Captain: West York toaster fire displaces 14

Sean Philip Cotter

A fire that started in a toaster in a West York row home displaced 14 people.

Crews responded to reports of a fire in the second floor of a row home in the 1200 block of West Poplar Street shortly before 10:30 a.m., and found heavy flames and smoke coming from the back of the building, said West York Fire Capt. Chuck Zienkiewicz.

Firefighters attacked the fire quickly, largely containing the damage to the kitchen area in back, he said. He said it was an accidental fire, caused by unattended cooking.

No one was hurt, the captain said; six adult people and one dog managed to get out of 1200 W. Poplar St., where the fire started in the apartment on the second floor. All are temporarily displaced, he said.

A firefighter motions from a second-floor window while battling a blaze at a West Poplar Street residence Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. Bill Kalina photo

The apartment where the fire started sustained significant fire damage to the back and smoke and heat damage in the front of the brick structure, and the apartment below it suffered extensive water damage, he said.

The adjoining row home at 1202 W. Poplar St. sustained some water and smoke damage, also; the two adults and six kids who live there are also temporarily displaced, the captain said.

In total, the blaze caused about $40,000 to $50,000 in damage, he said.

After the fire was knocked down, smoke continued to rise from the scorched back of the building, and firefighters continued to search for any smoldering remains of the blaze. A crowd of people formed, largely encircling the crews from West York, York City, West Manchester Township, York Area United Fire & Rescue and Dover Township.

Jennifer Chambers, who lives across the street, said she heard a fire truck come screeching up, and looked out the window.

"I seen black smoke rolling out of the front," she said.

She saw the people who live at the address next to the fire coming out of their home, carrying some of their possessions. She said she ran to the next row home over, and helped the elderly residents in there get out of their home.

— Reach Sean Cotter