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On This Day (February 7th)
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Incidents for which we were dispatched (see Note 1)Hide

Brush Fire, South Street

Unrecorded Incident Type, Unrecorded Location

Water Detail, Elizabethville (Box 21-)
Detail >>
Due to problems with numerous water leaks in the privately owned water system in Elizabethville, citizens were asked to conserve water. But the leaks continued to drain the system. There had been problems finding the leaks. But, finally after several nights of searching, during a streak of good luck, several leaks were repaired. The reservoir was supplied by springs and a few wells. The water level in the reservoirs were dangerously low. A meeting was requested by the water company owners, Elizabethville's fire company, Elizabethville Borough, and the local Elizabethville emergency management officials. The Borough officials of Lykens were contacted and permission was granted to haul water from Lykens to refill the smallest reservoir in Elizabethville. A plan was made and, in the late evening hours of this date, a tanker shuttle was started under supervision of DEP. Tankers from Lykens, Elizabethville, and Leshers Milk Hauling Service of Fisherville hauled water. They were filled at a hydrant at the First Bridge in Lykens and hauled to a point near the reservoir in Elizabethville, where the water was offloaded into a porta-tank and Elizabethville's 1964 Hahn pumper pumped it up the mountain into the reservoir. The shuttle ran for almost eight hours, into the early morning, hauling in excess of 80,000 gallons of water. Water restrictions continued in Elizabethville for weeks after this. It was a cold dry winter and all municipalites were taking some kind of conservation measures. Note: Several years after this, the private water company was purchased by the Borough of Elizabethville and is now managed by a local authority which has improved, upgraded, and expanded the service far into Washington Township.
Structure Fire, Kocher's (Box 67-1)
Detail >>
Tanker 22 was dispatched to the Kocher residence on Grand Avenue in Tower City, Schuylkill County, for a structure fire. Tanker 22 responded with a crew of three, and numerous other members responded POV. At the scene, the crew found a 2?-story wood frame double block residence with heavy smoke coming from the second floor and roof area. In addition to the fire, firefighters also had to battle wind-driven snow and sleet, freezing temperatures, and ice-slick pavement surfaces. A tanker fill site had been set up, and a porta tank was set up on scene for tankers to dump water to supply several engines from Porter Township. Tanker 22 dropped many loads of water throughout the duration of the fire, until released by command. One firefighter from Company 22 sustained a strained back when he slipped on a ladder. A Muir Firefighter, Hilbert J. Reiner, age 67, known as "Wimp", died of a heart attack at this fire. He was the driver of Muir's pumper. Fire companies from Tower City, Sheridan, Muir, Reinerton, Orwin, Valley View, Williamstown, Wiconisco, Lykens, and Elizabethville assisted at the scene. Also, the Tower City Ambulance was at the scene. The Joliett fire company stood by in Tower City's station. Local fire companies later led "Wimpy's" funeral procession with their lights flashing in a silent tribute to a fallen comrade. The funeral procession was led by the Tower City Police and the Muir Pumper which "Wimpy" drove to the fire the night he died. The following fire companies also participated: Tower City, Joliett, Hegins, Williamstown, Reinerton, Sheridan, Tremont, North End of Pine Grove, and Hose, Hook, and Ladder of Pine Grove. Falling snow on the day of the funeral prevented other companies from participating.
Medical Assist, 223 North Street (Box 22-1)
Detail >>
Engine-22 was requested to assist EMS with a cardiac arrest call at 223 North Street. Engine-22 responded with a crew of six, POV brought four more crew members to the scene. The crew assisted EMS with delivering medical supplies, oxygen, boards, and straps. The crew also assisted with removing the patient from second floor bedroom to the awaiting ambulance, all while performing CPR. Engine-22 was released from the scene by EMS.
Smoke in a Structure, 120 Maple Lane (Box 24-3)
Detail >>
