Neighbor With Fire Extinguishers Helps Save Pa. Amish School

December 19, 2007

A neighbor rushed to a Belleville, Pa. Amish schoolhouse that was on fire and emptied three fire extinguishers to help contain the blaze.

The fire broke out late Monday morning while the White Hall Amish School was in session in Belleville, 50 miles northwest of Harrisburg. No one was injured.

Neighbor Sam Swarey said he ran over after he saw flames coming from the rear of the school. Swarey said he climbed the building’s front roof and opened a small window, releasing a large plume of smoke.

“I emptied three fire extinguishers and used some water before they got here,” Swarey told The Sentinel of Lewistown for a story in Tuesday’s editions. “The place was full of smoke. … I can’t believe it didn’t go up with that hard west wind blowing.”

The teacher and 30 students were able to recover desks, books and tables before firefighters arrived.

The fire most likely started in a chimney flue and then spread through a crack into the building, Allensville Volunteer Fire Chief Tim Bordell said.

The blaze was apparently contained to the wall beside the chimney, Bordell said.


Information from: The Sentinel (Lewiston)

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