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Basement fire displaces family

A basement fire Wednesday evening in the city temporarily displaced a family.

Firefighters were dispatched at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday for a reported dwelling fire on the 2000 block of South 10th Avenue.

When firefighters arrived on scene, officials discovered heavy smoke coming from the residence and quickly deployed several handlines to extinguish the flames.

“Our crews arrived on scene and quickly went to work,” Altoona Assistant Fire Inspector Justin Smithmyer said. “It took about a half hour to 45 minutes to contain the fire, and we worked for about another half hour to contain all of the hot spots in the residence.”

Smithmyer said heavy smoke was showing throughout the residence, with the bulk of the fire in the basement.

The residence was an older home built with balloon frame construction, which can allow smoke and fire to travel throughout the residence.

According to Smithmyer, firefighters had to work for hours to make sure the flames did not travel to other parts of the home and that fire was not hiding behind any walls.

Smithmyer said due to quick efforts from firefighters, the fire was able to be contained before it caused too much damage to the residence.

The building was not deemed a total loss, and he believes the building will be able to be repaired.

No injuries to the residents of the home or firefighters were reported.

The family will be temporarily displaced, Smithmyer said, but they have found a place to stay.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Mirror Staff Writer Calem Illig is at 814-946-7535.

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