Fire struck the China One building on Main Street in Reynoldsville shortly after 7:30 p.m. on July 31.
Members of the Reynoldsville Police Department, who were attending the borough council meeting in the municipal building next door, were alerted and called in the fire. The rest of the people in the meeting were evacuated.
Off-duty officer Jeffrey Winfield grabbed a fire extinguisher and began knocking down the flames that were rolling out the top of the store-front window and business owner Dave Wruble joined him with another one. Heavy smoke began to pour out of the building as fire units arrived.
Reynoldsville Fire Chief Darren Scolese called in what he termed a “high hazard box” to Jefferson County Control which then dispatched other units to assist. Chief Scolese said this plan had been put in place for just such an emergency. Units from Sykesville, McAlmont Township, Brookville, Pine Creek Township, DuBois and West Sandy responded.
Firefighters knocked the flames down quickly and then began to tear at the ceiling to make sure the flames had been contained. Chief Scolese said the fire was located between the false ceiling and the floor of the unoccupied apartments above.
The Reynoldsville Library is in the municipal building adjacent to the China One building, but a fire wall protected it from damage.
Reports indicate damage estimates were set at around $20,000. The building was not insured. A State Police Fire Marshall has been called in to assist in the investigation.
There were no injuries.
Note: updated 11:30 p.m. July 31 to add damage estimates.