House fire attacked quickly minimizes damage

Firefighter Rachel Loux pulls a line to the front door of the home.

At 4:37 PM on June 22, 2020, the fire company was dispatched for the report of a fire at 24 Walnut Lane in Doylestown Borough. On his arrival, Battalion Chief 79, Grant Castor, reported fire showing from the front right corner of the home and an active basement fire.

The fire was located in the home’s electrical equipment in the basement and burned through to the exterior of the house. Because of this, extinguishment of the fire was delayed while waiting for PECO energy to arrive and cut the power to the house, which they did about 20 minutes later. Chief Mike Wood placed the fire under control at 5:24 PM, and firefighters and investigators remained on scene until 7 PM. There were no injuries, and damage was limited to the corner of the home.

Thanks to our mutual aid response by Midway, Plumsteadville and Warwick Fire Companies and cover companies Lingohocken and Chalfont. Central Bucks EMS handled the very important rehab sector, as temperatures were in the upper 80’s with high humidity, putting firefighters at an increased risk. And thanks to our fire police and assisting units from Chalfont, Plumsteadville, Midway and Warwick.

Smoke was venting from the front door as firefighters entered to attack.
Firefighter Karen Truman and Junior Firefighter Ben Morris get a water supply going.
The twins- Engines 19 and 79- working in tandem to get water on the fire.
Firefighters from Midway and Plumsteadville arrive to assist.
Battalion Chief 79, Grant Castor and Safety officer 19, Tom Smith, discuss the operation.
Medics from Central Bucks EMS check firefighters and provide hydration and cooling on the hot, humid day.

No Matter the Weather

Capt. 79 Dan Kline reports the conditions of the chimney from the roof of 220 E. Ashland.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 was a bitter cold, but sunny morning. Temperatures in the teens make for a frigid start to the day, and a need to heat inside. The call came in at 8:02 AM, for a chimney fire at 220 E. Ashland Ave. in Doylestown Borough. Doylestown Borough fire marshal, Scott Fleischer, was first on scene and reported smoke in the interior of the home and smoke from the chimney. Engines 19 and 19-1 and Ladder 79 responded and mitigated the situation in 45 minutes.

In order to check the flues, a weight on a chain is dropped down the flue to knock loose any burning debris and loosen blockages. That requires ascending to the roof, regardless of the weather.

Remember- heaters are instruments that need to be kept running perfectly to prevent fires. The exhaust system is a big part of that. Keep your flues clean by getting professionals to inspect and clean them regularly.

Small entranceway fire stays that way

A fire in a support column at the Landmark building in Doylestown Borough was spotted and reported around 10:30 AM, January 16, 2020. Doylestown Borough fire marshal Scott Fleischer arrived on scene and reported visible fire from the column and smoke pushing from the structure’s roof. Engine 19 arrived on scene with Warrington Rescue 78, and quickly knocked down the wind-driven fire, keeping it from extending into the building. Ladder 79’s crew arrived and assisted with overhaul. The building was quickly and safely evacuated, and there were no injuries. Also assisting were Midway and Chalfont fire, Central Bucks EMS, and Doylestown and Chalfont fire police.

Doylestown McDonalds burns

It was a sad night for fast-food aficionados in Doylestown on Sept. 21, 2018, as long time hangout McDonalds was destroyed by fire. The call, dispatched at 1:49 AM, was first reported to police as a burglar alarm. The Central Bucks Regional officer reported the building full of smoke and windows hot. Deputy 19 Ed Truman and Battalion 19 Jim Shepard arrived to heavy smoke, and Truman established Doylestown command. After ventilating and making entry, firefighters were presented with fire in the roof area, and shortly after a collapse of the interior roof structure over the kitchen area, making it difficult to get to the seat of the fire. 

After an hour, the fire was placed under control at 2:25 AM by Truman. There was one minor injury to a firefighter. Responding as mutual aid were Warrington, Plumsteadville, Midway, Lingohocken and Hartsville, Central Bucks Ambulance was there for rehab and patient care, and fire police from Chalfont, Warwick, and Plumsteadville. Thanks to Chalfont, Warwick Dublin, Pt. Pleasant, and Horsham for covering during the fire. The cause is being investigated by Doylestown Borough fire marshal Scott Fleischer.

