5 firefighters hurt after explosion at burning apartment building in Red Lion


RED LION, Pa. (WHTM) —  Five firefighters were hurt after an explosion in a burning apartment building, a fire official said.

The fire happened at 125 Henrietta Street in Red Lion around 11:45 p.m. Saturday.

Alliance Fire and Rescue Chief Scott Gingrich said when fire crews arrived, the fire was in the basement. They were able to put the fire out quickly but then realized the fire had spread to the floor above.

One of the many challenges for firefighters was the voids in the building. The building was once a school. During the conversion to apartments, there were many voids that allowed the fire to spread throughout the building, Gingrich said.

A truck company from York Township Fire went into the building and found where the fire had spread. Gingrich said around the same time they entered the building, there was an explosion of gases and fire.

Five firefighters were taken to a hospital for treatment and then released.

Everyone in the 18-unit building was evacuated. The American Red Cross said it is helping 30 adults and 12 children who were displaced with shelter, food, clothing, and other emergency needs. 

A state police fire marshal is investigating.

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