A 3-alarm row home fire erupted in the 1300 block of Spruce Street in Reading around 8:30am, Monday November 13th, prompting a swift response from city and county firefighters. Initial reports raised concerns of possible entrapment within the blazing structure.
Firefighters encountered a daunting scene upon arrival, confronting intense flames surging from the second floor of 1323 Spruce Street. Fortunately, the sole resident who was present at the time had managed to evacuate the house, escaping the fire.
The situation escalated as the fire extended its destructive reach, moving from 1323 to the adjacent 1321, rendering both addresses unsafe until essential repairs are completed. In response, the Red Cross has stepped in to assist four displaced individuals affected by the fire.
The occupant of the initially engulfed home, sustained burn injuries and was swiftly transported to a local hospital for treatment. A firefighter also suffered injuries during the operation, although the severity remains under assessment, with the Fire Marshal indicating it was not severe.
Investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. Reading Fire Marshal Jeremy Searfoss said that while a potential link to a space heater was reported, the extensive damage and debris have hindered the determination of the precise cause at this time.
Reading firefighters were assisted by Muhlenberg Township, Mt. Penn, Exeter Township, and Shillington in containing the blaze.
Update: The Reading Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause of the fire resulted from the incorrect use of an electrical extension cord to supply power to a portable heater.