Fire Causes Heavy Damage to Pennsylvania Apartment and Commercial Building

On January 14, 2005, at 1:47 PM, an apartment fire broke out at 190-192 Main St., Greenville, Pennsylvania. The building, constructed in 1902, was a mixed occupancy building with apartments consuming the third floor, apartments and a women's fitness center on the second floor and a gym and tanning salon on the lower level. Attached buildings were separated with fire walls.

Only the normal staffing of a chief and two firefighters were on duty at the time of the alarm. A second alarm was transmitted, when smoke could be seen by units leaving the fire station several blocks away, which brought in mutual aid from three nearby communities with three engines. An extra ladder company was special called.

The fire was contained to the third floor while lower floors suffered water damage. Fire spread rapidly throughout the open 3,000 square foot cockloft. The first arriving engine made a quick hit with it's deck gun to knock down the main body of fire then and interior crew was sent in to complete extinguishment until bricks started to fall from the buildings' facade and the cockloft became heavily involved. Crews were ordered out.

A 1,100 gpm fire hydrant a block away was out of service due to being hit by a vehicle in December. Firefighters had only a 700 gpm hydrant in front of the fire building and another hydrant on a 12" main 700' away.

Greenville's second engine which serves as the department's hose wagon, carrying 1500' of 5" hose was out of service for repairs at the time of the fire.

The last Greenville unit left the scene at 10:30 PM. Cause is still under investigation.