Fire damages North Franklin duplex

September 8, 2013
Firefighters work to control a fire on one side of a North Franklin duplex Sunday afternoon. The structure suffered heavy damage, but no injuries were reported. - Mike Jones / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

One side of a North Franklin Township duplex sustained heavy damage when it caught fire Sunday afternoon, although crews were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to the neighboring residence.

Firefighters were called to the home at 520 Sugar Maple Circle shortly before 4 p.m. and found the exterior of the duplex near the front door on fire, North Franklin fire Chief Dave Bane said.

The front of the building sustained heavy damage, Bane said, and the interior was damaged by smoke and water as firefighters fought the blaze. Bane said the fire appeared to start on the home’s exterior and caused extensive damage to the front of the building as flames licked the façade.

He’s not sure what ignited the fire and requested the state police fire marshal to assist with the investigation.

Jim Smith, who owns the home, said the two tenants who rent the duplex from him weren’t home at the time. He said he has insurance and is relieved no one was injured.

“This is just minor stuff compared to what could’ve happened” Smith said about damage to the home. “I’m just glad no one got hurt.”

Crews were able to control the blaze and keep it from spreading to the duplex next door, Bane said.

Firefighters from Canton, South Franklin and South Strabane assisted North Franklin at the scene. Bane said they wanted to make sure the firefighters were able to rotate due to the warmer temperatures and humidity.

“With the heat, we wanted to try to rotate the firefighters in and out,” Bane said.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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