Firefighters Remember Major Fires

In 2009 the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company responded to 124 calls. This is somewhat higher than the average of 110 calls per year over the past decade. Present Fire Chief Lonnie Kauffman explains, “The number of calls per year is definitely increasing, although this has only been noticeable in the past two-three years. In 2010 we are already over 100 calls at the end of September.”

The average number of Hand-in-Hand firefighters who respond to a call is 20-25, enough to run three or four pieces of equipment. If Hand-in-Hand has a fire in its first due, as many as 30 responders turn out in addition to retired firefighters and other community people. Since the 1960’s some of the largest fires that firefighters remember are:

  • Carriage Machine Shop – Maple Avenue – saved office, lost building
  • Reuben Stoltzfus’ farm – Old Philadelphia Pike (construction materials) – loss
  • Benjamin Riehl’s tobacco shed – Mascot Road (12/1989) – loss
  • Paul Smucker’s barn (now Jerry Smucker) – 431 Beechdale Road (2/1965) – loss
  • Amos Stoltzfus’ barn – 2870 Church Road (2/2010)
  • Christ Riehl’s Cabinet Shop – 259 Mascot Rd. (2010) – saved horse barn area
  • Omar Petersheim barn fire – loss
  • Beechdale Woodworks – Beechdale Road – loss
  • Manny L. Fisher’s cabinet shop – North Ronks Road – loss
  • Wilmer & Marilyn Lapp’s home – 2684 Evergreen Drive – 2 big fires, 2 saves
  • Bird-in-Hand Window Sales – 367 Lynwood Rd. (2/2005) – 1st time save, 2nd time loss
  • Weavertown Coach Shop – 2 fires – saved
  • Henry Blank’s chicken house – Gibbons Road – saved
  • John Petersheim’s home – N. Weavertown – saved home
  • David Beiler Farm – 280 Maple Ave – roof fire burned into attic
  • Don Oatman – 2600 Old Phila. Pike – very cold winter night – saved house
  • Aaron Y. Beiler – house @ foot of Molasses Hill – saved
  • Christ Beiler’s home – end of Miller Lane -saved
  • C.B. Miller – Gibbons Rd. – saved house
  • Dan Esh farm – Gibbons Rd. – fire started in lower level stripping room – saved
  • Amish Barn Restaurant – 3029 Old Philadelphia Pike – wooden shingles roof – saved
  • Vallorbs – 2591 Old Philadelphia Pike – 3 saves (2 flammable metals, 1 main building
  • John U. Stoltzfus’ Wood Shop – 2957 Church Road – saved
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Benjamin Riehl’s tobacco shed (12/1989)
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Benjamin Riehl’s tobacco shed (12/1989)
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Hand-in-Hand firefighters assisted in protecting President George Bush during his visit to Lancaster on August 16, 2006.
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Bird-in-Hand Window Sales (photo courtesy of Greg Leaman)
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Christ Beiler’s house file at the end of Miller Lane
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Bird-in-Hand Window Sales (photo courtesy of Greg Leaman)
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Bird-in-Hand Window Sales (photo courtesy of Greg Leaman)
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Bird-in-Hand Window Sales (photo courtesy of Greg Leaman)

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