Accidental 8-alarm fire near Lewistown displaces 32 - abc27 WHTM

Accidental 8-alarm fire near Lewistown displaces 32

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A fire that destroyed 11 Mifflin County row homes and damaged at least a dozen others has been ruled accidental.

Investigators said the fire Thursday night in the borough of Juniata Terrace, a mile south of Lewistown, was caused by a cooking fire.

When firefighters arrived at 7 p.m. Thursday, four homes were on fire but the flames quickly spread.

The attics of the row homes are all connected, and neighbors said the fire went from one home to the next.

Hundreds of firefighters from miles away were called to battle the flames as they ripped through at least 25 homes.

The American Red Cross said it is assisting 12 families - 20 adults and 12 children - with shelter, food and clothing.

"This kind of thing brings people together. It show's what good people do have in their hearts and how you're loved in a small community like this every day," fire victim Charmain Leach said. "And you know, you take it for granted. No more -- I won't do that no more."

Everyone in the homes made it out safely. Four firefighters were injured, but are expected to be OK.

The biggest problem for firefighters was a dwindling water supply. Crews had to keep bringing water to the scene. Crews eventually stopped the spread of the flames by making a trench cut into the roof.

Anyone wishing to help the fire victims may donate money to the Red Cross of Central Pennsylvania or send a check to any Juniata Valley Bank branch, payable to the bank with "Juniata Terrace fire" in the memo line.

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