New Castle News

March 5, 2013

Fire damages living room of Wilmington home

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A few alert neighbors and a quick response may have saved Hal Tucker’s home from burning to the ground Monday.

Firefighters from four departments were summoned shortly after 11 a.m. to a house at 4634 State Route 158 in Wilmington Township, where smoke was billowing from the front picture window.

Tucker, who reportedly lives alone in the red brick and brown frame house, was not at home when the fire broke out.

A butterscotch-colored cat was rescued by a fireman and handed over to Tucker’s sister, who lives in a house next door.

June Benedict, who lives next door to the north of Tucker, was alerted by another neighbor, and went to see what she could do to help.

“My neighbor called me and said she thought it was my house that was on fire, but it was next door,” Benedict said.

She saw “a lot of smoke” coming from the front of the house, she said, but “I didn’t see any flames at all.”

She said a neighbor across the street was one of the people who had called 911. Tucker’s sister told fire officials she had summoned the fire department, too.

Firefighters broke the living room picture window and managed to contain the blaze.

The volunteer departments responding were New Wilmington, Volant, Pulaski and Neshannock. They were at the scene for about two and a half hours.

New Wilmington Borough police blocked off a section of the highway so firetrucks could gain clear access.

Todd Wilson, New Wilmington assistant fire chief, who was in charge at the scene, said the blaze appears to have started in the living room and was contained there.

The state fire marshal was called and is investigating the cause, he added.

Wilson said no one was home at the time. Tucker reportedly was working in Ohio.