BUTLER TOWNSHIP (SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PA): On April 30, 2012 at 12:30 hours the Butler Township Fire Department (Fountain Springs, Lavelle and Englewood Fire Companies), Ashland’s Ladder 38-25 and Ashland Ambulance were dispatched to a house fire at 796 Fountain Street in Fountain Springs. In a matter of minutes a State Trooper arrived on location to find thick black smoke coming from the home. He found no one outside of the residence and a passenger vehicle to the rear of the home. He informed his dispatcher that it was a working fire and there may be entrapment.
In a few minutes additional local police units arrived on location and assist the State Trooper looking for any residents. Fountain Springs Tanker 4-30 arrived to find the unoccupied ranch type home fully involved. The tanker staged at the entrance of the drive way on Route 61 and blocked the roadway. Ashland Ladder staged behind the tanker and sent its crew to assist first arriving fire fighters. Fire fighters then deployed a 2 ½ and 1 ¾ hose lines from the tanker up the drive way to the burning home. Fire was then venting from all windows and through the roof of the home forcing a defensive attack. Englewood Engine 369 parked in the next door driveway and deployed a number of hose lines. The hose lines were moved to the Delta Side of the home and were charged with the engine’s tank water.
The Fountain Springs Fire Chief took command and requests the second alarm to the scene. The second alarm brought engine and tanker companies from Gordon, Girardville, Frackville, and Shenandoah. Frackville-Goodwill Ladder 43-20 and Mahanoy City RIT Team was also dispatched on the second alarm assignment.
Frackville Engine 43-10 hooked to a hydrant and dropped over 800 feet of supply line on Route 61. The five inch supply line was then connected to Engine 369 and supplied it with hydrant water. Frackville Ladder and Engine’s crew reported to the fire building and backed up the Englewood’s crew making an interior attack from the rear.
A portable dump tank pond was then set up just outside the drive ay on Route 61. Girardville Engine 45-10 then drafts from the pond and supplied hose lines that were deployed into the front yard. A number of tankers made multiple water drops and then proceeded to get refilled. The additional arriving units staged on Route 61 with their fire fighters assisting with overhaul and mop up.
The fire was quickly knocked down in 120 minutes and under control in two hours with the home being destroyed. The residence was a REVCO Group home that was the home of three special needs individuals. The residents were not home at the time of the fire that was caused by an electrical problem.