EATON — A home in the 100 block of E. High Street in Eaton was destroyed Sunday, March 15, after an explosion caused the nearly 150-year-old structure to partially collapse.
The structure was torn down later that evening.
Eaton Fire Chief Brian Smith said three firefighters suffered what were believed to be minor injuries.
Smith said all occupants of the three-unit, two-story house were accounted for with no injuries. Smith noted, he believed there was one occupant in the home at the time of the fire.
“We received the call of a three-unit, two-story house just on fire,” Smith said. “Our crews arrived to find a decent amount of fire on the Cherry Street side on the first floor. As they were leaving the apparatus to pull the handlines, the house exploded — actually knocked three of them to the ground and did some significant damage to our fire engine. From there, the fire just took off and rapidly became fully engulfed.”
Smith said the injured firefighters continued to work the fire and declined treatment at the time.
“They were lucky they were fully geared up,” Smith said. “They were lucky they were outside.”
Smith said the state fire marshal will be investigating.
“There were reports while we were en route that there were several oxygen bottles in one of the apartments,” Smith said.
High and Cherry Streets were closed for several hours.
Smith said they were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby structures.
“Our guys have done a tremendous job protecting the exposure to the west,” Smith said. “The house is about 10 feet from the (fire). There might be some minor siding damage just from the heat. They were on that very quickly.”
Gasper Township, West Manchester, Lewisburg and West Alexandria Fire Departments assisted Eaton.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.