On September 12, 2016, Cumberland County Box 113-02, dispatched Engine Co’s 13 (West Shore Bureau of Fire), 10 (New Cumberland), 12 (Lower Allen), Truck 14 (Camp Hill), Squad 13 (West Shore), and Air 13 (West Shore) to Hummel Avenue at Lafferty Lumber for a building fire. Chief Mulhollan requested a second alarm assignment, bringing Engine Co’s 21 (Creekside), 30 (Hampden Township), York County 68 (Fairview Township), Truck 12 (Lower Allen), Tower 2 (Harrisburg City), Rescue 14 (Camp Hill), 20 (Northeast – East Pennsboro), and Rescue 69 (DLA – New Cumberland) for RIT. Incoming companies prepared to go defensive on arrival. Truck 14 and Tower 2 went in service with master stream operations. A one- and two-story, unattached, commercial property was an immediate exposure on the B side and became involved, but was able to be saved and suffered heat, water and smoke damage. Truck 12 flowed master streams protecting other structures which were exposed to radiant heat. Squad 13 went in service with deck gun and blitzfire operations. A line was also stretched to cool Squad 13 down as intense radiant heat impinged on the apparatus.
Additional arriving engine companies supplied aerial operations, bliztfires and handlines. Access to the rear was limited due to train tracks and arcing, high voltage power lines. One power line fell on a blitzfire, rendering the device inoperable until the power company shut off the grid. Squad 33 (New Kingston) was special called to the scene for RIT when Rescue 69 was put to work. Crews stretched two handlines in an attempt to make an interior attack on a two-story office building between two buildings, but were forced to withdraw once the second floor flashed over. This office building eventually became fully involved, but an unattached building separated by a few feet was spared from the flames. A third alarm was transmitted with engine companies ordered to lay in from hydrants 3,000 feet from the scene. Mechanicsburg Truck 28 and Progress Truck 32 both set up in front of the structure and began flowing master streams. Approximately 100 firefighters from 20 companies in Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties battled the blaze. The fire caused over $1 million in damages.
– Fire News photos by Jason Coleman-Cobb