On Thursday, December 2, 2004 at 2310 hours the Milton Fire Department was dispatched to 50 Broadway in Downtown Milton for a reported building fire.
Police on scene immediately reported heavy fire from the second floor side A windows of a historic three story brick taxpayer with an attached exposure on side B.
The box was quickly upgraded to a third alarm due to the size of the building and the occupied exposure.
An aggressive interior attack by the initial engine crew quickly knocked down the fire in the apartment of origin.
Chief 1501(Sam Shaffer) arrived and assumed command.
Due to building construction and numerous renovations, crews had difficulty trying to access the third floor attic area which was now heavily involved in fire. The fire began to self vent through the roof and crews were evacuated from the fire building. Within minutes the roof collapsed into the third floor. A defensive attack using aerial master streams was initiated.
The fire had also extended into the fourth floor cockloft area of the exposure at 52-54 Broadway. Again, crews were hampered by the numerous renovations, finding access to the cockloft difficult. The fire was brought under control around 0100 hours and crews remained on scene until 0454 hours performing extensive overhaul and salvage. The fire left 10 people homeless. Three businesses were either destroyed or damaged.
The cause was determined to be a tenant who was stripping paint from window sills and had spilled paint thinner into an electrical outlet. The tenant was treated on scene for smoke inhalation.
Units on scene from the Milton Fire Department were Engines 15-1 and 15-2, Truck 15-1, Rescue 15-1, Utility 15-1, and Chiefs 1501(Shaffer), 1502(Ulrich), 1503(Gaugler). Other Units on scene were E2-3, T2-1, R2-1 William Cameron Engine Company(Lewisburg), E5-1, R5-1 White Deer Township, E9-1, T9-1, R9-1 Warrior Run Area Fire Dept(Watsontown), E12-1 Pottsgrove, E17-1 Turbot Township, R13 Montgomery(Lycoming County), Ambulances from Milton Ambulance and Warrior Run, and Paramedics from Evangelical Community Hospital. A number of other Departments from Union and Northumberland counties assisted with transfers.