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Firefighter taken to hospital after Harrisburg house fire

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – A firefighter was taken to the hospital after a second-alarm fire this afternoon in Harrisburg.

Fire crews were out for several hours cleaning up the fire at two attached homes seriously damaged in the blaze.

That firefighter was taken to Harrisburg Hospital for observation for a heat-related illness, but is expected to be okay.

The fire broke out around 5 p.m. Monday at the corner of 18th and Whitehall and spread quickly before firefighters got the upper hand.

“The fire quickly went from the first floor up into the second floor, and allowed it to get into the knee walls and the other voids inside and it quickly enveloped our firefighters with fire inside the walls,” Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline said.

That was when they called for a second alarm, bringing in mutual aid firefighters from around Harrisburg to help fight the blaze.

Around 45 firefighters were on-scene to put out the fire.

“The first floor was totally gutted as well as the rear of the second floor and the third floor from fire, heat and smoke damage,” Enterline said. “It’s going to take a lot of rehab, but it will be able to be rehabbed if they choose to do so.”

One adult and four children who lived in one of the homes were displaced and are being taken in by the Red Cross.

The other home was vacant.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to other homes.

“Once it gets into those wall spaces not only do we have to put the visible fire that’s in the rooms out but that fire is traveling vertically and horizontally as well so we have to open up all the walls and all the ceilings which is extremely manpower intensive,” Enterline said.

The fire caused about $140,000 in damage to the two buildings.

The cause of it is under investigation.