Multiple calls for a fire on West Middle Street
At 2:40 p.m. on Sunday, June 13, 2021, York County dispatch struck box 79-05 on the 100 block of West Middle Street in Hanover Borough for a report of an apartment building on fire at the corner of York Street.
While en route, dispatch advised incoming units that they had multiple callers reporting heavy smoke from the building. A nearby Hanover Area Fire & Rescue volunteer firefighter arrived on scene to find heavy smoke with a report of a man refusing to leave his smoke-filled apartment, and the firefighter coaxed the man out of the apartment without injury before arrival of fire units. Chief 79-1 and Truck 79 arrived on scene and the working fire dispatch was struck, followed by the second alarm assignment for manpower due to fire showing from a multiple occupancy in high heat and high humidity. Engine 79-3 laid out supply line from a hydrant on the corner of Locust Street.
The crew from Engine 79-3 stretched the first attack line while Truck 79 split its crew, with the exterior crew going to the roof for a roof report and the interior crew taking the water can to search while attempting to locate the fire room. Engine 79-2 arrived, putting the aerial to the roof for secondary egress and pulling back-up lines off engine 79-3.
Crews faced some difficulty due to the layout of the building, which made it difficult to locate the entrance to the fire apartment on the second floor. The truck crew and engine crews elected to make entry via ladder, making their attack up an extension ladder and entering the fire apartment. Quint 29 arrived and laddered the rear, sending crews to the roof.
Firefighters made a quick knock on the fire, and worked to extensively search the structure and overhaul. No injuries were reported in the fire. The fire appeared to have begun in the bedroom of the fire apartment while the occupant was home, with the resident stating he woke up to smoke and fire in the room.
Attempts were made with a fire extinguisher to douse the flames before arrival of the fire department, but were unable to stop the spread.
At least 14 people are estimated to be displaced from the fire, with all 7 apartments having smoke damage, and the fire apartment being totally destroyed in the fire.
A local business stepped up to take care of a resident, with Brakes & More, a hobby auto shop to the rear, taking in displaced residents to cool them off and give them water, as well as providing water to firefighters on scene.
Assisting Hanover Area Fire & Rescue on scene included Southeastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services, Pleasant Hill Volunteer Fire Company, United Hook & Ladder, Alpha Fire Company of Littlestown, and others. The box was placed in service around 5:30 p.m. while units returned available.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, and being investigated by Hanover Borough Police and Chief Clousher.