Calamity bred calamity in Cumberland County this weekend as a North Middleton Township fire truck went off a road and tipped over on its way to a house fire call in the 300 block of Stone Church Road, in neighboring Lower Frankford Township.
No one was badly hurt in either incident, though David and Lisa Walck are temporarily displaced from their home pending needed repairs, and the township is down its ladder truck.
The fire call was dispatched at 8:44 p.m. Saturday, when Lisa Walck said her husband, who was home at the time watching a movie, smelled smoke and upon investigating, saw a glow from flames outside a kitchen window.
That glow was the attached garage at his home – located about five miles northwest of Carlisle – already on fire.
Lisa Walck said she believes the fire may have been sparked by creosote in an outside smoker that her husband had been using earlier in the evening, and that then extended to the garage.
As David Walck tried to battle the blaze with a garden hose, Lisa Walck said, a crew from the first-due North Middleton Fire Co. found its own trouble: at the base of a hill less than a half-mile away, the driver of the responding North Middleton ladder truck lost control on a curve and left the right berm of the road.
Photos posted on social media show the truck come to rest on its roof.
Pennsylvania State Police are still investigating the accident, and no further details were immediately available. But in a news release, Fire Company President Cooper Snyder said the crash “did not result in any serious injuries to any personnel and did not involve any other vehicles or members of the public.”
At the Walck residence, meanwhile, the single-story garage was destroyed and fire extended into the home itself, leaving the west side of the home mostly exposed and resulting in heavy damage to a second-floor master bedroom and ground-floor dining room.
Lisa Walck said she and her husband, who also keep grandchildren overnight at times depending on their daughter’s work schedule, are staying in a loaned recreational vehicle at present, but will move into a rental unit while repairs are made.
As hectic as it’s been, Lisa Walck said Monday, she’s grateful “people weren’t hurt, and the animals are doing OK.”
Walck also asked to extend her gratitude to responding firefighters, whom she said did everything they could to limit the damage to her property even as they had their own accident just down the road, and her family, friends and neighbors for the support they’ve already provided.