Fire completely destroyed a Paupack Township man’s apartment Saturday afternoon.

Fire completely destroyed a Paupack Township man’s apartment Saturday afternoon.

“The flames and smoke came out the door and almost knocked me over,” says 79-year-old Bernie Hertzog of Lakeville, who was uninjured.

Mr. Hertzog says he was outside when the fire occurred at his home, located on Eisenhauer Road. He had just opened the door to retrieve his glasses when the smoke and flames shot out the door, leaving him unable to re-enter his apartment. According to the police report, Mr. Hertzog discovered the fire near his microwave. He says he was using the microwave to heat up some soup and was also using an electric heater under the sink to keep his pipes from freezing.  

Trooper Sandra VanLuvender, State Police at Blooming Grove, says the fire was accidental in nature.

Mr. Hertzog’s apartment was located within a one-level equipment barn owned by Karl Eisenhauer of Lakeville. Lakeville Fire Chief Bobby Boogertman says there wasn’t too much structural damage to the 60 X 120-foot barn, but the apartment was completely destroyed. He says about 65 fire fighters responded from Lakeville, Ledgedale, Hamlin and Lake Ariel.
“They toned out Ledgedale first. They got on scene and did a great job with the knockdown,” Chief Boogertman said. 

Initially there was some confusion as to the fire’s exact location. “A cell phone caller had called it in and there was some confusion as to where it was. Karl Eisenhower owns two farms on Eisenhauer Road ...all within a mile of each other,” Chief Boogertman said.

“When I got there, Ledgedale was already on scene, pulling a hose line off ...The apartment area was fully involved,” he said. The Chief says they were able to remove four or five tractors, but a camper stored close to the apartment sustained extensive damage. Chief Boogertman says they remained on scene for about an hour.

Apartment needed     
In a phone interview Monday, Mr. Hertzog said he was “doing pretty good.” Lake Ariel Fire Chief Lee Glassman, owner of Backdraft Restaurant, was letting him stay in a office building next door to the restaurant.

Friends had given him some clothing, since he’d only escaped with the clothes on his back. “That’s what I call good friends,” he said. Mr. Hertzog lost everything in the flames, including his wallet with about $79, all his important cards, and both pairs of glasses, one for reading, and the other for driving. “Very devastating,” he said, “especially losing my glasses. I can’t hardly see.”     
Mr. Hertzog said he’ll be talking with the American Red Cross today (Tuesday) and hopes to find another apartment within the Paupack, Salem or Lake Township area. “I’m a country boy,” he said.

To the fire departments, he said, “Thanks a lot. They tried their best.”