Flames erupt from the rear door of a home 464 Penn Street in Pennsburg as firefighters work to extinguish the early Friday morning blaze which left $400,000 in damages to two homes.
A fire broke out around 12:30 Friday morning at 464 Penn Street, Pennsburg, forcing residents to flee from that address and an adjoining home at 466 Penn Street.
Pennsburg firefighters quickly arrived and found flames shooting from the basement and first floor at 464 Penn Street.
Pennsburg Fire Chief Scott Seip said, “The fire spread quickly. When firefighters attempted to enter the building they found that the floor and supporting beams on the lower level were burned to a point where they wouldn’t support them.”
Shortly after firefighters arrived, the fire spread to the second floor.
Heavy smoke filled the area as the stubborn fire raced inside the walls from room to room and floor to floor. After fighting the fire for more than two hours, it was declared under control at 2:49.
Water was supplied from hydrants on Penn Street and on Quakertown Avenue. More than 400 feet of 5-inch hose was laid to supply four 1 ¾-inch hand lines used to fight the fire.
No injuries were reported but a pet cat died as a result of the fire. Firefighters were on the scene until 5:20 a.m.
Montgomery County records list the 464 Penn Street address as being owned by Penelope and Ralph Mack, with the adjoining home owned by Joseph Wigmore.
According to Seip, the fire started in the basement and quickly spread throughout the Mack home and spread to the other half of the twin causing extensive damage. Seip estimated the damages at $300,000 for the Mack home and $100,000 for the Wigmore home.
The home was equipped with working smoke detectors that alerted the residents. The extent of the damage kept the residents from returning to either home after firefighters left the scene.
A state police fire marshal investigated later Friday morning and, according to Seip, the cause has been determined to be “electrical in nature and accidental.”
About 75 firefighters from 12 companies battled the fire. Fire companies assisting at the scene included Boyertown Friendship Hook and Ladder, East Greenville, Green Lane, Hereford, Milford Township, New Hanover, Quakertown, Red Hill, Sassamansville, Souderton, Trumbauersville and Tylersport.
Units from Harleysville, Gilbertsville and Friendship Hook and Ladder of Boyertown were on standby.
Emergency medical service units responding included Upper Perkiomen Valley, Green Lane and Lower Frederick ambulance services. Canteen units from North Penn Goodwill service also responded.