Chief: $500K fire destroys contractor's workshop in West Manchester Twp.
A weekend fire destroyed the workshop of a West Manchester Township general contracting business.
No one was hurt during the blaze in the 2300 block of Taxville Road, where crews were dispatched about 11:15 a.m. Sunday, according to West Manchester Township Fire Chief Clif Laughman.
The home on the property wasn't damaged, he said, but a detached garage was destroyed.
The garage was the business address and workshop of John M. Dotzel & Son Builder Inc., the chief confirmed.
"It was a total loss, unfortunately," Laughman said, noting that both the structure and everything inside it were destroyed.
He estimated damage at about $500,000. The business was insured, he said.
Owners John and Chad Dotzel could not be reached for comment Monday.
When firefighters arrived on scene Sunday morning, there were flames coming through the open garage doors and moving into the eaves, according to Laughman.
"It was moving pretty fast," he said, because the open garage doors allowed a fresh supply of oxygen to feed the flames.
Firefighters initially went inside the burning garage to battle the blaze.
"As conditions worsened, we moved to a defensive attack," the chief said, meaning firefighters were forced to do their work outside the burning structure for their own safety.
It took between 60 and 90 minutes to bring the blaze under control, and crews were on the scene for four to five hours until the fire was extinguished and crews had ensured hot spots wouldn't reignite, Laughman said.
The damage is so extensive that it prevented fire officials from determining the cause of the blaze, according to the chief.
"We're leaving it up to the insurance company," he said, and ruling the cause of the fire undetermined, at least for now.
The fire isn't suspicious, and no foul play is suspected, Laughman confirmed.
John Dotzel has been building homes since 1972, according to the business website; his son Chad Dotzel joined the business in 2015.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.