York firefighter injured in fatal collapse shares story

York

An assistant fire chief injured in a building collapse that killed two York firefighters last month says he’s thankful he survived.

Greg Altland was supervising fellow firefighters on March 22 as they put out hot spots that had flared up from a fire the previous day at the former Weaver Organ and Piano Company.

Altland says he doesn’t ask anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do, so he was taking air tanks up to the fourth floor when it collapsed. Firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zachary Anthony were killed.

Altland is undergoing physical therapy for a shoulder injury. He has stitches in his left hand and staples in his head. He suffered a concussion and a right ankle injury, but says he’s on the mend.

The investigation into what happened is still ongoing, but Altland is sure it will lead to changes in the way firefighters approach similar situations in the future.

“We’re going to critique the fire,” he said. “I’m sure there’s going to be things we do differently. It hasn’t been a month yet, but the ball is rolling to make sure it doesn’t happen again, or we can reduce it as much as possible.”

Altland said he has 28 years in the department and plans to retire in January, calling firefighting a young man’s game.

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