Fire hits Lancaster City
Story and photos by Glenn
||Severe thunderstorms rocked Lancaster
County Pennsylvania on Thursday afternoon, June 17, 2004. Up to 5 inches
of rain fell in a series of violent outbursts.
Just before 4:00 PM, a local TV stations
sky cam recorded a lightning strike in the southwest side of Lancaster
city. Minutes later, as streets were flooded and the rain was beginning
to subside, a report of a dwelling fire was received for the 500 block
of Manor Street, the same vicinity as the lightning strike. Companies from
the Lancaster Bureau of Fire were already out on numerous alarms, and the
first arriving Battalion Chief found heavy smoke issuing from an attached
row frame home in this densely populated inner city neighborhood. Neighbors
had reported the possibility of 3 persons trapped inside the burning row
Battalion Chief Tim Greg immediately transmitted
a second then a third alarm for manpower. An off duty shift responded to
assist the on duty members.
||Arriving City firefighters made an aggressive
interior attack through the front of the home and stopped heavy fire on
the first and second floor of the multiple unit dwelling. Though heavy
fire was showing out the rear, the fire did not extend into exposures on
either side. A primary search of the building found all units were unoccupied
at the time of the fire. There were no civilian injuries. The fire was
contained and under control in less than 1 hour.
During the fire, off duty crews and neighboring
companies handled a number of other alarms in the city. The Lancaster Bureau
of Fire was hit with a 3 person manpower layoff early this year, and routinely
is forced to place 1 or more units out of service due to staffing. This
alarm was handled with 3 engines and 1 truck company, as the second ladder
was out of service. Lancaster City is a densely populated city with over
40,000 residents in an area of less than 2 square miles.