Fire left two men – brothers – without a place to stay Sunday night in Valley View, Hegins Township.
Robert Schneider Jr., a lifelong resident of the Hegins valley, sat across the road from his Valley View home for the past 50 years in a little bit of shock. Fire had severely damaged a portion of the building along W. Main St. He realized he may not be able to return for a while, if ever.
Schneider told us that paramedics took his brother, Larry, to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation but said he should be OK.
He said people have offered a place for him to stay and while we chatted with him Sunday evening, neighbors already began reaching out. Friends call him Bumble, a nickname he’s held for decades. A couple of them approached and had a bag of clothes already prepared for him.
Schneider said he was in shock a bit at that time but more worried about his brother first.
“There’s always other places to live,” he said.
Brothers Without Home Following Valley View Fire
Schneider said he wasn’t home at the time the initial call went out, just before 5:30 p.m. He was down at the local gun club just to have a drink or two. His brother was at home though.
From the gunny, Robert said he saw the smoke but everyone initially believed the fire started at the nearby Dollar General store. Eventually, he realized it was his home that was on fire and he said his heart sank a bit.
Firefighters from miles away responded to the call. In addition to firefighters from Hegins, Pine Grove, Sacramento, Pitman, Donaldson, and Tremont were joined at the scene by crews from Pottsville and Englewood, according to a report from the scene by The Shenandoah Sentinel.
The Sentinel quotes Hegins Valley Fire Chief Chad Richards stating the fire started in a second-floor bedroom. And the responding fire teams were able to keep the damage mostly limited to that room.
(READ THE SENTINEL’S REPORT: Two displaced by Valley View fire)
“I want to thank all of them,” Schneider said of the firefighters who came out to assist Sunday. “I can’t believe there were so many of them.”
He also thanked the paramedics who helped get his brother to the hospital.
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Photos: Coal Region Canary