Fairview Township home destroyed in Tuesday fire
A Fairview Township fire sent one person to the hospital and brought in fire companies from three counties, according to a fire official.
Fairview Township Fire Chief Chris Weidenhammer said the fire at a ranch home in the 200 block of Evergreen Road sent the sole occupant, a man in his 30s, to the hospital with minor burns. A cat died in the fire, he said.
The fire, he said, was likely caused by unattended smoking.
'Fully involved': Weidenhammer said the house was fully engulfed within minutes. The fire was reported just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, and it took fire officials seven minutes to get there, he said.
Weidenhammer said police arrived at the scene a minute after the call and that it was already bad when police got there.
“It was fully involved through the roof," he said.
Some people could see the fire from the Giant about a mile away, according to the chief.
Weidenhammer said it took firefighters about an hour to have the fire under control. Fire officials were there for about three hours in total doing overhaul.
The damage was estimated to be near $200,000, with $50,000 coming from the contents of the home and the other $150,000 from the home itself, Weidenhammer said. The home is a total loss, and nothing was salvageable.
The chief said multiple departments came to assist, including one from Dauphin County and another from Cumberland County.
He estimated about 50 firefighters helped fight the blaze. None of them were injured during the fire.
Cause: The chief said it looks as though unattended smoking was the cause of the fire. Weidenhammer said officials believe the man was smoking on the couch in the living room and a cigarette was unattended, causing the fire.
The man was sleeping when the fire started, but he was able to make it out OK. The chief said the man suffered minor burns and was sent to Holy Spirit Hospital in Harrisburg for treatment.
The man's cat did not survive the fire.
The Red Cross will assist the man displaced in the fire.
Weidenhammer called the fire "unbelievable."
"For it to be basically lost that quickly, it's something you don't see very often," he said.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.