Aftermath of a fire: What remains
April 27, 2011 by Chris Dunn
When I first arrived at the 600 block of Wallace Street, where yesterday an unattended cooking-fire consumed three homes, this was all I saw:
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Citizens Public Adjusters solicitor Douglas Dardaris leans against the porch rail of 624 Wallace Street as a bassinet, mattresses and other items that Anthony and Katie White's family once used lie on the curb outside their fire-destroyed home at 622 Wallace Street in York City on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. The Whites' upstairs neighbor had left her cooking unattended, which started the blaze that consumed three rowhouses and displaced seven adults and three children.
So I went to an adjacent rowhouse that had suffered water damage from the fire hoses, and I made a few pictures there. Upon my exiting that house, I met its owners/former residents, the Follers, and got to know them a bit. Soon, a pregnant woman approached us, and I found out quickly that she had lived in one of the fire-destroyed homes.
I asked her if I could make a few pictures of her around the area. She said no, that she was too emotional for the time being. I let the matter rest and continued to listen to her share stories with her former neighbors.
Then, her husband and daughters pulled up in a van, and her older daughter ran out, in tears.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Mariah White, 4, collapses in her mother Katie's arms, in tears after seeing the family's fire-destroyed home on the 600 block of Wallace Street the day after the fire, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Katie White said Mariah took the fire hard on Tuesday. The Whites had been living in that home for two years, since Mariah was two years old.
Then, with no protest or objections from Katie or her husband, I began to follow them and make pictures as they went through their house once more to salvage any playthings to comfort Mariah.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Debris and damaged belongings litter the water-soaked carpet of the White family's master bedroom in their fire-damaged home on the 600 block of Wallace Street on Wednesday, April 27, 2011.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Katie White bends over to pick up an undamaged slinky in her fire-damaged home the day after the fire, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Katie White is nine months pregnant with her third child and first son, whom she and her husband Anthony will name Darius.
The Whites have no renter’s insurance. Friends and neighbors helped them remove most of their salvageable items yesterday after the fire was extinguished. For now, they are staying with family — and Katie said they probably won’t return to their old home even after the repairs are made, because their growing family needs more space.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Anthony and Katie White try to salvage playthings and memorabilia from their fire-damaged home on the 600 block of Wallace Street on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. The majority of what property they were unable to retrieve on Tuesday, after the fire happened, was water-soaked from the fire hoses.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Anthony and Katie White had decorated their children's bedroom walls with their names. This is Darius', who will be born in May.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Katie White tries to remove letters and other decorations of her daughter Mariah's name from the children's bedroom as her husband Anthony reminds her that it's easy to print out and color new letters, after they surveyed their fire-damaged home on the 600 block of Wallace Street on Wednesday, April 27, 2011.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Anthony White, who lived with his family in the downstairs apartment of 622 Wallace Street, checks over the back porch on Wednesday, April 27, 2011. The fire that destroyed three rowhomes began in the second-story apartment above the Whites' home.
© 2011 by The York Dispatch. Katie White, far right, watches as AnnaMae Foller, far left, and her sister Bernetta Myers of West York borough play with Mariah White, 4, and her sister Shania, 2, on Foller's neighbor's porch on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, the day after the White family's home and two others were destroyed in a fire.