Flames engulfed half of a twin home on Britton Street adjacent to the Amity Water Treatment Facility on Jan. 23 as one of the tenants was moving in, officials said.Amity Fire Chief Matt Richter said the initial investigation indicated the fire started outside of 40 Britton Street, which was unoccupied at the time the call for the fire came in.
"The residence is in the process of being turned over to the renter," Richter said, noting that some of the new tenant's belongings had been moved into the residence already. "There's a lot of stuff yet to be unpacked inside."
Richter said there were tenants living in 32 Britton Street, the other half of the twin home, and the entire structure would be uninhabitable, at least for now.
The untouched side, 32 Britton Street., would be able to be repaired, he said.
The fire call came in as a structure fire behind Klein's Bus Service at 2:41 p.m. The initial reports indicated there was someone trapped inside; however, firefighters were assisted by Amity Township police with the evacuation of the residence and learned no one was trapped.
Richter said the entire side of 40 Britton Street was engulfed in flames, from the ground through to the attic, when fire-fighters arrived around 2:45 p.m.
"When they got here, the whole front corner of the house was on fire," Richter said.
The home is an older home that has had different construction alterations made to it over the year, Richter said, and these made fighting the fire more difficult.
Richter said water had to be tanked in, and a tanker station was set up at the Redner's Warehouse Market off Route 422.
The fire was under control around 3:30 p.m.
Richter said the exact source of the fire, as well as the estimated cost of damage to the building and contents, was undetermined Friday afternoon.
"It's going to be expensive," Richter said.
In addition to Amity and Monarch fire companies, Birdsboro, Mt. Penn, West End, Geigertown and Pottstown Air 69 assisted. Southern Berks EMS and fire police also assisted at the scene.
Officials said there were no injuries.
The fire is still under investigation.
Amity Township police ask anyone with information regarding the fire to call 610-689-6002.