Stubborn fire destroys Apollo home
Fire crews from two counties spent hours battling a stubborn house fire in Apollo Thursday.
The fire of unknown origin destroyed the house at 313 South Fourth St., but a man was able to escape the blaze without injury thanks to his neighbors.
Ralph Carlson, 63, whose mother owns house, was inside, said his sister Patty Campbell.
"He's OK," she said. "Thank God."
Ralph Carlson said he was trying to fix up his mother's house so she could come home from a nursing home.
"I heard a bang and smelled smoke," Carlson said.
"I was walking to the kitchen to see where the fire was and I just started to go upstairs when I heard someone pounding on may door, telling me to get out," he said.
Carlson, who said he is receiving cardiac care, said he was checked out by one of the numerous paramedics at the scene.
There were no injuries reported from the fire.
"Grandma's house is gone," lamented Carlson's niece, Amber Carlson. "So many memories."
Armstrong County 911 said an unidentified man called in to tell them about the fire. The man said he saw windows blow out from the house and there was a lot of smoke.
The fire first was reported just after 11 a.m. The flames were shooting out the roof and attic windows at by 12:30 p.m. Crews battling the fire from inside the home then were ordered to evacuate because the home's roof was in danger of collapsing. By 1 p.m. part of the roof did collapsed into the older wood-frame house as winds fanned the flames, blowing embers onto nearby homes.
Firefighters, though, were able to contain the fire and kept it from spreading.
Thick smoke from the blaze could be seen from miles away.
The fire was out at 4:20 p.m. but units were mopping up into the evening.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, email@example.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.