Six displaced by New Freedom fire

Tears streamed down Megan Cook's face as she stared at the smoldering remains of her home. Full Story
sad

New Freedom, PA

#1 Dec 31, 2010
This house had a ton of problems. The owner knew of the concerns with electrical issues and did nothing! She was afraid to come to the house because of a murder that took place in the kitchen. This owner should be held accountable. Thank God everyone got out safely.
Been there

Shrewsbury, PA

#2 Dec 31, 2010
Well being that the problem was probably not electrical lets not start pointing fingers. Nobody is at fault, ACCIDENTAL means it was an accident, things happen. And i do believe that the owner of the home was across the street as it was burning so apparently so was not to afraid. Great job to the fire companies for working together and knocking the fire that had a huge head start on them. Great job everybody involved.
what

New Freedom, PA

#3 Dec 31, 2010
Been there wrote:
Well being that the problem was probably not electrical lets not start pointing fingers. Nobody is at fault, ACCIDENTAL means it was an accident, things happen. And i do believe that the owner of the home was across the street as it was burning so apparently so was not to afraid. Great job to the fire companies for working together and knocking the fire that had a huge head start on them. Great job everybody involved.
Accidential? I think negligence. Slum lord. This lady has property all over Shrewsbury/New Freedom and takes care of none of them.
Want to help

Seven Valleys, PA

#4 Dec 31, 2010
I know the Red Cross is helping the family with the basics. Does anyone know if any church or organization in the area is taking collections of clothes, food, money for the family? Would be nice to know what size clothes they need. I have some 12 month size boys clothes for the 11 month old. Just need to know where I can drop them off for the family. I am sure there are many more people in the area that would like to help.
Dustin Copp

New Freedom, PA

#5 Dec 31, 2010
a little over 2 years now since my home in new freedom on east main street burned down because my neighbors were smoking in the attic and all i had was a great family and friends who helped my wife and 2 young kids. the red cross was great and at know time was i pissed off at my neighbors for what they did I know God kept us safe and we got out all okay. please people dont get mad at the owner of the home nobody got hurt in this fire we lost over 20,000 thousand dollars in stuff and thats it its just stuff that can be replaced just pray and help out because as people blessed my family your darn skippy we will help at this family. we dont know at least I dont know who the owner is but crap happens and they might not have known what problems existed so please dont judge let the fire marshall do his job and find the problem thanks and god bless you all and have a good new year because this Cook family will. we as americans and people of new freedom will rally behind them.
sadly

York, PA

#6 Dec 31, 2010
This house has had a very sad story. The ending is almost approriate. What happened today was an accident that, luckily had a happier ending than the rest of the events that unfolded in it. Hopefully this will give all those involved with this home a chance to start over fresh, and put all the bad memories behind them. Everyone that was living there got out safe, and although what fire does is devasting, they do have a change to start new. Unfortunatly this can not be said about those that share the tale of this home. I hope the best for all involved.
Bets

York, PA

#7 Jan 1, 2011
Been there wrote:
Well being that the problem was probably not electrical lets not start pointing fingers. Nobody is at fault, ACCIDENTAL means it was an accident, things happen. And i do believe that the owner of the home was across the street as it was burning so apparently so was not to afraid. Great job to the fire companies for working together and knocking the fire that had a huge head start on them. Great job everybody involved.
This article is full of contradictions. It says the fire was accidental and started on the back porch. It then goes on to say the one resident thought she smelled something electrical burning, thinking at first it was the tree. Upon looking outside she saw flames on the porch and sparking electrical wires dangling. That sounds like an electrical fire to me, not some sort of accident. Unless this article was written with misleading information it doesn't sound like some unknown accidental factor was the cause to me.
The other thing I want to comment on is please, please, please people, get renter's insurance! You can get $10,000 worth of coverage for the contents of a home for about $100.00 a year. It doesn't have to be paid out in one lump sum, but instead staggered over the year in installments. You can get this type of insurance so the replacement of lost items will be at today's market value. If you want more coverage it would be a little more accordingly. What a shame for them to have to start over now with no insurance. People give to help out, but you never know what you might get, or if it is what you need. My heart hurts for them. It's just such a shame they lost so much and have no insurance!
City Firefighter

