At 18:30 Saturday evening, Allentown Communications Center transmitted box 2716 for an auto extrication at Hamilton and Glenwood Streets, sending Engines 10, 11, 9 (utility 52), Truck 2 and Battalion 43.
Engine 10 arrived to find a car into a tree, minutes later, extrication was completed and EMS rushed a male victim with a trauma code to the hospital.
The driver died overnight at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Center. \
At 12:35 Tuesday afternoon, Allentown transmitted box 5142 for 401 Market Street Allentown Housing on the alarm system, sending Engine 14, Ladder 2 and Battalion 43. Engine 14 arrived at 12:37 with Lt. Kutz in command and reported a 2-story apartment building with nothing showing and people outside. The Lieutenant and his crew went to investigate.
At 12:39 Lt. Kutz notified the Battalion Chief that nothing was evident and they were still investigating. Car 43 arrived moments later and at the same time Lt. Kutz reported fire showing out the rear of the building. Battalion 43 requested the box filled out.
Box 5142 was again transmitted for a working fire sending the balance of the box - Engines 11, 13, 9 (F.A.S.T.), Medic 3, Medic 100 and FM 45. Battalion 43 reports fire showing second floor middle of the building. Truck 2 throws ground ladders and sets up the tower. Engine 14 stretches one hand line to the fire apartment and makes a quick knock the fire. Primary searches come up negative. Engine 9 members were ordered inside with hooks for overhaul.
At 07:12 Allentown transmitted box 2653 for 14th and Highland on a report of a house fire for 1032 North 14th Street sending Engines 4, 9, 10, 6 (F.A.S.T.), Truck 2, Battalion 43 (Wehr) and FM 45.
Car 43 arrives and signals a working fire in a garage of a 1-story private dwelling. Engine 4 stretches in on the garage and quickly darkens down the bulk of the fire. Engine 9 ties into the hydrant at 14th and Highland and brings water to Engine 4. Meanwhile, Truck 2 sets-up behind Engine 4 and goes to the roof to cut a ventilation hole.
The fire extended into the attic of the dwelling and ran the roof line. Engine 10 arrived and stretched a line off of 4 and went inside to stop the fire spread.
Battalion Chief Wehr requested one additional Engine and the Air Unit 1. Engine 14 was assigned the additional Engine above the 1st alarm.
Air 1 filled approximately 22 air cylinders on scene. A total of 3 hand lines were in operation for this fire. Fire watch lasted throughout most of the day. No injuries were reported.
At 12:13, fire dispatchers sent Engine 11, Truck 2 and Battalion 3 (Atiyeh) to 1447 Lehigh Street for the fire alarm system. PPL utility workers doing work on Lehigh Street in front of the business noticed smoke from the front door and called 9-1-1. Box 5214 was transmitted and filled out for a building fire sending the balance of the assignment for Engines 14, 9 and 13 as the F.A.S.T.
Engine 11 arrived and reported smoke showing from the rear of a 1-story auto repair shop. Battalion 3 arrived and signaled a working fire. Engine 11 stretched a hand line to the lower level of the business on side 2 of the building that in the rear is a walk-out basement with garage doors where they found a working fire.
Engine 9 stretched a hand line to the 1st floor to check for fire extension. The 9 crew found no extension of the fire from the basement leve. The fire was extinguished in 20 minutes and the building was ventilated. A total of 4 Engines, 1 Truck and the Fire Marshal's office were on the scene. The fire is under investigation.
At 12:26 Allentown transmitted box 3614 for 1213 North Plymouth Street at Harry's U-Pull it Junk yard for a structure fire sending Engines 13, 6, 9, 14 (F.A.S.T.) Truck 2, Battalion 2 (Held) and FM 45.
The fire dispatcher advised the companies responding that heavy smoke could be seen from the street cameras on Airport Road.
The smoke column was so thick and black, it could be seen throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Police on the scene first reported propane tanks in the building and minor explosions.
Engine 13 supplied Truck 2. The truck backed in to the property and used to master streams to hit the fire. The hydrant at Plymouth and Highland was used. The large building was not accessible due to all the junk cars parked in front of it.
Engine 6 brought a supply line in and positioned in a parking lot and used their elevated master stream. It was immediately determined that this attack was going to be an exterior operation from the beginning.
Battalion 2 special-called Engine 4 to the fire. Shortly after that request, he had the 2nd alarm filled out. Engine 13 and Air 1 were assigned to the 2nd alarm with Engine 4.
