DELAWARE TOWNSHIP – Three firefighters were hurt Sunday night while trying to put out a garage fire in Delaware Township.
Several propane tanks that were stored inside the residential garage at 821 Mercer Road exploded, though it’s not clear what started the fire, said Dan McBride, chief of Fredonia Volunteer Fire Department.
A passerby called 911 around 10:30 p.m. to report the fire. The garage was not attached to the home, which is owned by the William Frantz family.
Frantz and his wife were home and they were alerted to the fire when they heard the first propane tank explode, McBride said.
One firefighter from Fredonia was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
A firefighter from Stoneboro was taken to the emergency room, where he was treated for an eardrum injury, according to a Facebook post on the department’s page.
“We appreciate all those that have reached out to check on him. Those crews were definitely being watched over last night, as it could’ve been a different outcome,” the post concludes.
One firefighter from Sheakleyville took a hit from a blast caused by an exploding propane tank and was checked out by an ambulance crew, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.
A state police fire marshal conducted an investigation Monday morning and ruled the cause “undetermined” because the damage was so extensive.
“It burned so bad that you could hardly tell what was in there,” McBride said.
The garage measured 32 by 40 feet, and it’s a total loss. There were a few vehicles inside plus the propane tanks, which the homeowners reported to firefighters when they arrived.
Some siding on the home melted, and the owners have insurance, he said.
Fighting a fire that involves propane tanks is a challenge, and McBride thanked the other departments for a good mutual aid response.
In addition to Sheakleyville and Stoneboro, Fredonia was assisted by crews from Hempfield Township, Greenville, Transfer, Mercer, Sandy Lake and Jefferson Township.
The scene was cleared around 1:30 a.m. Monday.