Quick Response to House Fire Limits Damage

FRACKVILLE, Pa. -- A house in Schuylkill County went up in flames Monday morning while the homeowners were away on vacation. Officials say the damage could've been much worse if it weren't for the fast response of multiple volunteer fire companies.

Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, fire crews responded to the home on South Centre Street in Frackville, only to find flames burning in the basement. Within minutes, several volunteer fire companies from the area were able to get to the scene and work in unison.

"Moderate damage in the basement, some smoke, heat damage. First floor has some smoke damage," said Good Will Hose Company Chief Bill Lindenmuth.

"It's unfortunate because their house is probably going to need a lot of work, but it is good to see that they were able to maintain the integrity of the house, and hopefully, it's mostly salvageable, I would hope," said neighbor Matthew Bevan.

"It was all volunteer guys coming out in the daytime, quick response to help mitigate some damage here," the chief added.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire. The homeowners are vacationing in South Carolina. A niece of those homeowners saw a picture on Facebook about a fire in Frackville. She came to the scene and realized the place looks familiar.

"I got to the top of the street up there, and I seen the firetrucks, and I was like, 'Oh, this is not happening.' As soon as I got down here, I seen it and my heart sank," Ariel Smarowsky recalled. "We actually got ahold of them. They're actually leaving right now to come home. They probably won't be home until 10 o'clock tonight."

Officials add the cause for the fire remains under investigation, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

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