A blaze that displaced three and caused $50,000 in damage to a Lancaster city row home started after a man set a fire in his backyard to scare opossums away, a fire official said.

The man had a problem with bees and opossums at the home, according to assistant fire marshal Lt. Carl Everhart.

He decided to use some leaves from his backyard and charcoal lighter fluid to start a fire.

"His intention was to use the smoke from the burning leaves to hopefully scare away the opossum," Everhart said Thursday.

"Unfortunately for him the exterior of the residence was made of wood, and the fire got out of control and spread to the residence," he said.

The blaze prompted a general-alarm dispatch. Units were dispatched to 348 N. Plum St. at 5:24 p.m. Wednesday.

There were no fire stops in the walls so the fire was able to spread, Everhart said.

The fire was ruled accidental, he said.

Damage to the home was estimated at $50,0000, Everhart said. The house has been condemned.

Along with the man, a woman and child lived in the home, he said.

City fire Capt. Jason Greer said Wednesday one firefighter was taken to Lancaster General Hospital after suffering a minor shoulder injury.

Staff writer Lindsey Blest contributed to this report.

What to Read Next