Home seriously damaged by Monday afternoon fire - abc27 WHTM

Home seriously damaged by Monday afternoon fire

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Fire crews from all over Cumberland County spent several hours on Victory Church Road  Monday, working to get a house fire under control.

Assistant Fire Chief of Citizens Fire Company Mike Otto said there were visible flames when crews arrived on scene.

"There was fire coming from both ends of the attic area," he said, "The first two crews made a good attack of putting that down."

Everyone got out of the home safely, but the owners, Shirley and Don Moffitt watched as their possessions were destroyed right in front of their eyes.

Officials say it's too early to know for sure what caused the fire, but say they noticed heavy damage in the attic, back wall, and near the chimney.

Shirley Moffitt said she first noticed smoke coming from the bricks near her wood-stove.  She went outside in the backyard to see where it might be coming from.

"When I came outside, I saw the fire on the side of the house by the chimney and that's when I called the fire company," she said.

Trooper Jeffrey Sarver, Fire Marshal with Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg, was not on the scene, and isn't investigating this fire, but said these types of house fires can be started after debris from storms clogs chimneys.

It's something experts say should be a top concern after a storm like Sandy.  Jonathon Irwin, owner of Chimney Sweeps Systems, Inc., said it's always smart to get a professional to check your chimney when the temperature starts to drop.

He also said, after serious storms, it's a good thing to make sure there aren't branches or leaves stuck in you chimney before you start using it again.

"[During] this storm we were thinking about whether the power would go off, and people want to have that fire place as a backup, but you want to make sure if you have a backup that it's not going to cause you more of a headache," he said.

His crews respond to many areas in the midstate.  For more information, you can call toll-free at 800-757-0424.

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