At least one person was homeless Tuesday after a two-alarm fire extensively damaged a house on Halltown Road, near Montoursville, according to borough fire officials.
A neighbor called 911 just before 9 a.m. to report a fire at the home of Romolo Malizia at 683 Halltown Road in Fairfield Township, Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Hutchins said.
"Smoke was pouring from the house and there was fire visible in the basement," Hutchins said, adding that no one was in the house at the time.
He immediately called for extra tankers and then ordered a second alarm minutes later.
Once fire trucks started arriving and firefighters began stretching hoses into the house, the smoke was so thick one volunteer said, "I couldn't even see the front of the truck."
Malizia, who owns the house, arrived on the scene as firefighters were battling the blaze. Fire officials did not know if other family members lived in the house since Malizia left before they could gather that information.
It also was unknown if he had fire insurance. It was believed that Malizia was staying with relatives.
In addition to Montoursville, firefighters from Williamsport, Loyalsock Township, Eldred Township, Pennsdale, South Williamsport, Montgomery, Hughesville, Nisbet and Jersey Shore responded to the fire.
It took about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control, but firefighters were on the scene dousing hot spots for more than two hours.
Cpl. Nicholas A. Loffredo, a state police fire marshal, responded to assist with the investigation.
Hutchins said it appeared that the fire started in the basement, but the cause remained under investigation. No damage estimate has yet been set. Additional information was expected to be released later today.