Two residents were taken to the hospital and several first responders were treated for injuries after a second alarm fire on Thursday afternoon at a State College house.
Centre Region Fire Director Steve Bair said the home at 801 Crabapple Court, in the Greentree neighborhood, is “a total loss.”
Alpha and Boalsburg fire companies were dispatched at 2 p.m. for a reported dwelling fire with entrapment and found flames “blowing out of every window and every door possible,” Bair said.
Five State College police officers and a public works employee who was nearby were first on the scene and rescued one adult resident who could not get out on her own. She and the other resident were both taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment and evaluation.
The officers and public works employee also were treated for minor injuries and released.
“If it wasn’t for the efforts of the police department, we would probably be dealing with a fatal fire,” Bair said. “A terrific job by the police department and the public works employee… The fact that they were all injured with minor injuries, I would expect they encountered extremely high heat and very choking smoke.
“This is courageous, very courageous. I think it stands as testament to the kind of people that work around here in local government.”
Centre LifeLink EMS and Penn State University Ambulance Service provided medical treatment and transport.
The cause of the fire is not yet known. “Every fire marshal in the Centre Region,” was on the scene investigating, Bair said, and he expected “many hours of work” ahead.
“At this time we do not have a reason to believe the fire is suspicious,” he said
He added that neighbor witnesses described a rapid-growth fire.
“We don’t know what it is about this house that caused this fire to grow so rapidly at this point,” Bair said.
Westerly Parkway between Hamilton Avenue and Corl Street was closed to traffic until about 3:30 p.m. Hedgerow Drive also was closed.