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All firefighters injured fighting Red Lion blaze home safe

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Aaron Kohler stands in a friend's home at Hilltop Apartments in Red Lion, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, after it was damaged by a fire which started just before midnight on Saturday. Bill Kalina photo

Five firefighters who suffered injuries battling a three-alarm fire in Red Lion on Sunday morning are home and recovering, officials said Monday. 

More than 80 firefighters were dispatched to the fire, which started about 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Hilltop Apartments, 125 Henrietta St. Crews from 18 different departments didn't finish up until about 6 a.m. Sunday, York County 911 said.

The fire originated in the apartment's basement storage room, where crews quickly extinguished the flames. However, they soon realized the blaze had spread to the floors above, said Scott Gingrich, the Alliance Fire and Rescue fire chief, in a news release.

A damaged unit at Hilltop Apartments in Red Lion, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, after it was damaged by a fire which started just before midnight on Saturday. Bill Kalina photo

"At about the same time the crew made entry, an explosion of super-heated gases and fire accrued," the release states. 

One firefighter suffered burns that will require additional medical treatment, Gingrich said. 

All residents from the 18 apartment units were evacuated and are receiving assistance from the South Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross. Every tenant was affected by the blaze, the release states.

As of Monday, the Red Cross had provided assistance with housing, food and clothing to 30 adults and 12 children who were displaced by the fire, the organization stated in a news release. 

Damage near a stairway at Hilltop Apartments in Red Lion, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, after it was damaged by a fire which started just before midnight on Saturday. Bill Kalina photo

The apartment complex was originally constructed as a school, leaving "many void areas" when the building was later converted to apartments. The conversion allowed the fire to travel from floor to floor, making it difficult to stop the fire, Gingrich said.

The blaze is under investigation by the state police fire marshal.

A cause and damage estimates are still undetermined.

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.