UPDATE: Family of 4 displaced by fire in Valley View

VALLEY VIEW — Fire swept through a twin home Thursday morning in Valley View, displacing a family of four.

Residents of 1028-30 W. Maple St. got out safely as fire consumed both sides of the structure.

The owners, who occupy both sides of the twin house, watched from a block away as flames and a huge column of black smoke bellowed from their home.

The American Red Cross Pennsylvania Rivers Chapter is providing assistance to two adults and two children, said Patty Daley, disaster action team supervisor.

The family, whose home and contents were destroyed by fire, is receiving food, shelter and clothing from the Red Cross.

A neighbor said the family's two children were at school when the fire erupted around 9 a.m.

"I rushed home from work,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. “What I saw was a big ball of black smoke coming from the house.”

Her house, which is separated from the home that burned by a walkway, was not damaged, she said.

Fire Chief Chad Richards, of Hegins Valley Fire Rescue, said the cause was undetermined.

At 10:35 a.m., flames were still shooting through the roof.

Using a grappling hook, a firefighter from Pottsville’s West End Hose Company No. 1 tore away siding as firefighters inside the home doused hot spots.

Only a blackened shell of 1028-1030 W. Maple remained as firefighters mopped up around noon.

Ladder trucks from West End Hose and Pine Grove Hose, Hook & Ladder enabled firefighters to battle the fire from the home’s roof and upper stories.

Units from Hegins, Llwewllyn, Donaldson and Sacramento were among units from across western Schuylkill County that responded to the fire.

Momma Sheep, a group of women from Sacramento Community Fire Company, provided water and food to firefighters. Area restaurants sent pizza, subs and french fries.

“It’s done in appreciation of what they do,” said Jamie Masser, a Momma Sheep volunteer.