Quick action by firefighters keeps fire from spreading to other row homes
Flames leap from a rear porch at 626 Washington Street in Red Hill early Friday morning. Eight people were displaced by the fire which caused an estimated $300,00 in damages.
An early morning fire broke out in a row home at 626 Washington St. in Red Hill last Friday forcing residents of the ten attached homes to flee into the cold, many with just the clothes on their back.
Volunteers from the Red Hill Fire Company were dispatched to the fire at 3:10 a.m. According to Chief Scott Alderfer, when he turned onto Washington St. he saw “Light smoke coming from the front of the building.” But when he went around the back to assess the situation, he found “Heavy flames coming from the rear.” By that time, neighbors in the neat row of homes began calling 911 and advising that their homes were filling with smoke.
Firefighters arrived quickly and contained the fire to home at 626 Washington St. which was heavily damaged. Homes immediately adjacent suffered smoke and heat damage. Alderfer said that the weather didn’t hamper firefighter’s efforts to contain the blaze.
Both Chief Alderfer and Red Hill Fire Marshall John Lehr praised firefighters for making a “Good stop” on the fire and averting further injury or damage.
The home is owned by Catherine Hanson, who was in the building along with a friend when the fire started. Both escaped unharmed.
Residents of the ten row homes were evacuated. Fire and emergency medical responders were quick to praise the employees of the Mutual Industries plant, located directly across the street from the fire scene, for opening their doors to provide comfort and shelter for the evacuees.
A ten-year-old girl, who lives in one of the adjacent homes, was transported to Grand View Hospital where she was treated for smoke inhalation and released. There were no other reported injuries.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by Lehr as well as the Pa. State Police Fire Marshall’s office and a Montgomery County Detective’s Fire Investigator. According to Lehr, “The cause of the fire is not suspicious and most likely electrical in origin but the investigation is continuing.” Alderfer estimated the damages to be at least $300,000.
Emergency personnel from the American Red Cross responded to provide temporary housing for about eight residents who could not return to their homes due to the damage.
Fire companies assisting at the scene include East Greenville, Pennsburg and Green Lane from Montgomery County; Trumbauersville from Bucks County and Hereford from Berks County. A fire unit from Souderton Fire Company was on standby for Red Hill.
Also responding to the scene were emergency medical units from Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance Association, Green Lane Community Ambulance and Bally Community Ambulance Association as well as canteen units from North Penn Goodwill.