BROOKVILLE – A house fire in Brookville that displaced a family on New Year’s Day has been ruled as arson, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania State Police.
The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal, Brookville Volunteer Fire Company and Brookville Police Department investigated a fire that occurred at 130 Western Ave. on January 1 around 4:50 p.m. During the investigation, it was determined an unknown person, or persons, intentionally set the house on fire, according to the news release. Through investigation, the fire is being classified as an arson, state police said.
“Through my examination of that scene, there is no other explanation other than arson as the cause,” Trooper Russell Stewart, state police investigating officer, told The Courier Express. “All evidence points to that.”
Local fire departments were dispatched for a report of flames showing at the home. Initially Brookville Volunteer Fire Company, Reynoldsville Volunteer Fire Company, Pine Creek Volunteer Fire Department, J.E DuBois Hose Co. 3, and Jefferson County EMS were dispatched.
Following the first arrivals on scene, it was reported to Jefferson County 911 that the structure was fully involved and a second alarm was called. Warsaw Township Volunteer Fire Company, Sigel Volunteer Fire Company, Summerville Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Sykesville Volunteer Fire Department and Brockway Volunteer Hose Company were also dispatched.
Firefighters remained on scene for several hours to contain the blaze, clearing the scene at 12:38 a.m. on Jan. 2.
The victim, listed as Nathaniel Davis, along with his wife and three children were not home at the time of the fire, according to state police. Three dogs and two cats died in the fire, the news release said.
“Our objective is to find the individual or individuals that did this,” Stewart said. “If the public sees or hears anything, I’d ask them to call us.”
The Brookville Borough Police Department released a statement Monday asking for the public’s help with the investigation of the fire.
“Due to the heavy damage that the fire caused, investigators are having a tough time in determining a cause. If you have any information that could help in this investigation please call (814) 849-5323. Your name and information will remain confidential,” the statement read.
Anyone with information related to this ongoing investigation is asked to call Brookville police at (814) 849-5323 or the state police fire marshal in Ridgway at (814) 776-6136.
A GoFundMe for the family was also immediately started, and as of Tuesday evening had raised more than double the goal totaling more than $25,000.
“Well, we hit our mark, I think. $20,000 is mind blowing. Not only did we meet our goal, but we doubled it. The only thing to say is thank you from the bottom of the hearts of my friends and I. We are truly grateful for the support from each and every one of you to help the Davis family get back on their feet. This is only the beginning of a new chapter for the Davises, but the greatness of this small town and the people in it is what makes this restart possible,” said Braeden Long, fundraiser organizer.