Yesterday, March 19, 2023, at 14:13, Upper Allen Fire Department (UAFD) and mutual departments were dispatched to the 2000 block of Hastings drive for a garage fire. Lieutenant 1-23 arrived on scene as Duty Chief at 14:14 and requested a working fire dispatch with possible entrapment due to two male adolescents being unaccounted for. Captain 23 arrived on scene moments later and completed a 360 of the house, reporting heavy fire from the rear of the house. Chief 1-23 arrived at 14:17 and assumed command asking for 2nd alarm. Engine 29 and Engine 23 arrived at 14:23 and made entry performing fire attack and a primary search of the structure for victims. Squad 33 established RIT at Side A at 14:29. A primary search of Division 1 was completed at 14:30, and primary search of Division 2 was completed at 14:34, both with negative findings. The two adolescents were later both accounted for and were not in the home at the time of the incident.
At 14:38, while crews were interior working on the second floor, a portion of the second floor collapsed into the garage, trapping two firefighters under a large amount of debris. A third firefighter was able to self-extricate. A fourth firefighter that was initially reported missing, was located on the fire ground. The first firefighter that was located was awake and talking, and the second firefighter was located and was provided air supply from the RIT pack. The second firefighter located was removed at 14:59, and the first firefighter located was removed shortly thereafter. Both firefighters were transported by ground via ambulance with minor injuries. A secondary search of the home revealed that two dogs perished in the fire. There was also damage to the adjacent home from the heat of the fire. UAFD cleared the call at 19:26 and worked to return the apparatus to service.
UAFD would like to thank all mutual aid companies, EMS, transfer companies, and UAPD for assisting. This was a joint effort by everyone present. Despite the emotional toll an event like this takes, everyone continued to work together to complete a successful rescue and also complete the fire suppression and overhaul tasks. We would also like to thank Mission BBQ, Vito’s Pizza and the UAFD Support Force for bringing food for the firefighters.
Photo credit to Curt Werner, Dustin Weese and SH2Photos.