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On This Day (January 9th)
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Incidents for which we were dispatched (see Note 1)Hide

Shed Fire, 610 Mountain St (Box 23-11)

Structure Fire, 602 Mountain St (Box 23-11)

Medical Assist, 210 North Second St (Box 22-11)

Snow Removal, 332 North Second St (Box 22-11)
Detail >>
Company 22 was dispatched to a report of a caller hearing creaking noises coming from her roof. Engine 22 responded and on arrival found an elderly occupant that was concerned about the large snow accumulation on the rear roof portion of her home. No signs of collapse were found. The crew pushed off some of the snow from the roof to ease the concerns of the property owner. The owner was advised to consult a building contractor to determine whether any further action would be needed, and the crew went available.
Fire reported out, Reiff & Nestor Plant (Box 22-3)
Detail >>
Per the request of Chief-22 on scene, Engine-22 and Truck-22 were dispatched to the heat-treat area of the Reiff and Nestor Plant for a fire in the oil quench bath that was now reported out. Engine-22 responded with a crew of six and Truck-22 responded with a crew of seven. The apparatus arrived on side-D of the structure, at the corner of West and Reiff Streets. The crews were met by Chief-22, who led them to the location of the oil bath, which was now covered in dry chem. The truck crew laddered the roof and checked for extensions around the roof vent. The engine crew checked the area surrounding the oil bath. Finding no other hot spots, the area was turned back over to plant personnel and the company went available.
Structure Fire, 345 East Colliery Avenue (Box S. C.)
Detail >>
Truck 22 was dispatched to Tower City, Schuylkill County, for a report of a structure fire with smoke coming from the third floor of Corky's Bar at 345 East Colliery Avenue. Truck 22 responded with a crew of four, but was canceled while enroute. Command reported a mattress fire.
Structure Fire, 44 S. Market Street (Box 21-1)
Detail >>
Company 21 was dispatched to the Kepler Home in Elizabethville for a fire reported out. Contractors working on the scene reported an electrical fire on the third floor that they believed to be out. Chief 21 responded POV to the scene, along with Engine and Rescue 21. Command upgraded the box to include Trucks 20 and 22, and Company 26. Truck 20, Truck 22, Engine 26, Squad 26, and Rescue 21 all responded to the scene (Truck 22 with a crew of six). Engines 20 and 29-1 were dispatched to relocate to Station 21. The third floor of the structure was evacuated, with residents moved to other floors. The Truck 22 crew staged in the Swab's parking lot on side D of the structure and went interior to the second floor with engine crew members from Company 26 to check for possible extensions. None were found. The aerial was placed in service to the roof to check for possible hot spots. The crew assisted on scene until released by command. Chief 21, Tom Welker (the OIC of the incident), later shared his perspective:He said when his pager opened and gave the address for the call, he thought it was going to be for a medical assist. Then when the dispatch turned out to be for a "FIRE REPORTED OUT", his mind raced to potential scenarios. Tom recalled that the Kepler Home was built back in the 1800's. It was at one time a fashionable hotel where railroad passengers stayed, dined, and imbibed. It has been a nursing home for many years, yet still has the old hotel style - creating potential for a difficult situation during an incident and being a concern for the Elizabethville fire chiefs over the years. He arrived on the scene and met the facility's charge person in the parking lot, who told him that the fire was on the third floor in the rear of the building, but was believed to be out, and that all of the patients had been moved to the first floor to prepare to evacuate the building. He talked with some contractors who were on the third floor ledge, tearing down the old fire escape. They said they had been using a grinder, and the sparks found an opening in the building and caught some old bird nests and other debris on fire. They used a dry-chem fire extinguisher on the fire and were "pretty sure" they had put it out, but called the fire company anyway. While he was standing on the ground talking to the contractors, Tom saw some white wisps of smoke from the area below where they were working. Using time as his ally, he gave the order for the placement of his inbound apparatus and told the engine crew to go to the third floor with tools, thermal imaging camera (TIC), and an extinguisher. He then requested Truck 20 and, a few moments later, the rest of the box to stand by in quarters. The Interior crew reported that they found a few small hot spots on the TIC and noted that some sparks may have fallen below their location. Tom then asked for Truck 22 to respond to the scene so that he would have teams and tools ready for opening up the walls to get at the fire. The interior team went down to the second floor to make an inspection hole. Truck 20 arrived, followed soon after by Truck 22. Engine 26 arrived and was given the assignment to stand by the hydrant in case it was needed. Truck 20's interior crew was headed by Chief 20 who took the position on the second floor as the 21 crew went to the third floor. Truck 22 was stationed at lower levels with a crew from Company 26, but no extension of fire was found below the second floor. Tom then asked for another engine as a backup, and Engine 29-1 came to the scene with a full crew but was not used. Medic 6 was on scene with two fully staffed units. There was not much actual fire damage to the building. Most of the "smoke" came from the birds nest and 30 pounds of dry-chem that the contractors put in the hole. The home was residence to about 36 patients and staffed with about 15 employees at the time of the incident. Units began being released from the scene after 3 p.m., with the last unit clearing the scene around 4:30 p.m.
Medical Assist for Lifting, 801 Market Street (Box 22-2)
Detail >>
Company 22 was dispatched to 801 Market Street in Lykens for a lift assist. Truck 22 responded with a crew of six, and Chief 22 and four additional members responded POV to the scene. The Truck staged and the crew assisted EMS with transferring an obese patient from their unit to his home, and then went available.
Medical Assist, 801 Market Street (Box 22-2)
Detail >>
Company 22 dispatched class three to assist EMS with a fall victim at 801 Market Street in Lykens. Chief 22 responded POV and requested Rescue 23 to be added to the call. Truck 22 responded with 4, and Rescue 23 with 3. On arrival, the crews assisted Medic 6 with picking up an extremely obese patient and placing him back in his chair, and then went available.
Medical Assist, 801 Market Street (Box 22-2)
Detail >>
Companies 22 and 23 dispatched class three to 801 Market Street in Lykens for a medical assist. EMS for 6 and 24 were dispatched to transport an extremely obese patient from his residence to the Hospital. Truck 22 responded with 7 and Utility 22 with 4, and Chief 22 went POV to the scene. Rescue 23 went enroute with 3. On arrival, crews waited for PSP to arrive and clear the scene. They then assisted EMS with moving the patient from the residence to their ambulance, and then went available.
Chimney Fire, 219 West Market St (Box 27-1)
Detail >>
Truck 22 dispatched class one on the 27-1 box for a chimney fire at 219 West Market Street in Gratz. Truck 22 responded with 7, and was placed in service as they arrived on scene.
Structure Fire, 545 North Second Street (Box 22-1)
Detail >>
On a cold and windy Friday afternoon, Box 22-1 was dispatched for a report of smoke coming from the first floor of the old Lykens School on North Second Street, bringing companies 22, 23, 21, and Truck 20 for the out of service Truck 22. Chief 22 went enroute POV, and on arrival, reported a 300 by 150 foot brick 2 story abandoned school building, with heavy smoke pushing out the A/B side windows. Engine 22 went enroute with 6, and Utility 22 with one. The engine laid a 5 inch supply line from North Second and Market Streets. Engine 23 arrived and laid a 5 inch line from North Second and Pine Streets. Engine 21 took the C side in the alley behind the school playground, with Rescue 21 set up in the United Methodist Church parking lot. Truck 20 gained access to the B side of the structure by cutting the playground fence to the rear of the property. Crews went interior through a side door on the B side, and the main door on the A side. Heavy smoke conditions were present, and as crews advanced inside they were greeted with sections of flooring that were burned through. Crews retreated and waited until ventilation was set up, and then re-entered and started digging out the deep seated fire that was burning under neath the double tongue and groove hardwood floors. Additional crews went to the basement and the second floor and found no extensions, but the building condition was so poor they retreated. Rescue 27 was added at the 6 minute mark, and on arrival, they took the RIT assignment. Schuylkill Rescue Engine 650 was re-located to station 22. Crews had to tear up the double floor to get to the bulk of the fire, and after achieving knockdown, command marked control. Heavy overhaul was needed to completely extinguish all the additional hot spots. PSP FM was requested to the scene, and on his arrival he worked the fire room with Command to determine a possible cause, which is still under investigation. Command released all mutual aid companies, and after getting the Engine back into service, went available. A crew with the Engine returned to the building a short while later and continued with some additional overhaul before clearing the box.
Other Local Incidents (see Note 2)Hide

