Working Building Fire in Trevorton, Pennsylvania

TREVORTON, PA: On February 28, 2006 at 1:30 am, the Trevorton, East Cameron Township, Coal Township, Kulpmont Fire Companies AREA and Trevorton Ambulances were dispatched to 124-126 W. Shamokin Street (Route 225) for a working building fire.

The Northumberland County Communication Center received multiple calls of a working fire in the apartment building with possible multiple entrapment. Trevorton Engine 312 was first on scene and found flames shooting from the front of the building. Neighbors reported that the residents were not out of the building and trapped inside. The engine crew made many attempts to search for the missing residents. A female and male were rescued by the fire fighters and turned over to EMS personnel outside. The one victim was taken to a local ball field and transferred to a waiting helicopter crew. The fire continued to spread quickly and moved through out the building. The Trevorton Fire Chief requested a second alarm to the scene with a second RIT team.

Fire companies from Shamokin, Elysburg, Ralpho Township, Stonington, Sunbury, Lower Augusta Township, Mount Carmel Township and Wilburton were then dispatched to the scene. Maine Engine 110, Shamokin Engine 11 and 21, East Cameron Township Engine 352, and Shamokin Tower 34 arrived on scene and made an interior attack to stop the fire. Engine 11 established a water supply from a hydrant blocks away from the scene. Engine 21 and Engine 352 staged behind the apartment building and attack from the rear. Kulpmont Engine 221 established a water supply from a portable pond a block away and supplied Engine 110 Shamokin Tower Ladder 34 staged on the side street on Side A and sent its tower into the air but was unable to flow water due to power lines. The remaining Fire Companies responded and stood by. Kulpmont Engine 221 and Shamokin Rescue 62 responded and provided RIT Team operations.

The entire building became fully involved and all interior crews were told to evacuate the structure. A defensive attack was then set up and potable master streams were used. A tanker shuttle operation was set up to bring additional water to the scene. The fire condition on the first and second floors improved and the crews believed the fire was under controlled. The fire extended into the attic and roof area and became visible from the street. The exterior master streams continued to operate until all smoke disappeared. The fire was not totally under controlled until the next morning. By 15:00 hours all hot spots and rekindles were taken care of and the investigation started.

The fire chief and investigators had difficulty in searching the building because of the severe structural damage. The unaccounted missing residents bodies were found in the structure by late Tuesday afternoon. It was determined a total of five people perished in the tragic fire. The State Police fire investigator at this time does not know if the fire is suspicious or has the source of origin. The fire chief reported that there were few minor injuries of fire fighters and the building was a total loss. The apartment building had to be razed so the road way can be reopened to traffic.