Two firefighters were injured battling a house fire caused by unattended hot dogs left cooking in York late Tuesday, York’s fire chief said.
York Fire Department responded to a fire at a duplex at 417 Roberts Ave. after 11 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters Matt Johnson and Curtis Greenway were hit with falling debris at the rear of the house when the roof of the porch collapsed, said fire chief Domenic Manera.
Johnson, a firefighter and emergency medical technician with 12 years of service with the department, was taken to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill for treatment and released early Wednesday morning, Manera said.
Greenway, a firefighter for more than three years, was transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he was treated and released, Manera said.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The firefighters suffered bruising and other muscle injuries, Manera said, but were not burned by the debris.
“Their protective gear worked as it should,” Manera said. “Both are expected to fully recover.”
York Mayor Eddie Lee went to the fire scene Wednesday morning to thank the fire department’s workers, calling the firefighters “heroes in our city.”
“Firefighters rush toward burning buildings to protect people and property,” Lee said. “We are grateful that both of them who were hurt are expected to recover. They risked their lives for others here last night and everyone in York is grateful. From the people of York, we express our gratitude for their service and wish them a speedy recovery.”
The fire was caused by unattended hot dogs left cooking on a kitchen stove in the rear of the two units of the duplex, Manera said. The residents were not injured, he said.
Five people from two families, including two children, who lived in the duplex building were displaced by the fire, Manera said.
“We cannot stress it enough that people should never leave food unattended during cooking,” Manera said.
The building was heavily damaged, fire officials said. Exterior and interior walls were burned out.
Aishea Rashid, who lived in the front duplex apartment next to the unit where fire officials said the blaze started, said Wednesday she and her 16-year-old son “lost everything” in the fire. The fire was so loud and hot that after she was able to escape the burning building, she could see the fire through the burning walls and exploded windows.
Rashid said she is thankful all of the residents were able to get out safely.
“Everybody got out unscathed,” Rashid said from across the street from the fire scene. “We all walked away.”
Rashid said she is thankful for the firefighters and is relieved to hear both men injured are expected to recover.
The American Red Cross assisted Rashid and the other family after the fire, and both families are staying in a motel in York, Rashid said.
“I appreciate all that the York Fire Department and all its people do,” said David Roberts of Roberts Realty, the landlord and owner of the building at the fire scene Wednesday morning . “I hate it that two firefighters were injured, but I am so thankful their injuries are not life-threatening.”
Roberts said it is “unfortunate” the building was severely damaged but he’s thankful his tenants were able to get out without any injuries.
“I can deal with a lost house, but what is important is there was no loss of life,” Roberts said.
The York County Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting York city officials with the fire investigation.