Pennsylvania House Destroyed in Arson Fire

On Saturday, April 19, a fire allegedly started by the occupant of a residential structure destroyed the home in Bradford, Penn.

The Bradford City Fire Department was dispatched at 1:19 a.m. to 321 South Ave. for a structure fire reported as "fully involved." It was also reported that power lines were down in the street near the structure.

Tower 1 and Engine 1 responded with five firefighters under the command of Capt. Chris Angell. Prior to arrival on scene, Angell requested a second alarm as the fire could be seen in the night sky from several blocks away. Tower 1 approached the scene from the south side and Engine 1 approached from the north side laying a 400 foot, five inch supply line from a hydrant at the corner of Clarence and Sherman Streets to the scene.

A 150-foot, five-inch supply line was hand laid to Tower 1 for water supply. Initial attack was made using the deck gun and a 100-foot, three-inch blitz attack monitor from Engine 1 and a 100-foot, three-inch blitz attack monitor from Tower 1.

The second alarm response included Engine 2, two paramedic ambulances; a paramedic unit and the chief's car with 12 off-duty city firefighters. The Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene with two rescue pumpers and 18 firefighters.

Due to low water pressure in the area, the crew of Bradford Township engine 151 laid 300 feet of five inch supply line from a hydrant at the corner of Congress and Sherman Streets to the corner of Clarence and Sherman Streets. They picked up the supply line laid by Engine 1 and pumped to Engine 1. Bradford Township Engine 153 was positioned with Tower 1 and supplemented Tower 1's water supply with its 1,700 gallons of booster tank water with a five-inch supply line.

As the water supply issues were resolved, firefighters on Tower 1 placed an aerial master stream into operation and two, one and three quarter inch attack lines into operation. Engine 1's crew also placed two, one and three quarter inch attack lines into operation.

Bradford Township was released from the scene at 4:19 a.m. Tower 1 and Engine 1 returned to quarters at 4:39 A.M. Engine 2 remained on scene for an additional two hours for mop-up operations.

An investigation by Bradford City Police and the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Division resulted in the arrest of the occupant of the house. He has been charged with arson, risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. A car parked nearby and a house located across the street suffered exposure damage.

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