Just before 1 am, QFD and mutual aid units were alerted to a first-due barn fire at 128 Black Bear Road in East Drumore Township. Multiple calls received at the 911 center and a large glow in the sky prompted the 57 Duty Officer (AC 572 Brian Henry) to call for a second alarm.
Chief 572 arrived with a large, hay filled barn fully involved. Engine 574 laid 1000′ of 4″ supply line in the driveway while Tanker 57 set up the nurse tanker operation with the LDH clapper valve. Truck 57 set up next to Engine 574, not the best position but due to radiant heat and power lines, it was the best option. Rescue 57 and Engine 51-2 also made the driveway in to the scene.
The attack began, and after overcoming a defective length of supply line, a permanent water supply was established with the Truck and several handlines in service. Crews protected all exposures, and then worked with the handlines to force 54 heifers out from underneath the burning barn. From the farmers report, several had smoke inhalation, but it appears that all with be fine.
A trackhoe was requested within minutes of arrival to begin the long and arduous process of removing the hay. R. Work Excavating took care of the work, but it took several hours (still continuing as of 11 am) to remove the hay. The trackhoe is invaluable and saves many man-hours of labor.
Most of the second (and first) alarm companies were released quickly since we would not be using much manpower, just letting the ladder pipe and trackhoe work. All of the tankers remained on scene for several hours, helping us to flow 190,000 gallons of water with 61 tanker loads dumped.
QFD units remained until approximately 8 am cleaning up hoselines and then getting the rigs back in service. Engine 572 remains there, being used by the work crew, to help hit hot spots.
Thanks to all of the mutual aid companies who assisted and to the fire police who directed and controlled traffic. Tanks also to the Special Division for the drinks and to Gap Fire Company for standing by and helping to wash all of our lines.
On a side note, just remember that when a call like this happens, many volunteers are late for work, or might have to be off all day, losing a days wages. They do this for the community, free of charge. We thank all of the members that help day and night, missing work, sleep, meals etc.