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Man burned in fire stable at burn center

Cause accidental; loss estimated at $250,000

LOCK HAVEN– Jerome Counsil, 73, was reported in stable condition Sunday at Lehigh Valley Burn Center with second degree burns suffered in a devastating fire Friday afternoon that destroyed a log home along Route 120 in Colebrook Township.

Counsil and three others who were in the house at the time of the fire were taken to UPMC Lock Haven Hospital, according to Citizens Hose Fire Chief Norm Wolfrom.

Wolfrom said only Counsil, who was pulled through a window from the burning house, suffered burns. He was transported via a burn van to Lehigh Valley Burn Center after a helicopter was unable to fly because of the storm, Wolfrom said.

The other three escaped the flames, but were taken by ambulance to the hospital to be treated. Wolfrom, who did not have their names, said they did not suffer burns, but he did not have information on the extent of their injuries.

Wolfrom said the two and half story house and three vehicles were destroyed by the huge orange flames which quickly engulfed the structure. He said the house was fully involved when firefighters arrived and it burned to the ground within 45 minutes.

Lack of water hampered firefighters. More than a dozen companies from several counties were called to shuttle water to the scene from a hydrant near Lock Haven University.

“Everything is gone,” Wolfrom said, estimating the loss at about $250,000.

Although Wolfrom could not say for sure how the fire started, Trooper Campana, state police fire marshal at the Lamar barracks, ruled it as accidental.

The owner of the house is Krista Young, who had left earlier in the day to fly to Florida to visit her mother, Wolfrom said.

“She just touched down when she got the call,” he said.

Asked about insurance, Wolfrom said he hadn’t talked to Young yet. He said she was expected to return home today.

The fire was reported at 12:29 p.m. by a neighbor who said a boy who lived in the house ran to her home and told her the house was on fire.

In all, 17 fire companies from Clinton, Lycoming, Centre and Elk counties were called to the fire. They were Lock Haven, Mill Hall, Dunnstown, Flemington (Goodwill Hose), Avis, Beech Creek/Blanchard, Lamar Township (Salona), Woolrich, Nittany Valley (Lamar), Chapman Township (North Blend), South Renovo (Citizen’s Hose), Renovo (Emerald), Howard, Pleasant Gap, Montoursville, Jersey Shore and Sinnemahoning, along with Lock Haven EMS. Some of them were put on standby at local fire stations, Wolfrom said. All stations were reported back in quarters at 4:55 p.m.

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