Fire damages Avon residence; state fire investigators to determine cause


AVON — About 20 firefighters from three departments responded to a fire late Monday that damaged the residence of Daryl “Poochie” Searles at 148 Avon Valley Road, Phillips Fire Chief James Gould said.

State fire investigators are investigating the cause, he said.

“We can’t say if it was accidental or a set fire. The fire marshals will determine that,” Gould said.

Searles’ girlfriend, Susie Georgiardy, woke up at about 11:30 p.m. to smoke in the bedroom and called 911.

She had to go through the fire between the bedroom and porch to get out of the residence, Gould said.

The fire started on an exterior wall of the porch and burned its way to the bedroom area, he said.

Firefighters knocked down the fire in about 20 minutes and checked for any extension to the roof area. 

The home was not insured.

Originally, the building was a railroad boxcar and then a camp was built around it, which made it a little difficult to fight the fire, Gould said.

Phillips firefighters were assisted by the Strong and Salem Township fire departments.

Georgiardy escaped without injury. She spent the night in another building on the property.

Searles was not at the residence. He was sentenced in January to serve three years of a 10-year sentence in prison on a conviction of trafficking in illegal drugs, including oxycodone.

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