Birdsboro home ‘gutted' by New Year's Day fire

BIRDSBORO — A fire on the 300 block of South Walnut “gutted” a home around 11 a.m. New Year’s Day in the borough.

“Hot embers from a wood stove were discarded into a trash receptacle outside and ignited,” said Birdsboro Fire Marshal Ken Templin.

Templin said he was one of the first to arrive on the scene and was soon followed by officers and personnel from the Birdsboro-Union Fire Department.

Beginning behind the home, on the southwest side, the fire spread inside. A family inside was able to escape without injury and were the ones to call 911.

Firefighters were able to knock the blaze down in about 45 minutes, Templin said, but it caused roughly $150,000 in damage.

“It’s a total loss,” Templin said. The home is “still standing but it’s pretty much gutted.”

The family living in the home is staying with relatives, Templin said.

There were no injuries to the firefighters who responded.

In addition to the Birdsboro-Union Fire Department, the Exeter Township Fire Department, Monocacy, Mount Penn and Gibraltar fire companies all responded to the scene.

Southern Berks Regional EMS also responded.

Templin said that embers from stoves and fireplaces starting such fires “unfortunately” are something they see a fair amount of during the winter.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.

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