EAST ALLEN TWP., Pa. - He's used to fighting flames, but Friday, a retired Allentown fire captain could only watch as his home burned.
Mike Scheirer spent two decades as a firefighter. His brother, Robert, recently retired as chief.
Scheirer's home caught fire just before noon in the 6000 block of Bullhead Road in East Allen Township, Northampton County.
"I was a career fireman, and you don't expect it to happen to you," he said. "Now I'm seeing the other side of it."
Fire consumed the attic and a second floor bedroom of Scheirer's home. The rest of the home suffered serious smoke and water damage, according to East Allen Twp. Fire Chief Barry Frantz.
Scheirer's wife was inside, but was able to escape the flames. No one else was home.
"I ran in quick. I told her, grab the dogs and get out. You know, the house is on fire," Scheirer said. "We got the dogs out, but we didn't get the cat."
It was a scary scene for workers at the Weaversville Inn across the street.
"Smoke was coming out the top window; stuff started busting out and it started catching on fire down on the grass," said Jessica Caley, a chef at the hotel.
As bad as the damage was, Frantz said Scheirer's firefighting experience helped minimize the damage.
"He was very helpful with us when we got on the scene," said Frantz. "He kind of told us what we needed to know. He knew exactly where we should go to fight -- to get to the fire."
Scheirer said the home is insured, but their future plans are uncertain.
Frantz said the fire was ruled accidental and was electrical in nature.
The second floor suffered extensive fire damage, and the first floor had extensive water and smoke damage.
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