On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, a fire broke out at Stager Vehicle Sales located on Mack Road in Covington Township around 3PM. This was a multiple alarm fire. Fire crews from Mansfield, Blossburg, Wellsboro, Liberty, Lawrenceville, Chatham, Big Elm, Middlebury, Morris, Canton, Tioga, as well as, a few other departments worked on fighting the huge blaze.
The on scene report stated that the building was completely engulfed in flames when the first fire crews arrived on scene. The heavy black smoke could be seen all the way from Lawrenceville, PA.
The fire was devastating to the family, who built this business and ran it for many years. The building was a complete loss as was everything inside it. Employees and family worked hard to save everything they could. They even used a fork lift to move cars safely out of the way.
Crews battled long and hard as teams of firefighters came in to replace others that needed to rehydrate with water as the heat from the fire was extremely hot and dangerous.
Two firefighters were treated at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital for injuries they received while fighting the garage fire. While FNN was on scene one firefighter received a cut to his head as a piece of sheet metal cut him as it was being torn down and moved. The second firefighter was transported to the hospital as a safety precaution, as it was believed he was suffering from possible overexertion.
FNN did speak to several individuals at the scene. And many were simply shocked that this happened. “It is a devastating blow to the family and a complete loss of the building,” said one individual. A very costly fire this one was,” he added shaking his head.
It was learned that the fire was started when sparks from equipment that was being used came in contact with gasoline. Although three workers tried to put out the fire with extinguishers the flames spread to fast. The employees quickly started moving vehicles away from the rapidly growing fire.
The building was quickly engulfed in flames before fire crews even arrived on scene.
It was stated that the family did have some insurance, but estimates given to FNN stated that the total loss could easily tally up over a million dollars.
Prayers are extended to the Stager family as they figure out what they need to do next to get the business back up and running. Stager’s business is widely known throughout Tioga County, PA and beyond for their car sales and car parts.sales.