Firefighter Tom Savasta brings a ladder to the scene.
Ladder 29 in the rear.
Ladder 79 in the front.
Engine 19 and Ladder 29.

Fire destroys home in Doylestown Township

L to r, Capt 79 Dan Kline, FF Grant Castor and Steve Lee, and Lt 79 Peter Mills work on ventilating the roof of the home.

“We’re getting multiple calls.” was the message given to Deputy 19 Ed Truman en route to a report of a dwelling fire at 588 Almshouse Road in Doylestown Township on Friday, April 13 2018. On the report of multiple calls, Bucks County Fire Radio upgraded the response to a working fire and Deputy 19 ordered a Tanker Task force added to the response. On arrival, Truman reported heavy fire from the rear, and instructed Engine 19 to lead off. All occupants were out of the home.

The house was a 1 and 2 story wood frame, and had headway. Winds from the southwest made finding the seat difficult, and a heavy interior fire load made for a hot blaze. Small explosions and a compromised electric service line complicated matters. The weather, which had finally changed to springlike temperatures, made for challenging conditions for firefighters.

Tankers set up water supply at the intersection of Lower State and Almshouse Roads. Multiple handlines were placed in service. The outcome was difficult though, as the fire raced throughout the 2 story portion and destroyed the home. The fire was declared under control at 3:42 PM by Deputy Chief Ed Truman.

Responding as mutual aid were Warrington, Chalfont, Plumsteadville, Point Pleasant, Dublin, Hilltown, Warminster, Warwick, Midway, New Hope Eagle and Horsham Fire. Covering companies were Montgomery Township and Hatboro from Montgomery County, Midway and Warwick. Central Bucks and Chal-Brit EMS provided medical and rehab services. Fire police from Doylestown, Chalfont, Plumsteadville, Dublin, Perkasie, and Ottsville handled traffic. North Penn Goodwill assisted with rehab and fed over 50 firefighters. The Red Cross was called to assist with the homeowners.

Firefighter Rachel Loux pulls a handline.

Battalion 79 Ed Loux pumps Engine 19.

Fire out a side window.

Chalfont firefighters man a handline.

Firefighter Dan Hinkle, r, shuts off a handline on the roof.

FF Grant Castor checks the roof saw as FF Steve Lee opens a vent hole.

Rescue 78 pumps to Engine 19.

Busy end of March, beginning of April

Fire showing from a garage at 578 E. Butler Av. in New Britian Boro, on March 25.

After the latest round of Nor’easters in March, the fire company was kept busy by incidents not caused by nature. On March 25, the company was dispatched to a garage fire at 578 E. Butler Ave., in New Britain Borough. On arrival, Chief 19 Mike Wood reported a fully involved garage, and placed companies in service. A quick knock on the remains of the structure and the company was headed home an hour later. On the evening of March 29, the dispatch was for an overturned vehicle with entrapment in the 100 block of West Court Street in Doylestown Borough. Rescue 19 and Engine 79 responded, stabilized the vehicle and removed the occupant with minor injuries.The next day, March 30, the dispatch was for a crash with entrapment on Rt. 611 at Duane Road. Rescue 19 and Engine 79’s crews went in service and removed the roof of the vehicle to safely remove the trapped occupant.On April 3, the dispatch was for wires in the dwelling at 15 Shady Grove Circle in Doylestown Township. On arrival, Chief Engineer 19 Denny Loux reported a smoke condition in the dwelling, and on further investiagtion found an electrical fire in the basement and upgraded the call to a working dwelling fire. Once PECO secured the power, the fire, which was contained by dry chemical extinguishers, was able to be extinguished fully, with relatively minor damage to the home and no injuries. Doylestown Township fire marshal Rick Schea and PECO are continuing to investigate.

Deputy Chief Ed Truman talks to Chief Engineer 19 Denny Loux after the basement fire was controlled.

