Two firefighters were sent to Memorial Hospital after falling through a floor of a home damaged by fire in Chanceford Township Friday morning.

The firefighters walked out of the fire on their own power and were sent to the hospital for observation as a precautionary measure, said Terry Shelbaker, deputy fire chief of the New Bridgeville Memorial Fire Co.

The blaze was caused by an accidental chimney fire and was reported about 8:30 a.m., Shelbaker said. The two residents in the home were not there at the time the fire started, Shelbaker said. Three dogs and some birds were rescued from the home.

Snelbaker said the fire destroyed the second and third floors of the home, which is more than 100 years old. The first floor was salvaged after measures taken by emergency responders, he said.

Complications: Shelbaker said the cold temperatures added to the complications of fighting the fire: Several trucks froze during the response. In addition, the nearest fire hydrant was several miles away. Shelbaker said emergency crews used tanker shuttles to transport water to the scene.

Shalbaker said in a rural area such as Brogue, emergency crews will often use ponds as water sources because of the lack of hydrants. But because the ponds were frozen, Shelbaker said it was too much of a risk to have firefighters attempting to cut through the ice.

The Red Cross will be assisting the family and provided refreshments for more than 100 firefighters on scene, according to a release from the organization.

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