Fire hits two homes in York City

Christopher Dornblaser

A fire broke out in York City that displaced five people living in a duplex and claimed the lives of three dogs Tuesday afternoon.

Responders were dispatched at 4:34 p.m. to the 500 block Susquehanna Avenue, just east of Queen Street, for reports of a home on fire, according to York County 911's website. At the scene, nearby roads were closed as firefighters attempted to put out the fire.

Two homes were affected by the fire, according to York City Fire Chief David Michaels.

Michaels said the crews were faced with a lot of fire when they arrived.

Firefighters battle a blaze in the 500 block of Susquehanna Ave., Tuesday,  March 15, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

"The crews had a big fire when we got here," Michaels said.

He said the it took responders about 30-45 minutes to have the fire under control and estimated the damage at around $100,000.

Three dogs died in the fire, according to Edwin Wallace, a resident of one of the homes. He said he was walking one of his dogs when he saw smoke coming from the home.

"We didn't get to College Avenue and smoke was in the sky," Wallace said.

Normally, Wallace said, his dogs would greet him when he opened the door to the home. However, Wallace said a police officer told him to stay back before he got the chance to get his dogs.

"So what you're saying is my dogs are going to burn up or suffocate," he said.

Michaels said they try to do their best when they receive calls like that.

"When we get those reports, we do everything that we can," he said, adding that one dog made it out of the fire.

Michaels did not immediately have a cause for the fire and said a fire marshal would be investigating the cause.

Wallace said Met-Ed workers were at the scene before the fire, turning on the electricity in one of the homes, and one of the meters had sparked when they were working on it.

Davall Lynn, a friend of one of the occupants, said he had just helped move one of them in recently and the electricity was not on.

Lynn said he had just given one of the dogs to a girl who lived in one of the homes.

"She just lost everything," Lynn said.

At around 7 p.m., fire crews were still clearing the scene.

The Red Cross was assisting those displaced in the fire.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at

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