York, PA

#8 Jan 1, 2011
sad wrote:
This house had a ton of problems. The owner knew of the concerns with electrical issues and did nothing! She was afraid to come to the house because of a murder that took place in the kitchen. This owner should be held accountable. Thank God everyone got out safely.
None of the problems were addressed because so many municipalities lack any kind of property maintainence, life safety codes or licensing of rental properties. The zoning ordinances of most municipalities are almost impossible to enforce because they're poory concieved & written that they won't stand up to a court challange.
Perhaps this fire could have been prevented had the property been licenced & properly inspected on an annual basis by a certified inspector who would most likely have found deficiencies, and a municipality that had the proper ordinances in place to enforce compliance.
While landlords fight regulation & municipalities resist changing ordinances, here is an example of why, if in fact this property had deficiencies, that the tenants would have been protected & the landlord would not be facing dealing with insurance adjusters and rebuilding the property.
Bets

York, PA

#9 Jan 1, 2011
City Firefighter wrote:
<quoted text>
None of the problems were addressed because so many municipalities lack any kind of property maintainence, life safety codes or licensing of rental properties. The zoning ordinances of most municipalities are almost impossible to enforce because they're poory concieved & written that they won't stand up to a court challange.
Perhaps this fire could have been prevented had the property been licenced & properly inspected on an annual basis by a certified inspector who would most likely have found deficiencies, and a municipality that had the proper ordinances in place to enforce compliance.
While landlords fight regulation & municipalities resist changing ordinances, here is an example of why, if in fact this property had deficiencies, that the tenants would have been protected & the landlord would not be facing dealing with insurance adjusters and rebuilding the property.
What you say is so true! I am not pointing a finger of blame here at this landlord. I am just stating what I know to be true having been a renter for years. I have found when living within the city of York I had support when there was a problem with housing. The story was not that when I was a renter out of the city limits. I had septic problems, electrical problems, and numberous other things that needed attention in different homes I rented over the years. I contacted every agency I could think of for help and hit a brick wall. Even when there were bare wires hanging from my stove hood that I got shocked by, and raw sewage coming up from the septic tank in the yard. I quit paying rent and moved out, only to be sued for damages I didn't do. I lost the case in spite of having pictures of what it looked like when I moved in, and what I had to deal with while living in the home. We do need changes in regulation of rental properties. Sometimes because of a landlord not caring there are tragic consequences. The way things are now you are at the mercy of the home owner. You aren't always able to see problems until after you live in a home. Once there, it is hard to get another security deposit together and the money to move again. God help these people now rebuild their lives in replacing what they have lost.
HJWMT

Hanover, PA

#10 Jan 1, 2011
Just curious about the murder that previously happened in this house...can anyone guide me to an article about it? Thanks-
Thats a shame

York, PA

#11 Jan 1, 2011
There are a number of things you can do as a renter.First and foremost, GET INSURANCE. If you know, there is no way you can afford to replace it, then protect it with insurance! Secondly, there are more laws on the books to protect consumers/renters than there are for the property owners. Get a lawyer! For a retainer, which can be paid by credit card, or installments, you can sue the landlord to remedy neglect. Your borough health inspector can help. There were several adults, if each one kicked in $25.00 per year, they would have had adequate coverage. That's a shame.
lived in the area

York, PA

#12 Jan 1, 2011
HJWMT wrote:
Just curious about the murder that previously happened in this house...can anyone guide me to an article about it? Thanks-
I cant guide you to an article about it because it happended to many years ago for me to remember exactly. I can however give you some details that I know, I'm not sure if they are fact or not at this point. Here's a brief back ground leading you to the event. The was a family that I beleive to be the original owners living there. The children were all adults by the point of the killing. The man of the house was semi disabled from an auto accident years before and walked with a cane. The lady of the house, after the incident claimed abuse. The house that holds this sad story is a rancher with a walk out basement.
The story goes like this, and it's from hear-say at this point in time. After years of abuse, the man had "snapped" and told the woman that he was going to kill her. This occured in the dinning room of the home. The woman in a panic ran down stairs, while the man remained sitting at the dinning room table. Instead if running out the basement door, she also "snapped", picked up a shot gun and headed back upstairs. The gentleman was still sitting at the table with his back to her when she shot him roughly 5 times in the back. He never saw it coming. She claimed abuse, and I'm pretty sure she got out of jail a few years later with an insanity defense. The story goes on from there that she moved back into the home and lived there for a brief time before being commited again. I think it was even rumored to be haunted by his ghost from time to time.
I'm not 100% on all of the minor details, but it was a very unfortunate situation to all those involved. Like I stated I'm not sure how much of this is truth or talk from neighbor to neighbor, but it should give you a basic idea of what occured in the home.
HJWMT

