Dad ID'd, Girl Taken To Lehigh Valley Burn Unit After Lancaster Twp Fatal Fire: Officials

A girl is in the Lehigh Valley Burn Unit and her dad has died following a fire in the apartment building attached to the Bausman Post Office in Lancaster Township on Tuesday, Feb. 13, fire officials announced later that day. 

The Bausman Post Office after a fatal fire ripped through the home attached to it. 

The Bausman Post Office after a fatal fire ripped through the home attached to it. 

Photo Credit: Facebook/Lancaster Township Fire Department @LancasterTownshipFire

Nathaniel Holmes, 45 of 221 Rosedale Avenue died at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital at 12:16 a.m. on Feb. 13, Lancaster County Chief Deputy Can Eric Bieber detailed in a release.

His cause and manner of death are pending the results of an auto, although Bieber noted he suffered thermal burns.

The fire broke out in a house with three apartments (only one occupied) before the rain switched to snow late on Monday night, Lancaster Township officials explained. 

Area fire crews arrived at 11:32 p.m. to find a car in the yard but no civilians were greeting them. The crew sprung into action quickly making sure they could safely get through the building to search for residents. 

As they went to the second floor and could see the fire knocking out the windows on the first floor, officials explained. When they got to the top floor they knocked down a door and forced their way into an apartment where the fire was active. Hoses were directed to the area and the crew members began crawling in "superheated smoke" — that's when one firefighter felt something under her and found a young girl with her father nearby, Chief Glenn Usdin said.

Both the daughter and her dad were feet from the fire and clearly had "been trying to escape the inferno by getting to the rear bedroom. They didn't make it to safety," Usdin said. 

Crews from Lancaster City Fire headed down the hallway to assist and the township crew handed over the young girl and then her dad. 

"The girl was still breathing and the dad showed no signs of life," Usdin explained. 

The pair was rushed by ambulance to Lancaster General Hospital. "Sadly the father was unable to be saved," Usdin said. However, the girl was able to be stabilized and transferred to the Lehigh Valley Burn Center, where her current condition is unknown. 

Multiple PA State Fire Marshals and township investigators were called to the scene to investigate but no cause has been determined. 

UGI and PPL were called to control utilities. "The Post Office was notified of smoke and water damage to that portion of the building. No mail was damaged by the fire," Township officials said.

The Bausman office is a pick-up-only post office with no delivery service. The office has been permanently closed due to the fire and will relocate. In the meantime services are suspended, officials explained. 

The scene cleared at 3:38 a.m., the township officials said. The estimated cost of the damage is $250,000. 

Check back here for any updates. 

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