On the afternoon of Saturday July 19th we experienced a small fire at our Allendale Road station. The fire occurred in the boiler /storage room on the lower level of our social hall. At the time, we had a contractor painting the rest room(s) on that level.
Fire/Rescue and all emergency services were not interrupted and we remain fully operational. We would like to assure our residents, business owners and visitors that these services continue to be provided and have not been affected.
In addition, social hall rentals have not been affected. If you have an upcoming social hall rental, please be assured that nothing has changed. The minor damage that occurred is not even visible in the public areas.
We would like to thank everyone who has expressed their concerns and offered assistance during this event.
Just after midnight on Wednesday, July 16th, fire box 56-201 was struck alerting the Station 47 Volunteers for a trash compactor fire attached to the King of Prussia Mall. Engine 47-1 (Assistant Chief D. Camarda) and Tower 47 (Lt. A. Molchany) marked up respectively with crews of 4.
Engine 47-1 arrived with a considerable amount of smoke showing from receiving area #3 and quickly established a water supply line. Crews stretched a 1.75” handline to the compaction area of the dumpster but were met with a fire impinging the electrical components (440V AC) of the system. Crews, assisted by members of Bridgeport Fire Company’s, Quint 31, quickly resorted to dry chemical extinguishers to hold the fire in check as crews worked to secure the power.
Chief 47, Jim Gallagher arrived on location and established Plaza Command. A coordinated effort was made with Mall Security, who successfully contacted the off-duty operations staff who ultimately assisted with shutting down the power to the compactor.
Once power was secured, crews made quick work of the fire; however, considerable smoke did enter the Mall’s receiving area and interior service cooridors. Fortunately, the Mall has a very effective and easy to use manual smoke removal system, which is operated from the fire control room (FCR) located by receiving area #1. Assistant Chief J. O’Donnell, assisted by Bridgeport Fire Chief, Steve Wanczyk, was assigned to the FCR to initiate the smoke removal process. Crews operated for over an hour and a half before taking up and returning to quarters.
On Monday, July 14th, members and their families were invited to attend the premier viewing of Disney’s Planes, Fire & Rescue at the King of Prussia Regal Cinemas. Tower 47 was assigned sign duty at the main entrance, greeting all movie goers throughout the evening. A great time was had by all, and we very much appreciate the invite and are looking forward to the next movie adventure!
On Monday, June 30th, Firefighters’ Alex Clark and Bianca DeLuca graduated from the Cape May County Police Academy. Both members were immediately thrust in
to action to serve and protect both residents and vacationers at the height of the shore’s summer season, just before the July 4th weekend.
Alex, who responds out of the Allendale Road station, will be entering his senior year as a Criminal Justice major and Political Science minor at Villanova University. For the remainder of the summer, Alex will be assigned to the evening shift in the City of Wildwood, serving and protecting in one of the busiest communities on the 5-mile island.
Bianca, who responds out of the Beidler Road station, will start her senior year at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, also majoring in Criminal Justice. Bianca will be protecting the residents and visitors of the Borough of Wildwood Crest, located on the southern end of the island.
Although both members have been sincerely missed, the entire firefighting brigade is extremely proud of their recent law enforcement accomplishments. We wish Alex and Bianca a safe summer and are looking forward to their shore stories when both return to active duty at Station 47!
On Wednesday, July 9th, the volunteers from King of Prussia were summoned to assist our neighbors, Radnor Fire Company (Delaware County, Station 15), in the 200 block of Wyndom Lane in the Radnor section of Radnor Township for a heavily involved mansion fire. Station 47 marked up with Engine 47-1 (Assistant Chief D. Camarda) with 5 firefighters, and Tower 47 (Chief J. Gallagher) with 4 firefighters. The fire would eventually reach 3 alarms, causing extensive damage to the massive Main Line home.
