A fire in York City on Thursday displaced 15 people from two houses.

The 15 people - two adults and seven children in one home and an adult and five children in a second home - are being assisted by the Red Cross, said Patrick Rose, assistant fire chief with York City.

Crews were dispatched to a home in the 900 block of East Princess Street just before noon after residents discovered smoke coming from the kitchen ceiling, Rose said.

The residents got her neighbors from their adjoining home before calling 911, he said.

Arriving firefighters began pulling down the ceiling only to discover more smoke but no flames. So they went next door and found that old wiring in the walls had arced, setting a wooden truss on fire and sending smoke into the adjoining home, Rose said.

Though crews had the fire out in short order, power was cut both homes. Firefighters also discovered numerous code violations, causing the homes to be unlivable for the time being.

Damage is estimated between $3,000 and $5,000. The fire has been ruled accidental.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.