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Weather challenges firefighters in Potter, Ferguson townships

Firefighters work at the scene of a barn fire Monday at a commercial bird breeding farm on Rhodes Farm Lane in Ferguson Township.
Firefighters work at the scene of a barn fire Monday at a commercial bird breeding farm on Rhodes Farm Lane in Ferguson Township. CDT photo

Multiple fire companies contended with cold and wind as they responded to two structure fires Monday afternoon.

Centre Hall Fire Company was called to a house fire at about 4 p.m. on Dogtown Road in Potter Township and was on the scene until about 8 p.m., Fire Chief Philip Orndorff said. He said the fire was mostly contained to the kitchen. Flames could be seen on the second floor, and firefighters had to cut holes in the roof for ventilation.

No one was home when the fire started and no one was injured, Orndorff said. A state police fire marshal will return to the scene Tuesday to determine a cause, he said.

Penns Valley EMS and firefighters from Boalsburg, Pleasant Gap, Rebersburg and Alpha Fire Company in State College also responded, he said.

Alpha, along with fire companies from other counties, also responded to a barn fire on Rhodes Farm Lane in Ferguson Township.

The call came in about 4:35 p.m. and the building was already consumed by the time firefighters arrived, Centre Region Fire Director Steve Bair said. Cold temperatures, icy road conditions and wind were additional challenges, he said.

By 6:10 p.m., the fire was under control. The barn was a total loss and costs would be higher than the price of the building because of its contents, Bair said. The structure held birds and 15 were lost. Firefighters were able to rescue some of the birds inside with the assistance of the owner, he said, but not all.

The fire is already being investigated by the Centre Region fire marshal and he will contact a state police fire marshal because of the size of the fire and the losses incurred, Bair said.

Port Matilda Fire Company and Port Matilda EMS from Centre County, Warriors Mark Fire Company from Huntingdon County and Bald Eagle Fire Department from Blair County responded.

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