RINGTOWN (SCHUYLKILL COUNTY), PA: On July 8, 2011 at 03:26 hours the Ringtown Valley Fire Department was sent to the area of west Main Street in Ringtown for an odor of smoke. The phone caller reported he had a strong odor of smoke in and outside his home. Tanker 30-35 and Engine 30-10 checked the area which they found a strong odor and haze of smoke. Tanker 30-35 then found smoke coming from the roof of a home at 5 Shenandoah Road. Chief 30 took command and had the first alarm dispatched to the scene for a working house fire. Fire companies from Mahanoy City, Shenandoah, Sheppton, and Aristes were dispatched to the scene.
Engine 30-10 established a water supply from a hydrant on Main Street and supplied Tanker 30-35. Fire fighters had to force the front door and advanced hose lines into the home. The home was first searched for trapped occupants but was found unoccupied. The attack crew found the fire in the middle of the home through out the ceiling. The flames spread quickly and rolled over the first floor. Command ordered all interior units to evacuate the structure and go to defensive operations. Flames then vented through the roof of the home. He then had Frackville Ladder 43-20 and the third alarm of tankers dispatched.
Command order Shenandoah Squirt 745 to set up on the Delta Side of the home. The elevated master was placed in-service on the back of the home. Tanker 30-35 supplied Squirt 745 with water allowing additional hose lines be placed into service. West End Rescue 993 staged across the street in a drive away and set up rehab. Rescue 993 fire fighters then stood by on the Alpha-Delta Corner as the RIT Team. A dump site was set up a block away and was pumped by Sheppton Engine 9-10. Engine 9-10 then pumped water up to the fire scene to Tanker 30-35. Shenandoah Heights Engine 881 was sent two miles away to set up a tanker refill site. Tankers from Aristes, Wilburton, Mahanoy City, Shenandoah, Nuremberg, Ryan Township, and Hometown operated in the tanker shuttle operations. Ladder 43-20 arrived and staged north of the fire scene behind Engine 30-10. Frackville fire fighters reported to the Alpha Side and assisted with the exterior hose lines.
The heavy volume of fire in the home was then knocked down in a half hour. Chief 30 then allowed fire fighters to reenter the home with hose lines. The second floor windows on both sides were laddered and vented. Sheppton and Frackville fire fighters entered the second floor windows with hose lines to search for fire. The still spreading fire was able to spread into the attic void area. Shenandoah fire fighters gained access from the roof from the squirt’s ladder and vented the roof. The second floor crews then opened the ceiling and extinguished the remaining fire.
The fire conditions in the home were placed under control by 05:00 hours. Command then ordered Squirt 745 to wet down the rear of the home to prevent any future rekindles. The second and third alarm units were placed available and returned about 06:00 hours. Shenandoah and Ringtown EMS personal provided rehab to the fire fighters throughout the incident.
The fire chief reported the fire was caused accidentally by an electrical source. The home received major damaged causing the residents to be displaced. The hot weather conditions made it tough fighting the fire a challenge. No fire fighters or civilians were reported injured during the incident.