POTTSTOWN FIRE DEPARTMENT Chief: Richard C. Lengel Personnel: Combination department (13 career firefighters, 45 volunteer firefighters, 16 career EMS personnel) Apparatus: Five pumpers, three aerials, one heavy rescue, one Special Operations rescue truck, two service/light trucks, five ALS...
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Firefighters laddered the exposed vacant 1½-story manufacturing building 50 feet across the street from the warehouse with ground ladders. One 1½-inch handline was advanced to the roof and another 1½-inch handline was placed into operation at street level. Both of these handlines were supplied by Ladder 69. Firefighters hand-stretched a four-inch supply line to supply a portable deluge gun positioned at the rear of Ladder 69 on South Washington Street from the ladder. Crews also stretched 200 feet of three-inch attack line to the west side of the building on South Washington Street to supply another portable deluge gun. Squirt 69 was positioned in the rear parking lot of the library on the C side of the building and was supplied by a five-inch line from a hydrant on the south side of High Street at Washington Street. Squirt 69 operated its elevated master stream and two 1¾-inch handlines on the north side of the fire building.
Lengel requested a second alarm at 7:04. Responding on the alarm were Pottstown Quint 69 (a 75-foot tower ladder), Ringing Hill Fire Company Engine 59-1, West Pottsgrove Township’s West End Fire Company Engine 57-2, Humane Fire Company of Royersford Engine 84-1 and Ladder 84 (a 100-foot aerial), Sanatoga Fire Company Engine 58-1 and Heavy Rescue 64 from the North Coventry Fire Company in Chester County. All were ordered to respond directly to the scene.
Quint 69 was positioned in the public library parking lot and supplied with two four-inch lines from Squad 69. One supply line was placed into the rear intake and the other into the pump. Quint 69 operated its elevated master stream and two 1¾-inch handlines that were deployed on the north exposure roof. Ringing Hill Engine 59-1 was positioned on the hydrant at the corner of High and Franklin streets and supplied Ladder 59, positioned on Apple Street at South Washington Street. Ladder 59 operated two master streams from its aerial platform. West End Engine 57-2 was positioned on South Washington Street at the railroad bridge. It was supplied by a 200-foot five-inch supply line from the hydrant at South Washington and South streets.
Firefighters hand-stretched two 2½-inch lines to portable deluge guns positioned on the South Washington Street Bridge. Engine 84-1 laid dual five-inch lines from a hydrant at the corner of Cherry and South Washington streets to the parking lot just south of the railroad tracks. Engine 69-6 hooked on to the hydrant and pumped one of the five-inch supply lines to Engine 84-1. Sanatoga Engine 58-1 picked up Engine 84-1’s other five-inch supply line and reverse-laid an additional 700 feet of five-inch supply line to a hydrant at South Washington Street and Industrial Highway. Engine 58-1 hooked on to the hydrant with a short five-inch supply line and pumped two 50-foot three-inch lines into a manifold on the five-inch supply line. Ladder 84 was positioned in the parking lot next to the South Washington Street Bridge. Engine 84-1 supplied Ladder 84 with two 100-foot three-inch supply lines for its ladder pipe operations.
Lengel requested a third alarm at 7:19. Collegeville Fire Company responded with Rescue 34, a heavy rescue; North Coventry Fire Company from Chester County sent Engine 64-1 and Tower 64 (a 95-foot tower ladder). Also responding on the third alarm were Limerick Fire Company Engine 54, Trappe Fire Company Engine 77, New Hanover Fire Company Ladder 37 (a 75-foot aerial ladder) and the Montgomery County Communications Unit.
As the water supply diminished, Squad 69 asked for an additional water supply. North Coventry Engine 64-1 reverse-laid a five-inch supply line from Squad 69 to the hydrant at High and North Warren streets. Once this supply was established, Squad 69 disconnected from the original hydrant supply. Collegeville Rescue 34 was positioned at High and Washington streets and used as a manpower pool.
North Coventry Tower 64 was positioned on South Washington Street at the railroad bridge and was supplied by Engine 57 with a 100-foot five-inch supply line. Tower 64 operated two master streams from the aerial platform on the south side of the fire building. North Coventry Rescue 64 was positioned on the south side of the fire and used for manpower. Limerick Engine 54 laid a five-inch line from a hydrant on the southeast corner of High and Adam streets to supply Ladder 37’s ladder pipe operation. Pottstown Engine 69-6 was positioned at the hydrant at South Washington and Cherry streets and supplied Engine 84, using 300 feet of five-inch supply line. The Montgomery County Communications Unit was positioned at the intersection of High and Washington Streets and used as the command post.
Lengel assigned the following sector officers: Pottstown Goodwill Chief Michael Campeggio – Washington Street side; Pottstown North End Deputy Chief Marty Durchin – library side; Pottstown Philadelphia Chief Joseph Groff – east side and interior; Royersford Chief John Major – south side at the railroad; Pottstown Empire Firefighter Mark Gibson as safety officer; and Pottstown Deputy Fire Marshal Raymond Lopez as logistics officer.