A fire in Cambria killed one and completely destroyed a home on Nov. 28. By the time the fire department was notified and arrived at the Lodge Hill neighborhood, fire had engulfed the home; flames had broken through the roof; natural gas was feeding the flames; downed power lines were threatening neighboring homes; and a van, owned by the homeowner, was on fire.
"When you have total involvement it's really unrealistic that anyone would be able to survive," said Cambria's assistant fire chief, Mark Miller.
Fire crews immediately attempted to contain the fire, which posed a threat to two neighboring homes.
"It was pretty amazing that they were able to contain it," said Miller. "I was really happy with the job that was done by the arrival crews and the [following] crews."
Miller said a fire in the fireplace likely started the house fire. A glass window and screen had been removed from the fireplace and it appeared it had been stuffed with large logs that didn't completely fit into the fireplace. A large amount of "fire load," or flammable materials, was in the house. Miller said there was reason to believe that no smoke alarm went off, and there were no sprinklers in the house.
"It was kind of a prescription for disaster," said Miller.
Robert Vidali, who is assumed to be the sole casualty of the fire, owned the home. A positive identification has not yet been made.