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FIRE DESTROYS HOME, PUTS GIRL, 17, IN HOSPITAL

Fire on Christmas Eve destroyed the Reiny family's one-room home and all its contents and sent a teen-age daughter to Erie County Medical Center with burns.

Jessica Reiny, 17, was listed in critical condition Friday night in the burn treatment unit of the medical center in Buffalo.

Allentown Fire Chief Shaun Taylor said the family "lost everything. All they have is the clothes on their backs."

His Fire Department is organizing a campaign to replace the family's lost belongings.

Taylor said his department, with assistance from Alma, Petrolia, Scio, Wellsville, Willing and Bolivar, fought unsuccessfully to save the home.

The alarm was sounded at 2:30 p.m.

Taylor said it appears a wood-stove chimney ignited and flames broke through the chimney wall into the structure's ceiling.

Jessica "was asleep in the loft," he said, and suffered first- and second-degree burns to her head and upper torso before escaping the inferno. She was taken by Wellsville ambulance to Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, then flown in a Mercy Flight helicopter to Buffalo.

Taylor said his department and the Allegany County Red Cross Chapter are cooperating in the collection of "anything and everything" for the family, which is staying for now with relatives.

He has asked those willing to help contact him at 593-3486, or his sister, Molly Stirk, at 593-7131, to arrange to drop off donations.

He said the family will need clothing, furniture, utensils and food at least.

Roger and Anisa Reiny also have a 12-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter.

Taylor said the family had moved this summer into a hunting cabin, essentially "a one-room living space" with the loft, and was working on converting it into a larger residence.

He said the Reinys had no phone in the house and had to go several hundred yards to a neighbor's house to call in the fire alarm.

"The house was pretty much engulfed when we got there," said Taylor.

It is about three-quarters of a mile north of Allentown on White Hill Road, near its intersection with McKee Road.

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