x
Breaking News
More () »

Explosive Fire Leaves One Dead, Officer Injured

POTTSVILLE — The coroner was called to a house fire Friday morning in Pottsville. Neighbors are still reeling from the frightening fire that no one wanted...
potts fire

POTTSVILLE -- The coroner was called to a house fire Friday morning in Pottsville.

Neighbors are still reeling from the frightening fire that no one wanted to wake up to.

Their day was rattled by the explosive fire that engulfed a home along North Center Street. The fire started around 8 a.m. Friday.

Neighbor April Rashannon said, "My youngest daughter, she's 8, she came running saying, 'Mom, someone is banging on the door. There's a fire!'"

Neighbors ran door to door getting everyone out of the connecting row homes. Screams could be heard outside.

Almost all of them knew Joan Sarge, 58, was trapped in her home, the one that was burning so intensely.

"Everyone was making every effort to get in. All we could do at that point was get a line from outside start knocking it down and make entry," said Pottsville Fire Assistant Chief Jason Witmier.

A Pottsville police officer suffered first degree burns. He was first on scene trying to go into the burning building to rescue the woman trapped inside. He was only able to save her dog.

"We still don't know the cause yet. And we are still trying to determine what made it be so intense," explained Witmier.

Neighbors believe part of what trapped the victim inside the burning home is what also fueled this fire.

"She was on oxygen and the oxygen tanks had exploded. That just made the fire worse," Rashannon added.

A state police fire marshal determined the fire does not appear to be suspicious but still does not know the cause of the fire or what caused the explosions during the fire.

Investigators did find oxygen tanks in the home and are looking at that as a cause for both.

Paid Advertisement