Sunday, March 5th, 2023:
At 1:18 AM, Companies 63, 62 (Witmer), 41 (Bird-In-Hand), 48 (Ronks), 5 (Strasburg), and 6 (Lancaster EMS) were assigned to a structure fire “in the area of” the intersection of Larkspur Loop and Dohner Drive in the Greenland Village / East Meadows section of East Lampeter Township.
Multiple 9-1-1 callers indicated active fire and smoke visible from a house at the location. This was confirmed by ELTPD officers, who were the first to arrive, and reported a working fire that appeared to have started on the exterior of the house. They then ensured everyone was out of the building by accounting for the occupant.
Engine 63-2, staffed with 4 firefighters, was the first-arriving suppression unit. Their crew advanced an attack line to the “bravo” side of the structure to stop the advancing fire which was on the exterior wall of the home. A nearby resident was already attempting to extinguish the fire with a garden hose but was relieved by firefighters equipped with a hose that flows much higher amounts of water at a more significant pressure. While this was happening, the engine driver secured a water source from a hydrant across the street.
Captain 63-2 (B. Fassnacht) arrived right behind Engine 63-2 and established “Command 63” across the street from the fire building. A quick 360-degree size-up presented a wood frame duplex that was two stories in the front with three stories in the rear (walk-out basement). The fire appeared to be strictly on the exterior side of the house, rapidly moving upward toward the external gable end of the roof area.
Engine 41-1 was the second arriving engine company, they arrived simultaneously with Truck 63. Engine 41-1’s crew advanced a backup attack line from Engine 63-2 and took it to the interior. Truck 63’s crew did a quick primary and secondary search which proved to be negative.
Engine 62-2 established a rapid intervention team in the front of the fire building, while Engine 48-2 and Rescue 5 provided additional manpower for salvage and overhaul.
The advancement of the main body of fire was stopped within minutes of the fire department’s arrival and the overhaul was completed within 90 minutes.
Multiple notifications were made to assisting agencies such as PPL, the PSP Fire Marshal, and the East Lampeter Township Codes Department.
Thank you to all the assisting companies as well as Gordonville Fire & EMS Co. for covering our quarters while we were out, and to the Lancaster County 9-1-1 dispatchers for their help.