MINERSVILLE, PA - On April 26, 2010 at 4:30 a.m. the Minersville Fire Department (Five Stations) and Minersville Ambulance were dispatched to 321 Front Street in Minersville for a house fire. The initial report of the fire to the 911 Center was made by a neighbor.
Minersville police officers arrived in minutes and found smoke and flames coming from the rear of the row homes. The fire was found on the back porch in the rear of the home. The fire continued to spread quickly and began to move into the two upper floors of the home.
Mountaineer Engine 521 and Rescue Ladder 519 arrived on scene first and found a working row home fire.
Ladder 519 staged on Front Street and sent its 100 foot ladder to the roof of the row homes. Ladder 519 sent its crew to the roof of the home to do ventilation. A number of hose lines from Ladder 519 were placed into service and taken into the home. Goodwill Engine 514 established a water supply from a hydrant at Carbon and Front Street. Engine 514 then supplied water to Ladder 519 and Engine 528. Engine 528 staged behind Ladder 519 and sent its crew to assist with advancing hose lines into the fire building.
Engine 521 established a water supply from New Minersville Engine 534. Engine 521 staged on Cherry Street (side C) and made an offensive attack in the rear of the home to stop the fire. New Minersville Engine 534 staged on Cherry Street (side C), the rear of Engine 521 and established a second water supply from a hydrant on North Street. The engine crew entered the rear second and third floor of the exposure homes with an additional hose line and searched for extension.
Incident Command requested a second alarm to respond to the scene to assist in the row home fire. The Pottsville City West End and Yorkville Fire Companies responded to the scene and assist with fire operations. Yorkville Engine 62 and Rescue 63 staged a block away on Front Street and sent their manpower to the fire building to assist with RIT Operations. Ladder 51 staged on Front Street (A-B Corner) and set its 100 foot ladder into the air to provide lighting. Ladder 51 sent its crew to the roof of the fire building to do ventilation.
The fire spread to the third floor and got into the roof void areas causing to move to the exposure homes. Incident Command then request for the Schuylkill Haven RIT team to respond to the scene and do RIT operations. Ladder 51 crew took ground ladders to the C Side of the home to vent windows. A number of ground ladders were set up to allow hose lines to gain access into the windows. Schuylkill Hose Engine 733 responded to the scene to do RIT Operations. The RIT team stood by on the A and C sides and was not activated. Llewellyn-Branch Township Engine 3-10 responded to the scene and its crew assisted with extinguishment and overhaul.
The truck crews on the roof found the fire jumping into the next door exposure homes. The fire eventually took over the three homes top floor and roofs. The Incident Commander then ordered Pottsville American Squad 72 and Good Intent Engine 11 to respond to the scene to assist with RIT. The fire continued to spread out of control and the incoming Pottsville units were put to work. Command then had the Cass Township Clover Hose Engine 263 respond to the scene to assist with operations.
Engine 263 staged on North Front Street and assist advancing a number of hose lines into the burning exposure homes. The fire fighters moved additional ground ladders and hose lines to the roofs of the exposure building. Fire fighters were able to vent the homes and extinguished the fire extension. A number of hose lines were placed into service in the row homes.
The smoke and fire conditions in the home improved and the crews had the fire under control by 6:00 a.m. The crews were able to extinguish and overhaul the fire in the main fire and exposure homes. Minersville firefighters remained on the scene to extinguish the hot spots and stop rekindles throughout the day.
South Cass Engine 268 and Forestville Engine 267 reported to a Minersville fire station and stood by for the borough. Minersville EMS and American Red Cross responded to the scene and provided rehab to the firefighters.
The fire chief believes the fire started on the rear porch and does appear to be suspicious in origin. The homes at 319, 321, and 323 North Front Street received major damage and may have to be turned down. The fire chief reported that there were no injuries of fire fighters or civilians.
The multiple alarm fire occurred two blocks away from another multi-alarm fire that occurred two days before. The three alarm fire that occurred on April 24th destroyed four large buildings at Sunbury and Front Street. The fire is still under investigation and is to believe to be arson.