Fatal car crash in Gettysburg causes one of the worst fires in recent years


GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A car crash led to a huge fire in Gettysburg. Firefighters call it one of the worst fires in years in Gettysburg. The car crashed into a building early Monday morning on Baltimore Street.

Firefighters have been on the scene for most of the day and still can’t confirm whether anyone was in the car or their condition, as the investigation continues.

“We were woken up to a loud bang, and then the whole building shook, so we knew something hit it, so us and our neighbors, we were coming out our doors down the stairs, and we looked out a window and we could see flames coming up the side,” said Samantha Kirkey, who lived in the apartment building that caught fire.

The car crashed into the Blue and Gray Gift Shop around 4:20 a.m. and ended up in between the shop and the brick apartment building that also housed a shop, called the Crystal Wand.

“We had people we loved. They loved us. Everything was good, and then today everything went up in smoke. We’re going to reopen. I have no doubt in my mind,” said Kathleen O’Dell, owner of the Crystal Wand.

The Adams County coroner was on the scene for a couple of hours. On Monday afternoon, the coroner says the driver died as a result of the crash. The driver was male, but no other details were released in regard to his identity as the investigation continues.

Two off-duty firefighters who happened to pass by stopped and saved two people from the roof of the brick building.

“Both travel this area quite regularly going to work, and they were at the right time and the right place and they did an outstanding job getting those people to safety,” said Deputy Fire Chief for the Gettysburg Fire Department Joe Temarantz.

All six residents in the brick building did get out safely. The Red Cross is helping them. Meanwhile, the car was removed around 11 a.m. and is being investigated at another location because firefighters say the structure of the Blue and Gray Gift Shop is unstable and may have to be torn down. No one is believed to have been in there at the time. The investigation is still ongoing.

Three firefighters were injured. One had a medical emergency and the other two had ankle injuries.

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