic building will be restored but for now, it's too early to tell.

The cause of the fire in Milford is under investigation.

Employees at the Progressive Health of PA say this was one of several buildings that they own.  They say the people displaced in this fire will be moved to another one of their buildings in the Milford area.