MANHEIM, Pa. (WHTM) — A woman has died in an apartment fire that happened on South Main Street in Manheim Borough, Lancaster County early Wednesday morning.
Manheim Police say they responded at about 5:07 a.m. to the 30 block of South Main Street for a fire alarm going off in the building. The caller believed there was a fire in one of the rooms. Police say the building is a three-story structure with 20 apartments and 22 residents.
Officers responded and located a heavy smoke condition on the second floor and located the room where they believed the fire was located. Due to the door being locked, officers needed to breach the door to gain access. Once inside, officers said that the room had an active fire inside.
Police said that two officers began extracting a woman who was inside the room. Officers also assisted with getting the remaining residents out of the building. One of the officers was overcome by the smoke and needed treatment for smoke inhalation. The officer was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be released after evaluation.
The woman who had been inside the rooms where the fire started passed away on the scene. Lori Rehkugler, 61, died from smoke inhalation and burns, and her death has been ruled accidental, according to a report from the coroner
The Lancaster County Coroner and the State Police Fire Marshall were called to the scene
No additional injuries were reported and the apartments above the former location of “The Sink” appear to have sustained significant damage.
A displaced resident spoke to abc27 and described the chaos. He said over a dozen people may be displaced. He said he believes he lost his pet birds in the fire. He also told abc27 that he had lived there for 10 years.
The scene remains active and the investigation is ongoing.