House fire displaces six IUP students

Jerome Myers stands in front of his recently burnt home on 506 S. Seventh St. (Ashley Meredith/ The Penn)

A fire left two rented houses in Indiana’s 3rd Ward ravaged Tuesday morning and seven tenants, including six Indiana University of Pennsylvania students, homeless.

The six Indiana University of Pennsylvania students lived at 504 S. Seventh St., and none were injured in the fire.

“At the time of the fire, there were three people on our floor,” Chase Gunn (sophomore, small business and entrepreneurship) said in a March 4 interview. “We woke up and had to climb out a window because our stairs were on fire.”

Gunn said he and the other students have been provided with on-campus housing at IUP.

The fire, discovered at 2:57 a.m., according to 1st Assistant Fire Chief Paul Koons, is believed to have started at 506 S. Seventh St. and spread to the nearby structure.

Koons said more than 50 firefighters from the Homer-Center, Coral-Graceton, Cherryhill Township and Clymer fire companies assisted the Indiana fire department at the scene, working for hours to extinguish the fire, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Firefighters had the fire under control at approximately 6:30 a.m. but were on-scene until about 8:30 a.m., according to Koons.

The lone resident of 506 S. Seventh St., Jerome Myers, 29, was in Carlisle at the time and received the call about the fire at approximately 4 a.m.

Myers said that when he arrived at the remains of his house at approximately 6:15 a.m., the fire was essentially out.

Myers said he is fortunate to have a suitcase of things packed at all times due to his frequent travels, and he has plenty of friends that he can stay with.

“I am fortunate that I have renters insurance,” Myers said, “so all of the things are going to be replaced. The best advice I could give is it’s worth $15 a month to get $15,000 worth of your stuff back rather than having nothing. Having a renters insurance policy has definitely been helpful.”