Car crashes into building across from mall causing 3-alarm blaze, driver is dead

3 min read14,293 views and 824 shares Posted January 21, 2019

Around 11:45pm last night, a car crashed into a building at 2240 Cumberland Street and sparked a 3-alarm blaze that left the driver dead, according to ABC27, which reported from the scene.

Police also confirmed to ABC27 that everyone made it out of the building safely. According to Fox43, the Red Cross was on-location to assist three adults and one child who were displaced by the blaze.

The building is located in North Cornwall Township across the street from Lebanon Valley Mall, next to the Keller Bros. pre-owned lot.

North Cornwall Township Police have not yet issued an official statement on last night’s incident, but LebTown will post it when released, likely later this morning.

Update 2:45pm: North Cornwall Township Police told the Daily News (paywall) that they would not release the driver’s name until next of kin have been notified. The article also notes that the Annville-Cleona, Speedwell, Neversink, Ebenezer, South Lebanon and Lebanon City fire departments all responded to the fire, as did ambulance personnel.

Update 1/22 5:00am: Justin Hinkle, who took some of the video you see below, has provided additional info about the fire police who helped with road closures and crowd control. Responding fire police included FP 14-1 and 14-4 for Neversink, FP 48-4 for South Lebanon Township, FP 39-5 for Speedwell, FP 4-52 and 5-52 for North Lebanon, and FP 10-8 for Jonestown.

Via Realtor.com, here’s what 2240 Cumberland Street looked like previously.

Lebanon County’s unofficial scanner page, Lebanon County Fire & Emergency Alerts, indicated that the initial caller had seen the driver operating the vehicle erratically before it crashed into the building. The page reported that all units were clear from the site as of 5:20am this morning. The page reported live from the scene through most of the night; read the thread here.

Reading Eagle reporter and Lebanon County resident Jeremy Long contributed images to LebTown which show local firefighters and other first responders fighting the three-alarm blaze.

The second clip and other photos below show that the fire also spread to and damaged the building adjacent to 2240 Cumberland Street, 2236 Cumberland Street, out of which operates House of Hair Design Too.

Credit: Jeremy Long
Credit: Jeremy Long
Credit: Jeremy Long
Credit: Jeremy Long
Credit: Jeremy Long
Credit: Jeremy Long
Credit: Jeremy Long

Justin Snyder of Lebanon County Weather posted live video of the blaze last night. Warning, this footage includes expletives and may be disturbing for some readers.

Fox43 reporter Bryanna Gallagher also posted live video from the scene. This footage shows the destroyed car being loaded onto a flatbed truck.

With windchill, temperatures last night dipped below zero, extreme cold that creates special dangers for firefighters.

Today and everyday, remember to thank and appreciate local first responders, who risk their life and comfort to keep us safe.

An earlier version of this story referred to the page as “Lebanon County Fire & Emergency Report”, which was not correct. We regret the error.

Comments

    1. Far better coverage than the LDN. But what do you expect? At this point, the LDN is nothing more than a part time newspaper. Justin did a fine job & he, apparently, helped rescue people.

  1. Excellent coverage of this tragic situation. I just want to add that Justin Snyder arrived at the scene 1st, as a citizen, b/c of his close proximity to the fire. Justin is the person who, along with the help of police, helped the people and their cat OUT of the home, just before engines arrived. He is a true hero, as are all 1st responders involved.

    1. Its a shame that people feel the need to have to be recognized. A girl lost her life and families their homes, what is wrong with you people?

  2. Its a darn shame that some one has died and people lost their homes and all anyone wants is 15 minutes of fame/ recognition for doing a good thing. Maybe let us remember the life lost and the families that have been displaced in this tragedy, it is awful that all you wanna see is your name in the paper or on the internet because you think you should be recognized for helping out. Well my thanks goes out to the police and firefighters who do this job everyday without having to see their name in the papers. They are the true heroes here, so, you helped get people out of the home, I did that too once but difference between you and I is I did not need to be recognized for my good deed. So again, THANKS TO THOSE WHO ARE SELFLESS AND NEED NO RECOGNITION FOR BEING GOOD SAMARITANS!

  3. I’m in shock still, praying for her family🙏 Kyann had such a beautiful heart, always so cheerful and full of life. RIL sweet Kyann❤️❤️❤️We Luv you!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️Always your family from IHS Honolulu, Hawaii

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