Bald Eagle

Fire destroys Unionville home

CDT photo

A home at 301 Buttonwood St. in Unionville was deemed a complete loss after a Monday afternoon fire, Milesburg Fire Company officials said.

No one was home at the time of the fire, nor was anyone reported injured, according to Deputy Chief Adam Hoover.

“The call came in early afternoon as a structure fire with flames showing,” Hoover said. “We had a pretty quick response getting out the door.”

But weather prevented the fire company from getting there sooner, Hoover said.

Witness Ronald Hockenberry said that when fire officials arrived to the scene, the home was fully engulfed in flames.

“It was coming out of the windows,” he said. “They say it started from a woodstove in the back.”

Gary Cain, who lived next door for two years, said the tenants left the home shortly before the fire started.

Cain said he attempted to make a barricade between his home and the house on fire, using snow to prevent the fire from spreading.

Milesburg Fire Company was assisted by several other fire companies, including Port Matilda. Clinton County fire officials were on standby.

“Once we got here, we were able to hook into the hydrants with good water supply and call for mutual aid because of how bad the fire was,” Hoover said.

Hoover said crews were able to go inside the home and “knock down” the fire from inside and outside of the house.

Firefighters used the fire apparatus ladder to access the attic, pull the roof off and put out additional hotspots, Hoover said.

“It was very hot and intense, and they opened the door and did the initial attack where there was quite a bit of fire,” Hoover said. “At the ceiling, it’s about 1,200 degrees and our gear takes a beating.”

Firefighter Corey Bowmaster, a 14-year veteran of the company, said there was a “big burst of flames” when he initially opened the door.

His jacket and helmet sustained significant damage and would be hung up at his home for memories’ sake, he said.

But it’s something Bowmaster is used to.

“I love doing it — love serving my community,” he said.