Authorities are investigating both the first and second fires that burned in the same Blackbird Circle residence on Wednesday, Dec. 11, one after the other, in the Audubon Ridge subdivision of Lower Providence, according to a media release by Lower Providence police chief Francis L. Carroll.
A cause has not yet been determined for the two fires, which are being investigated by the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, the Lower Providence Township Fire Marshal and the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal.
On Wednesday, at 3:05 P.M., a report of a house on fire at the 2000 block of Blackbird Circle reached the Lower Providence Volunteer Fire Company, the Lower Providence Community Center Ambulance and Lower Providence Township Police Department, who sent help.
The first police officer who arrived said that there was thick smoke coming out of the chimney. He indicated that a 55-year old man occupying the house needed medical attention for smoke inhalation, and the man was taken to Phoenixville Hospital. Three more adults were evacuated from the house.
Aside from the fire personnel who were on scene, assistance was asked of the Norristown Fire Department, Jefferson Fire Company, Worcester Fire Company, Black Rock Fire Company, Skippack Fire Company and Collegeville Fire Company.
The responders were able to control the fire. Red Cross arranged for housing for the displaced residents, being that their house had become uninhabitable. A contractor arrived and boarded up the house’s windows and doors to secure the building. All of the fire units left the house by 6:25 p.m.
A few hours later, at 10 p.m., the Lower Providence Volunteer Fire Company, the Lower Providence Community Center Ambulance and the Lower Providence Township Police Department and were sent to the same house. Fire units from the Black Rock Fire Company, Worcester Fire Company and Collegeville Fire Company helped, as well. Fire units remained by the house until 4:30 a.m.
The neighbor next door reported seeing flames in the residence and smoke rising from the roof. The first police officer who arrived saw thick fire on the first and second floors of the already-damaged house.
The roof collapsed due to the fire, which greatly damaged the inside of the house. None one was injured.
A water main break occurred in the 700 block of Sunnyside Avenue during fire suppression operations at 1:50 a.m., and Pennsylvania American Water Company were told. The basement of a residence in that block became flooded, and the Lower Providence Township Public Works Department arrived and applied sand bags to prevent the water from moving.