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Woman, cat escape 2-alarm fire in Colebrookdale

Home destroyed, adjacent residence damaged

By Marian Dennis, or, @MarianDennis1 on Twitter

Friday, February 9, 2018

Colebrookdale >> A two-alarm fire destroyed a township home Friday morning but a resident and her pet escaped without injury.

Authorities received a call for a fully involved fire at 2 Alans Lane just around 9 a.m. Friday. First responders said heavy black smoke was visible about a mile away.

One woman was in the home at the time and attempted to extinguish it herself when she first discovered it, according to Jeffrey Bealer, public information officer for Boyertown Area Fire & Rescue.

“There was one female in the house and she actually got up, found the fire, and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher,” said Bealer. “It just got out of control and she called across to the neighbors and they called.”

When firefighters arrived, they entered the home and found a cat that they were able to remove from the home safely and take to a neighbor.

Firefighters said they also evacuated a home directly next door to the blaze, after the side of their house caught fire.

“The neighbors were actually evacuated because on the way here when the deputy chief from Boyertown got the response from the police, he sent it to a second alarm because they told us that the neighbor’s house was starting to go up.”

While the home had visible damage along its side, Bealer said the house next door did not sustain any interior damage.

No injuries were reported in the blaze.

Bealer added that the location and cold weather made it difficult to respond. The one-story house sits at the top of a large hill at the end of Alans Lane. Firefighters ran hoses up the hill to the home and used foam instead of water to douse the flames.

“It’s chilly so we’re using foam. We find that that works better to knock it down and keep it knocked down. Other than things like the temperature that’s all we’ve really run into,” said Bealer.

Fire Marshal Corey Heimbach determined later Friday that the fire started in the front bedroom and was electrical in nature. It took firefighters about an hour to get the blaze under control.

In addition to Boyertown Fire & Resue, Colebrookdale Police, Eastern Berks, Gilbertsville, Earl Township and Amity Township fire departments also responded to the scene.