York City police investigating suspicious deaths

Two-alarm fire destroys Wrightsville home

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

Flames destroyed a Wrightsville home on Monday, leaving at least one person homeless and one pet missing, according to a fire official.

Firefighters were called to a 2½-story single-family brick home in the 200 block of Walnut Street about 12:20 p.m. Monday, April 15, according to Lt. Tyler Seibert of Wrightsville Steam Engine & Hose Co.

Despite being on scene within three minutes, firefighters found the blaze — which went to two alarms — "was already well advanced before we even got there," he said.

"(Flames were) blowing out the first and second floors," he said.

It took about an hour to bring the fire under control and another hour after that until it was fully extinguished, Seibert said, adding that firefighters had to comb through the rubble to find and douse hot spots.

"It's definitely destroyed," he said.

At least one person was living there but wasn't home when the fire started, according to the lieutenant. A cat was still unaccounted for as of 5 p.m., according to Seibert.

The Central PA Chapter of the American Red Cross was on scene to help those affected, Seibert said.

Minor injury: One firefighter suffered a minor injury when he tripped and fell at the scene, Seibert said, but he didn't need hospital treatment.

A state police fire marshal was at the scene Monday afternoon, investigating to determine the cause of the blaze, according to the lieutenant.

Although firefighters initially dragged hoses inside the home and battled the blaze there, they were ordered out of the home, Seibert confirmed.

Firefighters battle a blaze at a house in the 200 block of Walnut Street in Wrightsville Monday, April 15, 2019. At about 12:50 p.m., firefighters inside the burning building were ordered via radio transmissions to evacuate immediately. Bill Kalina photo

"We had issues with getting a good water supply," he explained.

The borough's water hydrants "weren't performing at standards they ought to be," and one pump on a fire engine failed, Seibert said.

"Then, we found in the second floor and attic that a lot of the floors were burned through," he added.

Crews then mounted an exterior attack, meaning they fought the fire from outside.

Assisting Wrightsville firefighters at the scene were crews from Hellam Township, Craley and Yorkana, as well as from York Area United Fire & Rescue. Lancaster firefighters from Maytown, Rohrerstown and Columbia also assisted, Seibert said.

Walnut Street was shut down for most of Monday afternoon, officials said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.