A fire at a townhome complex in Upper Allen Township, Cumberland County rekindled shortly after 11:00 p.m. Sunday. The original fire started earlier in the day, around 4:00 p.m..
The American Red Cross is helping ten adults and one child after the three-alarm fire on Allenview Drive. Officials said no one was hurt, but the flames and water did extensive damage.
The man who owns the home where the fire started spoke with abc27 News and relayed what happened.
"My son, Hollywood, and I were sitting on the sofa watching TV and he says, 'Daddy, the porch is on fire,'" said Kevin Ruch. "It didn't make sense to me. I opened up the door and it was just a wall of flames. And I yelled at him to 'get your mom.' She was in the kitchen and started running out of the house."
Firefighters reported seeing heavy smoke and flames upon arrival.
"Got the fire extinguisher out of the kitchen, looked at the fire, looked at what I had in my hand and there was just no competition and I just dropped the fire extinguisher," said Ruch. "I heard a big explosion in the back of the house, like a big popping sound. I fell down the stairs, ran out of the house. We started knocking on neighbors' doors, which is heartbreaking. We're friends with all our neighbors and our neighbors are displaced, too."
County officials said firefighters extinguished the flames quickly, but the damage was already done.
"It just happened so quick," said Ruch. "Me and my wife, we had a great dinner, watching a little cartoon and before you know it, half an hour later, my house is to the ground. It happened that quick. Our fire alarms, I did hear them go off."
County officials said the fire should be a reminder to everyone to check smoke alarm batteries.
"Smoke detectors save lives. It sounds like a cliché and everything, but they do," said John Bruetsch, Public Information Officer for Cumberland County. "It's reported over and over again how they save lives, and it's a perfect example here today."
County officials said everyone in all five townhouses escaped unharmed and firefighters rescued their pets.
"Everybody's safe, and the dogs are safe, and this can be replaced. I just can't believe it happened," said Ruch.
A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, but said there is no reason to believe it was anything but an accident.