Story Summary

7 dead in Lancaster fire

7 people have died after a house fire in Lancaster.

It happened just before 3 a.m. Thursday morning, July 4, on the 100 block of East Clay Street.

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A family of six who died after a tragic fire on July 4 in Lancaster was laid to rest Tuesday.

It was beautiful, sunny morning at Millersville Mennonite Church, as those closest to the Kuhns family said their final goodbyes.

Crystal Kuhns, her husband Dave, and their four children, sons Skyler, 8, Shawn, 6, Mickie, 4, and Cordail, 2, all died because of an early morning fire on E. Clay Street in Lancaster.

“Words can’t even describe what my family and friends are going through,” said Robert Kohl, Crystal Kuhns’ brother. “There’s no words.”

The fire also killed close family friend Jimmie Moore.

“Coming together today, we’re all here to support and bless this day when they’re gone,” said Kathy Beachy, a family friend who attended the service. “But we will always remember them for who they were.”

Family and friends opened their hearts to share memories of the Kuhns during the celebration of life service.

“I want them to be remembered as a fun, loving family,” said Joe Underwood, a longtime friend of Dave Kuhns. “They helped each other out, they were warm and kind with each other. That’s how I want them remembered. With their warm smile and everything.”

Donations from the community paid for the Kuhns funeral, for which family members say they are forever grateful.

“I just want to say God bless everyone who donated. Thank you very, very much for everything,” Kohl said.

The family’s urns were buried in a single plot in the cemetery next to the church.

Local News
07/12/13

Vigil Held To Remember Fire Victims

Community and family members came together this evening to remember the 7 people who so tragically lost their lives in a Lancaster fire on July 4th.

They held a candlelight vigil tonight for the Kuhns and Moore families in front of the home on East Clay Street.

It was a somber evening as family and friends hung their heads and prayed.

“This too shall pass… but it won’t. We will never forget our loved ones,” says a close friend of Jimmie Moore.

Candles were lit to remember and also for guidance during what some are calling “very dark days”.

“This is the beginning of the healing, I’m not saying it’s going to happen so early but this is just the beginning, I know we’ve got a long way to go,” says David Kuhns’ sister, Candy Dillon.

Family members say support from the community has been a comfort.

“It’s nice but hard at the same time, it’s a healing process for me now,” says the daughter of David Kuhns, Zabrina Kuhns.

Tears were shed, but amidst all the sadness people were able to laugh about the good times they shared.

“We’ve been trying to do as much laughter as we can, reminiscing the funny stories that David would always get away with,” says a friend of Kuhns, Doris Deardorff.

For the Moore family…

“My man Jimmie, lived as a patron, died a hero,” says a friend of Jimmie’s.

They remember someone who tried to save lives that day.

“He wants me to be here to do for my kids and to be a mom to my kids and that’s what I’m going to do I’m going to raise my kids the way my dad raised them,” says Cyrena Brock, Jimmie’s daughter.

A friend of Jimmie’s and fellow veteran says he’s just glad everyone is getting along.

“Instead of pointing the finger at what happened, what they’re doing is coming together to be stronger and that’s the best part right there,” says Jimmie’s friend, Lewis Alston.

Friends and family of the Kuhns say none of them had any life insurance.

They’re hoping community donations can help them pay for funeral costs.

You can visit https://www.facebook.com/KuhnsBabiesFamilyMemorialFund to donate to the family.

A toddler, who died in a tragic fire that killed his entire family, is now giving life to others.

Cordail Kuhns, 2, died Saturday at Crozer-Chester Medical Center from injuries he suffered in that July 4th fire in Lancaster.

The fire also killed family friend Jimmie Moore, Cordail’s parents David and Crystal Kuhn and three siblings, brothers Skyler, 8, and Shawn, 6, and sister, Mickie, 4.

Cordail was the last survivor before he died Saturday. The Kuhns’ extended family now forced to plan a funeral for six.

“It’s a lot,” said Mary Mendoza, David Kuhns’ niece. “Because a lot of people are used to doing one and we’re doing six, and four of them are children. That’s very rough.”

But in the midst of their grief, the family made the decision to donate Cordail’s organs. His heart went to one child, both of his kidneys to another.

As a longtime trauma nurse manager and member of Lancaster General Health’s Organ Donation Committee, TammyJo Stetler has seen firsthand the comfort organ donation can bring to a donor’s family.

“It also helps make something so wrong, maybe a little easier to handle when you know that you’re giving a gift to at least one other person, if not many others,” Stetler said.

There are more than 8,000 Pennsylvanians waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Many of them are children.

“There is a really big need, for children that are waiting for organ transplantation,” Stetler said. “There is a really big need for that.”

