PENNSYLVANIA: Water Shuttle Operation At Barn Fire

— The Derrick City, PA, Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched at 7 P.M. to a reported structure fire. The fire involved a barn that was being used as a workshop and storage area. It housed heavy equipment and two all-terrain vehicles.

Derrick City Engines 112 and 113; Rescue 111 and Utility 115 responded with 16 firefighters under the command of Fire Chief James Kelley. The first-alarm assignment included Engine 1 from the Bradford City Fire Department, Engine 91 from the Otto Township Volunteer Fire Department and Engine 67 from the Limestone, NY, Volunteer Fire Department. Seeing a glow in the sky as crews were leaving quarters, Derrick City First Assistant Fire Chief Tina Yohe requested a second alarm.

The 100-by-75-foot, two-story, wood and metal barn was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived. The structure was on a dirt road several hundred feet away from a narrow blacktop road. There was no water supply in the area, thus a water shuttle operation was needed. Second-alarm assignments included Rew Volunteer Fire Department Engine 81 and Tanker 83; Otto Township Utility 93 and Tanker 92; and Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department Engine 151 to stand by at Station 11. This standby assignment was upgraded to the scene for additional manpower. Additional Limestone crews were used for water supply fill-site operations. Kelley special requested Tanker 62 from the Lewis Run Volunteer Fire Department and Tanker 122 from the Knapp Creek, NY, Volunteer Fire Department. Bradford Township Engine 153 and Limestone Engine 68 provided standby coverage for Derrick City. Derrick City Engines 112 and 113 were used as attack engines with Engine 112 drafting out of a 2,500-gallon portable tank that was filled by tankers and other engines. Crews found heavy fire conditions throughout the structure and it was clear that this would be an exterior/defensive attack.

Kelley declared the fire under control at approximately 9:30 P.M. Crews ventilated the structure and opened up walls after the fire was contained. Firefighters remained on scene for another 90 minutes performing mop-up operations and hitting hot spots. A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal determined that the fire started on the second floor, but could not determine the cause.