Chief: Penn Twp. fire causes $1.5 million in damage


A two-alarm fire at a Penn Township pallet company caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage, according to a fire official.

Hanover Area Fire and Rescue Chief Tony Clousher said in a news release Friday, July 20, that a fire damaged the J.F. Rohrbaugh & Co. Thursday, July 19.

Hanover Area Fire and Rescue Chief Anthony Clousher, right, talks with Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshall Trooper Timothy Pray, center, and others at wood pallet manufacturer J.F. Rohrbaugh & Company Friday, July 20, 2018. A fire there destroyed a section of one of the buildings Thursday. Fire investigators were on the scene Friday. Bill Kalina photo

The company manufactures wood packaging products including pallets and crates, according to Clousher.

The company's president, Steve Yelland, said Friday morning that the factory was not operating.

Firefighters battled a blaze at the J.F. Rohrbaugh & Co. in Penn Township,  Thursday, July 19. Photo courtesy of Dakota Bollinger.

"We're evaluating — we still have structure standing," he said. Yelland said he hopes to have the building partially up and running and said he'd know more within the next two days or so.

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Fire: Clousher said the fire department was participating in a training event at MIke's Towing & Recovery at 966 York St. at about 7:15 p.m. when firefighters witnessed a column of smoke develop northeast of the location.

Crews could also see an attached pole building "well engulfed" in flames, according to the release. 

Firefighters arrived at the building, and within minutes a second alarm was sounded, Clousher said.  

Representatives from the company were notified of the fire and immediately responded, according to the chief. Clousher said company management was able to enter the office area and retrieve some tech equipment.

The chief said damages are estimated at about $1.5 million. 

The company employs about 40 people at the facility, according to Yelland. No employees were in the building during the fire, he said. 

Yelland said the most important thing is that no employees or firefighters were injured in the blaze.

Crews from Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services, Pleasant Hill Volunteer Fire Co., Porters Fire Co., and United Hook & Ladder assisted at the scene, according to Clousher.

A state police fire marshal is investigating, the chief said.

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