Fire destroys vacant Dover Twp. house

Liz Evans Scolforo

Fire destroyed a vacant home in Dover Township on Tuesday morning, according to a fire official, who said a state police fire marshal is still investigating the cause of the blaze.

A vacant house at 3500 Partridge Drive that was destroyed by fire is shown in Dover Township, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Dover Township Deputy Fire Chief Brian Widmayer said no one was hurt battling the blaze at 3550 Partridge Drive.

Crews were called there about 6 a.m., he said, and had the fire under control in about 15 minutes.

"There was fire showing from the front right corner of the home, the right side of the home and the whole back of the house upon arrival," Widmayer said.

The back yard of a vacant home at 3500 Partridge Drive that was destroyed by fire is shown in Dover Township, Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A backyard gazebo connected to the house by a wooden deck also was on fire, he said.

Crews did an initial exterior attack to knock down flames, then tried unsuccessfully to go inside.

"They found the floor was burned through on the first floor," Widmayer said, making it dangerous to tread on.

Searched inside: Crews used a ladder to get to the second floor so they could search for anyone inside, he said.

"We were told it was vacant, but we wanted to make sure," Widmayer said. "Neighbors said it hasn't been occupied since December or January."

After getting flames under control, it took firefighters an additional 30 to 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze, according to Widmayer. That's because there were numerous hot spots to douse, he said.

"The home is a complete loss" and must be torn down, Widmayer said. A damage estimate was not available Tuesday.

PSP on scene: Trooper Terry Carberry, a state police fire marshal, is investigating the cause of the blaze, according to Widmayer.

It was not immediately clear whether the fire started in the house and spread to the gazebo or vice versa, he said, and he confirmed there was still electric service to the vacant house.

Firefighters were on scene within five minutes of being dispatched, which saved a shed that had started to melt — and that shed was near a neighbor's home, Widmayer said. Had response time been slower, the neighbor's house could have been at risk, he said.

Widmayer said officials are trying to track down the owner of the house. Anyone with information about that is asked to call Northern York County Regional Police at (717) 292-3647.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at