Fire destroys Rural Valley home

| Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 1:49 p.m.

No one was injured when a fire tore through a Rural Valley home in Cowanshannock Township shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

Melvin Toy, who rented the two-story house at 624 W. Parkwood Drive, escaped with his wife, Diane, and his stepson, Terry Meyer, when they discovered smoke pouring from a back bedroom at about 11:30 p.m., Rural Valley Fire Chief Kevin Nelson said on Thursday.

“By the time we arrived on scene, it was fully involved,” Nelson said.

Fire was coming out through a window of the first floor and had spread onto the second floor when firefighters arrived. The house owned by Flora and Melanie Davidson was destroyed by the fire, Nelson said. The Davidsons had not insured the building, and the Toy family did not have renter's insurance.

“They lost everything,” Nelson said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The home did not have a water heater or furnace and was heated by propane, kerosene and electric heaters, the chief said.

Melvin Toy told Nelson that when he moved into the house he agreed to install the basic amenities, but had yet to do so.

Toy and his family were assisted by the Red Cross.

The Rural Valley Volunteer Fire Department, which is a few blocks from the destroyed home, was assisted by Dayton and Plumville fire departments.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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