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Willow Grove Fire Displaces Five

A fire last night in the Willow Grove section of Abington was under control quickly, but left five people homeless.

Fire and EMS crews responded to a fire last night at a house in the 1900 block of Osbourne Avenue in the Willow Grove section of Abington.

The call came in at about 8:45 p.m. Abington Assistant Fire Marshal John Rohrer said the fire was under control quickly — about 10 minutes — and said that no one was home during the fire.

“Roslyn Chief Dale Jonas and two police officers were among the first to arrive on the scene,” Rohrer said. “There was heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear windows of the house. It was a quick knock down and there were no injuries.”

A North Hills resident actually placed the call to 9-1-1. Danielle Calci said she was leaving her friend’s house at about 8:45 p.m. when she noticed the house across the street was on fire.

“I came out and saw smoke and flames coming from the house across the street,” Calci said. “I knew it wasn’t a bonfire, so I came back in and made the call.”

Calci’s friend Jackie Schwanbeck, who lives in the corner of Osbourne and Henry avenues, said she ran across the street and started banging on the doors of the house. She said that there are three children who live in the house, and said that her daughter walks to school with them. Schwanbeck said she found out that the mother and the three children were at a prayer meeting at the time of the fire.

Abington Fire Marshal Ken Clark confirmed that the mother and her three children were at a church gathering during the fire; he added that the father is out of town.

Clark said the fire likely started in a rear bedroom. He added that there is “significant damage” to the home, but said the structure can be saved.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Clark said.  

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kristie November 29, 2012 at 04:57 PM
is there a place in town to make donations for those children?
Mischa Arnosky (Editor) November 29, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Hi Kristie. I'm waiting to hear back from the Fire Marshal regarding donations.
Rachel markey November 29, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Hi kristie! This is actually a friend of my daughters house and her neighbor is collecting donations for them. If you would like to give me your email address I can send you over the info. Thanks!!
Peggy Myers November 29, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Monitary donations can also be made to "CAPT" - Citizens and Police Together at the Abington Police Department - 1166 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001. We are waiting for confirmation on a location to drop off material donations for the family. If anyone would like to send a check - pls indicate "Osbourne Fire" . Many thanks, Peggy Myers - Commissioner

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