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No injuries in couch fire

September 3, 2012

A fire that began in a couch was quickly extinguished by members of the Punxsutawney Fire Department at a house on Greenwood Avenue Sunday evening. (Photo by Andrew Love/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — It happened again, as a neighbor thought she heard a beeping noise coming from a house at 302 Greenwood Ave. in Punxsutawney, saw smoke inside the structure and called 911.

With a quick response from the Punxsutawney Fire Department, the home was spared major damage.

"The owner, Scott Taylor, left at 3 p.m. and was working on an aquarium in what was the living room, and either a cigarette or equipment from the aquarium fell onto the couch and began to smolder," said Bryan Smith, Punxsutawney Fire Department chief.

Smith said the fire was contained to the living room with smoke damage throughout the rest of the house, which was unoccupied.

"What probably saved the house was the 50-gallon aquarium located behind the couch that broke, dumping water onto the smoldering
area of the couch," he said.

"The owner used the home mostly for storage and hadn't been living there," Smith said, adding that the neighbor who discovered the fire had been home for about 20 minutes when she heard the beeping and walked around and noticed the smoke inside the house.

"It had probably been smoldering in that couch for a while," he said. "There were two fire crews working inside the house."

Smith said the fire department was dispatched at 6:08 p.m. Sunday, and it was a quick knockdown with the fire extinguished in about 10 minutes.

There was no need for the Punxsutawney-based Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal to investigate, he said, and the home, which is covered by insurance, sustained an estimated $5,000 to $7,000 in damages.

He said Central, Elk Run and Lindsey fought the fire at the scene; Big Run was on scene as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT); and the McCalmont Township Volunteer Fire Company was on standby at Central.

The fire department was assisted at the scene by the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department and Jefferson County EMS.

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