SOUDERTON – Nine people in two families were displaced by a fire the morning of March 23 in the 200 block of East Summit Street, Souderton Fire Marshal Steve Coll said.
The Red Cross was assisting the families, he said.
The fire started about 10:30 a.m., he said.
“It was a duplex and we had a fire that started down in the basement up towards the front of the house and extended into the first floor on the bottom rental,” Coll said.
The first floor unit had the most fire damage, with the second floor mostly smoke damage, he said.
The fire appeared to be accidental, but a final determination had not yet been made and additional investigation is underway to determine the cause, Coll said the afternoon of the fire.
There were people in the building when the fire started, he said.
“The smoke detectors went off,” he said, “and got them out.”
About 45 firefighters from the Souderton, Telford, Hatfield, Sellersville and Silverdale fire companies responded to the fire, with firefighters on the scene for about three hours, Coll said.
North Penn Goodwill was also on scene.
The Harleysville Community Fire Company was on standby at the Souderton fire station in case of additional fires, Coll said.
“It's a tough fire when you go in a basement – very, very, very poor visibility and trying to get to the scene of the fire is usually pretty tough,” he said. “That's why the extra manpower was called.”