On box 24-3, Engines 24, 23, and 66, Truck 22, Squad 23, and Tankers 24 and 23 were dispatched to 120 Maple Lane for a report of smoke in an apartment. Truck 22 responded with 7, followed later by Tanker 22 which was dispatched when Tanker 24-1 failed to respond. Engine 22 was also dispatched when Engine 24 failed, but was placed in service before response. Chief 24 on scene held the box to Engine 23, Tanker 24, and Truck 22, and moments after the units arrived on scene, held the box to Tanker 24, releasing Truck 22 and Engine 23.
Structure Fire, 301 Market Street (Box 22-1)
Detail >>
The 22-1 box was dispatched for a reported structure fire at 301 Market Street in Lykens. Engines 22, 23, 24, Truck 22, Rescue 21, and Air Light 66-60 from Tower City on the initial box. Rescue 27 added when Rescue 23 did not make the 6 minutes mark. Chief 22 responded POV to the scene, and on arrival reported smoke showing. Engine 22 responded with 5 and laid a 5 inch line from 2 doors up the street of the residence, a two story brick 3 unit apartment building with smoke pushing out of the rear upstairs windows. Truck 22 responded with 5 and arrived on side B on North Street, with the crew laddering the building and going to the roof. 22 Crew advanced a line into the structure from side A and took the stairs to the second floor. 23 crew advanced a line up the side D balcony and came in through a side door. 22 crew was met with heavy smoke when they made the second floor landing. Advancing the line into the kitchen area, they discovered fire around the stove, spreading up the walls and advancing across the ceiling. Initial fire on the stove was knocked down, with the extensions to the rear handled with 23's line. A crew from Rescue 21 entered and assisted with pulling the walls and ceilings. The bulk of the fire was knocked down in a few minutes. Chief 22 had command, with Chief 21-3 handling the manpower pool and Rescue 27 taking the RIT assignment. The Truck crew made the roof and were prepared to vent when command advised that it was not needed. They laddered all sides of the building. After knockdown, crews continued with salvage, tarping the first floor and checking for additional hot spots. Command began releasing units, holding companies 22 and 23 while finishing up overhaul, before eventually clearing the box.
Structure Fire, 124 West Market Street (Box 24-1)
Detail >>
First alarm assignment dispatched to 124 West Market Street in Williamstown for a reported structure fire, bringing companies 24, 23, 22, 21 and Schuylkill 647 and 66-10 and EMS. Truck 22 responded with 7 and arrived on scene of a 3 story part commercial, part multiple apartment building with fire from the B/C side exterior corner. The Truck was assigned interior to check for possible occupants and fire extension while Engine 23's crew attacked the fire with Tanker 24's crew from the C side. Rescue 21 took the RIT assignment. Fire was knocked down quickly and confined mostly exterior to the B/C corner. After forcing interior doors and sweeping all 3 floors and the attic, the Truck crew found no extension and all occupants were out of the building. After performing overhaul in the B/C corner, the crew was placed available by command.
Medical Assist, 638 North Street (Box 22-1)
Detail >>
Company 22 dispatched class one to assist EMS with removing a patient from his residence to their transport unit. Chiefs 22 and 22-2 responded POV to the scene, and Truck 22 responded with 3. On arrival, crew assisted EMS with packaging the patient on a reeves litter and carried him out to their unit for transport to the hospital. After completing the task, Company 22 went available.
Smoke Investigation, 1059 Race Street (Box 22-1)
Detail >>
Company 22 dispatched class three to the area near Race street and Machamer avenue in Lykens for a smoke investigation. Chief 22-1 and Lieutenant 22 and one additional firefighter responded POV to the scene while Engine 22 held in quarters with 3. Further investigation found no smoke and command put the box in service.
Medical Assist, 435 West Broad Street (Box 24-1)
Detail >>
Still in station from the earlier call the crew received a call from 24 EMS asking for assistance lifting on their EMS call in Williamstown at 435 West Broad street. Utility 22 went enroute with 4 and on arrival assisted with moving the patient to the EMS unit for transport and then went available.
Other Local Incidents (see Note 2)Hide

