SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. – Around 11 PM on Thursday, November 9, the Minersville Fire Department was dispatched to the area of 111 Middle Street in Minersville for a reported house fire.
Assistant Chief 511 was first to respond and was advised that 9-1-1 was receiving reports of a fire with flames showing near the intersection of Middle and Spencer Streets. It was also relayed that there were conflicting reports of a house fire or a church fire.
Chief 511 was quickly on scene and confirmed a working fire in a two story dwelling at 116 Spencer Street. A second alarm was requested which dispatched Pottsville City Stations 50 and 60.
Engine 528 went responding and arrived on scene to find fire showing from the first floor. 528 positioned in the intersection and Tower 519 was directed to go past the engine to the front of the building. Engine 521 came down from Church Street where they secured a water supply.
Multiple lines were stretched off both engines while the tower crew laddered the front of the building and ascended for vertical ventilation. Engine 534 arrived and secured an additional water supply. A hand line was stretched from 534.
Engine 62 was approaching the scene and was directed to set up a Rapid Intervention Team in the front of the building. Ladder 51 was assigned to throw ground ladders around the building.
Crews found fire throughout the residence as they moved from floor to floor. Once the roof was opened up by the 519 crew, command was reporting heavy fire venting from the hole. Tower 519 was directed to set up for a possible elevated master stream operation.
Command then requested District 3 and Schuylkill Haven RIT be dispatched to the scene. Engine 3-10 arrived on scene and positioned to the rear of the address; their crew was directed to report to the front of building. All three Schuylkill Haven companies arrived and set up two rapid intervention teams. Yorkville’s RIT was broken down and crews assisted with interior attack.
Firefighters battled the blaze for over an hour before the bulk of the fire was knocked down. During the fight, one firefighter was evaluated by Minersville EMS but did not require transport. An additional person was also evaluated on the scene.
The incident was placed under control around 12:30 AM. At this time, out of town crews began to pick up their equipment and clear the scene.
The American Red Cross was on the scene to provide assistance to displaced residents.
Pottsville companies cleared the scene shortly after 1 AM as did Engine 534. The remaining Minersville companies remained on the scene cleaning up and extinguishing hot spots.