Firefighters gaining ground on Centerville fire

By Jim Madalinsky

Published 04/23 2014 05:10PM

Updated 04/23 2014 06:22PM

CENTERVILLE, BEDFORD COUNTY – Officials say the wildfire burning on a mountain near the Cumberland Valley Fire Company is 70 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon.

The news comes as a relief to Centerville residents who were afraid high winds would mean big trouble.

“We were scared,” said Vickie Hagenbuch of Centerville. “Everyone was scared but we have a really good fire department and a really good group of people over there that came together.”

Hagenbuch, along with most people in Centerville, watched anxiously as crews have battled the Bear Den Fire for five days.

“It overwhelmed me,” said Hagenbuch. “There's times I sat and cried. There's people I know that live up there and I care about them. Don't want to get emotional but we've got god on our side and we've all been praying.”

Firefighters got some help Tuesday night as rain fell over the fire which has already burned 900 acres.

“I was hoping for more rain,” said Hazel Stiffler, a lifelong Centerville resident who has never seen anything like this fire.

“It’s been kinda rough,” said Stiffler. “Looking over you can see the fire but I know they’re taking care of us.”
An outpouring of support from the region is making sure the firefighters are being taken care of.

“I have never seen such an outpouring of support like I have seen on this fire,” said Glenn Bell, Public Information Officer for DCNR.

Volunteers are keeping the firefighters fed and so many cases of water have been dropped off at Cumberland Valley Fire Company they have asked people to stop donating.

It’s a perfect example of a small town and a region working together to make the best out of a bad situation.

“We never knew we had so much support in our small town and we do,” said Hagenbuch.

Barring any new developments, officials plan to start scaling back the number of firefighters Thursday and hope to have all the work done by Friday.

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