Father’s childhood home destroyed by dryer fire

LANA MUTHLER/THE EXPRESS A lone firefighter sprays water on the still smoldering ruins of the Grieb home on Lusk Run Road. The home was destroyed by a fire that started in the vent of a clothes dryer on Monday morning.

LOCK HAVEN — It’s the only home he ever knew.

He’s lived there all his life, but for a stint in the military.

And now it’s all gone.

Corey Grieb was having a hard time Monday morning as he looked at the still-smoldering pile of wood and charred remains of his home.

Corey, 34, grew up in the house at 1357 Lusk Run Road in Allison Township.

LANA MUTHLER/THE EXPRESS Corey Grieb, center, talks to neighbor Bryan Watkins, left, in the front yard of his property on Monday morning. His wife, Danielle, is at right. Behind them are the remains of the Grieb family home which was destroyed by fire.

After his father, David, died and his mother ,Tammy, moved from the area, Corey remained in that home.

Later, he married and he and his sweetheart, Danielle, stayed in the home.

Then came twin daughters Cadence and Kori, age 10, and son, Asher, 6.

Although grateful that his family is all safe, his face showed the pain of losing everything he owned in the only home he ever knew.

“There are so many memories here,” Corey said.

SKINNY WERT/FOR THE EXPRESS An excavator was used to move debris so the fire marshall could reach the area where the fire started in the back of the clothes dryer.

“We had so much fun growing up here. We did lots of things in that house,” neighbor Bryan Watkins said, a slight smile erupting as he looked at his best friend and thought about some of those boyhood times.

“We’re just so thankful … we have each other and we all made it out OK,” Danielle said, standing near her husband.

The couple is saddened at the loss, but realizes how fortunate they are to have survived the fire.

The family’s dog also escaped.

“Five minutes longer and we wouldn’t have made it,” Corey said, explaining that the smoke alarm awakened him at about 4 a.m.

Corey said he ran downstairs and found the fire behind the clothes dryer, explaining that he had taken a load of laundry from the washer and put it in the dryer about an hour earlier so his work clothes would be dry, and gone back to bed.

Hearing the alarm, Corey ran downstairs and saw the fire, wakened his family, told his wife to call 911 and then ran for the hose.

“It was just a little fire,” he said, motioning with his hands how small it was. “But by the time I got the hose, it was billowing out from beneath the front of the house. You would have thought it was made of gun powder the way it went up. It’s a total loss,” Corey said, noting that one section of the house was originally a wooden barn.

Citizens Hose Fire Chief Norm Wolfrom said the home was already consumed by huge flames when he got there.

Since there are no water hydrants in that area, Wolfrom said he called many fire companies to tank water to the scene, but there was no way they could save the two-story, wood structure.

Wolfrom said volunteers fought the fire from the outside only, there was no entry.

“It was too hot. The second floor and roof had already collapsed,” the chief said.

He noted that Danielle’s father, Bobby Friedman, is a 40-year-member of Citizens Hose.

State police Fire Marshal Nick Loffredo confirmed that the fire started behind the dryer, where lint had built up in the vent.

Volunteers used a backhoe to dig out the part of the house where the dryer was located to allow Loffredo to find the source.

Wolfrom estimated the loss at $75,000 to the house and $25,000 to its contents.

Sadly, Corey and Danielle said they have no insurance.

They are staying with family right now, Danielle said.

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are helping the family with clothing and housing, Danielle said.

Wolfrom said there were no injuries, although Corey suffered some smoke inhalation and was checked out by ambulance personnel.

He declined to go to the hospital, the chief said.

The couple wanted to express their thanks to the firefighters who got a few things out of the home … one of them being an envelope containing $600 that was just inside the front door on a book shelf. The money was not burned.

“They asked if there was anything in there that we wanted to try and get and where it was located,” Danielle said.

Also recovered was a small metal box containing important papers.

Unfortunately, the papers inside the box burned from the heat.

Other than those few things, the family lost everything, fleeing the burning home in only their night clothes.

Fire companies responding to the blaze included Lock Haven’s Citizens Hose, Castanea, Dunnstown, Mill Hall, Flemington, Avis, Beech Creek, Woolrich, Lamar Township and Citizens Hose of Jersey Shore.

Lock Haven EMS also responded.

Wayne Township, Sugar Valley, Montoursville and Pleasant Gap fire companies were put on stand-by.

The Salvation Army provided food and drink to the firefighters.

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