Lancaster Township, Lancaster County, Pa. - Dozens of people in Lancaster County are without a home after their apartment complex goes up in flames. Fire crews worked for more than an hour to put out the fire that overtook the building.
It was eight apartments in total that were taken over by the fire at Kensington Club Apartment in Lancaster County, Thursday morning. Lancaster Township Assistant Fire Chief Steven Roy says an initial report shows construction crews working on the building's roof with blow torches set some of the roof membrane on fire. He says the construction materials on the roof and the lack of water supply made fighting the fire difficult.
"This complex has a closed loop fire hydrant system that is a private system that has limited water supply," said Roy. "With all the materials on the roof burning the roof, the tar and other material, we needed more water."
Thirteen water tankers were brought in to help fire crews get this fire out. Rosalind Schmalhofer lived in one of the downstairs apartments in the building but wasn't home when the fire started. She was at work when she got a call from the apartment office that her home was up in flames.
"I couldn't event think. I just felt like running out of the building and getting here as fast as I could," said Schmalhofer. "I just didn't know what to think. I thought the worst."
All Schmalhofer could think about was her four-year-old Yorkie named Mason. She put him in his crate when she left for work and was in there as the building was on fire for more than an hour.
"I just knew he was dead," said Schmalhofer. "I just knew it."
When the fire was under control enough for firefighters to look for Mason, they found him. Wet and cold but alive.
"I just felt like fainting," said Schmalhofer. "Just thank God he's here. He's my best friend and I don't want nothing to ever happen to him."
While everyone who lives in the apartment building lost just about everything, Schmalhofer is counting her blessings.
"The most important thing is out of it, he's in my hands so I'm happy," said Schmalhofer. "I can replace everything else."
The Red Cross is assisting with the people displaced by the fire.