York City fire displaces four, injures three

A York City fire displaced four people and sent three firefighters to the hospital, according to a fire official.

York City Fire Chief David Michaels said an early morning four-alarm fire in the 500 block of West King Street Tuesday, July 3, heavily damaged the duplex and damaged a neighboring home.

A vine-covered fence separates two homes in the 500 block of West King Street. Fighters were dispatched to 541 West King St. for an early morning fire. Three homes were damaged during the four-alarm fire in York City, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Only one of the homes was occupied at the time of the fire, of which the three adults and one child were able to escape without injury. Three firefighters were treated for injuries in the fire; two were heat-related and one for a fall. Dawn J. Sagert

Two firefighters were sent to York Hospital for heat exhaustion, and a third was sent there after a fall. Michaels said Tuesday afternoon that two of three had already been released from the hospital.

Fire: Michaels said the fire was called in about 3:45 a.m., and "we had heavy fire when crews arrived here." 

Eventually the fire was upgraded to four alarms, according to the chief.

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“Mainly that was due to get crews in to rotate them out due to extreme heat that we’re experiencing," he said.

Neighboring fire departments, including West York, West Manchester, Dover Township and York Township, helped fight the early morning fire, according to Michaels.

The chief said the department determined that the fire started at 539 W. King St., which is the unit on the east side of the duplex. The unit, Michaels said, had been condemned by the fire department before the fire.

But Michaels said in situations where buildings are condemned, the owners are allowed on the property during daylight hours to work on the building so it will no longer be condemned. 

Michaels said officials know who the owner is and that he was not living in the building at the time of the fire. As of Tuesday afternoon, the cause was still undetermined, according to the chief.

During the time of the fire, York County was among several counties in the state placed under an extreme heat warning by the National Weather Service. The service said the maximum heat index for the area would be between 105 and 110 degrees, with higher values in urban areas.

Michaels said the department was prepared for the extreme heat, and that EMS crews assisted in treating firefighters on the scene for the heat. 

According to the chief, three adults and one child were in the other unit of the duplex at the time of the fire, but they were able to get out safely. A dog in their unit died during the fire, the chief said.

A neighboring home was also empty because the residents were on vacation at the time of the fire, he said. Michaels said once the residents come home from vacation they will be temporarily displaced due to smoke damage.

Michaels estimated the damage at $250,000 between all three buildings.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.