Incident Detail: 1973 Call No. 02
Call No. 2
No Photo Available for This Incident
February 11, 1973
On a Sunday afternoon, while Companies 22 and 23 were fighting a house fire on North Second Street, a garage fire was reported in the alley between Main and South Second Streets, behind the carriage house. With Lykens and Wiconisco companies occupied at the house fire, Elizabethville and Williamstown were called to handle this fire. Tom Welker, a member of Elizabethville fire company living in Lykens, was observing the North Second Street fire when the garage fire was reported. He ran back toward the garage fire. It was Kolvick's garage and the fire was blowing across the alley. A second garage next to Kolvick's was begining to burn. Tom stopped at his house on South Second Street and grabbed his gear from his car and awaited the arrival of Engine-21, a 1964 Hahn. Their assignment was to hit the hydrant across the street from his parents' house (Chal Welker's) on South Second Street. When Engine-21 arrived, Tom joined the crew. As connection was being made to the hydrant, several of the crew hand jacked a 2½-inch line toward the fire, which was about half a block away. Williamstown arrived, having hit a hydrant on Market Street and coming in from the east side. The two companied got water to their nozzles at about the same time. A quick conference between officers directed Williamstown to the original garage fire, while the Elizabethville crew took the second one. A quick knockdown of the fire was made. Tom's most vivid memory of that incident was when he was about the third or fourth guy in line behind the nozzle: First Assistant Chief Jacque Wertz was trying to get the line turned further west and for some reason was not getting his point communicated to the front two guys. He jumped in front of the line and pointed his finger and said, "This way!" As the line turned, the stream caught the brim of his white helmet and knocked it off his head. It rolled almost to Main Street.
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