CITY OF SHAMOKIN (NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY), PA - On July 22, 2012 at 14:56 hours the Shamokin Fire Department (Friendship, Liberty, Rescue, Independence, and West End Fire Companies,) Rescue Squad and AREA EMS were dispatched to 35 South Fifth Street in Shamokin for a working structure fire. The Shamokin Police arrived in minutes and found smoke and flames showing from the rear second floor windows of a three story apartment building. The fire continued to spread quickly and began to move through the second floor.
Initial reports told of possible victims trapped above the fire floor. The Shamokin Fire Chief then requested the second alarm due to a working fire in a large multiple floor apartment building. The second alarm brought Mount Carmel Ladder 2, Kulpmont Engine 221 (RIT Team), Coal Township Maine Engine 110, and Ralph Township Engine 194.
Engine 41 was on scene first and established a water supply from a hydrant north of the building at Fifth and Chestnut Streets. The crew deployed a cross lay hose line and made an offensive attack to stop the fire. Police officers assisted the engine crew in stretching the hose line to the rear stairwell entrance. Fire fighters advanced the hose line to the second floor apartment and knocked down the fire. Engine 11 and Ladder 32 staged in behind of Engine 41 on the West side of the building. The Shamokin Ladder 32 staged to the rear of the building. The Ladder crew sent its personnel up the aerial ladder to the second windows to do ventilation. The additional engine crews backed up the attack crew and entered the next door apartments to search for spreading fire. Liberty Engine 21 established a third water supply and entered the front of the building and searched for extension.
Incident Command assigned the additional second alarm manpower to assist with overhaul in the building. The Kulpmont Engine 221 crew provided RIT operations and stood by outside the building. The mutual aid Truck Company responded to the scene, staged a block away and assisted with overhaul operations. AREA EMS provided rehab operations to support the exhausted and overheated fire fighters.
The smoke conditions in the building improved and the crews had the fire out in less than 15 minutes and with out chance of rekindles. The fire chief believes the fire started in the rear second floor apartment and was caused by an electric problem. The fire chief reported that there were no injuries of fire fighters or residents. The building received major to moderate fire or smoke damage.