Man suf­fers burns in fire

Pottsville res­i­dent in crit­i­cal con­di­tion; fam­ily dis­placed

The Republican Herald - - FRONT PAGE - BY AMY MARCHIANO

POTTSVILLE — A man was se­verely burned and his fam­ily left home­less af­ter a house fire Thurs­day at 233 Pierce St. in the city.

Dan Groves, 43, was flown to Le­high Val­ley Hos­pi­tal- Cedar Crest, Al­len­town, with burns on 50 per­cent of his body, ac­cord­ing to Pottsville Fire Chief James E. Mis­stishin Sr.

Joe Cor­son Jr., who lives on Union Street nearby, no­ticed the smoke from his win­dow and called 911. He then ran be­hind the house and saw Groves stand­ing out­side in blue shorts.

“He was burned up pretty bad. I’ve never seen burns head to toe like that be­fore,” Cor­son said.

He asked Groves if he could tell him what hap­pened.

“He thinks he fell asleep with a lit cig­a­rette ( on the couch),” Cor­son said.

An on- call spokesper­son for LVH said Groves was in crit­i­cal con­di­tion as of Thurs­day evening.

Only Dan Groves was home at the time of the fire. His wife, Christina, 43, was over­come with emo­tion af­ter ar­riv­ing at the scene and had a panic at­tack; she was taken to a lo­cal hos­pi­tal, Re­nee Wil­liams, a lead re­spon­der with the Tri- County Chap­ter Amer­i­can Red Cross, said.

In ad­di­tion to Dan and Christina Groves, their daugh­ters, Jamie Groves, 17, and Alexia Bonacci, 22, were dis­placed, Wil­liams said. Food, cloth­ing and as­sis­tance were pro­vided.

Wil­liams said the home didn’t have in­sur­ance. The Schuylkill Par­cel Lo­ca­tor lists the prop­erty own­ers as Christina Groves and Rose Gagliardi.

Mis­stishin said there is “heavy fire dam­age through­out the struc­ture,” adding it is a to­tal loss. A mon­e­tary amount was not pro­vided. He didn’t

know if the home had work­ing smoke alarms.

The fire was called in around 1 p. m. as a fire with pos­si­ble en­trap­ment, although that was not the case. The heavy fire was knocked down in about 20 min­utes but took about 90 min­utes to be fully con­tained, Mis­stishin said. Be­cause of the his­tor­i­cally low wa­ter pres­sure on the street, fire­fight­ers also used wa­ter from Sec­ond Street and Howard Av­enue.

No fire­fight­ers were in­jured in the fire. At least one pet died, Mis­stis­shin said. Jamie Groves said the fam­ily had a dog, cats, two rab­bits and two guinea pigs.

Mis­stishin said the fire was still con­sid­ered un­de­ter­mined as of Thurs­day evening. He was wait­ing for fire mar­shall Trooper John F. Burns of the state po­lice at Frackville to ar­rive at the scene and as­sist the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

All seven fire com­pa­nies from Pottsville re­sponded to the fire in­clud­ing Rapid In­ter­ven­tion Teams from Schuylkill Haven and Ta­maqua. Fire com­pa­nies were also brought in to cover the city dur­ing the fire.

ANdy MatSkO / Staff PhO­tOg­ra­PhEr

Fire­fight­ers work to ex­tin­guish a fire at 233 Pierce St., Pottsville, that se­verely in­jured a man Thurs­day and dis­placed his fam­ily.


Crews work to ex­tin­guish the fire.


Fire­fight­ers work to ex­tin­guish a fire at 233 Pierce St., Pottsville, that se­verely in­jured a man Thurs­day and dis­placed his fam­ily.

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