Stetler encourages anyone who would like to be an organ donor to designate it on their driver’s license, and make sure family members are aware of your wishes.

To learn more about organ donation:

Donate Life PA

Gift of Life

Lancaster General Health

Two families mourning the deaths of seven people killed in a horrific July 4th fire in Lancaster say someone is trying to benefit from their tragedy.

They’re warning people to be on alert for scammers going door-to-door, saying they’re collecting donations for the families.

Family members of fire victims Jimmie Moore and the Kuhns family say they have not and will not solicit donations that way.

Moore’s son Jimmie Brock got a phone call from a friend Sunday, telling him that someone came to her door soliciting for donations for his family.

“I was very frustrated with it, I was really upset about it and was throwing things,” Brock said. “I just couldn’t believe that someone was doing this, knowing everything that we’re going through.”

Brock’s father Moore died in an early morning fire that sparked in his home at 115 E. Clay Street on July 4th.

An entire family of six staying with Moore, Dad David Kuhns, Mom Crystal, Skylar, 8, Shawn, 6, Mickey 4 and Cordail, 2, also died because of the fire.

“It just hurts us, right to the core, that there are people out there that try to benefit from others grief,” said Mary Mendoza, David Kuhns’ niece.

Mendoza reiterated that no family members are going door-to-door asking for donations.

Both families have set up memorial funds at area banks for those who want to help.

“To whoever and everyone that does help us, or donates, it’s greatly appreciated and you’re forever in our prayers, for thanks,” Mendoza said.

If you’re interested in helping these families with funeral expenses, you can donate to “The Moore Family Memorial Fund” at any Members 1st Federal Credit Union.

To help the Kuhns, you can donate to the “Kuhns Babies & Family Memorial Fund” at any Wells Fargo Branch in Lancaster, York or Dauphin Counties.

Relatives of the Kuhns have set up a Facebook memorial page where people can get updates and find out how to help.

In light of the deadly fire in Lancaster which killed 7 people, firefighters are now urging you to make sure your home has working smoke detectors.

A few simple tips could save your life.

Firefighters say this sound..

“Beep Beep Beep”

Is the difference between life and death.

“The only way you’re going to survive a fire is with a working smoke detector,” says Dr. Duane Hagelgans, an assistant professor at Millersville and retired firefighter.

Duane Hagelgans and his volunteer fire department say they’ll give you a smoke detector for free, they’ll even come to your home and install it for you.

“You want at minimum like 6 to 12 inches out or down,” says Hagelgans, as he demonstrates how to install a fire detector.

They say the gases that can burn in your home are more deadly than the actual fire.

A smoke detector will wake you up before the gases kill you in your sleep.

“When that burns it puts off deadly gases, for instance when nylon burns it puts off cyanide gases, cyanide gases are used in a gas chamber, you can see why this is very bad to breathe,” says Hagelgans.

Hagelgans says it’s best to not only have multiple detectors in your home but to sleep with your bedroom door shut, because a closed door could save your life.

“Test the door if it’s hot you never open it,” says Hagelgans.

He says usually if a door is shut, the entire room and whoever’s inside can be spared…the other side of the door is a different story.

Fresh batteries mean a working fire alarm.

A common rule is to replace your batteries every spring and fall when you change your clocks.

“Second button here, you just push,” demonstrates a firefighter.

It can save your life as well as those who put their lives on the line for you.

Hagelgans says an alarm could’ve spared 7 people in Lancaster this week.

“If there would’ve been working smoke detectors there would have not been a fatality nor would there be injuries to the firefighters,” says Hagelgans.

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A 2-year-old boy who was badly injured in a fire that killed six others in Lancaster City– died Saturday afternoon. Cordell Kuhns passed away at Crozer-Chester Medical Center just three days after a fire took the lives of his father, mother and three siblings. Authorities say Cordell had been in critical condition since Thursday.  The fire killed six other members of the household, including the boys father David Kuhns, 51, his mother Crystal Kuhns, 41, and all three of his siblings– Skylar, 8, Shawn, 6, and Mickey, 4.

The homeowner, Jimmie Moore, 64, also died in the fire at 115 E. Clay Street early Thursday morning.
Moore’s pregnant daughter, 20-year-old Martha Moore,  was taken to Lancaster General Hospital for an emergency Caesarian  section after escaping from the burning home. She gave birth to a baby girl–Zaliah–who was 5 weeks premature.

Authorities say a total of fifteen people were staying at the home when the fire started. The Kuhns were staying with Moore temporarily until they found a place of their own. Fire officials say the blaze started in the first-floor kitchen as a result of unattended cooking.

Lancaster Fire Chief Tim Gregg said it appeared the smoke detectors in the home were not up to code.