Station 47 crews arrived and were assigned to complete various tasks that included; 2nd floor fire attack in the residential section of the home, 1st and 2nd floor fire attack in the garage section, as well a pump operator support for Radnor’s Quint 15. 47 crews operated for over 3 and a half hours before taking up and returning to quarters.
During the incident, the remaining brigade covered the first due while conducting an in-house refresher training class to prepare members of the Southeastern Montgomery County Technical Rescue Taskforce for an upcoming technical rescue certification test.
Tuesday, July 8th, at 9:20 AM, the King of Prussia volunteers were summoned to the Upper Merion Township Compost Recycling Facility off of W Beidler Road for a “mulch fire!” This site is a property that used to be an old state owned impounding basin, also known as the silt basin. Township residents now use the site to drop off tree limbs, leaves and other yard wastes, which is then used to make mulch and wood chips. These materials are then placed at a convenient location for residents to pick up and re-use these yard wastes for landscaping. This site has been the scene of several large brush, wood chip pile and mulch fires in the past, and this would prove to be no different.
Crews arrived on location to find a brush pile that would cover an area of 38,000 square feet and would be approximately twenty feet in height. Fire was consuming the east end of the extremely large and dry pile. Due to the fire load, the fire company was re-dispatched, and assistance was requested for a tanker and tanker/pumper from Valley Forge Fire Company (Chester County Station 68) was made.
Crews stretched a single 1.75” handline from Squad 47 in an effort to slow the fire down while a strategy was discussed. Chief 47 (Jim Gallagher) assumed command and immediately requested Upper Merion Township staff to create a firebreak in the pile, and summoned additional help to establish a long-term water supply.
While the firebreak was being created, crews worked to darken down all visible fire; however, history has shown that these fires are deep seated and the little water on scene wasn’t going to control it for long. Command requested additional resources from Goodwill Fire Company of Bridgeport, Engine 32, and Swedesburg Fire Company, Squirt 49. Engine 32 was tasked with establishing a 5” supply line from a public hydrant located on Beidler Rd. 1,200 feet from the fire. This supply line would eventually supply an estimated 120,000 gallons of water used to extinguish the fire.
As the incident expanded, handlines were replaced with portable blitz-fire nozzles. The Township would obtain the help of the Schultz Demolition Company, by using their track hoe with clamshell bucket to help tear apart the pile so that crews could get to the seat of the fire. In addition, the Township’s two heavy-duty wheeled loaders were also placed in service to move the material once it was removed from the smoldering pile. Click on the link here to view a video of the fire: CompostFire.
The tedious 8-hour operation required the assistance of additional mutual aid companies. Both Radnor (Delco Station 15) and Berwyn (Chester County Station 2) Fire Companies provided an engine and personnel assisting on-scene, and the Merion Fire Company of Ardmore (Engine 25) who graciously covered our first due from the Allendale Road station. During the cover, Engine 25 assisted Lafayette Ambulance with a helicopter landing. In addition, several EMS units including Lafayette (Station 317), Lower Providence (Station 322), Plymouth (Station 308) and Narberth (Station 313) were requested to stand-by to provide rehab support to all personnel on-scene. For their safety, every firefighter was mandated to cycle through the rehab unit several times during the incident. Several firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion with one firefighter transported to the hospital for observation and one civilian was transported for heat exhaustion and possible respiratory issues.
