a working structure fire at 217 South Walnut Str. Mount Carmel. Upon arrival of the first in units the box was upgraded to a 2nd alarm and eventually made its way to 6+ Alarm status with a Tanker Task Force due to limited water supply. Working units side “A” were Engine 2 north end, Truck 2 Center, Engine 3 south end, with Station 1 on side “C”. Altamont along with Kulpmont’s Engine were stationed at the corner of 5th and Walnut as relay pumpers along with a portable pond at 4th and Walnut. Command was handled by Chief Brian Hollenbush who averted disaster with his promptly recognizing a Mayday and deploying R.I.T. for a FF down (Chief 1) Life Flight transported 1 from the scene to a burn unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. The Fire Chief has left the hospital and is recovering at home at this writing.
A Handicapped individual was rescued prior to FD arrival when Contractors Gilbert Petraskie and Jason Hollenbach noticed smoke in the area. They investigated and, began knocking on doors and ended up “Evacuating an elderly woman in a wheelchair out of 215 South Walnut Str.” Another home “A golden retriever came running out the door, steam flying from it, apparently from the heat of the fire” along with a second dog.
The best outcome occurred due to the professionalism and quick response by Command, R.I.T., Paramedic’s and all of those involved.
Pa DOT shut down part of Route 61 due to hose on the roadway and for the safety of the first responders.
Thirteen individuals have been displaced due to this incident. Borough Councilman Leroy “Chico” Moser expressed frustration with Water Company.
Mount Carmel Borough Police Lt. Chris Buhay said an investigative team including himself, State Police Fire Marshall Kirk Renn of the Milton Baracks, Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush and Borough Fire Chief Daniel Cimino determined the fire originated in a wall at 215 S. Walnut and spread to surrounding residences.