Cabin Fire - near Lykens, PA
Detail >>
A man died when fire razed a cabin near Lykens, Pennsylvania on February 7, 1938..
Other Noteworthy Incidents/Events (see Note 3)Hide

New Madrid Earthquake - New Madrid, MO
Detail >>
The most violent of a series of earthquakes near Missouri occurred on February 7, 1812. The series of earthquakes began on December 16, 1811. On that day, around 2 a.m., a strong tremor shook the New Madrid area - in Missouri, along the Mississippi River, near the present Tennessee-Missouri-Kentucky border. New Madrid had about 1,000 residents at the time. At 7:15 a.m., an even more powerful earthquake occurred, now estimated to have had a magnitude of 8.6. This tremor literally knocked people off their feet and many people experienced nausea from the extensive rolling of the earth. Because of the sparse population and small number of multi-story buildings, the death toll was relatively low. However, the earthquake did cause landslides that destroyed several communities. It also caused fissures of up to 100 feet long to open in the earth. Trees were snapped, and riverbanks disappeared, allowing river water to flood thousands of acres of forests. Then on January 23, 1812, an estimated 8.4-magnitude earthquake struck. Reportedly, the president?s wife, Dolley Madison, was awoken in Washington, D.C. by this tremor. The death toll from this quake was smaller, because most of the survivors of the December 16th earthquakes were now living in tents, in which they could not get crushed. Then, the strongest of the tremors hit on February 7, 1812. This one was estimated at an amazing 8.8-magnitude and was probably one of the strongest quakes in human history. Church bells rang in Boston, a thousand miles away, from the shaking. Brick walls fell in Cincinnati. The Mississippi River water turned brown, islands disappeared, and whirlpools and waterfalls developed suddenly from the depressions created in the riverbed. A fluvial tsunami occurred, actually making the river appear to run backwards for several hours. New Lakes were formed as water flowed into new depressions. The series of large earthquakes ended in March, although there were aftershocks for a few more years. In all, approximately 1,000 people died because of the earthquakes. The series of tremors was the most powerful in the history of the United States. The area of strong shaking associated with them is two to three times larger than that of the 1964 Alaska earthquake and ten times larger than that of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Hotel Royal Fire - New York, NY
Detail >>
Fire was discovered in the elevator shaft of the Hotel Royal at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Fortieth Street in New York City on February 7, 1892. An employee working in the basement saw the flames and ran into the street shouting, "Fire!" A policeman heard the call and ran to the alarm box on the corner to turn in the alarm. The employees of the hotel began to waken the guests. The fire quickly spread up the elevator shaft in the middle of the building to the roof. The only stairway in the building wound around the elevator shaft and quickly became unusable. There were about 150 guests in the hotel at the time of the fire. A train on an elevated railway stopped in front of the building and the engineer started the whistle so the loud continuous screeching would wake the sleeping hotel occupants. There were two iron fire escapes on the building, and most rooms also had ropes for fire escape. Many men had rushed to the scene and began rescue work before the fire department got there. The first fire apparatus on the scene was Hook and Ladder No. 4. Then, others arrived so quickly that the surrounding streets were filled with them. When the firemen arrived, there were men and women in every window of the hotel. People were crowding down the fire escapes and many, if not all, of the escape ropes from each window were being used by people to lower themselves to safety. Most of the attention of the firemen were directed at rescuing the people. In less than forty-five minutes, the main portion of the building was gutted. By 4 a.m. the walls began to teeter and the firemen began to retreat from the building. At that moment, a great section of wall crashed down with a thunderous roar. By that time all occupants of the building had either been rescued or had perished, and more attention was committed to extinguishing the blaze. By 4:30 a.m., another great crash came when an interior wall collapsed. It was after 5 o'clock when the Chief announced that the fire was under control. At 6 o'clock he began to withdraw the more distant companies. Streams of water continued to be poured on the debris. After dawn, when the debris was cool enough to be handled, the search for bodies began. That task went to Engine Company No. 21 and Hook and Ladder Company No. 4. Portions of the exterior walls were still standing, and a section of the building along Fortieth Street was still standing. Those rooms were searched, but no bodies were found. After several hours of searching, it was determined that some of the still standing walls were dangerously overhanging, and search was stopped until the walls were taken down. Hook and Ladder Companies No. 11 and No. 16 were called for that task. It was almost 5 o'clock p.m. until the walls were down and the search for bodies was continued. Fifty laborers were used for search and overhaul that day. The task stopped when it got dark, but resumed the next day with 100 laborers. Rubble was removed from the structure and bodies were occasionally uncovered. The searching was stopped periodically as dangerous walls had to be pulled down and removed before work could continue. The searching continued day and night for several days. In all, twenty-eight people were killed from the fire. Eighteen fire engines, four hook and ladder companies, and Water Towers No. 2 and No. 3 fought the fire.
