Two of three fires in York last night ruled arson; dozens displaced

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YORK, Pa.-- Fire officials in York say two of three fires that burned in the city on Saturday were intentionally set.

The trio of fires broke out between 9:45 and 10:30 last night. The first was on the 200-block of South Duke Street. It was a small fire in the back of a home and officials have ruled the cause as arson.

The second fire was reported around 10:00 p.m. at a home on the 400-block of South George Street. One person was rescued by firefighters from the third floor. Two people were hurt and a total of 15-people were displaced as a result of the flames. Investigators say this was an accidental fire and was caused by an electrical problem. Damage is estimated at $40,000.

The third, and most devastating fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. on the 100-block of East Maple  Street. This fire has been ruled arson. Six rowhomes were damaged in the fire and 22-people are now without a home.

Jaquaya Dowling , a neighbor said, "It's sad. To see people -- I know the lady here. She's lived here for 45 years. Her house is gone."

Three firefighters were injured at the scene. Damage is estimated at $275,000.

One neighbor, Tiffany Hill, said she was urging people to get out of their houses.

Hill said, "It actually started from that first house right there and all we did was pretty much follow our instinct to just run down the street and tell people to come out of their houses. Because these are row homes and we know pretty much it spreads quickly."

York City Fire Chief David Michaels says about 100 firefighters were working in the city at one time to put out all three fires.

"We had mutual aid companies from throughout York County, I even believe from other counties that came into York County to standby to provide coverage throughout. So it was very challenging to make sure that we had enough resources and to get the equipment where it needed to be," he said.

Many departments were on the scenes until the early morning hours putting out hot spots and cleaning up.

Michaels says the investigations into these fires is ongoing. He is asking anyone with information on these fires to come forward and contact the fire department or York City Police. He adds that you should be aware of your surroundings and if you see anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call police.