Chester Hill family loses home to fire

A family in Chester Hill, just outside Philipsburg in Clearfield County, lost its home late Tuesday to a structure fire that destroyed the residence and injured two firefighters.

Chester Hill Fire Chief Ryan Haggans said that the two-story home at 306 Laura St., owned by Kelly Descavish, was a total loss.

Haggans said two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the fire — one complained of chest pains and the other a cut. The firefighters were taken for treatment, but had both been discharged by Wednesday.

The fire was reported at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Haggans said three people were home when the fire began, but were able to safely escape and call authorities.

The fire had a head start on emergency responders, and was “pretty well-involved when we arrived,” Haggans said.

The frigid weather that has gripped the area for several days caused problems for firefighters at the scene.

Haggans said crews encountered frozen fire hydrants near the home. Other close-by hydrants were used to fight the blaze.

Haggans, who returned to the home Wednesday to assist with an investigation, said the blaze was caused by a furnace malfunction. He said the fire was ruled accidental.

The Red Cross is assisting the Descavish family. Haggans said they were staying with other family members Wednesday.

The Hope and Reliance fire companies in Philipsburg and several from Clearfield County assisted at the scene.