Incident Detail: 1988 Call No. 15


1988
Call No.  15
Time Out
07/13/1988
14:55
Time In
07/13/1988
16:42
Type
 Brush Fire 
Location
 Rt 209 & Woland Rd 


No Photo Available for This Incident

July 13, 1988

Tanker-22 was dispatched for a field fire in Washington Township. Elizabethville's Tom Welker recalls the incident as follows:
A late afternoon call for a field fire was received. Standard procedure was for the 1964 Hahn to respond first. But, this day they had a problem which kept it from going out the door first. I told Assistant Chief Merle Hoover, Who was already commited to the '64, that we would go a while with the '82 Hahn. It was only a driver and myself as we cleared the door. We no sooner turned the corner onto Main Street when County called advising it may be a standing wheat field fire. "O Sh*t!", I said to Ed Engle, the driver. I radioed back to send Berrysburg's brush truck and tanker. Soon, the '64 Hahn and our tanker were on the road too. As we approached the scene, we observed a large wheat field burning with flames at spots going ten feet high. We drove past the row of houses behind Red Fox and went into the field at the Clair Engle farm. I told Ed to drive into the burnt area and we would try to stop it from travelling toward Engle's barn. I also told him of a story, when one time the driver/operator stayed at the wheel while the fire was put out. He stopped and I grabbed one section of 1?-inch hose and hooked it up to the officer's-side discharge, and went over to the pump panel and opened the discharge and tank valves. I told Eddie to just operate it from the driver's seat - to put it in gear and use the foot throttle. As we knocked down one section, he took the pump out of gear and we drove ahead to the next. We were making quick work of our flank, prevented the fire from getting to the barn, and stopped some of the fire's northerly progress. The '64 Hahn had stationed themselves behind the row of houses that we passed on the way in and began to wet down the wheat in advance of the rapidly approaching flames. (another trick we learned from the old guys) Chief Galen Lentz had arrived and requested additional resources from Lykens and Millersburg Companies. Between Berrysburg, Lykens, and Elizabethville tankers keeping the engines refilled, the fire was soon extinguished. In excess of 15 acres were burned clean to the ground. The fire was caused by Mr. Engle's bailer - It developed a motor problem and, while being driven back toward the barn, it kept dropping gas and a spark from the backfiring of the motor soon had a good fire going. Companies were out for several hours until all hot spots were secure.



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