Accidental fire damages W. Manchester rehab facility

An accidental fire at a West Manchester Township rehab facility caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, according to a fire official.

West Manchester Township Fire Chief Clif Laughman said the fire at Colonial House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, damaged the entirety of the first floor.

The fire was reported just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Laughman said the fire is believed to have started in the janitor's closet on the first floor, and it then spread throughout the floor.

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"We're thinking it was a malfunctioning fan," he said, adding that the fire was ruled accidental. 

The chief said the first floor of the facility is a total loss, with about half of it damaged by smoke and the other half damaged by fire. He estimated the damage between $600,000 and $700,000.

Fire: Laughman said the residents, between 35 and 40 people, were displaced. He said he believes they are being taken to other rehab facilities.

The residents were inside the facility during the fire, but all were evacuated safely.

The fire, he said, took about 15 minutes to get under control. Fire officials spent just under three hours there total.

Laughman said he called the fire in as a second alarm to get additional manpower.

“It’s a big facility; trying to get access ... was a little bit challenging," he said.

Seven departments assisted in the fire, including York City, West York and Dover.

"I'm thinking about 35 to 40 (firefighters) total," he said.

Laughman said a firefighter from West York suffered minor burns and was taken to York Hospital. He is expected to be OK, according to the chief.

A message left for a Colonial House official seeking comment was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.