Emergency personnel were called around 4 AM today (Tuesday, August 4, 2015) for a report of a working structure fire on West Water Street (US209) in Coaldale. Firefighters arrived to see 42 West Water Street highly engulfed in flames, and its adjacent property, 40 West Water Street, filling will thick smoke.
It took about a little over an hour for firefighters to get control of the fire. Half-way through, firefighters had to clear the building due to structure and other safety concerns.
Coaldale Fire Chief Steven Polischak said initial firefighters arrived to see heavy fire shooting out the windows to the home. He added that both the fire company and police deemed the structures as vacant, with 42 Water Street as unsafe to enter.
Neighbors told TamaquaArea.com that the two affected properties, along with another duplex located to the east, had their copper pipes taken in past years.
Responding were fire companies from Coaldale, Tamaqua, Lansford, Summit Hill, West Penn, Tuscarora and others. Also responding were Coaldale Police Department, Ryan Township Ambulance (who provided rehab), Tamaqua Ambulance, Rapid Intervention Teams from Tamaqua and Pottsville, fire police, and others.
In addition, members of the Tamaqua Salvation Army offered snacks, cold refreshments and hot refreshments to all the emergency responders. Firefighters were on scene until shortly after 7 AM.
A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal is expected to be on scene today or tomorrow to investigate.
Polischak added the Coaldale Fire Department’s appreciation from all responding fire companies and services.
The investigation into the fire continues and anyone with information is asked to call borough police at 570-645-3060 or the Schuylkill County Communications Center at 570-668-6100.
UPDATE: Coaldale Police and a fire marshal said the fire appeared to be arson.
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Click HERE to view story in the Republican Herald / Standard Speaker website. Contributed TamaquaArea.com.
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