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Schuylkill Co. fire damages 3 buildings

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:50:10 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 04 2013 06:44:35 PM EDT

Emergency crews are on the scene of fire in Schuylkill County, and officials say three buildings were damaged.


The Mount Carbon fire station is nearly gone. Fire destroyed the firehouse and two neighboring homes in Schuylkill County early Friday morning.

It happened just off Route 61 in Mount Carbon, south of Pottsville.

Now, a community is on edge because some say there could be an arsonist in their midst.


Crews were still putting out hot spots hours after 20 different fire companies responded to the fire on Main Street.

"I was the third person in and it was fully involved," said Chief Mark Ebling, Mt. Carbon Fire Co.

Investigators said the fire started around 4:30 a.m. in a vacant home next to the fire company.

Neighbors heard the alarms and thought crews were being called out for an auto accident, until they started hearing more commotion outside.

"As I am coming down my steps, the whole side of my house is windows, and I see this orange glow," said Helen Heimbaugh, of Main Street.

Crews were able to put the fire out, but the damage was already done. The social hall and two homes were destroyed.

Also, one person was injured, treated, and released from the hospital.

"We did have one firefighter, my first assistant chief, he was hit by electric current from when our boom came in contact with a power line," added Ebling.

As crews continue to clean up, the fire chief and neighbors in this area said they're worried because this is the second suspicious fire in the neighborhood.

"When you see something like that happen, you know what I mean, I'm afraid, what if my house is next when I am not home or something," said Heimbaugh.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly how the fire started. Ebling said he believes there may be an arsonist on the loose in the community.

"It's getting to begin to look like that picture," added Ebling. "But I am not going to stick my whole foot into the fire."

Workers were able to save the brush truck, water rescue vehicle and some supplies from the building. The rest of the contents have been destroyed.