 

Vehicle fire shuts 202 bypass for a short time

 

The fire company was dispatched for a vehicle fire on the Route 202 bypass northbound, on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 12:23 PM. Deputy 19 Ed Truman and Battalion 19 Jim Shepard arrived to find a vehicle with the engine compartment well involved. Engines 79 and 19 responded and extinguished the fire quickly. There were no injuries.

All clear on State Street now

Lt. 19 Don Talenti prepares to enter Artistic Pizza.

If you were in or around Doylestown Borough in the evening of Weds., August 9, you probably saw the fire company. At 6:51 PM, we were dispatched for a building fire at 86 West State Street. On arrival, Chief Sam Cramer, Jr. found a small electrical fire in the area of the gas meter on the exterior of 86 West. The restaurant was evacuated, and PECO Energy called.

In these type of responses, we have to wait for the utility company to come and secure the utilities, for everyone’s safety. This was determined to be a complex situation, and more assistance was called for. So we waited. It was a pleasure talking to everyone as they passed and asked questions.

Big thanks to Tim Wylie and the staff at Nat’s Pizza for the waterice!

After around 3 hours of standing by, we broke down the scene, leaving just the crew from Engine 19. Just as many of the company had returned home and started to relax, our pagers opened and reported an alarm sounding on the block east, at 6 W State St., followed quickly by a full building fire response. There was smoke showing as Chief Cramer and Battalion Chief Jim Shepard arrived. Luckily, it was a few overcooked pizzas contained to the over with no damage or injuries.

And all this on our drill night.

We were supposed to be training at a home that’s about to be demolished. Battalion Chief Will Fluck and his helpers worked a good part of Weds. afternoon preparing. We’ll give that another try next week.

One note, when you see us in gear with the trucks blocking traffic, we don’t take everyone’s safety lightly. We don’t block traffic for frivolous reasons. Please slow down, and go around. You’ll get there safely.

We care, about you.

The newest vehicle in the fleet, Utility 79, on the fireground.

Thanks to our mutual aid partners from Warrington Fire Company.

The command staff discusses strategy. Left to right, Don Talenti, Sam Cramer, Jr., Jim Shepard, Nate Coia and Will Fluck.

A few notes on fire safety

Firefighter Grant Castor clears a window for ventilation and firefighter safety.

The volunteer members of the fire company responded to a few “almosts” last week. “Almosts”, as in an incident that was almost much worse. With that in mind, and the knowledge that thankfully no one was seriously injured, we offer the following-

1- When cooking, don’t leave anything over heat unattended. We’ve had a string of kitchen incidents where unattended contents caught fire.

2- If a pot suddenly flashes and fire erupts, cover it with a fireproof lid. Don’t try to extinguish it if you can smother it.

3- Don’t attempt to move the pot.

4- Get everyone out and call 911.

5- Don’t attempt to fight the fire yourself. We are trained, equipped and ready. Our main concern is your safety.

6- Smoke detectors on every floor and every bedroom. They save lives.

We have many more of these. Got a question- please ask! If we can’t answer, we’ll get you to someone who can.

Because we care, about you.

Firefighters Peter Mills and Steve Downs clear the fire scene.

Members repack hose for the next call.

Firefighter Nick Tartaglia checks for fire extension.

Fire at water treatment plant- smoke seen for miles

Lt. 79 Nate Coia works on setting up the main on Ladder 79

The fire company was dispatched to the ChalBrit water treatment plant on Lower State Road in Doylestown Township on May 24, 2017. Engines 19, 79, Ladder 79, Rescue 19 and fire police responded. Chief 19 Sam Cramer, Jr. was in charge of operations at his former place of employment for over 20 years. There were no injuries, but alot of fire gear needed to be washed afterwards.

Jess Meisinger heads to the fire after helping set up the ladder for service.

The fire was seated in the roof of the processing building.

Chief 19 Sam Cramer, Jr. ran operations, here with Chalfont Battalion chief Nick Marino.

Dan Kline and Jess Meisinger on a line on side A.

Chief 19 Sam Cramer, Jr. and Deputy 19 Ed Truman.

Firefighter Pete Mills on the pump panel of Ladder 79.