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On This Day (January 25th)
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Incidents for which we were dispatched (see Note 1)Hide

Fire, Rube Abboff's store
Detail >>
A fire which broke out in mid afternoon soon had the Lykens Boys busy well into the night. Tom Welker, now of Elizabethville's Company 21, recalls it like this:"School had just dismissed and, on the walk home, the crossing guard at Main and Pine Streets asked me why I wasn't running. The fire siren had gone off just as the crossing guards left the school building on North Second Street a few minutes before school dismissal. She pointed skyward and billows of dark colored smoke were visible to the southeast of where we stood. "That's back by my house! ", I thought and took off running. As I rounded the corner of South Second Street, I could see the fire was up past the fire house and the 41 International was already there. Running past my house, I threw my books to my Grandma and kept going. The fire was at Rube Abboff's store on the corner of South Second and Market Streets. Heavy smoke was pushing out of many openings and the first hoseline which was in the front door was being pulled back. My Uncle Ken Welker was on the second floor balcony when it lit off and he retreated down the ladder quickly, and my Dad was at the pump panel of the 41 flowing water to several lines. Chief Elwood "Ellie " Miller was barking orders. Wiconisco, Williamstown, and Elizabethville fire companies soon arrived to assist. The roof went next and flames were high in the sky. It then extended into the next building, which was an office I believe of the propane gas company. Abboff's sold appliances and other household items. Lots of water was flying and soon everything was coated with ice on that cold January late afternoon. At one point Firefighters hooked a 2?-inch hose directly to the hydrant at Doc Bakers and directed the stream to try to break the picture window of the gas company's office. The efforts of 50 to 75 firefighters were in vain however, as the buildings were a total loss. The fire was blamed on a faulty chimney and apparently had great headway before it was noticed. Abboff's relocated to a new store front on Main Street and the Building was never rebuilt. It is now the empty lot across the street from Station 22. [as of 2007] It was an exciting day for a 6th rader!!!!" (Note: Tom Welker grew up in Lykens, the son of Chal Welker - a very active Liberty Hose Company member and officer.) Jim Hoffman remembers watching this fire as a kid. He watched it from the bank along the railroad tracks next to Danny Bopp's store, across the tracks from the fire. When Jim told Tom Welker about this, Tom remembered the bank being full of spectators. Tom later learned that Dr. A. Pianovitch had an office full of people watching the fire in the warmth. Later in life, Jim Hoffman talked to Chal Welker about this call. Chal told him how the windows of the second floor blew out into the street. Jim also remembers seeing the frustration on the faces of the firefighters that day. It wasn't until many years later, when he became involved in the fire service, that he truly understood what caused that look - how sometimes no matter what you do, you can't change the outcome.
Unrecorded Incident Type, Unrecorded Location

Structure Fire, Co 23 Club (Box 23-)

