SOUTH CANAAN TOWNSHIP—The forceful winds gusting through the area on Monday afternoon fueled a house fire like bellows in a forge.

Though none were injured in the blaze, Lake Ariel Volunteer Fire Company (LAVFC) Chief Michael DiPierro said “the house is a total loss.”

LAVFC received the call around noon, said DiPierro and arrived on scene shortly thereafter to find a heavy, wind-driven fire in the structure.

“The wind grows the fire and makes it spread quicker than it usually does,” explained DiPierro, “especially the winds today, [which were] I guess close to 40 miles per hour.”

The chief noted firefighters “were fortunate enough that we had a pond 1000 feet away from the fire scene so we were able to do a direct lay.”

Leaving an engine at the pond and an attack engine handling the blaze, water could be easily ferried to the scene, said DiPierro.

It took around four hours to douse the flames entirely, explained the chief.

In combatting the fire, Lake Ariel was joined by firefighters from the Waymart, Maplewood, Prompton, Seelyville, Honesdale, Jefferson, Madisonville and Hamlin volunteer fire companies.

Representatives from South Canaan Township also assisted with the response, as did responders from Cottage Hose Ambulance.

In total, DiPierro estimated there were 50 first responders on scene.

“Everybody arrived on scene within minutes,” said DiPierro, commending the effort which safely brought the fire down.

As of publication Tuesday afternoon, the cause of the fire was under investigation by the Fire Marshal Unit.

While responders were handling the fire in South Canaan Township, DiPierro noted LAVFC was also dispatched to a motor vehicle accident on Route 191.

Responders from Honesdale and Ledgedale were able to take that call, DiPierro said with gratitude.