Two firefighters were injured as they battled a blaze that left a fellow firefighter homeless on Saturday morning.
The Lewis Township house at 371 Trent Road, owned by Williamsport Bureau of Fire firefighter John “JJ” Lyons, was destroyed by flames, smoke and water. Lyons, 33, who has been living in the Union County home for six years with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Jilline, was solemn as friends, family and co-workers gathered outside his house with food and water to help search the debris for salvageable possessions and board up broken windows.
“I don’t know where to go next,” said Lyons. “We’ll figure it out. That kind of stuff can be replaced.”
Lyons, who said he will be staying with family, has been a Williamsport firefighter since 2007, but has been volunteering since he was 14 years old in Centre County. He was out hunting on Saturday, but he got a message from fellow firefighters that he needed to return home.
Brian Harrison, assistant chief of the Warrior Run Fire Department, is friends with Lyons and said it’s a different feeling rushing to a house of a fellow firefighter.
“It’s not the greatest feeling, let me tell you,” Harrison said. “Being a firefighter is a brotherhood.”
Harrison and firefighters from 10 fire departments responded to the three-alarm fire at 10:46 a.m. It was brought under control at 11:59 p.m.
“When we arrived, we could see smoke coming from the building,” he said. “We waited for the first engine to arrive to help knock down the fire. The fire was under control in a little under an hour.”
Neither cause nor origin could be determined Saturday. Harrison said the state police fire marshal was coming to the scene on Monday to investigate.
Donations being accepted
Firefighter Sherman Heaster, who has known Lyons since he started at Williamsport, is organizing a fund drive for the Lyons family.
“Any donations can be made to the Williamsport Fire Department, 440 Walnut St., Williamsport, 17701, care of the Lyons Family,” Heaster said.
Friends also set up a Facebook page called “JJ and Jessica Lyons Fire Donations,” and are also directing people to send donations to Williamsport Fire Department.
Tina Dymeck, one of the curators of the page, said online that their phones have been ringing non-stop with people wanting to help.
Lyons said he is grateful for the support.
Two firefighters injured
Harrison declined to release the names of the two injured firefighters, but said the Warrior Run volunteers experienced minor injuries. One was transported via ambulance to Geisinger in Danville for an arm laceration and the second was taken to the hospital by his wife for a knee injury, he said.
An investigation is also being conducted to determine how their injuries took place, Harrison said.
Those responding to the scene included fire departments from Warrior Run, Muncy, Milton, White Deer, Turbot Township, Potts Grove, Washingtonville, Hughesville, Montgomery and South Williamsport.