HUGHESVILLE - A total of five people were left homeless late Saturday morning, September 17, after a bedroom fire broke out in one of two apartments above the 220 Pit Stop on Route 220, just outside the borough in Wolf Township, according to borough Assistant Fire Chief, Rusty Bitler.
One displaced male tenant was taken by ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, to be treated for burns he suffered in the fire, which broke out about 11:40 a.m. Bitler said.
No information was released on how the man was burned, but fire officials said the extent of his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
A state police fire marshal was expected to visit the scene Monday and try to determine what caused the fire, Bitler said.
"We had a fire in a second-floor bedroom, and when we arrived, there was smoke coming from that floor," Bitler said.
When volunteer firemen arrived on the scene, a man, a woman and two male children, ages 18 and 11, were already out of the apartment where the fire originated, Bitler said. Minutes later, a man who lived alone in the adjoining apartment safely got out on his own, he added.
Firefighters quickly donned self-contained breathing apparatus, stretched a hose line to the bedroom and had the fire extinguished in about 15 minutes, Bitler said.
Both he and the owner of the building, Ashok Patel, declined to release the identities of those displaced by the fire. The victims, none of whom were believed to have had fire insurance, may be seeking emergency assistance from the local chapter of the American Red Cross.
The convenience store was closed during the fire, but was back up in full operation by early Saturday afternoon, Bitler said, adding that the fire had very little impact on the business.
The man who lives alone should be able to return to his apartment in a matter of days, but the family of four could be displaced considerably longer due to the heavy damage done to the bedroom, Bitler said.
In addition to Hughesville, volunteer firefighters from Picture Rocks, Muncy Area and Muncy Township responded to the fire.