PUNXSUTAWNEY — A potential catastrophe was averted when residents and maintenance personnel of Sycamore Apartments in Punxsutawney were able to remove a dryer that had heavy smoke showing and use a fire extinguisher on it at 2:23 p.m. Saturday in the laundry room of the building located at 505 Sycamore St.
The dryer had been removed and the building evacuated when members of the Punxsutawney Fire Department and Punxsutawney Borough Police arrived on scene, said Bryan Smith, Punxsutawney Fire Department chief.
Smith said the cause of the fire apparently was due to a malfunction of the electrical system inside the gas dryer.
"It's difficult to determine the exact cause, so it's ruled undetermined," Smith said, adding that there was a quick response to the apartment complex by the department.
He said firefighters used the thermal imaging camera in the laundry room to make sure that none of the fire had moved inside the walls of the building.
Firefighters were assisted at the scene by Jefferson County EMS with Big Run Volunteer Fire Company and McCalmont Township Fire Company on standby at their stations.
Smith said there were no injuries, and the residents were permitted to return to their apartments immediately once it was deemed safe.
Punxsy firefighters also assisted with an ATV accident that occurred at 3:40 a.m. Sunday on Benson Road at the intersection with Frog Lane in Young Township; there were no serious injuries reported.