SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PA – At 1:50 PM on Wednesday, April 26, Schuylkill County 9-1-1 dispatched the Minersville Fire Department to the area of 213 Spruce Street in Minersville for a reported house fire. All four Minersville companies were due as well as as Pottsville Engine 62 (Yorkville) and Minersville EMS.
Chief 513 went responding and was advised of multiple calls reporting a house fire with people fighting outside the residence. The chief arrived on scene shortly after and confirmed a working fire with flames showing from the upper floor of a three and a half story multiple family dwelling.
Chief 511 arrived on the scene and assumed command; he also requested the second alarm be dispatched to the scene. The second alarm brought Pottsville Ladder 51 (West End), Heckscherville Engine 263 and Llewellyn Engine 3-10.
Tower 519 and took the address while Engine 528 pulled behind the tower and got water from Engine 514 who secured a water supply at the A/D corner near the intersection of Spruce and Walnut Streets.
Multiple lines were stretched into the residence that presented as a three story on the A side that was built into a hillside on the C side. Crews made it to the fire floor and began to knock down the fire.
A third alarm was then requested to the scene. The third alarm brought Frackville Ladder 43-20, Pottsville Engine 11 (Good Intent), South Cass Engine 268 and a Rapid Intervention Team from Schuylkill Haven.
As crews were making work of the original fire floor, smoke and flames were beginning to escape from the attic window. Interior crews began calling for additional lines and extra hose on the lines they were currently working. While these requests were being put into action, a blitz fire was put in operation in an attempt to knockdown the fire in the attic.
Firefighters worked their way into the attic where they found high heat and requested the roof be ventilated. The firefighters continued to push into the attic and eventually knocked down the fire.
With fire in the attic knocked down, the bulk of the fire was contained and crews were able to begin overhauling the building. PPL arrived on the scene and cut the power to the building. The American Red Cross was requested to help with displaced residents. Firefighters were able to bring at least one cat out of the building who was handed off to EMS and subsequently placed into a pet carrier. Unfortunately other pets weren’t as lucky and perished in the fire.
Later in the day, Minersville Police announced they arrested one of the occupants of the building after she admitted lighting a blanket on fire within the residence. The resident was later arraigned and taken to Schuylkill County Prison.