Engine 9 went to the east of the fire on Quebec Street to check on the tank farm just behind the fire building. They took a water supply with them to hit the fire with their master stream to protect the tank farm.
The Haz-mat team was called out an hour into the fire for oil in the water run-off that was dumping into the storm sewer drains on Plymouth Street.
The fire was under control by 14:00 hours.
It was determined early in the fire that a ruptured gas tank was the cause of the fire. The tank was accidentally punctured and the gas poured onto the floor until it hit an ignition source.
Click HERE for the complete photo gallery of this fire.
At 20:45 Allentown transmitted box 2414 for 27 North 15th Street on a house fire sending Engines 9, 4, 10, 11 (F.A.S.T.), Truck 2 And Battalion 43 (Henrick).
Battalion Chief Henrick arrives and reports fire showing from the 3rd floor and signals a working fire. Engine 9 stretches one hand line to the 3rd floor of the duplex for what appears to be a room and contents.
With numerous power lines and other utility lines in front of the building, the tower ladder cannot be used. Truck 2 members are ordered to throw ground ladders. Members go to the roof and open up to check for fire extension in the cockloft.
A second hand line is stretched up the ground ladder to hit the fire on the exterior of the dormer. Crews held the fire to the 3rd floor room and the 1st alarm assignment.
Engine Company 6 was dispatched at 21:47 for fire watch duty. The Fire Marshals office is investigating.
At 21:11, Allentown transmitted rescue box 2253 for 512 North 5th Street on a report of an auto extrication with car into the building sending Battalion 43, Engines 9, 4 and Truck 2.
Battalion 43 (Atiyeh) arrives and finds a car into the porch at 449 North 5th Street near Liberty Street. He doesn't find anyone pinned in the car and has the balance of the box recalled except for Engine 9. Battalion 43 puts Lt. Kutz (9A) in charge and returns to quarters.
Engine 9A request Building Standards to the scene and the board up company. Lt. Kutz and his crew remain on the scene while the tow truck removes the vehicle from the sidewalk. No injuries were reported.
Click HERE for more photos of this scene in the photo gallery.
** PLEASE NOTE ** This audio is not real time and the transmissions have been compiled to shorten the length of the video.
At 10:20, BOX 4325 was transmitted for a house fire at 541 E. Tioga Street sending Engines 14, 6, 11, 9, Truck 2 and Battalion 43 (Henrick). Engine 14 arrived with 2 firefighters (Short 1 FF) and reported a working fire and people trapped. The Battalion Chief ordered the firefighter to wait for additional firefighters to team up with before going inside the 1-story dwelling to search for the trapped person.
With a confirmed person trapped inside, the firefighter couldn't wait any longer and went inside alone to search for the person. Moments later, he radioed that he is bringing one female out to EMS.
EMS transported the female to the hospital in serious condition. Two hand lines were stretched for a car fire in the basement garage.
The 1st platoon was short on manpower with only 23 Firefighters on the shift today. The manpower on a platoon in previous contracts had 30 firefighters working a shift. Today, 2 Engine companies were short 1 firefighter a piece. The current contract only calls for 25 firefighters per shift.
One firefighter was injured battling this blaze.
This fire is a good example of the importance of having proper staffing levels on each apparatus. When a fire apparatus is under-staffed, it puts a strain on the firefighters, who now have to do numerous jobs and risk injury to themselves or their members.
Most cities the size of Allentown have 4 firefighters on each apparatus. Allentown operates 6 Engines, 1 Quint and 1 Ladder Truck. Previously the department had 10 Engines and 3 Ladder Trucks.
Just before 14:00 on Sunday, Allentown Fire sends Engine 10 and 4 to 23rd and Union Streets for a reported car fire. Moments later, box 2733 is transmitted for a auto extrication at the that intersection. The rescue box is filled out sending Engines 9, 11, Truck 2, Battalion 43, Medic 1 and Medic 100.
Engine 10 arrives and reports one person heavily entrapped and a car that is in two pieces. The Battalion chief orders Engine 9 and 11 to put their rescue tools in-service to remove the roof and dash board. Members from Truck 2 are instructed to park their apparatus and report to the car for manpower.
The victim is removed a while later and transported to the trauma center in critical condition. The accident is under investigation.
Photos by Mike Nester. More photos can be viewed here.
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