Row houses heavily damaged in West Pike Run fire

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Six people lost their homes Thursday night when a fire ravaged row houses in West Pike Run Township. No injuries were reported, but the fire at 393 Pike Run Drive caused heavy damage to two units, and smoke damaged another unit.


“We lost everything,” said Jessica Santo, a resident of one home.


Santo said she was told the source of the fire was a space heater in her neighbor’s basement. She said the building’s pipes were frozen, and the heater kept causing blown fuses.


Dave Pohill, Richeyville Volunteer Fire Department Chief, said a state police fire marshal is still investigating the cause.


Crews from Bentleyville, California and Denbo-Vesta 6 also responded to the fire about 11:30 p.m. in frigid conditions and were called back when the flames rekindled about 3 a.m. Friday.


Santo said she and her mother were not home when the fire started. She was worried about losing her dog, but a firefighter was able to save him.


“I now know what it feels like to lose everything,” Santo wrote in an update to friends online. “I just thank God the brave fireman was able to find/save my dog. Thank God we are all safe and we didn’t lose anything more than material things.”


The names of other residents could not be verified Friday. The Red Cross assisted one family, and others were assisted by their friends and family. West Pike Run Township and Beallsville Centerville Richeyville Lions Club will be accepting donations for the victims.


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