Washington Twp. family loses home to Thanksgiving eve fire

Jason Addy, York Dispatch

A Washington Township home burned to the ground Wednesday night while its owners were on their way to Virginia for Thanksgiving.  

Firefighters work at the scene of a house fire on Bentz Mill Road on Wednesday night.

Nachelle Whitmoyer said she and her family left their home on Bentz Mill Road about 7 p.m. to drive to her daughter’s home for the holiday. About 8:20 p.m, while Whitmoyer was driving through Maryland, her neighbors called to let her know her house was on fire.

Authorities received multiple calls about the fire at the same time, Wellsville Fire Chief Larry Anderson said. The house was already engulfed in flames by the time first responders arrived, Anderson said.

Eleven fire companies from York, Adams and Cumberland counties responded to the fire, Anderson said.

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No one was injured in the fire, with Whitmoyer and her husband, son, grandson, mother and two dogs all on their way to Virginia.  

When the family returned, there was “absolutely nothing left” of the house, she said, though firefighters were still trying to put out the blaze.

Also damaged by the flames were four vehicles, two of which were totaled, Whitmoyer said.

The fire was so hot that the siding on the house across the street began to melt, she added.

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Whitmoyer said she and her family had been staying in a hotel since the fire, but on Friday they pulled their camper out of the backyard. They plan to take the camper to a friend’s house and live there for the foreseeable future, she said.

Whitmoyer was in relatively good spirits Friday, after having a few days to process everything.

“What am I going to do?” she said. “My family’s safe. My dogs are safe. Thank God I have house insurance.”

Whitmoyer said she and her husband will begin clearing the ground to rebuild.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by the Whitmoyers' neighbors to help them replace some of what they lost. The page is accepting monetary and clothing donations for the family. It can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/help-for-george-and-nachelle.