Hanover, PA

#13 Jan 1, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to give me a basic idea of what happened. I appreciate it! This latest event is sad too. Fortunately there was no loss of life.
lived in the area wrote:
<quoted text>
I cant guide you to an article about it because it happended to many years ago for me to remember exactly. I can however give you some details that I know, I'm not sure if they are fact or not at this point. Here's a brief back ground leading you to the event. The was a family that I beleive to be the original owners living there. The children were all adults by the point of the killing. The man of the house was semi disabled from an auto accident years before and walked with a cane. The lady of the house, after the incident claimed abuse. The house that holds this sad story is a rancher with a walk out basement.
The story goes like this, and it's from hear-say at this point in time. After years of abuse, the man had "snapped" and told the woman that he was going to kill her. This occured in the dinning room of the home. The woman in a panic ran down stairs, while the man remained sitting at the dinning room table. Instead if running out the basement door, she also "snapped", picked up a shot gun and headed back upstairs. The gentleman was still sitting at the table with his back to her when she shot him roughly 5 times in the back. He never saw it coming. She claimed abuse, and I'm pretty sure she got out of jail a few years later with an insanity defense. The story goes on from there that she moved back into the home and lived there for a brief time before being commited again. I think it was even rumored to be haunted by his ghost from time to time.
I'm not 100% on all of the minor details, but it was a very unfortunate situation to all those involved. Like I stated I'm not sure how much of this is truth or talk from neighbor to neighbor, but it should give you a basic idea of what occured in the home.
megan cook

United States

#14 Jan 2, 2011
Thank you to all the firefighters and people who are willing to lend there hands to strangers its nice to know that people are still out there with kind hearts.We are strong and have lots of support from the community, family and friends. We thank you so much. Im not sure exactly what started the fire im just glad me and my family made it out alive.Our landlord has always been kind to us and has fixed any problem in the house we ever had so im sure if we knew what ever started the fire was a hazard she would have fixed it before it got out of hand as it did. The wife killing her husband in that house is a lil creepy to find out.To all those offering donations we are sending them to 1714 scott rd, pylesville md 21132 or 2418 lemon rd, jarrettsville md ,21084.Things that have been donated are gift cards and some clothing thank you so much. An account is being opend at Peoples bank in new freedom by them for donations so that we may purchase household,clothing,toiletires, etc and toward a new car.for any other info please email Bageeb15@aol.com. Thank you so much and god bless you all for your help
former firefighter

York, PA

#15 Jan 2, 2011
One thing to note - kudo's to the fire fighter who returned the rings to the lady. Many times, firefighters are placed into a situation where they have access to valuables, and never once in the 30-off years of volunteer firefighting have I ever heard of anyone keeping valuables they came across. Many volunteer firefighters (and medical workers) are under financial stress because of loss of jobs, etc, but remain honest. A tip of my hat to you, Firefighter, and Thanks to your service!
hortense ely

Strausstown, PA

#16 Jan 3, 2011
perhaps they should place "Cigarettes may cause cancer AND fires" on their warning label
Victim of Fridays fire

United States

#17 Jan 5, 2011
In reply to the inconsiderate and ignorant statement made by Hortense, and I say ignorant because you have no Idea what your talking about, your just ASSUMING!!! and you know what they say about assuming!!!! Have you ever been in a fire??? or been awaken by screams of your children telling you to get up and get out of the house because your house was on FIRE!!(EVERYONE WAS SLEEPING!! NOT SMOKING!!!!) and in about 15 -20 minutes everything you ever owned vanishes infront of your eyes, and inside your pets burn alive and you can't get to them!!! you stand there helplessly counting heads making sure everyone's out!!! standing outside in only your robe because there wasn't enough time to even grab clothes??? You can't even begin to imagine what we've been thru,I have nightmares everynight! so don't you DARE make an ASSANINE statement like that!! YOU DON"T KNOW US! and we are VERY conscious of our actions and consequences and would not be so IRRESPONSIBLE! as to let cigarettes burn out of control and burn our home down!, kill our pets!!and destroy all our possesions including our CAR!!and MOST IMPORTANTANTLY ENDANGER lives of our Family!! My daughter saw the wire in the ceiling of the back porch sparking,(Those wires were where a light used to be and have been like that since we moved in over a YEAR AGO! we never had a problem before) and the sparks caught furniture and the firewood on the back porch on fire and went thru the walls in record time!! so don't make smart comments on things you DON"T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOUR TALKING ABOUT!!! I'm sitting here writing this to you in the lobby of a HOTEL! because we no longer have a home, we don't need insensitive comments like that to add to our Horrible situation! so you might want to take a SENSITIVITY COURSE!! and think before YOU SPEAK!!

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