Great Baltimore Fire - Baltimore, MD
Detail >>
The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 raged in Baltimore, Maryland, from 10:48 a.m. Sunday, February 7, to 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 8, 1904, sweeping from the heart of the business district, through the financial district, to the wharves and warehouses along the waters edge. The fire started at the John Hurst and Company building at 10:48 a.m. and quickly spread. To halt the fire, officials decided to use a firewall, and dynamited buildings around the existing fire. This tactic, however, was unsuccessful. An area of twelve by nine city blocks, extending over a mile of waterfront, was destroyed. Firefighters and equipment arrived from cities as far away as New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Atlantic City. Over 1,231 firefighters were required to bring the blaze under control. Casualties were small. Less than fifty people were treated in hospitals. One firefighter from York, Pennsylvania, died when a wall collapsed on him.
Hobart Fire - Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Detail >>
Heavy spring rain in 1966 caused prolific growth of brush and vegetation in Tasmania. Then, a hot summer had dried everything out. Residents attempted to burn off excessive brush. 110 fires were burning by February 7, 1967, only 22 of them were started accidentally. A stiff wind on that day caused the fires to join together, eventually surrounding the city of Hobart. The fire burned through 1,020 square miles of land in Southern Tasmania within the space of five hours. Sixty-two people lost their lives ? 53 directly and 9 indirectly, over a thousand homes were destroyed, factories and infrastructure were damaged, and the loss of stock, particularly sheep, and productive farming land was huge.
Dale's Penthouse Fire - Montgomery, AL
Detail >>
A roaring fire swept through the fashionable Dale's Penthouse Restaurant and Lounge in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 8, 1967. The blaze started at 9:40 p.m. in a cloakroom between the lounge and restrooms, atop the 12-story Walter Bragg Smith Apartment building. It appeared at first to be a small fire, and efforts were made by Penthouse employees to extinguish it with a fire extinguisher. Then it spread, rapidly engulfing the restaurant and lounge and trapping people inside. Some people escaped through windows, onto a ledge, and made their way to a rooftop garden. Others escaped by the elevator until it got stuck near the top floor, when those in the elevator then escaped by sliding down the elevator cables. Firemen were unable to raise ladders to the restaurant level. A 100-foot ladder unit fell two floors short of reaching that level and firemen had to arch their hoses high in order to send water onto the blaze. An emergency call went out for an Army National Guard helicopter to assist in rescuing people from the roof and upper floors. The blaze was brought under control by 11:30 p.m. Twenty-five people were found dead in the charred remains of the restaurant. The temperature outside hovered near the freezing mark.
Mickelberry's Food Products Plant Fire - Chicago, IL
Detail >>
On February 7, 1968, a gasoline tanker truck was driving in an alley behind Mickelberry's Food Products Company in order to make a delivery to the company. The truck struck a garbage can and knocked off the valve of the tanker?s discharge pipe. Gasoline poured out of the tanker and ran through a doorway into the basement of the company's sausage plant, where a boiler ignited the gasoline. Two explosions spread the fire throughout the sausage factory and the company's general offices. Chicago firefighters had arrived on the scene and were rescuing office and factory workers when a buildup of gasoline fumes caused a third, more powerful, explosion that destroyed the two-story general offices section of the building and demolished a portion of the sausage factory. The explosion threw firefighters from their ladders. Factory workers, who were trapped on the roof, fell down into the rubble. Onlookers were showered with bricks, concrete, plaster, and glass. The explosion was so powerful that one section of glass block window was launched across the street, where it left an imprint in a brick building. A 5-11 alarm was issued by the Chicago Fire Department, which brought 300 firemen to the scene to fight the fire and care for the casualties. Nine people, including four firefighters and the Mickelberry?s Company President, were killed. More than seventy people were taken to the hospital, and dozens more were treated for injuries at the scene. The names of the deceased firefighters from this incident are: Thomas Collins, Charles Bottger, John Fischer, and Edward Leifker.
Fireworks Factory Explosion - Orvieto, Italy

Sugar Refinery Explosion and Fire - Port Wentworth, GA

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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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