A fire has destroyed a central Pennsylvania home where Poison lead singer Bret Michaels once lived as a child.
Upper Allen Township Fire Chief Jim Salter said firefighters had trouble battling the Mechanicsburg fire Wednesday afternoon because nearby fire hydrants were buried in snow. Mechanicsburg is about 8 miles southwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital.
Five children and two adults were able to escape safely. Salter said one family member was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to Toshia Rowland, Dan Krout and their children. Thank you as well to all of the first responders including fire and rescue, emergency medical technicians and police who responded in the record snowfall. I want to reach out to the family and see how I can help. No doubt as a child I had a lot of great memories of my parents, sisters and friends in that house. It was sad to see the damage the fire had done, but most important I’m glad that the family are ok from what I understand. As a community we can help them with a place to stay, clothes, food, toys and living essentials until they are back on their feet."
The post includes a Go Fund Me link to help with the family's needs: https://www.gofundme.com/p5esspek
An official with Bret Michaels Entertainment tells The Sentinel of Carlisle that the home was one of the singer's childhood homes. He lived there between the ages of six and 17.
Firefighters say a cooking accident is thought to have ignited the blaze at the ranch-style home.
Michaels is a Butler native who, as a child, split his time between Pittsburgh and Mechanicsburg, where his dad worked at the Naval Depot. While living in Mechanicsburg, he met Bobby Dall (who lived in Wormleysburg) and Rikki Rockett (from nearby Cedar Cliff) and formed a band that featured a revolving door of guitarists.
In a York Daily Record interview from 2003, Michaels talked about his life in central Pennsylvania. How he and Dall and Rockett played half covers and half originals in the punk-metal band Paris and other groups. How they would rent buildings, roll out kegs, rock the heck out of the crowd and leave the place in shambles.
"We'd get, like, the Fishing Creek Community Building. Off of, what is it, 83? That was our last, here's a story ..." Michaels says, winding up. "That was our last show. And we'd buy kegs of beer, and charge five bucks a head, and put on our full-on show. The place was packed. We loaded our stuff in a van and left that night. I mean, we finished a show at like, 2 a.m., and off we went to California."