Blaze Damages Home Near Plains Twp. Fire Station
By Bob Kalinowski
PLAINS TWP. — A fire that broke out Monday evening at a home on North Main Street next to a township fire station had such a head start that it gutted the rear of the home, fire officials said.
“It was going good even though it was next door,” Fire Chief Mark Ritsick said.
A man and three children were in the home when the fire broke out. All of them, and a family dog, got out safely.
When the fire broke out at 120 N. Main St., two full-time firefighters were on duty in the fire station at 126 N. Main St., located in the township municipal building.
A passerby alerted the firefighters by pounding on the department’s door even before 911 sent out dispatches, Ritsick said.
“They went out of the building, got across the street and tapped the hydrant,” Ritsick said.
The chief said the fire breaking out next to the fire station had fire crews battling the blaze well below the usual three minute response time, but the fire still did considerable damage. Smoke from the blaze could be seen from miles away.
Ritsick was off duty when the fire broke out. The initial dispatch was 21 N. Main St., so he wasn’t expecting the fire to be right next to the fire station upon arrival.
“In my mind, I always try to picture which house is on fire to see what hydrants to hit,” Ritsick said.
A second alarm was almost immediately called, which dispatched off-duty Plains firefighters to the scene. Fire crews from Kingston, Forty Fort and Jenkins Twp. also responded.
The fire remained under investigation Monday night, but was not considered suspicious.
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