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June 27, 2013

Paint Township house destroyed in early morning blaze

WINDBER — An early morning fire gutted a Paint Township residence on Thursday, leaving a couple without a home.

The fire burned nearly everything, but no one was injured, Windber fire Chief Craig Cicon said.

“We didn’t have a chance,” Cicon said, noting he arrived on scene to find half of the

one-story Basin Drive home consumed by flames.

“It had a pretty good jump on us,” he said.

Fire crews had to shuttle tankers to the nearest hydrant – 3,000 feet away from the home – but Cicon said it made little difference.

Crews had the fire doused in 13 minutes, but the home was a total loss, Cicon said.

No one was home when the blaze tore through the house. Cicon said the couple living in the home had been staying with friends or family the past several nights because bathroom renovations had left them without water and wastewater services.

They are left with only the clothing they took with them, Cicon said, noting the Red Cross was called to assist the couple.

Firefighters from Windber, Central City, Richland Township, Scalp Level and Alum Bank responded to the blaze after being dispatched at 4:51 a.m., Somerset 911 said.

Cicon said the home is insured.

He said the fire did not appear to be suspicious but a fire marshal was called to the scene Thursday to investigate.

The blaze might have started in the living room, Cicon said.

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