CLAYSBURG - Jeremy Dodson, his girlfriend, Heather Feather, and his son, Jacob, 13, stood watching in disbelief Sunday evening as firefighters from five area companies poured water and foam on the house where Dodson has lived for many years, all in an attempt to put out a fire that possibly began in a turkey fryer.
He was comforted by Feather and his mother.
As shocked as the three present residents of 706 Ski Gap Road were, the fire brought tears to the eyes of Davin Dively and his wife, Bonnie, who live next door in a remodeled house, but who also watched the blaze in disbelief.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Multiple volunteer fire companies responded to a house fire on?Ski Gap Road west of Claysburg on?Sunday evening.
"We lived in that house for 35 years," Bonnie Dively said.
The Divelys raised their two children and a grandson in the six-room home with a spacious back yard bearing many large trees.
It was a building, a house, but it was also a home with a lot of memories, the Divelys said.
"That's why I stood and cried," Bonnie Dively said.
Adam Dibert, the fire chief of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Co., said he didn't know if the house was a total loss. He and his fellow firefighters were still busy examining the home from the outside but had yet to take stock inside as darkness and the cool air descended.
The entire south side of the home was burned away as was the portion of the roof over the kitchen
Dibert said he wasn't sure what started the blaze at about 5:40 p.m.
Dodson said he wasn't home when it began.
When asked what happened, he said, "I don't really know. I came home and my house was on fire."
Feather, however, was at home when the fire began.
She was in the kitchen while a turkey fryer outside in an area between the car port and the burned side of the house was in use.
"I just heard like a 'whoosing sound,'" said Feather.
The home was on fire and she said it was all she and Jacob could do to get out.
There wasn't time to try extinguish the blaze, which seemed to immediately engulf the entire side of the house.
Fire Companies from Claysburg, Imler, Freedom Township, Blue Knob and Allegheny Township responded within minutes.
"Our guys started attacking with water and foam," said Dibert.
Greenfield Township Police Officer Matthew Lindsey said the turkey fryer "blew up," as he discussed what apparently happened.
The officer said he contacted the Red Cross in Huntingdon County for help.
He explained the Red Cross would help help with clothes, food and lodging for the family.
Davin Dively said he was looking out his bathroom window on the upper floor of his home when the sound of a fire truck caught his attention.
He pointed to the Dodson back yard, stating when he looked over at the home the flames were shooting as high as the trees.
The Divelys no longer own the home. They said that it now belongs to Homer Weyandt, who lives in the area. Dodson was a longtime renter.
"It's a sad thing. It's just a home to somebody, but it's more than a home when you raised your kids there," Bonnie Dively said.