Philipsburg

Community rallies around family who lost Rush Township home in fire

Fire crews respond to a dwelling fire Monday on the 1700 block of Black Moshannon Road near Philipsburg.
Fire crews respond to a dwelling fire Monday on the 1700 block of Black Moshannon Road near Philipsburg. jboogert@centredaily.com

A family is homeless after a fire engulfed their house the day after Christmas.

Nails by Nicci Salon and Boutique in Philipsburg has opened its doors as a collection point for people to donate items for the Bertothy family — Jason and Dana and their five children and two grandchildren.

All they have are the clothes they were wearing, owner Nicci Reams said, adding that she’s trying to take the donations to the family as they come in.

As of midday Tuesday — less than 24 hours after the fire — the salon had collected five bags of clothing and personal items, along with a box of food and monetary donations, Reams said.

The salon’s Facebook page has been posting updates with items the family needs.

In addition to clothes and personal items, the Facebook post suggests dog food and treats for the family’s dog and toys — like super hero action figures — for the family’s grandsons, whose Christmas presents were also destroyed in the fire.

There’s been an “amazing” outpouring from the community asking how they can help, Reams said.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up by Allison Luzier to benefit the family.

By 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, it raised almost $2,900 and been shared on Facebook 583 times.

Firefighters were at the Black Moshannon Road property in Rush Township for several hours Monday.

A fire marshal was on the scene Tuesday to investigate the cause of the fire, which is still unknown, Philipsburg Fire Department Chief Jeff Harris said.

No one was injured in the fire that resulted in a lot of ammunition going off.

Harris said the family had several kittens that are presumed dead.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

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