Skip to Content

Fire destroys century-old building


Click here for updates on this story

    AVIS, Pennsylvania (WNEP) — Smoke billowed out of a building on West Central Avenue in Avis.

Firefighters said the father and son who rented an upstairs apartment made it out safely, as did the building owner who runs an antique shop downstairs.

Verna Bilbay lives across the street.

“I got up and looked out of the room, and I said, ‘uh, it’s right across the street, hun.’ All you saw was just smoke, just boughs and boughs of smoke,” Bilbay said.

Firefighters said the place went up in flames around 11:30 a.m. Thursday after the owner of the building was using a heat gun.

“He was doing some staining in the back, and the stain wasn’t drying, so he was trying to rush it, which caused the fire,” said Fire Chief Matthew Stover of Avis Fire Company #1.

Firefighters said the owner even burned one of his hands, trying to put out the fire himself before fire crews could arrive.

“That was the only injury, and he was treated on the scene,” Chief Stover said.

The building was more than 100 years old. It took firefighters more than six hours to get everything under control.

“Due to the items that were inside, it was so difficult for firefighters to gain access in there and being that it is an older building, timber frame. It was dry,” Chief Stover said.

The owner of the building did not have fire insurance.

The father and son are staying with family.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content