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Interim Update to Neighbors on Properties Impacted by Recent Fire on 500 block N. Plum Street

March 18, 2023 | Bureau of Code Compliance & Inspections Mayor's Office

The following letter was delivered to residents in the blocks surrounding the 500 block of N. Plum Street. Please direct all media inquiries to the Media Request Form.

Dear Neighbors,

We wanted to share an update with you about the recent fire that damaged properties on the 500 Block of N Plum Street. First and foremost, thank you for your cooperation and support of your neighbors and City staff including Firefighters, Police Officers, Public Works crews, and Code and Housing Inspectors on Monday, and in the days since then.

As you know, a fire impacted all ten adjoined rowhomes on Monday, March 13. Eight of the 10 properties were condemned. The remaining two homes (537 and 539) were occupied, and two households were displaced. They are being assisted to find new housing.

At this time, City Fire Marshalls have been unable to determine the cause of the fire; an investigation is ongoing. Subsequent to the fire, the City of Lancaster’s chief building code official worked with an engineering firm to evaluate the safety of the buildings on the block and determined that eight of the properties are in imminent danger of collapse and must be demolished as soon as possible. The City is working with a contractor to demolish the structures at 521-535 N Plum as early as Monday, March 20. The two end properties, 537 and 539 N Plum, are not in danger of collapse.

Within the next two weeks, the City of Lancaster will be in touch again with additional information about potential next steps.

If you have questions about this matter, please contact Community Planning & Economic Development Deputy Director Rebecca Geiser at (717) 682-1694 or RGeiser@cityoflancasterpa.gov.

Thank you,

Mayor Danene Sorace
City of Lancaster