Overnight, a deadly fire in Williamstown woke residents up and took hours to bring itself under control
Smoke saturated Williamstown, Dauphin County, in the middle of the night, waking a woman after 2 p.m.
The woman, who asked not to be named, lives about three blocks from where a fire was reported at 2:20 a.m., but said she initially thought it there was something burning in his house.
Instead, she learned that a fire had broken out in a house on the first block of Market Street. When she came out, she could see the light and smoke from the fire. Police said two bodies were recovered from the debris later this morning and 10 people were relocated.
The woman said she attended the scene when she realized what had happened and when she arrived on Market Street, only one building was on fire. But quickly, she saw it spread to surrounding buildings, including two houses and a chiropractor’s office under one of the houses.
At three o’clock, she said all three were on fire and firefighters were lining the streets trying to bring him down. When she left for work at 5:30 p.m., she said there were still areas of open flames.
Officials said earlier it took at least 4 hours to fully control the blaze. The state police fire marshal was called.
Police said four adults and six children were the people displaced by the fire and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
The neighbor pointed to a building in the middle, which she thought was three stories before the fire, but which only had one story topped with rubble on Tuesday afternoon.
Only a handful watched crews clean up and utility companies work on cables in the area on Tuesday afternoon. Fences have been placed in front of the buildings to block public access.
A crane was used to help tear down some of the heavily damaged walls, but heavy fire damage was seen in three buildings.
No cause has been reported by the authorities.
The woman said there were a number of people outside throughout the day watching what had happened. She said a woman made sandwiches with her children to help families and firefighters who worked on the blaze while a local church began collections for families.
The woman said Williamstown is small, with all the ups and downs of small town life.
“When something happens, it’s all put aside,” she said, “and you do what you have to do.”
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