Fundraising is being done to assist the family of Williams Valley School district teacher, whose Tower City residence was completely destroyed in a fire on Friday.
The 50/50 lottery has so far raised over $3,800. Money will be divided between the winning family and the 50/50 raffle winner.
Brian Leiter, the president of Muir Volunteer Fire Company started the raffle shortly after the house fire that occurred at 31 E. Grand Ave., the residence of Susan Diegert, a teacher, and Gary Diegert, her husband. Fire caused damage from smoke, heat and even water to the homes of Susan Diegert and Gary at 31 E. Grand Ave.
Leiter stated, “I am just happy we could do something for her in her hour of need.”
On the MVFC Online Fundraising page on Facebook, you can buy raffle tickets for $5. The raffle ends at 11 pm on December 5. At 7 pm on Dec. 6, the winner will be announced.
A Facebook raffle post reads: “Please keep her, her family and friends in your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.”
Diegert taught Leiter in fifth grade. She was “very kind and willing to assist her students,” he said.
John Mika, the former President of the Williams Valley School Board, described Diegert, as a person who works tirelessly with students at the elementary school.
Tower City’s Fire Chief Michael Keiter stated that the fire, which was a three-alarm incident, caused extensive damages to 31 E. Grand Ave.
He said, “I’d say that the house was a complete loss.”
Keiter stated that the fire was still being investigated, although he leans toward a conclusion of accidental. An investigation was conducted by a Reading state police fire marshal.
Keiter stated that “we do believe the fire started at first floor.”
They called 911 when they were at home. The couple escaped along with their dog.
The chief stated, “We were pretty aggressive in our attack. We knocked them down fairly quickly.”
Keiter stated that two firefighters from Tower City and Muir fell through the flooring but were OK. Both firefighters were assessed by EMS at the scene.
Keiter stated that the majority of damage was caused to neighboring property’s exterior.
Keiter revealed that John Keiter lives in Tower City at 27 E. Grand Ave. and Tony and Jan Mione live at 35 E. Grand Ave. They are the in-laws to Eric Schwalm’s, Orwin’s, fire chief.
The fire started in a chimney and quickly spread up to the roof. It was however contained within 15 minutes of firefighters arriving.
Brad Zimmerman of Pine Grove Township Ravine Fire Company described the damage to the home as being moderate to major. He estimated that the damages could reach $75,000.
Zimmerman didn’t know the owner of the home, but said that they had been displaced from their residence and were staying in a neighboring house.
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