The cause of a fire which destroyed a then-empty Troy Township home early Wednesday morning is under investigation by fire marshals from the Pennsylvania State Police.
According to Hydetown Volunteer Fire Chief Eric Nikolaison, the blaze was first reported at 4:43 a.m. by a neighboring resident to the home, which was located at 13565 Newton Town Road. The neighbor heard an explosion coming from the home, Nikolaison said, and saw that it had caught fire.
By the time fire fighters reached the small structure, it had become fully enveloped in flames, with much of the building already starting to collapse.
“It was in the basement by the time it was done,” Nikolaison said. “I mean, it went up and went down fast.”
No one was currently residing in the building at the time of the explosion, at least as far as anyone is aware. The homeowner was staying at a camp when the fire happened, according to Nikolaison, and no one was injured in either the immediate blast or during the course of fire-fighting efforts.
Alongside Hydetown, fire fighters from Titusville, Townville, Centerville and Cherrytree took part in combating the inferno, with EmergyCare workers also showing up in case of injuries. It took nearly five hours for the flames to be brought under control, with emergency personnel clearing the area around 9 a.m.
Nikolaison said the home is likely going to be declared a total loss. The roof and walls of the building have collapsed, and little besides rubble remains. The fire chief also said he was not sure whether the home was insured or not.
An exact cause or origin of the fire has yet to be determined. The Herald attempted to contact the fire marshals for an update to the investigation, but was unsuccessful.
Ray can be reached, by email, at email@example.com.