Two firefighters dead following building collapse in York - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Two firefighters dead following building collapse in York

Water is poured on the smoldering embers of a burned-out building in York. PA. Two firefighters died as a result of the building collapse. (Michael Jordan BPE)

York, PA: Two firefighters are dead and several others were injured in the collapse of an old building at Broad and Walnut streets. York Mayor Michael Helfrich, speaking at a Thursday night news conference, confirmed the pair died while working in a smoldering section of the former Weaver Organ & Piano factory.

Dead are Zachary Anthony, 29, of York, and Ivan Flanscha, 50, of Red Lion.

Firefighters douse the smoldering north face of an old organ factory in York, PA. (Michael Jordan BPE)

The 150-year-old building originally caught fire during a snowstorm on Wednesday and partially collapsed at about 6 p.m. that day. On Thursday afternoon, firefighters were operating inside the burnt-out shell – attempting to extinguish hotspots – when a second collapse occurred.

Four firefighters were trapped by debris from the second collapse. Once freed by rescue crews, the injured firefighters were taken to nearby York Hospital.

Helfrich said two of the firefighters — Assistant Chief Greg Altland, 52, and firefighter Erik Swanson, 50 — were in stable condition and being treated for non-life-threating injuries.

In a public information release, York Coroner Pamela L. Gay stated the coroner was dispatched at 4:37 p.m. on Thursday for a “mass casualty” incident which had occurred at the scene of the building fire on 127 N. Broad Street in York. The coroner was dispatched to the hospital for the report of one fatality.

Ivan Flanscha, 50, died at York Hospital at 3:57 p.m.

Several hours after the coroner responded to one fatality at the hospital, a second person died as a result of the partial structure collapse.

Zachary Anthony, 29, was declared dead at York Hospital at 8:52 p.m.

The incident is under investigation.

(Photojournalist Michael Jordan contributed to this story.)

A small flag of tribute to the two firefighhters killed in a building collapse in York, PA. (Michael Jordan)


About the author

Anthony C. Hayes

Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A former reporter at The Washington Herald and an occasional contributor to the Voice of Baltimore, Tony's poetry, photography, humor and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore!; SmartCEO; Magic Octopus Magazine; Destination Maryland; Los Angeles Post-Examiner; Alvarez Fiction and Tales of Blood and Roses. Contact the author.
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