Mutual Aid – Working Commercial Structure Fire

11/26/2011 – At 18:27 hours Pottsville RIT-South (Good Intent E-11/American Hose E-71) were dispatched with Ladder 51 to a mutual aid call in Cressona Borough at the intersection of Front and Railroad street for a commercial structure fire at Cressona Knit Products. The fire was rapidly upgraded to a working commercial fire as additional alarms were struck along with a tanker task force. Immediately after dispatch a large column of smoke and flame could be seen from miles away as the building was heavily involved.  Command was established by the first arriving Sch. Haven unit (Chief 730) on Railroad street (Side A).  Ladder 51 was positioned on Side C at the loading docks along with Engine 737 and the ladder pipe operation was placed into service.  Cressona and Schuylkill Haven units provided master stream and ladder pipe operations on Side A and B of the structure. Engine 11 laid 600′ of 5″ hose from the hydrant at Rt 183 and Front Street to an Engine from Cressona.  This hydrant was then used to supply L-725 and E-11 which was positioned on Side C behind L-51.  E-72 was sent to Stoyers Dam to fill tankers. Fire attack on the main fire building was strictly defensive, an offensive attack was made by crews from E-11, L-51, and E-737 on the two trailers which were loaded with product (rags) ready for shipping.  Later in the incident a block wall fell on top of two oil tanks inside the building causing a significant oil leak and subsequent fire.  E-11 used a 1-3/4″ attack line with Class B foam to control the fuel oil fire.  Booms and absorbent pads were used to control the flow of oil from the tanks to the sewer system.  E-11 flowed approximately 20,000 gallons of water and 30 gallons of Class B foam during the incident through a feed to L-51 and the foam line.  R-63 was dispatched during the incident to provide RIT when offensive operations began for overhaul. Units on the scene included: Pottsville units mentioned above, Cressona Fire Department, Schuylkill Haven Fire Department, Minersville (Ladder and Rescue), Freidensburg (Tanker), Landingville (Tanker), Pine Grove HH&L (Stand by in Sch. Haven), Hamburg Aerial (Stand by in Sch. Haven), Llewellyn (Tanker), Mt Carbon (Tanker), Schuylkill County Incident Support Vehicle, Red Cross, and several other tankers. P3 Photos from J. Kriesher, Coal Region Fire & J. Morgalis. Top Video from Ladder 51 and Bottom Video from endlessdream94 YouTube Channel.