Firefighters face cold temperatures, winds after car crashed into home, burst into flames

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NORTH CORNWALL TOWNSHIP, LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. - The fire on Cumberland Street that broke out around 11:45pm Sunday night was tough for firefighters to battle.

"This was the worst that I've ever seen," said Neversink Fire Company Deputy Chief Jason DeHart. "As far as the situation when I pulled up."

Police say 22-year-old Kyann Ruth Schnoke drove her car into the living room of a home where it burst into flames. The flames quickly engulfing the half-a-double home. While the car and homes burned, temperatures were in the single digits and wind chills below zero degrees, creating a challenge for firefighters.

"We try to dress warmer," said DeHart. "But fire gear is meant to keep heat out not keep heat in."

The cold temperatures also making the area icy from the water being used to fight the fire. Some firetrucks had to be taken back to their stations to de-ice. While the cold temperatures were brutal, the wind is what DeHart says quickly made this a 3 alarm fire. More than a dozen fire companies responded and 50 firefighters were on scene.

"The high winds, will push the fire and make it travel more so you gotta be careful," said DeHart.

Embers being moves by the wind are why people living nearby were told to evacuate. Sebastian Hernandez left to stay with family overnight but recalls what he heard when the accident happened.

"I heard a noise, I'm assuming it was the car crashing into the house" said Hernandez. "And then as the fire kept going I heard more small explosions."

The fire now has Hernandez counting his blessings his home was safe. Firefighters are safe too, and thankful none of them were hurt.

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