Two firefighters were injured battling a blaze in a historic home in Millcreek Township. Both were released after treatment at a hospital.
Just before 12:30 a.m.on Saturday, April 28, Millcreek police discovered a house fire on Arbuckle Road in eastern Millcreek Township. The Belle Valley Fire Department was dispatched along with the remainder of the first alarm companies including Kearsarge, Perry Hi-Way and Kuhl Hose Fire Departments.
The police officer assisted the residents from the burning house to a neighbor's residence.
First due Engine 32 from Belle Valley arrived to find heavy fire showing from the rear of a nearly 200 year-old farmhouse. Chief 360 initiated Arbuckle Road Command.
The intense flames were fueled by an explosion from a couple cans of gasoline. First in crews from Engine 32 and Rescue 38 stretched two 1-3/4" lines through the front door as Tower 30's crew vented the structure.
As additional crews arrived water supplies were set up using tanker shuttles since this area of Millcreek is not served by public water supply.
A third line was put into service to the second floor by the crew off Tower 449 (Kearsarge). RIT was set up by Kuhl Hose Engine 683.
Just after a half hour into the operation, conditions began to deteriorate and command decided to evacuate the structure. As the evacuation was in progress a flashover occured on the first and second floors. Three firefighters were missing after the flashover so the RIT team was activated. Two of the three exited the structure as the RIT team was entering, leaving one still unaccounted for. As the RIT team was searching the third firefighter exited on his own.An accountability check revealed that all crews were accounted for.
A defensive operation was now in place. It took nearly three hours for fire crews with several hand lines, a deck gun and aerial master streams working to bring the fire under control.
Due to the amount of damage and unsafe conditions, the two decades-old home had to be demolished.
Crews remained on scene for over 12 hours.