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BRADFORD, PA, JULY 24, 2011 – The Bradford City Fire Department was dispatched at 6:41 P.M. to a structure fire at DeFrank Appliances at 144 Davis St., a mixed-use occupancy that included a storefront, apartments and a warehouse. The interconnected buildings were of wood construction of varying heights. They were built in the 1940s as part of a lumber mill. The department responded with Tower 1 and Engine 1 with five firefighters under the command of Captain Dave Paul.
Tower 1 arrived on scene at 6:43 and advised dispatch of a working structure fire. Paul immediately requested a second alarm. Ten off-duty city firefighters responded with Engine 2, four advanced life support (ALS) ambulances and a paramedic unit. Fire Chief Chris Angell responded to the scene at this time. The second alarm also brought Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department Rescue Engine 151 and crew to the scene under the command of Fire Chief Dan Burkhouse.
Tower 1 was supplied with a 250-foot, five-inch line and firefighters placed a 100-foot, three-inch line and a 150-foot, 1¾-inch line into operation on side D. As the fire was advancing from the warehouse into the apartments and storefront, all efforts were initially directed toward stopping the fire spread.
An additional 150-foot, 1¾-inch line was advanced to the second-floor apartment from Tower 1. Engine 151 was positioned on side A and supplied by a 300-foot, five-inch line. The crew from Engine 151 was directed to advance a 200-foot, 2½-inch line down the B side of the building to stop the fire spread. The effectiveness of the crew on side B was hampered by arcing power lines. A 200-foot, 1¾-inch line was also stretched into the apartments from this engine.
After conferring with Angell about the fire conditions and the high temperature and humidity, Burkhouse ordered a full-department response from Bradford Township. Rescue Engine 153, Engine 155 and Utility 152 responded with 30 firefighters.
Engine 2 was positioned at the rear of the structure on side D and hooked onto a hydrant with a 25-foot, five-inch line. Firefighters deployed a 150-foot, three-inch line and a 150-foot, 1¾-inch line from this engine. With the use of interior and exterior handlines and master streams, firefighters stopped the spread of the fire. Although the warehouse was destroyed, the apartments and storefront sustained only smoke and water damage.
—Jay K. Bradish