A Clearfield firefighter is in critical condition after a Tuesday morning fire.
Jeff Buck, a senior at Clearfield Area High School, was one of three firefighters trapped when a burning Daisy Street house’s front porch collapsed on them.
The other two were treated and released after being freed. Buck, listed as a member of the Lawrence Township Fire Company, was taken to UPMC Altoona.
The situation was complicated when a medical helicopter called to transport Buck was grounded in Clearfield by the snow and ice.
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“Jeff was a good student who was a hard working trumpet player in our middle school band. He displayed great teamwork skills, making our group the best it could be,” said Steve Switala, of Philipsburg, who taught Buck for three years. “He was always working toward goals for the whole group.”
Buck received recognition in 2012 for his contributions to the fire department at a young age.
The fire began at the home of John Poole, 51, and Cindy Poole, 39, at 714 Daisy St. According to state police at Clearfield, the blaze started in the living room, but the cause is still under investigation.
The Pooles were home when the fire started about 9 a.m., but Clearfield County Emergency Management said everyone escaped. State police said they were treated for minor injuries.
Fire companies from around the area were called in. Alpha Fire Company in State College was transferred to cover the Moshannon Valley area as Philipsburg Fire Department responded to the Clearfield call.
“Our thoughts are with our fellow brothers and sisters of the Clearfield Fire Dept. While operating at a now three-alarm fire a structural collapse occurred, trapping multiple firefighters. We do not know any conditions at this time. Occurring now,” said a Centre County Fire Wire status on Facebook at 9:31 a.m.
Damage is estimated at approximately $100,000. The investigation is continuing.