Fire damages West Shore Drive guest house

-A A +A
By Chris Sardelli

Water and foam poured from the roof of a West Shore Drive guest house as a team of firefighters tackled a blaze inside the building Saturday, April 13.

Orange flames and thick grey smoke filled the sky at 8:10 p.m. near the one-story building in the 1000 block of West Shore Drive. The area is located off Riverside Road and near Cedar Pine Lake.

Lancaster County Fire Marshal Stephen Blackwelder said firefighters from Charlotte Road/Van Wyck, Gooches Crossroads, Riverside and Shiloh Zion volunteer fire departments responded to the scene.

Firefighters could be seen spraying two streams of water at the building, concentrating on an upper window in the front of the house and on flames shooting from somewhere in the back of the building. Blackwelder described the building as a small, garage-type structure with a finished upper portion. 

Within minutes, black char marks marred the top of the guest house.

Deputies responded and spoke with the owner, who said her grandson looked outside and noticed the building was on fire, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office incident report. Another resident told deputies the back of the garage is an apartment, though it was unoccupied. 

Blackwelder said the building had a “heavy fireload,” meaning it was filled with many items that can burn easily, including a large amount of furniture.

He said firefighters sprayed approximately 3,200 gallons of water on the blaze and entered through the back of the house.

“The roof shortly thereafter collapsed and they weren’t able to make entry any further,” Blackwelder said. “But no one was injured in the fire.”

Blackwelder said there were conflicting reports about how many buildings were involved in the fire, but determined it was only one building.

Fire reports listed heavy damage to the building, estimated at $150,000. Fire officials said the fire did not appear suspicious, though the cause of the fire is still unknown. 

“We’re not sure about the particular cause of the fire,” Blackwelder said.


Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416