Fire displaces family of 6

MICHAEL ROKNICK | Herald

Cats linger on the front porch at 432 New Castle Ave., where a fire Wednesday night routed three adults and three children.

SHARON – A family of six was displaced after the house they were renting caught fire Wednesday night.

Fire Chief Bob Fiscus said that if the house had smoke detectors, the family would have been alerted to the fire much sooner.

“The family was lucky,” Fiscus said. “I’d just like to stress the importance of smoke detectors and the gravity of the situation – that there were six residents in a house that was on fire.”

A state probation and parole agent reported the fire at 432 New Castle Ave. at 9:40 p.m.

No one was injured.

The residents were Jennifer Sedgwick, Aaron Davis, Caleb Gurrera and three children, ages 14, 11 and 4. The three adults did not have rental insurance, but are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the bedroom was on fire. They were able to contain the fire to that bedroom, but there was water and heat damage throughout the house, Fiscus said.

“The house was not livable,” he said.

The property is owned by Homer and Kathleen Brown, who have insurance. They were cited for failure to have working smoke alarms.

“If they had had working smoke alarms, it would have notified the family earlier and caused less damage,” Fiscus said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined, but is not suspicious, the fire chief said. It appeared to have started near the bed, he added.

Hermitage and Farrell firefighters and McGonigle Ambulance assisted at the scene. The fire was cleared at 11:05 p.m.

While firefighters were at that call, at 10:20 p.m., Sharon and Hermitage crews were dispatched to Vermeire Manor, 325 Columbia St. in Sharon and encountered a small cooking fire in one of the apartments.

The apartment building was the site of a Christmas Day fire in 2018. All apartments are up and running since that fire, except for the unit where the the fire originated, Fiscus said. Firefighters left that scene at 10:43 p.m.

“I want to make sure people know they can get cited for not having smoke detectors,” he said. “It is the landlord’s responsibility to take care of the smoke detectors and make sure they’re installed properly.”

Follow Melissa Klaric on Twitter and Facebook @HeraldKlaric, email: mklaric@sharonherald.com.

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