Structure fire

Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department responds to a reported structure fire at Big Oaks Inn, Coudersport, last Friday, Sept. 24.

Last Friday, Sept. 24, was a busy day for Coudersport Volunteer Fire Department and other area emergency crews, who responded to a three-car crash and structure fire around the same time.

The Coudersport department first responded to a three-car crash on Route 44, Hebron Township, at around 12:30 p.m.

According to a state police report, a car driven by Lisa A. Harris, 60, of Port Allegany, allegedly made a left turn and hit a car driven by Janice A. Watson, 60, of Shinglehouse. That reportedly caused Watson’s car to hit a third, unoccupied vehicle that was legally parked at Tall Pines Mercantile.

Harris and one of her passengers, Joseph J. Bjornvick, 58, of Minneapolis, Minn., were both uninjured. Both Watson and Harris’ other passenger, Michele A. Wurst, 66, of Minneapolis, Minn., suffered injuries of unknown severity. All except Bjornvick, who reportedly refused medical treatment, were transported by Coudersport Ambulance to Olean General Hospital.

According to a Facebook post by Coudersport Fire Department, two people involved in the crash had to be extricated from the vehicles. Route 44 was shut down while crews tended to the patients and cleared the scene.

Coudersport fire and state police were assisted at the scene by fire crews from Austin and Shinglehouse, medics from Coudersport and Olean, N.Y., Kightlinger and Blacks Towing services and PennDOT.

Coudersport department’s Facebook post says just prior to arriving on scene at the crash, units were called to a structure fire at 515 E. Second St., Coudersport. A tanker re-routed to the fire along with units from Roulette and Port Allegany.

The fire was reported in an upstairs room at the Big Oaks Inn. An investigation found that a motor reportedly burnt, causing smoke to travel through the building’s ductwork to the second floor.

“Crews where able to isolate the situation and had it under control in a short amount of time and checked for extension of the fire. Crews found none,” said the Coudersport Fire Department’s Facebook.

After the crash and fire calls, Coudersport crews were back in quarters at around 3:30 p.m. The department also posted a reminder to those driving near the scene of emergencies.

“It was reported while at the scene of the fire, a motorist drove over our supply line (5” hose),” said the Facebook post. “Unless a properly authorized individual directed you to do so, it’s illegal. Please stop, you could jeopardize fire fighting operations and hurt or severely injury someone.”

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