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.
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