PHILADELPHIA – July 31, 2011
(WPVI) — A fire left a Frankford home in ruins Sunday afternoon. The Action Cam was on the 1600 block of Haworth Street. There were no injuries reported in blaze which had started shortly before 4:00pm. The cause is under investigation. LINK
There is something about firefighting in the summer. I think it’s the heat. This fire broke out just before the end of our shift yesterday afternoon. The heat of the day was probably at its peak. We hadn’t gone two blocks when the alarm room upgraded the call. We knew then we would be going to work when we got on location. Sure enough the report from the first in company was heavy fire extending across the porch front to the adjoining house. We now had two houses going.
As usual we were delayed by traffic and a SEPTA bus that refused to get out-of-the-way. I know there aren’t many options under the “El” but bus drivers and cabs in the city typically don’t go out of their way to yield to emergency vehicles. I’ve had them stop to pick up and let off people while we are stuck behind them lights and sirens wailing.
Ladder 15 was first in on this job. They had to wait for Engine 52 to come all the way from Wissinoming since the Nutter administration closed Engine 14 (they were in the same station as Ladder 15 , around the corner just a few blocks away). They would have been there in half the time). No matter I guess. The house next door suffered a lot of damage unnecessarily because of that. Lucky it wasn’t 2AM when everyone was sleeping. There was no escape through the front door of either house due to the heavy fire on the porches. The rest of the house was packed with smoke. I had to use my SCBA (air tank) to make it through to open the back door in the house next door. Anyone without a pack on would have been overcome.
It was the heat that kicked everyone’s azz. Big Jerry in our engine looked destroyed. Sweat was pouring off him and he was soaked through from working the hose (he did a fantastic job as always). My guys were soaked with sweat and exhausted from moving ladders, breaking windows and overhauling the burned out houses wearing 70 lbs of gear in the blistering heat. The temperatures inside the burning houses was just brutal. Everyone of our guys was spent. Even so they made a fantastic stop. There was fire showing when we pulled up. Within a few minutes they had it knocked down and were making their way inside. Just moving under these conditions is hard. You pull a lot of muscles, lose a lot of weight and are generally exhausted. It’s not over though, we’re back in tonight.
At least the sun will be down.