SHENANDOAH (SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PA): On March 20th 2011 at 20:40 hours the Shenandoah Fire Department (Five Stations), Mahanoy City West End Rescue 993 and Shenandoah Ambulance were dispatched to 419 West Oak Street in Shenandoah for a house fire. The Shenandoah police and EMS arrived in minutes and found smoke and flames coming from the A Side of a single home. The fire spread quickly and began to move to the roof within the walls of the home. The fire quickly jumped to the adjacent homes in the tight narrow street.
Phoenix Engine 747 and Columbia Engine 742 arrived on the scene first. Engine 742 connected to a hydrant on south Catherine Street and laid into the fire scene on Oak Street. Engine 747 staged in the front of the home and was placed into pump. Squirt 745 arrived on scene and staged behind Engine 747. The Squirt sent its ladder to the roof of the exposure home on Side D. The single home sat off the street and was well involved fire. The firefighters advanced hose lines from Engine 747 and Squirt 745 to the front of the home to attack the fire. The attack crews were stop by a down live wire that was arching on the sidewalk. Fire fighters had to make a defensive attack from the street with multiple hose lines.
Polish American Engine-Tanker 759 established water supplies from a hydrant at New York and Gilbert Street. The tanker laid into the fire scene and supplied Engine 747 with hydrant water. Defender Engine 751 obtained another water supply and staged on South New York Street. Engine 751 sent its crew through the residences on New York Street with hose lines to reach the rear of the fire building. The additional Shenandoah fire fighters who arrived on scene entered the exposure homes to stop the spreading fire. Ladder 745 staged in front of the homes on the B Side and threw ground ladders. The ladder sent its crew to the roof of the exposure residences to do ventilation. West End Rescue 993 staged block away and sent its manpower to the scene to assist with RIT operations.
The exposure attack crews stretched hose lines into the attics where they found heavy fire. The fire spread through the wall to the second exposure home’s attic. The smoke conditions in the first exposure home worsen and the fire spread to the next door residence. Shenandoah Fire Chief 740 order the second alarm dispatched and to respond to the scene. Mahanoy City West End Fire Company Engine 465, Englewood-Butler Township Engine 369, Shenandoah Heights-West Mahanoy Township Engine 881, Frackville-Goodwill Ladder 43-20, and Frackville Ambulance were dispatched and responded to the scene
Squirt 745 placed its elevated ladder on to the D Side exposure home and vented the roof. The fire chief ordered additional hose lines into the initial fire exposure homes when the fire vented from the roof vent holes. The other second alarm units staged in the area and sent their manpower to the fire scene. The crew from Ladder 43-20 proceeded to the roof to assist with ventilation. The second alarm engine crews were ordered to report to the A Side and wait for assignments.
The incident commander ordered additional hose line crews in the exposure homes. The fire conditions became under control in the exposure homes and fire fighters moved into the overhaul mode. The walls and attic ceilings were opened up by the fire fighters to look for hotspots. The crews had the fire under controlled in less than hour. The second alarm fire fighters were then released from the scene before 23:00 hours.
The electrical hazards were secured and the fire in the initial house was knocked down. Fire fighters entered the heavily burnt out 2 1/2 story home to extinguish multiple hot spots. Fire fighters remained on the scene overhauling until midnight to prevent rekindles.
The State Police Fire Investigator, police chief and fire marshals returned back to the scene the next day to investigate the cause of the fire. The fire chief reported that there were no injuries to fire fighters or residents. The two alarm fire destroyed one house and damaged four row homes. Shenandoah, Frackville, and Lost Creek EMS crews provided rehab services to the fire fighters. The Red Cross Emergency Response Unit responded and assisted the fire fighters and displaced residents.