Fire damage minimal at vacant Arkville house

By Brian Sweeney
A vacant home on Dry Brook Road, Arkville sustained only minor damage from a fire last Tuesday evening. The fire at a house owned by William Pyles started on an enclosed back porch. The porch was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, but they were able to bring the blaze under control in about 10 minutes.
Arkville Fire Chief Robert Sweeney said that, in addition to destroying the porch, the fire caused slight damage to the adjacent kitchen ceiling and a small area of a bedroom floor above the kitchen. There was also smoke damage throughout the house.
About 50 firefighters from Arkville, Margaretville, Halcottsville and Fleischmanns assisted at the scene. The Pine Hill Fire Department provided mutual aid standby.
Some of the volunteers remained on the scene until about 1 a.m. making certain that the fire had not spread to other parts of the house. The structure, built in the 1870s, has “balloon construction” that can allow fire to easily travel through the walls.
A neighbor called in the blaze about 6 p.m. Tuesday after spotting smoke billowing from the back porch.
The vacant house has been for sale for several years, but it did have active utilities. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Delaware County Emergency Services Department.