May 10, 2017 at 2233 hrs, the department was dispatched for its second working structure fire of the day in Bally Borough. This time at Bally Block on S 7th St. Companies 97, 58, Montco Ladder 38, Montco Tower 65 for RIT and 505 were sent on the initial, reports indicated smoke coming from an overhead door, Deputy 505 and Chief 97 confirmed smoke showing from the commercial building, Chief 97 requested a 3rd ladder to be dispatched sending Montco Ladder 37. A Rehab Unit from Macungie EMS was also dispatched.
Engine 97-1 stretched 2 lines and went into service, crews found fire in a trailer involving sawdust and insulation on the walls and ceilings. A five inch supply line was placed into service from a hydrant across from the fire building for Engine 97-1. Engine 58 laid a second five inch line from Church St into Engine 97 for a second water supply. Engine 97 and Tanker 58 stretched one line each into different parts of the massive building. Ladder 38, Tower 65 and Ladder 37 all put their mains to the roof and crews checked the sawdust bin on the roof for extension, but none was found.
The truck trailer was wedged into the building with piles of sawdust and brake lines that had been burned off by the fire. Berks/Mont towing removed the trailer from the building after the bulk of the fire was knocked down. A truck tractor from Eddinger Propane, was then able to hook onto the trailer and move the smoldering load away from the building, in order for crews to gain access to the structure’s interior.
There was still a great deal of smoke, as well as burning embers falling from the ceiling. Two Blitz Fires water lines were then placed into service from Engine 97-1 to remove smoldering sawdust from walls and ceiling. Extensive overhaul was performed and Eastern Berks Fire was back at station approx 0305 hours. It took crews another hour to put the trucks back in service. An hour later at 0505 hours were were again on the road, this time responding to an accident of Rt 100 near Bechtelsville.
Roads around the incident were closed for almost five hours.
Thank you to all the companies that assisted, East Greenville Fire Department, Pennsburg Fire Department, New Hanover Fire and Rescue, Hereford Fire Company, Bally EMS and Macungie EMS (rehab unit). Thanks as well to Berks Mont Towing and Eddinger Propane.
On scene from Eastern Berks were: Engines 97 and 97-1; Tankers 97 and 97-1; Attack 97; Rescue 97; Brush 97 and 97-1; Traffic 97.
On another note, the department had placed into service earlier in the day, a Bauer Compressed Air refilling system at the Barto Station to refill air cylinders. As soon as it was installed six cylinders were filled from the morning house fire. After the night-time fire, crews filled an additional 23 cylinders of breathing air. A great investment already!