Hoffman Home Fire - Jackson Twp, Dauphin Co, PA
Detail >>
The Jackson Township home of Mr. and Mr. Hoffman and their five children exploded into a ball of fire on January 9, 1953. The family was visiting relatives in Dauphin at the time of the blaze. The Fisherville fire company responded and was assisted by the Elizabethville fire company. The Elizabethville firemen were delayed getting to the scene when their pumper skidded off the road and became temporarily mired in a ditch. By the time fireman arrived at the scene, the flames had gained so much headway, that there was no saving the house. In addition to the house and its contents, a summer house and a smoke house were also destroyed. The total loss was $5,000, of which $800 was insured.
Other Noteworthy Incidents/Events (see Note 3)Hide

Equitable Life Insurance Society Building Fire - New York, NY
Detail >>
An early morning fire occurred on January 9, 1912, at the Equitable Life Insurance Society Building, 120 Broadway, New York, New York. The fire started in the basement and spread through the elevator shaft to other areas of the multistory building. The building burned for more than 36 hours and was a total loss. Six people died, including a chief fire officer. Subfreezing temperatures and water transformed the scene into gigantic ice sculptures.
Laurier Palace Theatre Fire - Montreal, Canada
Detail >>
A small fire occurred in the in Montreal, Canada Laurier Palace Theatre on January 9,1927. The fire started in early afternoon during a comedy called "Get em Young". 800 children were in attendance to watch the show. Panic erupted when smoke began to billow into the theater. The children in the balcony had trouble exiting the building, as one of two stairways that led to safety was locked. Furthermore, the doors opened toward the inside, not outside. Smoke filled the air, choking and blinding the children within two minutes. Firefighters arrived rapidly from fire station number 13 just across the street, but not fast enough to prevent the deaths of 77 children, who were stampeded and asphyxiated.
Nursing Home Fire - Marietta, OH

RMS Queen Elizabeth Fire - Hong Kong
Detail >>
The Queen Elizabeth was an ocean liner which sailed the Atlantic Ocean. At the time of her 1930s construction, she was the largest passenger liner ever built. Originally owned by Cunard Line, she was retired in 1968 and sold sold to a group of Philadelphia businessmen who intended to operate the ship as a hotel and tourist attraction in Port Everglades, Florida. Losing money and forced to close after being declared a fire hazard, the ship was sold in 1970 to Hong Kong tycoon C.Y. Tung, who intended to convert the vessel into a university for the World Campus Afloat program. He renamed her Seawise University. On January 9, 1972, during the conversion, the vessel was gutted by a fire that broke out at several different places onboard, believed to have been caused by arson. Virtually the entire Hong Kong firefighting force turned out to try to save it. Despite heroic efforts over two days, the ship turned on its side and sank to the bottom of the harbor. The wreckage was scrapped in 1974 and 1975.

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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.
5.The camera icon indicates that the detail page of the particular incident contains at least one picture.

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