At approximately 1915 hours on Sunday, May 23, 2004, an explosion rocked the neighborhood in Cressona Borough at River and Pottsville Streets. The initial dispatch sent Fire District 41 (Cressona) and Stations 1 and 4 (Schuylkill Haven) to a report of a structure fire with an explosion and possible entrapment.
Chief 41 arrived on scene to find a 2 1/2 story apartment building with flames coming from the back of the building. Chief 41 called for additional help from Pottsville City, bring a second ladder truck and the F.A.S.T.
The first arriving engine, from District 41, pulled a line and tried to cool down a propane tank than was venting and fueling the fire at the rear of the structure.
Ladder 725 from Station 1 put the ladder up to the roof area , and Wagon 736 from Station 4 supplied water to Ladder 725 and hand lines which were put into service from the wagon.
Chief 720 from Schuylkill Haven and Chief 41 confirmed that everyone was out of the building. Firefighters did rescue a family pet dog from the blaze.
Pottsville Firefighters arrived on scene and vented the roof, as firefighters made their way to the second and attic. Conditions started to get worse and firefighters had to make a hasty retreat from the interior and roof.
Ladder 725 used a master stream to knock down the blaze so firefighters could re-enter the structure.
It took firefighters approximately 45 minutes to take control of the blaze, but remained on scene to extinguish hot spots and do mop up.
A State Police Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate the cause.
Six engines, two ladders, one tanker, 2 squads, 1 heavy rescue, 2 EMS units, and a Rehab Unit with a total of approximately 75 firefighters responded to the call.