Just before 2:00 pm on Thursday June 12th King of Prussia along with Delco Squad 15 (Radnor) was dispatched to a barn fire on the 500 block of Fletcher Road. With numerous calls into 911 the confirmed fire dispatch was assigned bringing Chester Tower 2 (Berwyn) as the RIT, Rescue 49 (Swedesburg) and 317 (Lafayette EMS). The Deputy Fire Marshal arrived to find a barn well involved behind the residence. Squad 15 took the drive way next door and protected the garage exposure with tank water. Engine 47-1 laid 900 feet of 5″ hose to supply Squad 15 with water from the hydrant. Several hand lines were put in service for exterior operations by crews from 15 and 49. Tower 47 arrived and put a Blitz Fire nozzle in service to the rear of the barn. With the structure beginning to become unstable a collapse zone was established in the B side. The bulk of the fire was knocked down within the first 20 minuets of operation. Additional units from 27 (Norristown), 32 (Goodwill), 48 (Swedeland) and 49 (Swedesburg) were called for manpower. Due to the unsafe conditions of the barn, an excavator was called to the scene to take down the remainder of the building to extinguish the hot spots. Tower 99 (BlackRock) and Squad 46 (Jeffersonville) were relocated to Station 47-A (Allendale Rd). Crews were available from the scene around 6:00pm.
KPVFC would like to thank personnel who came to assist us with this incident. This fire highlights the importance to have the closest fire company dispatched to these types of incidents. Even though this incident was in King of Prussia Fire Company’s first due, Radnor Fire Company is much closer to this location. Radnor was dispatched on the initial alarm therefore this allowed for a much quicker response to the people who need it.
Saturday, May 17th started off as any other weekend day then turned busy at a moments notice. In a 16 hour stretch starting at 7:30am, with a railroad call, and ending with Squad 47 being dispatched at 11pm to assist in the coverage of the Boro of Norristown, the volunteers of KPVFC were sent on 10 runs.
On Sunday, May 18th, members of KPVFC and Tower 47 were on hand during the King of Prussia 10 Miler and 5K runs. Race organizers requested Tower 47 to raise the American flag to mark the start / finish line for race participants. For 4 hours the flag stood tall to welcome runners back from their journey around King of Prussia.
Then on Tuesday and Wednesday the KPVFC visited Footsteps Academy for their annual end of school water days. Fire trucks were on hand each day to give the kids a soaking!
Finally, on Thursday, May 22nd the 4th Grade Class from Caley Road Elementary School visited the King of Prussia Fire Station on Allendale Road. The class of 85 students spent the morning touring the fire station; walking the 9/11 Memorial; and getting an up-close, hands-on experience with specialized tools and functions Tower 47 and Rescue 47. During their hour stay, the students were treated to a morning of learning and fun by volunteers who took time out of each of their day’s to teach about all aspects of the operation of the King of Prussia VFC including firefighting gear; ladder, rescue, and engine company operations; the history of the September 11th terror attacks; and what it takes to be a firefighter for King of Prussia. The members on hand to help were Lt. Vince DiSanto, Chief Engineer Mike Kiczula, FF Bob Smull, FF Mark Shepperd, Past Company Fire Chief Gary Touchton, FF Brandon Jenkins, and Upper Merion Fire Marshall’s Bill Daywalt and Bill Henderson.
From Saturday evening into Sunday, Upper Merion Township Volunteers and Volunteers from the Penn Wynne Fire Company staffed both Squad 47 and Rescue 21 so that members from The Fairmount Engine Company #2 in Norristown could attend their annual banquet.
Together, both crews enjoyed a quiet uneventful night until Sunday morning when both units were dispatched to a Fire Alarm activation at the Laura Lane Apartments. As crews were responding, the assignment was upgraded to a building fire with a report of smoke in the apartment. Upon arrival, crews from Quint and Engine 27 confirmed the source of the smoke to be burnt food and the assignment was held to the units on location.
We would like to extend our appreciation to the members of The Fairmount Engine Company #2 for the invitation and hospitality. Thanks guys and we’ll see you again soon!
Friday, February 7, 2014 – A few minutes before 3:00 AM the King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company was dispatched to assist the Lower Providence Fire Department (Station 53) on a dwelling fire. Five volunteers responded to the scene on Squad 47. The crew was quickly assigned to assist in laddering the building. This was followed by relieving crews on the second floor and opening up the ceilings and walls in order to reach remaining pockets of fire. The crew was released around 6:00 in the morning.