Fire destroys Dem candidate Brier's home

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
A photo of the home of congressional candidate Tom Brier. At roughly 4 a.m. Monday, Jan. 3, the home completely burnt down. Two other town houses also received extensive damages.

Democratic congressional candidate Tom Brier's home was one of three badly damaged by a blaze early Monday morning in Derry Township, Dauphin County.

But the loss of family heirlooms, important documents and more won't stop the Hershey-based author and attorney from challenging state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale  in the April 28 primary election, Brier said.

About 4:15 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, Brier awoke to his dog barking and the smell of smoke, he said. With his back porch engulfed in flames, he, along with his parents, who live with him, quickly evacuated.

The fire gutted Brier's home, he said.  

"The house was basically down within a half hour," Brier said Tuesday. "The dog came up before the smoke alarms went off. If you wait a couple minutes, it could've been a totally different outcome."

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Firefighters from 10 different fire departments were at the scene so quickly it was "nearly incomprehensible," Brier said, adding that no one was injured in the blaze. 

U.S. House candidate Tom Brier meets with voters at Central Market, Thursday, December 19, 2019. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

Five households in total were displaced because of the blaze, Hershey Fire Co. spokesman David Sassman said Tuesday.

The cause hasn't been determined, but there is no reason to believe there was suspicious activity, Sassman said.

Brier and his parents are staying at a family friend's house in Hershey.  

"I have been overwhelmed by the support we've received over the past 48 hours," Brier said. "For that very reason, I will continue my campaign so that, together, we can create a stronger and more unified community."

If successful in beating out DePasquale, Brier would face U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, in the November general election.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.