The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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November 23, 2007

Fire leaves Jefferson Township family homeless

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — A fire early Friday morning in Jefferson Township left a family without a home.

“We lost a lot of stuff,” said Shelia Myers, who was woken at about 2 a.m. by her companion Shawn Diana and told their house at 198 Charleston Road was going up in flames.

Ms. Myers said her two children — Holly, 15, and Daniel, 12 — were spending the night with friends when the house caught fire.

“Luckily they weren’t there,” she said. Ms. Myers and Diana rent the home, she said.

About an hour before the blaze Ms. Myers said she and Diana were enjoying watching cherry wood burn in their fireplace.

The fire got into the home’s walls and spread upwards, said Assistant Fire Chief Justin Barnes of the Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department.

By the time firefighters arrived, it had spread to the attic, he said.

“We worked it for a little under an hour,” Barnes said, adding that firefighters from Clark, Fredonia, Grove City, Hermitage, Jackson Center and Mercer’s East End assisted the department.

Barnes said its unlikely the home could be livable and estimated damages to be about $80,000 to $100,000.

Ms. Myers said neither she nor Diana had renter’s insurance.

The four are temporarily staying at the Quality Inn in Hermitage, Ms. Myers said.

“We need a place to live,” she said, adding she is setting set up an account at National City’s Hermitage branch if anyone is willing to donate money to help.

Her son collected sports autographs and memorabilia, which Ms. Myers said she hopes to try to replace by writing letters to the Pittsburgh sports teams and race car driver Kevin Harvick.

The American Red Cross paid for their hotel room, she said.

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