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Early morning fire at Pineford on Dec. 20 impacted eight townhouses, firefighters say

Police department accepting donated items for those displaced

By Dan Miller, danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 12/21/17

A row of eight townhouses was impacted by the fire that broke out in the 3100 block of Pineford Drive just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20, according to officials with the Middletown Volunteer …

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Early morning fire at Pineford on Dec. 20 impacted eight townhouses, firefighters say

Police department accepting donated items for those displaced

Posted

A row of eight townhouses was impacted by the fire that broke out in the 3100 block of Pineford Drive just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20, according to officials with the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department.

Two families have been displaced from the two units in the middle of the row that received the most damage. One of the families is a couple. The other is a family of five with three small children - boy and girl twins both 1-year-old, and a 3-year-old boy.

The Middletown police department is accepting donations at the station of toys, clothes, and other items so that the children have presents to open under the Christmas tree. Donations of gift cards are also being welcomed for the four displaced adults.

The two families were both awoken by smoke detectors, otherwise the night could have been much worse, said Middletown Deputy Chief Chris Coble. The fire department in a post on its Facebook page credited working smoke detectors with having “saved several families and prevented any civilian or firefighter injuries.”

Damage to the six other units was limited to smoke damage, Coble said. The people living in these six units are displaced temporarily, but just for a short time until the odor is cleared out, he added.

Coble had no damage estimates, but said he expects that the two most damaged units can be rebuilt.

The Red Cross is assisting all the families. The owners of Pineford are “doing what they can to relocate” the displaced families elsewhere within the rental community, Coble said.

The fire was accidental and the Dauphin County fire marshal is investigating to determine the cause, Coble said.

The fire is believed to have started in the area of a furnace in one of the two most damaged units, Coble said.

The family had been having “issues” with the furnace. But But Coble had not yet had a chance to consult with the  fire marshal regarding the role the furnace may have played.

Nearly 50 firefighters responded to the blaze, including those from multiple other jurisdictions. Firefighters needed about 25 minutes to bring the fire under control, but remained on scene until close to 4:30 a.m.

A pile of toys and other items had been brought to the police station as of about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Donations are still being accepted. The 1-year-old twins need 12-month size clothing, and size 3T for the 3-year-old boy. The twins also need size 3 diapers and the 3-year-old boy wears a size 9 shoe.

You can drop off items at the police station at 300 East Emaus Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays when the station is open to the public.

Otherwise, you can arrange a donation by contacting Middletown Borough Council Vice President Dawn Knull at (717) 497-1302.