Firefighters Battle Horsham Blaze

Crews from multiple departments tackled a fire that broke out Sunday evening in the Blair Mill strip mall on West Moreland Avenue in Horsham.

Fire crews from Hatboro, Horsham and surrounding communities worked to extinguish a blaze which appears to have started at a laundromat in a West Moreland Avenue strip mall Sunday.

Thick, black smoke filled the sky and throngs of people surrounded the Shoppes at Blair Mill center to watch as crews battled the blaze Sunday evening, which began shortly before 5 p.m. and was brought under control just after 6 p.m. 

Michele Shour of Horsham said she was inside the laundromat - which is situated in the 100 block of West Moreland Avenue in Horsham - washing two weeks worth of her and her 7-year-old son's clothes when she noticed smoke in the ceiling. 

"He was a little more scared," Shour said, as she watched crews work on the fire from across the street, near the Village Mall shopping center. "We just lost all our stuff."

Horsham Township Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator Gary Bissig told Patch that he did not know the cause of the fire, or how far it had spread. Fire Marshal George Fida was investigating it, he said. Patch was unsuccessful in reaching Fida or Horsham Fire Company Chief Tim Flanagan for comment Sunday.

Fida told Fox 29 News that four firefighters suffered minor injuries as a result of the fire. Three had to be hospitalized at Abington Memorial Hospital. 

The fire is believed to have started in the ceiling of the laundromat and led to the collapse of the roof. Smoke and water damaged all the strip mall's buildings. 

The owner of the adjacent Dairy Queen said he was called out to the scene, but was told he could not enter the store as crews worked to extinguish the fire from atop a ladder. 

Dorothy Fox, like Shour and 9 or 10 others, was inside the laundromat when the fire started. 

"Smoke just came outta one of the vents," Fox said, noting that the smoke was "light" at first. "All of a sudden you couldn't see in front of your face." 

Fox, who had three dryers in use at the time, said she used a trash can to prop the door open. As she and her mother-in-law fled the building, Fox said others were coming in to try to salvage clothing. 

Stay tuned to Patch for more on this story.

Joe Orlando September 09, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Sounds like it maybe a clogged dryer vent. I have used that laundromat before and those dryers get HOT. Story doesn't say if anyone was injured or not so I hope everyone is ok.
Theresa Katalinas September 09, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Joe, I just updated the story. 6ABC is reporting that 3 firefighters were injured. I'm still waiting to hear from the chief and fire marshal. Will update the story as more information becomes available.
HarleyGirl04 September 10, 2012 at 12:18 AM
So sad....I hope the firefighters all recover.
Jason Gutekunst September 10, 2012 at 03:09 AM
I heard a few sirens, then my wife and I could smell it and we live several blocks away. Ran by tonight and saw three businesses were closed! I hope everything turns out ok and they are rebuilt quickly!
Cora Rowe September 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Fires are never good news!! Will be thinking of injured firefighters and affected business owners.


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