Penn-Jersey Mart fire not suspicious

Published: 4/20/2017 10:00 AM
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SHAMOKIN — Shamokin Fire Chief Jason Zimmerman said the cause of Monday evening’s fire that burned through Penn-Jersey Mart, 316 N. Shamokin St., and gutted the upstairs apartments is not believed to be suspicious.

Zimmerman said Wednesday officials have nailed down the general area where the fire started on the first floor, but will not be releasing more information until after meeting with insurance company adjusters Friday.

The fire began shortly before 10 p.m. Monday and continued to smolder Tuesday afternoon in the vacant adjoining building at 314 N. Shamokin St. An excavator was brought in to flatten out rubble and remove a wall to better access the flames.

The public safety hazard in the back of the building, which collapsed around 11:30 p.m. Monday, was taken care of Tuesday, Zimmerman said.

Two people were displaced from apartments above Penn-Jersey Mart, and little in the business could be salvaged. It is up to the building owner, Surinder Pal Singh, of Lebanon, to decide if he’d like to rebuild or not. Singh said on Tuesday his decision would be made after speaking with his insurance company.

Zimmerman expressed his appreciation to the local businesses and residents that provided water and food to fire departments while on scene.

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