Barn Fire, 2390 Powells Valley Road (Box 19-1)
Detail >>
Company-22 was dispatched for a reported barn fire at 2390 Powells Valley Road in Wayne Township. Truck-22 responded first, followed by Tanker-22 and Engine-22. The truck went to the scene, the tanker was canceled while enroute, and the engine was re-directed to standby in Station-19 (Carsonville). The truck crew was given the assignment to bring hand tools and report to Command-19 at the front of the structure. The barn was fully involved and was burned to the ground upon arrival of Truck-22. The truck crew assisted in the extinguishment of several hot spots and then pulled large sections of the tin roof away to uncover hidden pockets of fire. Approximately 85 to 100 sheep that had occupied the barn perished and numerous remains needed extinguishment. After completion of overhaul and assisting Companies 19, 20, 216, and 29, Command released the truck crew from the scene and released the engine crew from standby. Upon return to quarters, Truck-22 was placed out of service due to problems with the throttle cable freezing up during this call.
Smoke in Structure, 2263 Powells Valley Road (Box 19-1)
Detail >>
Tanker-22 was dispatched for a possible chimney fire at 2543 Powell's Valley Road. The company responded with the tanker, but was cancelled enroute by Dauphin County. The call was located in the same vicinity as the earlier barn fire. The home owner awoke to a smell of smoke in his home and suspected that his chimney may have been blocked and smoke was coming into the home rather than going out the chimney. The actual cause of the smoke was from the barn fire across the road earlier that morning, which the home owner had slept through. Smoke from the barn fire entered the ventilation system of the home and caused the smoke condition inside. The Chief-19 held this call to Company-19, and they ventilated the house for the home owner.
Chimney Fire, 140 East Market Street (Box 24-1)
Detail >>
Truck-22 was dispatched to Williamstown to assist Company-24 with a reported chimney fire at 140 East Market Street. Engine-23 was also on the box. Truck-22 responded with a crew of seven and arrived on scene to find a furnace malfunction at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The crews assisted Company-24 until they were released.
Accident with Injuries, 171 Pottsville Street (Box 23-2)
Detail >>
Engine 22 dispatched to assist Company 23 on a reported accident with injuries in front of 171 Pottsville Street in Wiconisco. Engine and Rescue 23 on scene. Engine 22 responded with 6, and on arrival on scene, was placed available by Chief 23.
Electrical Hazard, 516 North Street (Box 22-1)
Detail >>
Company 22 alerted class 3 for a report of a PP&L pole burning in front of 516 North Street in the Boro. Chief and Captain 22 responded POV and placed Engine 22 in service and handled the call. On arrival, the tap fuse was out and there was no fire. After contacting the County to relay a pole number, they went available.
Flooding, 300 Chestnut Street (Box 22-2)
Detail >>
Captain 22 received a phone call from the Alpha Laval Plant advising that a storm sewer to the rear of their office next to the plant was blocked and water was overflowing and headed towards the office area. Chief 22 and Captain 22 responded class 3 to the station to get a portable pump and hose, and then proceeded to the plant and set up the portable pump to clear away several inches of water. A heavy rain storm mixed with very warm temperatures in the area overnight produced torrential downpours all night and throughout the morning.
Flooding, 128 Main Street (Box 22-1)
Detail >>
A citizen walked into Station 22 and reported a relative's home at 128 Main Street in Lykens had a basement taking on water. Engine 22 responded class 3 with 4, and on arrival found several feet of water in the basement. A trash pump was set up and water pumped from the basement.
Structure Fire, 179 Jordan Twp Rd (Box N.C.)
Detail >>
Engine 22 dispatched class one on the second alarm to 179 Jordan Township Road in Jordan Township Northumberland County for a working structure fire. Numerous other units from Northumberland, Schuylkill and Dauphin counties were also dispatched. Engine 22 responded with 4 and 1 additional firefighter went POV. On arrival at a 30 foot by 25 foot 3 story wood frame single family dwelling fire was showing from the second and third floors on multiple exposures. The crew went to work assisting other teams with entry and extinguishment of active fire along with horizontal ventilation of the structure. Crews were faced with very heavy hoarding conditions which made advancement into the structure difficult as well as extinguishment. It took several hours of work to get to the deeply seated fire which was followed by having to haul most of the burned materials to the outside of the structure. Crew continued with this task until all fire was extinguished. Command then began releasing units and the Engine went available. During the event Company 24 was placed on standby in their quarters for Company 22.
Other Local Incidents (see Note 2)Hide

Chimney Fire - Wiconisco, PA
Detail >>
A chimney fire in a house in Wiconisco, on the evening of Saturday, January 25, 1941, caused no extensive damage. The house was owned by Mr. Mayers Forman, and tenanted by Jessie Lohar. The Wiconisco fire company responded and extinguished the flames.
David Schreffler House Fire - Lykens Twp, Dauphin Co, PA
Detail >>
On the afternoon of January 25, 1978, the home of David Schreffler was found to be on fire. The fire company was called, with Gratz being assisted by the Berrysburg, Pillow, and Klingerstown fire companies. Due to snow, fire apparatus had difficulty accessing the home, which was located at the end of a quarter mile long driveway. Some vehicles got stuck, blocking access to others. The home was fully involved when the units arrived, and was a total loss. The fire started from a wood burning stove.
Other Noteworthy Incidents/Events (see Note 3)Hide

