A kitchen fire broke out in the 1900 block of Bellevue Road in Harrisburg on Monday morning destroying two homes and damaging 2 additional homes next door. It happened around 1030AM. Shirley Evans got a call that her home was on fire and rushed back to see her house engulfed in flames. She said “it’s heartbreaking, I lost everything. I have nothing but the clothes on my back.”
Shirley is one of 10 adults and 2 children displaced by the fire. With nearly everything gone she said her future is uncertain. “I don’t know, I don’t know what to do. I got to start it all back over” said Evans. Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline sympathized with Evans. “It’s devastating. I mean she just lost everything. I don’t even know how you cope with that” said Enterline.
Enterline said his firefighters were conducting training exercises when the call came in. He had to lean on volunteer fire fighters from other companies, which he said are dwindling. “Just ten years ago we had three hundred thousand volunteers in Pennsylvania, we’re down to about sixty thousand” said Enterline.
Once they were all there it took a couple hours to put the fire out and one of Enterline’s men found something of Evans that gave her hope for what’s ahead. “This is three hundred dollars that was on my night stand, my checkbook and my sons wallet that was in his room. Considering everything got lost it feels good” said Evans.
Enterline said the kitchen fire appears to be accidental.