Apr 23

Mutual Aid – Move up to Hamburg

04/21/2012 – At 10:03hrs, the PFD was requested for a move up assignment to Union Fire Company in Hamburg as multiple companies from Berks and Schuylkill counties battled a multi-alarm commercial fire in Lenhartsville. E-11 along with SHFD L-725 and E-733 stood by for approximately 3 hours. Photos by Dan Kelly and The Reading Eagle.



Apr 18


04/15/2012 – At 17:13hrs, stations 30, 40, and 60 were dispatched to 599 N. Progress Avenue for a report of a motorcycle accident. Upon arrival crews found a motorcycle into a fence with two patients. Crews assisted EMS with patient care and packaging. Due to extensive injuries, both patients were flown to a trauma center. Crews were on scene for approximately 1 hour. P-2 had command. Photos from Yorkville Hose Facebook


Mar 15

Mutual Aid – MVA with Entrapment

03/14/2012 – At 17:48hrs, station 60 was dispatched to assist Orwigsburg FD and Rainbow FC to the area of 89 Hemlock Drive, North Manheim Twp., for a MVA with entrapment. As R-63 was en-route county advised of a two vehicle MVA with confirmed entrapment from units already on scene.  When R-63 arrived on scene, crews used multiple hydraulic tools and equipment to assist with patient extrication. Station 60 remained on scene for approximately 1hr 20min. Photos from Yorkville Hose Facebook

Mar 15

Mutual Aid – Off Road Rescue

03/12/2012 – At 19:33hrs, station 60 was dispatched to assist Saint Clair FD in the area behind Home Depot for an off road rescue. As R-63 was en-route, they were advised of a person stuck ½ way up the cliff behind Home Depot. When they arrived on scene crews setup a haul system and lowered two firefighters down to rescue the trapped male and hauled him back up to the top. Station 60 remained on scene for approximately 2 ½ hrs. Photos from Yorkville Hose Facebook

Mar 15

Mutual Aid – MVA with Entrapment

03/08/2012 0 At 23:47hrs, station 60 was dispatched to assist Cass Township FD along with Minersville Fire Rescue to 955 Valley Road for a MVA with entrapment. As apparatus arrived on scene, personnel found a single vehicle MVA vs. a tree. Crews from R-63 used multiple hydraulic tools and equipment to assist with patient extrication. Station 60 remained on scene for approximately 1 ½ hrs. Photos from Yorkville Hose Facebook

Mar 15


03/07/2012 – At 15:12hrs, stations 50 & 60 were dispatched to the area of 2050 West Market Street for a MVA with unknown injuries. When apparatus arrived on scene, personnel found a two vehicle MVA with injuries. Firefighters applied floor dry to the leaking fluids and helped with traffic control. PFD units remained on scene for approximately 45 minutes. Photos from Yorkville Hose Facebook

Mar 05

Working Structure Fire

03/05/2012 – At 03:23 hours a box alarm was transmitted for a possible structure fire in the area of Norwegian and Jackson Streets.  Police units arrived in the area and changed the location to East Market and Jackson Street (1 block back), with smoke showing from an apartment building.  P4 (George Stefnic) arrived on scene confirming a working structure fire with unknown entrapment and established command on the A/D corner of the structure, a working fire page was transmitted and RIT was dispatched from Schuylkill Haven Fire Department.  The building is a 3-story apartment building with several apartments located on all 3 floors and in the basement.  The building (446 East Market Street) is a corner lot with Side A on Market Street and Side D on Jackson Street, Side B has an exposure approximately 15 feet away, and Side C has an exposure approximately 100 feet away.

Aerial view of locatin

L-21 arrived on scene to setup aerial operations from Jackson Street at the intersection, with L-51 arriving shortly after also coming from the Jackson Street route.  E-32 established the initial attack from Side A with E-41 laying a supply line from the George Street side of East Market.  The initial attack was made through Side A into the basement apartment area with crews confirming a working basement fire with extension to floors above.  E-11 was positioned on Side D, Jackson Street, which is a very steep hill with about a 30% grade.  E-62 approached on Market Street from the Wolfe Street side.  E-71 assisted with water supply from West Side of the incident and E-72 with water supply from East side of the incident.

Multiple lines were stretched from E-11 through the D side of the structure to
divisions 1, 2 , and 3.  Shortly into the incident fire began to vent from a D side window on division 1.  Crews made an attack on division 1 but were halted by a floor collapse in two apartments on side D.  Interior operations continued in the accessible area’s of the structure with extension being found on all 3 divisions.  The crew from L-21 established vertical ventilation by opening several vent holes in the roof of the large structure which quickly produced an orange glow in the sky as the fire on the 3rd floor began to vent.

Second due companies were called in to stage in the City and L-519 from Minersville was called to the scene to assist with manpower, 519 was also staged on the steep hill on Jackson Street.  During the incident second alarm companies (Port Carbon, Mar Lin, Minersville, and St. Clair) handled an automatic fire alarm on North Centre Street in the City, which turned out to be a false alarm.  Freezing temperatures made the scene hazardous later in the incident and the street department was called out to assist.  While being released L-51, R-63, and E-71 also handled a CO call in the City which turned out to also be false.

The building sustained heavy fire damage in several apartments with extensive smoke and heat damage throughout the structure.  There were no serious firefighter injuries on the incident, and the structure was later determined to be vacant so there was no entrapment. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.  Crews remained on scene for approximately 5 hours and were called back around 10:30 am to handle some remaining hot spots in the roof area. Photos from Yorkville Hose Facebook & Phoenix Fire Facebook

Mar 05

PFD Looking Back – March 2012



Mar 05

PFD Looking Back – February 2012


Jan 03

PFD Looking Back – January 2012

The Pottsville Fire Department “Looking Back” series actually began as an examination of specific fires as the anniversary dates of those fires approached.  This started after much research for the Pottsville Firefighting book published by Mike Kitsock and I in 2004.  The series then evolved into a more organized format in which past fires were detailed in 5 year increments back through the first recorded fire in Pottsville in 1830.  Much credit for laying the groundwork has to be given to the late Joe Neary (Good Intent) and Bill Cerullo (American Hose).  Through the short-lived Pottsville Fire Department Historical Commission of the early 1990’s, they began to organize the History of Fire Alarms.  This was done largely through a company history book published in 1899 by the Good Intent Fire Company as well as the actual fire records of the City.

With that as a starting point, I then research individual fires through company records and, to a very large extent, through period newspapers via microfilm.  Dave Derbes and Dr. Pete Yasenchak of the Historical Society of Schuylkill County have been very helpful in identifying very old street names, city neighborhoods, and specific businesses.  In addition to the facts related to the various fires, I also try to include anecdotal information that has been passed-down through the years as well.

The purpose of the series, in addition to serving as an outlet for my passion for fire service history, is to promote an appreciation of the challenges that the firefighters who have gone before us have faced.  For today’s firefighters, the fires of the past can also serve as “teaching moments.”  It is often the case that we get fires today in the same blocks, in the same neighborhoods, and, sometimes, in the very same buildings in which fires have occurred in years past.  George Santayana has said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  By examining these fires, we can identify life safety concerns, water supply challenges, building construction features,  and specific access and apparatus placement issues.  What a great training tool – particularly in getting to know your “first due.”  Hopefully you enjoy the series and glean some information from the past that may prove valuable on the fireground in the future.

Mike Glore

January 2012 Looking Back Final

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