Fire marshal called to fires in Clarksville, Ellsworth

April 2, 2014

State police fire marshals were called to investigate two early morning fires Wednesday, one in Clarksville, East Bethlehem Township, and the other at a house trailer in Ellsworth.

Firefighters from several companies were called to the fire reported about 3:15 a.m. in the two-story house at 41 Clark St., an area known as Williamston, said East Bethlehem fire Chief Jim Starkey. The fire also damaged an adjacent home and a dump truck.

The resident, Michael Myers Jr., smelled the smoke and was able to escape, Starkey said. No injuries were reported.

Trooper R. Eric Graham, a state police fire marshal, said the cause of the fire is undetermined but is not considered suspicious.

“Where the fire started was so completely consumed, I can’t identify the source,” Graham said.

The fire marshal estimated damage in the blaze, which destroyed the house, at $130,000.

Firefighters from Denbo-Vesta 6, Bentleyville, Clarksville and Jefferson assisted.

Ozy’s Bar in Pitt Gas is holding a fundraiser for Myers starting at 8 p.m. Friday that will feature food and entertainment.

Firefighters were called to a fire in a house trailer at 12 Scott Drive about 5:45 a.m., said Frank Faryna, assistant Ellsworth fire chief.

“We received multiple calls about the fire,” Faryna said. “A neighbor said he heard his dog barking. He looked outside and saw the flames.”

No one was home at the time. The resident, whose name was not available, was in the process of moving out of the residence.

The trailer was engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived, Faryna said. Two sheds on the property also were destroyed, and a shed on an adjacent property was damaged. Fire crews hauled water to the scene from hydrants.

Trooper Steve Thompson, a state police fire marshal, said it is still too early to make a determination of the cause.

Assisting Ellsworth were firefighters from Bentleyville, Cokeburg, Lone Pine and Marianna. Fallowfield firefighters were on standby at Ellsworth’s station. No injuries were reported.

South Strabane firefighters were called at 8:59 a.m. Wednesday after employees at Washington Area Humane Society reported seeing flames across Route 136 at the Eighty Four Auction. When fire Chief Scott Reese arrived, he saw boxes on fire in a pen adjacent to the building and no one around.

Reese said he yelled, and an employee came out. The fire chief told him to extinguish the fire and not to burn items so close to the building.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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