Fire destroys Freeport home, no injuries reported
A fire ripped through the upper half of a Freeport home shortly before midnight Thursday, drawing dozens of neighbors out of bed and onto their porches and front yards to watch firefighters extinguish the flames.
The fire damaged the house beyond repair, said Tom Sweeny Jr., chief 1 of the Freeport Volunteer Fire Department.
“The fire vented itself through the roof, so the roof is pretty much destroyed,” Sweeny said. “Pretty much the whole second floor is either heavy fire damage or smoke damage. Then the first floor you have extensive smoke and water damage.
“I doubt very much they’d want to rebuild.”
No one was injured.
A couple and their two daughters live in the home at 214 2nd St., Sweeny said. Neither they nor their pet dogs were there when the fire broke out. They were staying with a relative when the fire broke out and remained there Friday, Sweeny said.
Officials received a report of the fire just off Freeport Road at about 11:45 p.m. The fire is believed to have started in a second-floor bedroom, South Buffalo Assistant Fire Chief Matt McCrea said.
“That’s where the most intense damage was,” McCrea said .
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. A state police fire marshal with the Butler station is investigating the cause.
Samantha Vantine, 29, whose husband is a volunteer Freeport firefighter, heard the alert from home via a police scanner.
She rushed outside once she realized the fire was just a few houses away.
“I came flying out the door, had seen all the smoke and tried to help get people out — neighbors, animals, whatever I could,” Vantine said.
Vantine felt relieved when she realized no one was home.
She was among a large crowd of neighbors of all ages who came outside once they heard the sirens of dozens of fire and police units.
“If something happens in our town, the whole neighborhood’s out,” Vantine said. “We’re a small-knit community; everybody helps everybody.”
About 60 to 80 firefighters assisted from about 10 fire companies, among them Freeport, South Buffalo, Harrison Hills, Eureka Hose, Sarver, Vandergrift and Allegheny Township.
When officials arrived, a heavy fire was burning concentrated on the back corner of the second floor, McCrea said.
Volunteer firefighters from Freeport got there first and began with an exterior attack, he said. Then South Buffalo and other companies arrived to help.
“We had crews go inside and get a good knock on it,” McCrea said, “and as more fire companies came into the scene, they all assisted in extinguishing the fire.”