Sept. 25--Firefighters arrived Monday night at the Codorus Township home on Sticks Road and found it had already been reduced to a pile of flaming rubble, a fire official said.
"All those floors pancaked on top of each other," Glen Rock Hose and Ladder Assistant Chief Mike Naylor said Tuesday morning, stretching his hand out to show the structure had collapsed to about 4 feet high.
Firefighters, called to the house at 8:49 p.m., knew there was the possibility a female resident was inside, based on what neighbors were telling them, he said.
Still, they hoped that maybe she had gotten a ride from someone and had left her car there, he said.
"With the amount of fire we already had and that it had collapsed, we had no chance to get in there," Naylor said.
State police fire marshals pulled the woman's body from the rubble at 2:32 a.m.
Late Tuesday morning, an autopsy was performed on the body of the woman found inside. She died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, according to the York County Coroner's Office.
An office spokeswoman said investigators believe they know the woman's identity, but want to confirm it by checking dental records, which could take a few days.
Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Brad Dunham continued to investigate what caused the explosion and fire at the house on Tuesday.
"He has not released anything yet," Naylor said of Dunham Tuesday afternoon. "He hasn't pinpointed the cause."
Naylor said agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were helping Dunham investigate.
"They were there last night; apparently, there's some kind of working relationship" between state police and the bureau, he said.
He added that state police called in the bureau agent "for his expertise ... they needed the extra help."
Naylor said that in battling the fire, getting water was a challenge, because a nearby creek's levels were too low.
"We had to go all the way into town to get to a hydrant," he said. "They actually laid hose from Wetzel's Grocery Store to here -- about 6,000 feet."
Homeowner Bill Davis, who lives next door with his wife, said Monday the explosion "sounded like an atomic bomb went off."
Also Tuesday morning, Sarah Boyle, 29, said that she and husband David Boyle, 32, didn't know the woman who died very well. They have lived in their home for about three years, she said.
"I knew her to wave," she said.
She added that the woman was a "very nice lady ... It's really sad."
Copyright 2013 - York Daily Record, Pa.