SLATINGTON, PA – At 08:33 AM on Thursday, January 13, Lehigh County Radio dispatched Station 24 (Slatington), Tanker 621 (Emerald), Engine 2911 (Walnutport) and Station 67 (NOVA EMS) to 405 Center Avenue in Slatington for a dwelling fire with entrapment. Chief 2401 immediately responded and was advised of callers reporting smoke coming from a residence with children standing on the roof. Moments later 2401 was advised the fire was reported to be in the kitchen area. The chief radioed this would be a working fire as he could see smoke from a distance. A portable unit from Station 67 arrived on the scene and requested a ladder to the front of the building as soon as possible. Chief 2401 requested a second alarm and RIT from Station 11 (Greenwalds).
The second alarm was dispatched at 08:40 and included Rescue 2941, Truck 2931, Engine 611, Engine 912 (Friedens) and Rehab 6651 (Macungie EMS).
Engine 2411 and Chief 2401 arrived on the scene and laid LDH from 4th Street. Upon arrival, crews found heavy fire venting from three sides of the double. Four children and their grandfather had all jumped from the porch roof to the ground, two suffering fractures from the fall. One person, the grandmother, remained on the roof and was assisted down by firefighters.
Truck 2431 arrived on the scene at the Charlie side and tried to establish a water supply but the hydrant was frozen. A hand line was stretched off the truck to begin an exterior attack. Lines were also stretched off Engine 2411.
Truck 2931 was directed to approach from 5th street and established another water supply.
Crews were met with heavy fire conditions that were rapidly consuming the entire Charlie side of the dwelling. After a brief exterior attack, crews entered the building. By this time the fire had already ran the walls and was raging in the upper floors of the dwelling. Due to the fire conditions upon arrival the stability of the interior was questionable and all crews were ordered to evacuate the building.
Crews continued an exterior attack and after some time crews entered the structure. Shortly after the interior attack resumed, crews were once again ordered to evacuate. A master stream was put in service from Truck 2431 along with a Blitzfire. Fire had already self-vented through the roof.
A ladder was thrown on the Charlie side for a team to ascend to vent the roof of the other half of the dwelling but command determined the roof to be sagging and unsafe for anyone to operate. Shortly after the crew was sent down from the roof the fire vented through.
Multiple ladders were thrown to the Bravo side and windows were taken to vent. Heavy smoke began to push from the windows and fire eventually began showing from one of the windows. The fire was quickly knocked down and the second floor was doused with hose lines operated from the ladders. All personnel were ordered off the ladders as the Bravo side was beginning to lean since the roof was all but gone.
The aerial master stream along with other exterior hand lines were put into service and knocked down the fire for the last time.
Truck 2331 (Slatedale) was specially requested to the scene and was set up on the Alpha / Delta corner to assist with overhaul.
A cascade unit from Station 5 (Coplay) and engines from Station 10 (Germansville), Station 16 (Neffs), Northampton County Station 47 (Lehigh Township) and Carbon County Station 7 (Palmerton) were all special requested to the scene.
All occupants of the house were transported to the hospital for evaluation along with two EMS providers who were treated for smoke inhalation after trying to make entry to the dwelling.
The fire was finally placed under control at 11:52 AM and all units were clear of the scene before 5PM.
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