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2nd Alarm: Firefighters battle flames and hoarding conditions

Lehigh County

Firefighters battle fire through window

At 05:39 Saturday morning, Stations 2, 18 and medic 75 were dispatched to the area of Front and Union Streets for a house fire. The caller was passing by and reported smoke coming from a house. A second source called 911 and reported a house on fire at 119 Union Street.

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Assistant Chief 202 arrived on scene and reported a working fire on the first floor (side 1 & 4 corner). The Fire Dispatcher reported possible entrapment. The chief then ordered the 2nd alarm to be transmitted.

Engine 211 arrived and stretched a hand line. The chief ordered ladder 18 to come up Railroad Street and position at the 3 – 4 corner. Crews attempted to gain entry to conduct a search but within a few feet of entry they were confronted with Collier Mansion conditions which is a term used in the fire service for hoarding conditions. Command then ordered an exterior attack.

The fire quickly started extending. A close-call occurred when an air condition dropped out of a second-floor window, striking a firefighter in the shoulder.

Evacuation tones were ordered after the second-floor lit off. The fire made its way to the attic and burned through the roof. A collapse zone was established with red tape when the front exterior wall on the second floor started bulging. At the time of this writing its assumed the sole occupant of the house was found inside, DOA. The fire was brought under control around 0800 hours.

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