Lightning strike likely caused blaze that destroyed home, Wellsville fire chief says

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that destroyed a Warrington Township mobile home on Bentzel Road the night of Aug. 15, 2019. The Wellsville fire chief said it's believed lightning sparked the blaze.

A family of four and their pets were displaced after fire destroyed the Warrington Township mobile home they were renting, a fire official said.

It's believed a lightning strike near the home started a fire that crept under the home and ignited it from below, according to Wellsville Fire Chief Larry Anderson.

Family members escaped with their pets before firefighters arrived, he said, and no one was hurt.

The home, however, was destroyed, the chief said.

Crews were dispatched to the 400 block of Bentzel Road about 10:45 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, according to the York County 911 Center.

Wellsville firefighters were just finishing up working at the first night of their annual carnival when they got the call and rushed to the scene, Anderson said.

Smoke was coming from all four sides of the home, he said, and fire crews attacked it from both outside and inside, the chief said.

It took them about half an hour to bring the blaze under control, but they were unable to save the mobile home, according to Anderson.

The American Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania has provided the family with financial assistance to pay for shelter, clothing and food, Red Cross spokeswoman Lisa Landis said. Family members were given Red Cross Comfort Kits, which include toiletries and other hygiene items, she said.

The Red Cross also provided food and drinks to the roughly 40 firefighters on scene, Landis said. First responders call it canteen service.

Thunderstorm: Firefighters had to contend with driving rain and heavy winds when they first arrived, but the thunderstorm subsided after 10 or 15 minutes, Anderson said.

He said there was a confirmed lightning strike very close to the home, and it's believed that's what caused the blaze, he said.

Assisting Wellsville at the scene were crews from Fairview Township, Northern York County Fire Rescue, Dover borough, Dover Township, Newberry Township, Goldsboro, Manchester borough and from two municipalities in Cumberland County — Lisburn and Upper Allen Township.

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