Firefighter’s Home Destroyed by Flames in Northumberland County

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LEWIS TOWNSHIP -- Firefighters put out smoke and flames every day, but what happens when the damage is at their own house? That's what happened to a Williamsport firefighter after his house near Turbotville caught fire.

J.J. Lyons is a Williamsport firefighter. He was in Bellefonte hunting on Saturday morning when he got a phone call no one wants to get -- his house was on fire.

The situation was so bad that two firefighters got hurt trying to douse the flames and the home was destroyed.

Lyons is used to being around fire-damaged houses, but not looking at his own house, which has nearly $400,000 in damages after smoke and flames ripped through it.

"It's a lot different with the shoe being on the other foot. It's normally the other way around where we're trying to help other people," Lyons said.

Lyons has been a firefighter in Williamsport for 10 years. He's usually the one fighting the fire, but a phone call from a co-worker on Saturday morning, while he was hunting an hour away, changed his life.

"I knew that I was so far away that there was really nothing I could do about it. So I just kind of kept my composure and made the trip home."

Lyons lives with his wife and 5-year-old daughter. No one was home at the time.

"By the time I got back here from Bellefonte where I was hunting, half the guys were already here. As soon as I pulled in, they came over to see what I needed."

According to a state police fire marshal, the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in the basement.

Two firefighters got hurt while trying to put it out. They are both recovering at home.

As for the Lyons family, "home" is currently with family, but the firefighters in Williamsport came together for their friend and comrade.

The firefighters are collecting clothing, toys, and household items for the Lyons family. Even though Lyons lost so much, he tells Newswatch 16 he feels blessed.

"The outpouring of people trying to help me has been a humbling experience."

If you would like to donate to the Lyons family, donations are being collected at the Williamsport Bureau of Fire Department on Walnut Street.


  • Headlights

    Yes, costs of replacement can be more than the house may have been valued, or appraised at. This is where having proper coverage is essential, and proper representation when such a catastrophe happens. The insurance company has their appraisers, and the homeowner should have their own Public adjuster to negotiate for them, just to make sure no hidden damage is overlooked. I was helped many years ago by a rep from Metro Public Adjustment, and was able to recover and repair my home after a fire. This may sound like an ad for them, but they gave me quite an education on having proper insurance coverage.

    • TrumpTrainOne

      what you are forgetting in the labor rate, cost of permits, contents in the house. Also new plumbing and HVAC. It will cost them well over 400000 to replace everything. not to mention the items you can not replaced. Worked in the demolition business for many years and I would wish a house fire on my worst enemy. Its between the home owner and the insurance company and nobody else. WNEP should be ashamed of themselves for posting an estimated cost.

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