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Gibson Township Building Destroyed in Fire

GIBSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. —  The Gibson Township building was reduced to rubble Wednesday afternoon by a fire, but employees said they won’t let that keep them...

GIBSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. --  The Gibson Township building was reduced to rubble Wednesday afternoon by a fire, but employees said they won’t let that keep them from doing their work.

The fire started around 2:30 p.m., just 30 minutes after employees left for the day.

Township Supervisor Leonard Bartkus said it’s an emotional experience for him because he helped build the place 50 years ago.

“Gives you chills alright. I think I cried enough already. I thought a lot of this place,” Bartkus said.

Pictures taken by the Hop Bottom Fire Company show what it looked like after the fire had just started.

gibson fire

Firefighters spent close to three hours battling the flames and even had to use heavy equipment.

“It was just basically a ball of fire. There was shooting from every door through the roof,” Clifford Fire Chief Trent Turner said.

Fire officials believe the fire destroyed everything inside the building, including township paperwork and three snow plow trucks.

“It's just devastating, especially this time of year. These folks, the tax-payers, work real hard to get what they have as far as resources to clear roads,” Turner said.

Township officials said they will rebuild. In the meantime, they plan to bring in a trailer and work from that.

Still, the loss of the township building is a huge blow.

“We just put about $20,000 worth of new siding on it. All that metal, everything is gone, and it went in a hurry,” Bartkus said.

Township employees will be back again on Thursday to look over everything with the insurance adjuster.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but a state police fire marshal said it does not seem to be suspicious.