Firefighters Battle Structure Fire in Pennsylvania

On Sunday, May 22, 2005 The Bonneauville Fire Department ( Adams County station 19), New Oxford Community Fire Department ( station 13), and South Eastern Adams Volunteer Emergency Services ( station 29) were dispatched for a structure fire, Mount Pleasant Township, Box 19-5, 200 block of Tall Oaks Road, reported to be a vacant house, by Adams County 911.

Bonneauville Fire Chief, Jerry Poland ( Chief 19) marked on the air with smoke showing from 2 miles out and requested 2 additional tankers. Upon Chief 19's arrival , he advised communications of a well involved 2 1/2 story brick home and established command.

Chief 19 requested New Oxford Deputy Fire Chief Shrader (D/C 13) to establish a fill site for tankers at the John Hess farm, Bonneauville Assistant Chief Livelsberger ( A/C 19) to operations and New Oxford Assistant Chief Milliken ( A/C 13) as Staging/Accountability Officer .

The first in unit(Bonneauville Engine-Tanker 19) laid 1100 feet of 5 inch supply line back the farm lane to the property and used their deck gun to darken the home, backed up by New Oxford Fire Department Engine 13-1. After the initial hit, several 2 inch hand lines were placed into service. Due to the age of the home, and the fact that it had been vacant for many years, a decision was made to use a defensive attack only, due to various safety reasons.

A dump site was established at the end of the lane, with ET29 supplying the 5 inch line and additional manpower being sent to staging at E13-1. Engine Rescue 19 established the water supply at the dry hydrant on the Hess farm, under the direction of Deputy Chief 13. Bonneauville and New Oxford ambulances established a rehab position for firefighters as they rotated out of operations.

Command requested the assistance of County Fire Marshal Herring (FM1) and Brown (FM10). Upon completion of the Fire Marshals investigation, and due to the structural stability and a partial collapse of the side C wall, the decision was made to bring in a front end loader from the neighboring farmer and demolish the remaining free standing walls for safety reasons.

Fire investigation determined to be arson, with the point of origin in the kitchen area of the first floor.

The investigation is continuing. Units cleared the scene at 11:52 am.

There were no firefighter or civilian injuries, but the home was a total loss.