Multiple fire companies respond to working Emmaus basement fire
Multiple fire companies responded to a working basement fire at a 104 S. Second St. twin home shortly after 10:30 p.m. Sept. 5.
The fire sent one Western Salisbury Fire Department interior firefighter to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and left five people displaced.
The incident began when Emmaus Patrol Officer Austin Thompson called the Lehigh County 911 center when he spotted smoke coming from the residence and a malfunctioning heating system was suspected.
The county communications center dispatched the Emmaus Fire Department, as well as two units from Western Salisbury Fire Department.
Emmaus firefighters, first on the scene, determined there was a working fire and called immediately for a second alarm, bringing units from five additional Lehigh County fire stations.
Western Salisbury Chief Joshua Wells was the first chief officer on the scene and assumed command. When Emmaus Chief John Price arrived, the two agreed on a collaborative effort to attack the fire.
A “Mayday call” from a Western Salisbury firefighter brought an EMS response to the rear of the structure to aid an interior firefighter who was showing signs of smoke inhalation. The firefighter was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment and observation. He was released Sept. 6.
Three residents of the 104 side of the building and two on the 102 side were displaced and Red Cross aides were called to help provide overnight accommodations.
Responding to the second alarm were units from Eastern Salisbury, Lower Macungie’s Wescosville and Alburtis stations and the Greenawalds and Woodlawn stations.
Greenawalds, along with Alburtis, fire stations, provided Rapid Intervention Teams at the scene. RIT crews have no firefighting duties, but are on standby with special gear to aid any firefighter who gets into trouble and requires a rescue effort.
The Woodlawn station provided its cascade unit which replenishes air bottles depleted during the firefighting operation. The pressurized breathing air bottles contain 20-30 minutes of air, depending on the amount of firefighter exertion required.
Units from the Emmaus Ambulance Corps and Macungie Ambulance were on hand to provide rehab for the firefighters laboring in heavily insulated protective gear.
The EMS units provide hydration and energy snacks and monitor firefighters’ vital signs.
Emmaus police were on scene and fire police from Emmaus and Eastern Salisbury departments controlled traffic flow around the area.