NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. – At 11:11 PM on Thursday, February 1, Northumberland County sent out a box to 317 North Hickory Street in Mount Carmel for a dwelling fire.
First arriving crews found heavy fire throughout the rear of multiple duplexes in the 300 block of North Hickory. A second alarm was quickly struck while Engine 1 and Truck 2 took the address and Engine 2 went to the rear. Engine 3 secured a water supply behind Truck 2.
A third alarm was struck shortly after the second and a request for a tanker task force was also placed. These alarms brought units from Northumberland, Columbia and Schuylkill Counties.
Crews worked to contain the fire which had spread to at least three duplexes and damaged at least one other. Firefighters could be seen using heavy lines from the street in the front and from yards in the rear. Truck 2 was set to the roof where crews worked to open up.
Fire could be seen rolling throughout the second and third floor of the middle duplex as firefighters worked their way to those floors. Smoke began to push from the third story of the “B” exposure which quickly led to the windows blowing out and heavy smoke billowed out into the sky. An exterior line was directed into the windows and began to lighten up the smoke.
Englewood Engine 369 was directed to set up a Rapid Intervention Team in the rear while Mahanoy City Rescue 993 set up RIT in the front replacing the Shamokin RIT who got put to work helping with extinguishment.
A tanker dump site was set up two blocks away where Girardville Tanker 45-30 drafted from two portable ponds and pumped to Shamokin Engine 33 who relayed the water to the scene.
The bulk of the fire was knocked down and crews were in the mop up stage before 1 AM. Volunteers were out handing out water and Gatorade to firefighters as were local homeowners. Ice melt was also being applied to walkways in the area as heavy snow was falling throughout the incident.
There were radio transmissions regarding a possible MAYDAY in the early stages of the fire however it sounded like it was just an emergency activation from a radio, these details couldn’t be confirmed.