Several FFs suffer heat exhaustion at Pa. blaze

One of the firefighters needed to be transported and others were treated at the scene

Steven Henshaw
Reading Eagle, Pa.

PIKE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Several firefighters suffered heat exhaustion — and one needed to be transported to a hospital — while battling a fire Thursday in Pike Township that involved a pickup truck and two outbuildings, officials said.

“It got hot quick,” Lt. Austin Schaeffer of Oley Fire Company said Friday.

Crews commanded at the scene by Oley Fire Chief Mike Kline needed about a half-hour to control the flames at 134 Ruppert School Road. They managed to stop the fire from doing much damage to the larger of the two detached garages, Schaeffer said.

The fire started near a pickup truck that was parked between the two buildings on the residential property.

A neighbor heard the homeowner yelling for help about 3 p.m. and called 9-1-1. The truck was on fire and the flames were threatening the nearby structures, Scheaffer said.

The smaller of the two buildings, a roughly 20- by 30-foot structure, was destroyed.

“It went from the pickup truck to the smaller garage, then to the bigger garage,” Schaeffer said of the path of the fire. “We stopped it at the bigger garage.”

The large garage contained a car that sustained some smoke damage, but the building remained intact.

Initial reports indicated there were several explosions, but Schaeffer said people probably heard some aerosol cans that popped from the heat of the fire.

A second alarm was struck to bring in more personnel to relieve crews working in tropical heat and humidity.

“The second alarm was mainly because of how quick the fire was spreading and because of the temperature,” Schaeffer said. “It was hot out and people get tired out more quickly.”

A firefighter from Earl Township Fire Company was transported to an area hospital after being overcome by heat exhaustion, Schaeffer said.

Several others needed some treatment by medics at the scene.

Some crews remained on the scene until about 6 p.m., making sure all hot spots were out.

Trooper Janssen Herb, a state police fire marshal, is investigating the cause of the fire.


©2020 the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.)


Crews are currently wrapping up from another hot and busy day. A total of 4 calls including 2 structure fires, 1 second...

Posted by Earl Township Vol. Fire Co. No.1 on Thursday, July 9, 2020


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