CLEARFIELD TWP — Fire forced a contractor to flee a friend’s house that he was working on early this morning, authorities said.
The man and his dog were uninjured but the two-story house at 3016 Old Route 422 East was destroyed in the fire shortly after 2 a.m.
Damage to the house and contents is estimated at $120,000, according to fire officials. The home, owned by David and Vicky Jageman, is insured.
The second floor of the two-story, farm-style house was made of wood and was completely hollowed out. Much of the vinyl siding on the brick structure of the bottom floor had melted.
The blaze is believed to be accidental, said Chief Kevin Hesidenz of the East Butler Volunteer Fire Department.
The Jagemans hired the contractor, a friend, to do renovations while they were at work. They both were working midnight shifts, Hesidenz said.
“(The contractor) was putting in a bath tub, and he may have been working with the water lines,” Hesidenz said. “He told me he came out into the living room and heard a “pop” from the back room.”
Moments later, he spotted flames and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher.
“But the fire was too big,” Hesidenz said.
Some 30 to 35 firefighters from seven departments battled the blaze, tapping water from Worthington in Armstrong County, about six miles away, for a tanker shuttle.
But the fire won out.
Assisting the East Butler VFD were firefighters from Herman, Lick Hill, Chicora, Oneida Valley, Winfield and Worthington.