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Mayday at 3-alarm fire in Bethlehem, PA.

City of Bethlehem

At 09:41 Thursday morning, Bethlehem Fire transmitted the box for the 1600 block of East 8th Street for a house fire sending Engines 3, 1, Ladder 1 and Truck 2.

Immediately after dispatch, 501 reported heavy smoke from New Street and upgraded the box to a working fire, adding Engine 6 to the assignment.

The first hydrant the Engine company tapped into was inoperable, delaying the fire attack.  Companies found heavy fire on arrival in the rear of the 2-1/2 story duplex and struck the 2nd alarm and then the 3rd alarm.  The water supply issue delayed interior firefighting efforts from the start.  Command then received information from the neighbors that a person may be sleeping on the third floor (attic).  Members gained access and found nothing on the third floor.

As fire vented out the rear second floor window, two members transmitted a mayday.  They were in the original fire building and a ground ladder was called for side 4 of the building.  The firefighters couldn’t wait any longer and jumped out the window.  EMS transported the firefighters to a local hospital.  They sustained minor injuries in the fall.

As the fire extended vertically, a vent hole was cut in the roof, but eventually the fire vented through the roof of the entire structure.  Tower Ladder 2 backed into the alley that runs along side 2 of the structure and went in-service with their master stream.

Crews remained on the scene until 15:00 overhauling and hitting hot spots.  The Deputy Chief said numerous firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.