Archduchess's Apartment Fire - Brussels, Belgium

Castle of St. Louis Fire - Quebec, Quebec, Canada

Edwards Block Fire - Woonsocket, RI
Detail >>
At 2:30 a.m. on January 25, 1882, a fire broke out in the basement of the Providence and Worcester Railroad Company's depot, occupied by Charles Talcott, steam and gas pipe fitter. The flames soon enveloped the whole building, destroying the ticket and the Western Union Telegraph office, along with their contents, and Early & Prew's and Jenks's express offices. The fire then spread to Dr. Edwards' Block, in which were several stores and offices, nearly destroying it. Businesses sustaining losses included: Whitemarsh & Crow - Dry Goods, Henry Whitney - Druggist, J.S. Wartz - Cigars, C.B. Knowles - Photographer, Ann Perry - Milliner, Dr. Buckland - Dentist, Frank Campbell - Tailor, Cook Stationary & Blank Books, Producers National Bank, William Fuller - Dress Maker, Cook Office Furniture, Charles W. Talcott, Adam's Express Company, Christian Kollett - Barber, and Occident Tea Company. The total loss amounted to nearly $100,000. Four firemen fell from a ladder and were slightly injured. The town clerk's office and council chambers in Edwards Block were also badly damaged.
Harwick Coal Mine Explosion - Cheswick, PA
Detail >>
An explosion occurred at the Harwick Coal Mine, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on a bitter cold January 25, 1904, morning. It was so cold that ice had formed in the mine's air intake tunnel, greatly reducing, if not cutting off, the air flow in the mine. Methane gas built up in areas of the mine because of the poor airflow. At 8:15 a.m., an improperly placed charge of black powder ignited a pocket of gas. The gas exploded, causing coal dust from the walls and floors of the mine to become airborne. The suspended coal dust also exploded, causing a chain reaction of explosions and fire to spread with ferocious velocity throughout the mine. It took only seconds to involve the entire mine. The cages were blown out of the mine shaft. A mule that had been at the bottom of the shaft was caught by the force of the explosion and blown 300 feet out of the mine. The blast killed 177 men - 121 of whom were identified, and 56 of whom were not. The youngest victim was 15 years old. Two rescuers were also killed while searching for victims. They were in separate parts of the mine and had each been overcome by gasses.
Mine Fire - New Kenda, Bardhaman District, India
Detail >>
Fifty-five people were killed in New Kenda, near Jamuria, as a result of fire or suffocation by gases in a mine fire on January 25, 1994.
Comfort Inn Hotel Fire - Greenville, SC
Detail >>
A fire at the five-story Comfort Inn Hotel in Greenville, South Carolina on January 25, 2004, caused six deaths and multiple injuries. The fire, which started on the third floor near the back stairway, is believed to be arson. The smoke was so thick, that some guests broke windows and jumped, climbed down bed sheets, or waited for firefighters to rescue them. All deceased victims were found on the third floor. Those who were injured suffered from smoke inhalation, burns, and cuts received while trying to get out the windows.
Monte Carlo Hotel-Casino Fire - Las Vegas, NV

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1.The section of calls we've responded to has been compiled from fire company records, newspapers, and other sources. Listings for years prior to 1981 might be incomplete.
2.The listing of local incidents is for incidents that happened around our local area, including some from Lykens for which the fire company was not dispatched. It is certainly not a complete listing, and is not intended to be. It is included here for your entertainment. Incidents listed here have been gathered from public sources.
3.The listing of other noteworthy incidents includes incidents from anywhere outside our local area (for which we were not dispatched). Also included in this section are historical events from our fire company, Lykens, or around the world. It is certainly not a complete listing, and is not intended to be. It is included here for your entertainment. Incidents and events listed here have been gathered from public sources.
4.These lists can be filtered. Use the control section above to activate or de-activate filtering. Filtering will not affect the list of incidents we've responded to. But, it will be applied to both the other lists.

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