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Fire Destroys Washington Twp. Home
Written by Staff Report

            Fire broke out in a home in the unit block of Avalon Circle in Washington Township around 2 p.m. on Saturday sending dense flame and dense smoke high into the afternoon sky.

Fire destroyed this home in the unit block of Avelon Circle in Washing-

ington Township on Saturday afternoon.


            The Eastern Berks Fire Department responded quickly to the call.  Fire Chief Mike Mutter reported a column of smoke could be seen from Bally and quickly called for a second alarm to dispatch additional equipment and personnel to the scene. 

            Deputy Chief Chris Schaeffer arrived and reported heavy fire in the structure.  Fed by blowing winds, the house became fully involved in flames in minutes.  According to a department press release, the volunteer firefighters fought a defensive attack to keep the fire from spreading to other homes.

            Fire company tank trucks were dispatched to augment the fire-hydrant water supply.  A tanker fill site was set up on County Line Road.

            After about one-half hour the bulk of the fire was contained but the destruction left residents Sarah and Alex Bruckner, their three children, and Sarah's mother without their home.   Alex is a sergeant with the Hatboro police department.

            Three nearby homes suffered minor damage.  There were no reported injuries.  The cause of the fire was investigated by local and state fire marshals.

            According to the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal, the cause of the fire is classified as accidental. Malfunction of electrical equipment and/or electrical appliances on the rear elevated deck were the cause of the fire.

            The report also included that, due to the extensive damage, the exact failure of those items could not be determined. The homeowners were home at the time the fire was discovered.

            After calling 911, the husband attempted to extinguish the fire with a small fire extinguisher, however the fire extinguisher was ineffective. All occupants and their dog were able to safely escape without injuries. A pet turtle in the basement did not survive the fire.

           The family is currently being assisted by other family members. No firefighters sustained any injuries. The house is an entire loss and damages are expected to be in excess of $750,000.

            Additional units responding included, from Berks County, Boyertown, Earl Twp., and Hereford fire companies. From Montgomery County, Gilbertsville, New Hanover, and Pennsburg fire companies. Emergency medical units responding included Bally Gilberstville, Macungie, and Topton.

            Also responding was the Keystone Water Rescue, to provide mobile air cylinder refilling, and the Salvation Army Canteen truck.

            Firefighters were on the scene for about five hours.

            The Montgomery County Hero Fund is collecting donations to help Sgt. Bruckner and his family as they recover.  You can donate by going to – 100% of any money raised will go to the family.

            A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help the family.  It can be found at






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