Early morning fire leads to injury
For the second time in a week, volunteer firefighters in Newark Valley were called to the scene of a working structure fire, and for the second time in a week a firefighter was injured in the battle against the blaze.
According to Tioga County Fire Coordinator Kevin Ford, the first chief on the scene suffered moderate burns to his hands. The firefighter's name, at the time of this reporting, was not released. The call came in at approximately 5:45 a.m. to a residence on Settle Road in the Town of Newark Valley. Firefighters battled temperatures in the single digits in the coldest hours of the morning as they responded to the remote location of the fire.
Fire departments from Broome and Tioga counties responded to the call, including Newark Valley, Maine, Whitney Point, Union Center and Berkshire EMS. According to one official with the Newark Valley Fire Department who did not wish to be named, his volunteers are still recovering from the tragic death of Owego Captain Matthew Porcari during a fire on Monday, and are relying heavily on mutual aid. Making matters more difficult was the remote location of the house fire, making it difficult to transport water to the scene to battle the fire. A holding tank was set up and filled by tanker trucks to provide water. The single digit temperatures meant that water froze quickly around the house and on the road. The Newark Valley Highway Department was called in to spread salt on the road in an effort to keep the area safe for the firefighters.
The home was a total loss, and five people were made homeless by the blaze. The fire was under control by 8 a.m., though crews remained on the scene. Tioga County Fire Investigation teams are investigating the cause.