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Former home of Mario Andretti goes up in flames

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 24 2014 07:20:52 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2014 05:22:37 PM CDT

Fire at Mario Andretti's former home

NAZARETH BOROUGH, Pa. -

A fire ripped through Mario Andretti's former home in Nazareth, Northampton Co.

The call came in around 7:15 p.m. Thursday for a garage fire, officials said.

Crews were still on scene at 53 Victory Lane hours later.

The Andrettis sold the house in 1999 and there have been two owners since, according to Barbara Andretti, Mario Andretti's daughter.

Vigilance Hose Company No. 1 Fire Chief Danny Keenhold said the family who lives there now was not home when the fire broke out.

"The garage was fully involved and the wind was taking the fire up to the second floor," said Keenhold, who said the house is a total loss.

"It's pretty well gutted. It took the first floor, the second floor, all the way to the third floor and the back," he added.

He said wind was a factor in spreading the flames.

"We got hoses on it right away but the wind was just fueling it, the flames, it's just a windy day unfortunately," said Keenhold.

There were no injuries.

Barbara Andretti said her parents built the house in 1968 before she was born.

The Andrettis lived in the home when the street name was changed from Market Street to Victory Lane to commemorate Mario's victory at the Indianapolis 500 in 1969.

"It' s just a shame that something like that has to happen," said neighbor Ralph Yob, who was among the large crowd watching firefighters work.

Neighbor Bill Thompson said, "It's a shame it has to happen. We don't want to see anybody's house burn down or catch fire. It's scary, too, a little bit."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.