3 alarm York city fire ruled arson

An early morning Thursday fire ruled arson at the corner of Philadelphia Street and Belvidere Avenue in the city of York has left 11 people homeless.

York City Police arrested one person responsible for setting the fire around 12:30 this morning, but more arrests are expected.

The Fire Chief says this is one of the most extensive fires the city has ever had.

Video taken by a FOX43 viewer shows the scene shortly after flames broke out.

“I looked outside saw all the sirens – I looked up and I saw the whole sky was orange, I was like, I just came over to see what the hell was on fire,” said FOX43 viewer, Chris Becker.

Shortly after the fire started, you could hear loud electric explosions -

“Ohh! There goes the roof..,” says Becker.

And that’s exactly what happened..

“Walked outside see all these fire trucks and walked across the street and see the place on the corner up in flames and they say it was coming toward me really fast,” says neighbor, Shelby Mitchell.

York City Fire Chief, David Michaels says they received a call shortly before 1AM – it said fire was spreading rapidly at 701 Philadelphia Street.

The fire involves an abandoned building as well as two homes.

Part of the abandoned building collapsed – giving firefighters no choice but to fight the flames from the outside.

11 people and a dog are left homeless from the fire – all because of someone else.

“It’s a little frustrating that these things happen the total number of people affected by this I mean it’s a lot of people who we’re evacuated people still without power people with fire damage and then obviously we have a building in the city that is blighted – it’s going to be an eye sore,” says Chief David Michaels.

While the feeling of knowing someone did this on purpose is there – some are thankful the flames spared them just about everything.

“Yeah it makes me real nervous because it’s a scary thing really knowing – being that close and anything could’ve happened,” says Mitchell.

Chief David Michaels says the next step is to clean up all the debris from the part of the collapsed building.

As for investigating, crews are bringing in heavy equipment to make sure the remainder of the building is secure.


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