East Hopewell Twp. fire displaces 8
The snowfall that was causing several early school closures around the county did not stop Eureka firefighters from handling a fire in East Hopewell Township that displaced eight people Tuesday afternoon.
The fire, which happened at a home on the 14000 block of Cross Mill Road, was called in around 3 p.m. Eureka Fire Chief Ira Walker Jr. said the fire was accidental and originated in the basement.
“It pretty much destroyed the basement, and it basically weakened the floor to the upstairs bedrooms,” he said. Walker said they did not know exactly what caused the fire.
He said crews had the fire under control in about 30 minutes and did not face any issues with the snow. There were four people and two dogs in the home during the fire, and they all were able to get out unharmed, according to Walker. There were also four other people living there who were not home at the time.
At around 6 p.m. Tuesday, Walker was unsure whether or not the home was salvageable. He estimated the damage at $100,000, which included the structure damage and the items damaged during the fire.
This was the second fire the Eureka Volunteer Fire and Ambulance has dealt with in the past few days, having put out a garage fire in the 9300 block of Mead Hill Road in East Hopewell Township on Sunday afternoon.
Similar to the previous fire, the company called in full manpower to handle Tuesday's fire, which Walker said was needed this time because of the extent of the blaze.
Walker said one of the biggest assists was equipment the company keeps in East Hopewell Township to help when needed. He said since it can take them 10-15 minutes to reach some places in East Hopewell, the company worked out an arrangement a little over 10 years ago to keep some equipment at the municipal building. The past two fires, the equipment has come in handy.
"Not all these departments have luxuries like that," he said.
He said Tuesday and Sunday's fires were more efficiently handled because that equipment got to the scene quickly, with a brush truck coming in to help during the fires.
“It’s made a tremendous difference in some of the outcomes,” he said.
The Red Cross is assisting those displaced in the fire.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org.