A woman's failed attempt to kill herself by piling combustible materials on a stove and setting them ablaze resulted in a three-alarm fire in an apartment complex that left 50 residents homeless. It was at 7:34 on a rainy Saturday night that York County, PA, Emergency Communications...
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With the incident now under control, command began releasing units, but held Engine 15, Engine 16 and Truck 16 to continue hydraulic overhaul on the partially collapsed structure. New off-duty crews were brought in as replacements for the crews on Engine 15, Engine 16 and Truck 16 and the fire was declared out at 1:53 A.M. Firefighters remained on scene working with Pennsylvania State Police fire investigators and dousing hot spots. The final units were released at 4:59 A.M.
Police filed 66 arson-related charges against the 58-year-old woman who was rescued from the building. While enroute to the hospital, she admitted to piling combustible materials on her stove and turning it on in an attempt to commit suicide. Fifty residents were left homeless by the fire.
Early on, Mellon realized that the incident would tax his personnel and had the potential to grow rapidly. Because of his experience with similar incidents in this type of structure as well as pre-planning, he quickly requested additional resources. This action let firefighters attack the fire aggressively and prevent it from spreading to the attached building.
SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP DEPARTMENT OF FIRE RESCUE SERVICES PROFILE
BRIAN BASTINELLI is a career firefighter for the Harrisburg, PA, Bureau of Fire. He has served for 17 years in the fire and EMS services, the past 10 in Harrisburg. Bastinelli also has served in several volunteer EMS line officer positions as well as assistant and district chief positions in a suburban combination fire department.