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House Charred to Just a Frame After Fire in Luzerne County

All that’s left of a home in Butler Township is a charred frame and a chimney after a fire tore through the place on Allen Lane this afternoon. Crews are pumpin...

BUTLER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A house fire in Butler Township along Allen Lane quickly turned into an inferno.

Firefighters said the homeowner was cooking with a gas grill and a propane tank exploded in the garage. He escaped from the home uninjured.

Within 15 minutes, not much more than a frame and a chimney were left standing.

Eleven fire companies were called to fight the flames.

"We have some of the best-trained firemen in the area. This whole area has probably some of the best firemen in the state... so to have the outcome that we did - it was just a lot of factors that were out of our control," Valley Regional Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Tarapchak said.

The strong winds blew the flames from the house into the woods nearby. Firefighters also said there are no hydrants in the neighborhood, so they had to put down more than 1,000 feet of hose.

"All of our water has to be shuttled in by tankers and they're carrying anywhere between 2,500 and 3,000 gallons of each," Tarapchak said.

Firefighters said when you're up against something like this, that water goes quickly.

The family was too distraught to talk to Newswatch 16 on camera. They are worried they lost their pet cat in the flames.

They also lost everything inside their home. Even cars were destroyed by the fire.

Valley Regional Fire and Rescue is collecting donations to help.

"Anytime we have devastation like this in our municipality, we have our residents' backs. We try to do anything we can to get them back on their feet," Tarapchak said.

Valley Regional lists all the items it is collecting to help the family on its Facebook Page.

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