A fire in Lancaster killed 6 people in the early morning hours on the 4th of July. A woman who escaped that fire, Martha Moore,  gave birth to a baby girl that same morning.  That fire, claimed the life of Moore’s father, 64-year-old Jimmie Moore.

Moore’s brother Jimmie Brock described seeing his niece for the first time.

“ She`s a beautiful little girl she looks just like him. That`s what he always said about all his grandchildren. They look like him, they act like him. They`re going to have  everyone of his traits, so that is what he would say about his little granddaughter,” says Jimmie Brock, Martha’s brother

The fire started in the first floor kitchen of 115 East Clay Street just before 3 a.m. on Thursday,  where a pan was left unattended.   The Kuhn family was staying with Jimmie Moore temporarily until they found a place of their own. David Kuhn, his wife Crystal, two sons, eight-year-old Skylar,  six-year-old Shawn, and his four- year-old daughter Mickey all died. Their son Cordell is currently at Crozer-Chester medical center  in critical condition.

“ It`s heartwarming and  joyous to have the little one, and we know my father spread his wings,” says Brock

Brock says his family is trying their best to handle such a range of emotions.

“It`s tough going in there and knowing that some of the family is still hurting. And you want to put a smile on your face but when we all start seeing each other we all start crying. And the first thing that comes to us is my dad.”

1002712_10151757126404274_1034700900_nTwo more victims of a 4th of July fire in Lancaster have now passed away.

Mother Crystal Kuhn passed away at 7:30 this morning at the Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

Her son Mickey Kuhn, 4, also passed away last night at 6:00pm.

For more on the Lancaster fire click here.

Local News
07/05/13

Keep your home and family safe in a fire

The majority of fires happen in the home, most commonly while you are sleeping. “Usually between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 p.m. Typically when most people are sleeping,” said Lt. Ken Wright an Assistant Fire Marshal with Lancaster City Bureau of Fire.

Smoke alarms and preparing can save your life.”The only time we have any fatalities in fires is when the home is not equipped with smoke detectors,” said Lt. Wright.

“Smoke will not wake you up. It is so important to have a smoke detector. The by-products of combustion that come from a fire. The poisonous gases, Carbon Monoxide being the big one, It’s odorless, tasteless, you can’t smell it, or see it, and that one will make you go unconscious. It will start to give you flu-like symptoms and actually cause you to go into a deeper sleep,” said Lt. Wright.

Smoke Alarms
“The majority of fatal home fire happen at night when people are asleep. Smoke alarms give you time to escape.” [nfpa.org]

Install an alarm on every level of your home, including your basement
Install an alarm in and outside of every sleeping area
NFPA also suggests installing alarms in dining rooms, family rooms, utility rooms, hallways, and other living areas
Don’t install alarms closer than three feet from a kitchen or bathroom door
Mount alarms high on a wall or on the ceiling, because smoke rises
Wire alarms together so that if one sounds, they all sound

Testing
Test alarms monthly
Replace batteries at least once a year
Install a long-life battery
Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old

Exit Drills in The Home
“80% of fire deaths happen in the home. That’s why you need working smoke alarms and a plan to get out of the home in case of a fire.” [nfpa.org]

Home Escape Plan
Find all doors and windows in the home that lead outside and make sure they open easily
Know at least two ways out of every room if possible
Stairways and ways out should be clear of furniture or clutter
Choose a meeting place a safe distance from the home

Practice, Practice, Practice!
Push smoke alarm to start the drill
Get out fast
Practice difference ways out
Practice during the day and night

Make a Safe Escape
When a smoke alarm sounds, and there is smoke, get out and stay out
If smoke is blocking your way out, use second way out.
Get low and stay under the smoke to get out
Close all doors behind you
If you can’t get to someone who needs help leave the home and call 911
Never go back into a burning building to rescue people, pets, or belongings

Kitchen Fire Safety
Don’t cook if you’re sleepy, if you’ve been drinking excessively, or if you’ve taken medication that makes you drowsy
Keep pot holders, food packaging, cookbooks, and other combustibles away from the stove top
Use only one heat-producing appliance on the same circuit at a time
Don’t use appliances that feel too hot, smokes, or gives off a funny odor

Grease Fires
If a pan catches fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the fire.
Prevent flare-ups by leaving the pan covered until it is completely cool
Don’t use a fire extinguisher and don’t throw water on the fire (This can splatter burning grease and spread the fire)

Oven Fire
Turn off the heat and keep the oven door closed

Microwave Fire
Keep the door closed and unplug the microwave
Have appliance serviced before using again

For more information or to get free smoke detectors [must own and occupy home in Lancaster City] from the Lancaster City Bureau of Fire click here or call 717-291-4869
For more tips from NFPA codes, tips, etc. click here

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