At 0437 hours on March 24, the structure response was transmitted for a dwelling fire on Franklin Street in Bechtelsville Borough. On the first alarm were apparatus from all three Eastern Berks Fire Stations, as well as all three stations of Boyertown Area Fire and Rescue. Bally Ambulance responded in addition to Pennsburg Fire as the Rapid Intervention Team.
Fire officers quickly arrived on location and found a working dwelling fire, with fire in the basement and first floor kitchen. Four propane tanks stored in the basement added to the hazards.
First in engine from Eastern Berks took the front of the house, second in engine laid 5 inch supply line up Franklin Street from Main, while Boyertown’s ladder opened the roof to vent hot gases.
An Eastern Berks tanker set up it’s porta-pond on Main Street, while truck from Boyertown drafted from that tank and sent it up the hill for fighting the fire.
A second alarm for tankers was requested, adding tankers from Hereford, Seisholtsville, Earl, New Hanover, Topton and Gilbertsville. Later two additional engines for manpower.
It was reported that the homeowner’s dog woke the resident and alerted him to the fire. They managed to evacuate safely. Investigation by the PSP Fire Marshall pointed to a basement appliance as the cause.
Eastern Berks Fire thanks all responders for their great job and rapid knockdown of difficult situation!
At 0606 hours on Monday March 16th, Company 97 was dispatched to assist 19 on an MVA with injuries on Rt 73 in Earl Township. Emergency personnel arrived to find a two vehicle accident, with a passenger vehicle with heavy damage and a tractor trailer which had jack-knifed into a home with pole and wires down and a porch roof collapsed onto the TT.
Among those on scene for an extended period of time were 19, 95, 97, 525; and Fire Police from 19, 95, 97, 49, Montg 67. TT was removed and road re-opened by 1400 hours.
Frank Howell (Rebel) 71, of Bally, husband of Esther M. (Adam) Howell, passed away on Thursday, March 5th at Lehigh Valley Hospital surrounded by his family.
Born in Forest Hill, MD, he was the son of the late Derwood and Ethel (Cox) Howell.
Frank was a member of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Bally. He was a volunteer firefighter for Goodwill Fire Co. of Bally for many years, where he was also a life member. He was also a driver for the Bally Community Ambulance. He was also a member of the NRA. He was a Vietnam Army veteran and lifetime member of the Kutztown VFW. He worked at Bally Ribbon Mills and Great American Weaving from which he retired. Frank also drove school bus for many years for Quigley Bus Service. Frank was an avid hunter and fisherman who loved spending time at his place in the mountains with his family.
Surviving with his wife of 47 years are daughters Heather Bender, wife of Michael of Boyertown, Lisa Weinsteiger, wife of Mike of New Berlinville, and Selena Howell of Boyertown; sisters Jean Marrs, Anita Mertz, and Joan Culbert, wife of Harry; brothers Davis Howell, husband of Dottie, and Richard Howell; grandchildren Chelsea, Kayla, Ashley, Emily, Samantha, Mason, Shane, Cole and Riley; and great grandson Leo. Along with his parents, he is predeceased by his brothers James and Dean Howell.
A memorial service will be Wednesday, March 11 @ 11:00AM at Catagnus Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Inc., 1020 E. Phila. Ave., Gilbertsville with Steve Karabatos officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 10:00AM to 10:45AM at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Frank’s name to Bally Community Ambulance Association, PO Box 353, Bally, PA 19503.
Tuesday February 10 – Rescue 97 dispatched with Montg 67 for an MVA with Entrapment in Douglass Twp, Montgomery County. Chief 97 came across this incident and immediately radioed for 67, 97, and 505 to respond for a pick up truck on its side with driver trapped inside. Crews used high lift jacks to stabilize the vehicle and the windshield tool to remove glass. Patient was extricated and turned over to EMS for care.
Alan D. Grim, 53, of Perry Twp., passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, February 7, 2015 in St. Joseph Medical Center. He was the husband of Nikki E. (Potter) Grim; to whom he was married for nineteen years.
Born in Pottstown, he was the son of the late Paul and Gladys (Hilbert) Grim. He was a 1980 graduate of Boyertown High School. Alan worked for East Penn Manufacturing, last working May 15, 2014. He was a member and former firefighter for Goodwill Fire Company in Bally; and a member of the Lyons Fire Company and Kutztown Fire Company. Alan enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He also enjoyed woodworking, fishing, driving his tractor and taking his grandkids for a ride; and “mudding” at the pig roast.
Surviving in addition to his wife is one son: Joshua A. Grim, and his companion, Kelly Miller, East Greenville; two daughters: April L. Grim, and her companion, Joseph Lopez, Barto; and Melissa L. (Grim), wife of James Ott, Oley; and nine grandchildren: Lily, Logan, Skylar, Jamison, Kali, Bailey, Madison, Trevor and Hunter. Alan is also survived by two brothers: Donald Grim, and his wife Donna; and Mark Grim, and his wife Diane, both of Bechtelsville; one sister: Gerri (Grim), wife of Kevin Scott, Boyertown; and sister-in-law: Tammy Grim, Barto. He was predeceased by a granddaughter: Aubrey; and a brother: Timothy Grim.
A Memorial Service will be held next Monday, February 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm from Leibensperger Funeral Homes, Inc., 223 Peach Street, Leesport, PA 19533. A visitation with the family will be held Monday, February 16, 2:00 to 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be sent to Leibensperger Funeral Homes, Inc., at the above address, to assist the family with final expenses. For online condolences, please visit, www.leibenspergerfuneralhomes.com.
Monday January 26th – 97 and 505 were dispatched to an MVA in Washington Township during snow (car vs pole with fluids down.) While waiting for vehicle to be cleared, Berks Dispatch Center alerted the department for a possible structure fire in a dwelling in Bally Borough. Sent were 97, 95, 58, Montg 65 and 332. Apparatus on scene of the MVA cleared that call, and responded to the scene in Bally while other personnel picked up the other required engines and tankers. Chief 97 arrived to report heavy smoke condition throughout dwelling, but fire appeared to be out thanks to quick work of Bally PD. Crews checked for extension, removed still-smoldering debris, and ventilated the home. Thanks to all who came out on a snowy day.
Wednesday January 21 at 2357 hours, 97 was dispatched to assist Montgomery 67 (Gilbertsville) with manpower for a barn fire in Douglas Township, Montgomery County. Engine 97-2 and Utility 97 responded with personnel to assist. In addition to 67, on scene were Montg 37,and 65, as well as Berks 97 and 505. On the original dispatch, units from 67 and 37 did a quick knock on a fire in a milk house attached to a barn. Additional personnel were brought to the scene to assist with overhaul and check for possible extension into the main barn.
January 9, 2015 – Company 97 and Medics 332 & 525 (covering for 505 which was out on another call) were dispatched for an MVA with injuries on Niantic Road in Washington Twp. Crews shut down the road for almost an hour while packaging patient, controlling hazards, cleaning debris and waiting for wrecker.