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Commercial fire brings large response to Schuylkill County

By JC KRIESHER, Senior Correspondent | November 11, 2021 | PENNSYLVANIA

Story No. 111121102

SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, Pa. – At 9:26 AM on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, Schuylkill County 9-1-1 dispatched a first alarm commercial assignment to 87 Tide Road at Highwood USA for a structure fire. The first alarm included Fire Districts 25 (Rush Twp.), 26 (Ryan Twp.) and 65 (Tamaqua – American & Ladder).

Tamaqua EMS was on the radio right away and stated their unit was in the area and confirming a working fire. A fire officer then got on radio reporting a large column and requested a second alarm. Chief 25-02 radio’d that it looked pretty bad and requested a third alarm before any units were on-scene.

Crews arrived to find an exterior fire burning pallets and plastic with extension into the large building. Highwood produces plastic patio furniture. Thick black smoke could be seen for miles rising into the sky.

Air monitoring crews from Englewood and Pottsville were sent due to the plastics burning. One crew was sent to the nearby Hometown Nursing Center to check the air quality in that area.

25-10 took the “D” side where the bulk of the fire was located with McAdoo Ladder 49-22. Tanker 49-30 backed in and set up a water supply. Ryan Twp. Engine 26-10 took the “A” side and stretched a 2.5? line into the building.

A tanker task force was requested into the scene to supplement the municipal water supply.

Crews worked to get water on the fire which turned out to be difficult to extinguish due to the nature of the materials burning.

Multiple times throughout the operation crews attempted to enter the building but were pulled out due to deteriorating conditions.

A crew from Mahanoy City and Hazle Township went to the roof and cut a 20’x4' vent hole close to the “D’ side wall.

Additional ladders were moved closer to the “D” side to help extinguish the fire using master streams. A foam operation was also initiated to help extinguish the burning plastic.

The fire was placed under control after 2PM.

Units from the following communities responded to the scene: Rush Twp., Ryan Twp., Tamaqua, West Penn Twp., Mahanoy City, Engelwood, Shenandoah, Sheppton-Oneida, Harwood, Hazle Township, Sugarloaf Twp., McAdoo, Schuylkill Twp., Walker Twp., Port Carbon, Pottsville, Lehighton, Lansford, Nesquehoning, Penn Forest Twp. and Coaldale.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.