The couple, identified by neighbors as Bill and Sue Yanakos, are staying with friends and are being assisted by the Red Cross after the fire at their two-story brick home at 109 Lakeland Drive, said Chief Bill Hayes of the Adams Area Fire District.
The fire appears to have started about noon in the attached garage, Hayes said. Fire devastated the garage area and the rooms above it, while the rest of the home suffered heavy smoke and some water damage. At least two vehicles in the garage were destroyed.
The fire does not appear to have been suspicious, but the state police fire marshal is investigating, Hayes said.
By 2 p.m., about 75 emergency personnel and two dozen trucks still were on the scene, using water from hydrants to extinguish stubborn hot spots and small patches of flame that appeared on the second-story roof above the home's garage, smoke billowing from the side of the structure as a result of their efforts.
“On my arrival we had heavy fire, primarily in the garage area and the right side of the house,” Hayes said.
He said fighting the fire “went very smoothly,” though a partial second-floor collapse limited firefighters' ability to combat the blaze in parts of the house. Temperatures in the 20s and intermittent snowfall did not affect firefighters' work.
“It's nothing we don't deal with every year,” he said.
Hayes said no damage figure is yet available. Firefighters from Adams Area, Cranberry Township, Callery and Wexford were among the first on the scene, but they were quickly joined by departments from Zelienople, Harmony and South Butler, as well as Adams Area police, Cranberry Ambulance and Quality EMS.
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