A day-long wet and heavy snow storm took away the excitement of the first day of spring’s arrival. It did make for a busy day; however, for firefighters in Upper Merion Township. At 8:11 AM, just 15 minutes after the snow started to fall; the first of the calls came in. The volunteers of station 47 were dispatched to a mulch fire; yes a mulch fire in a snow storm. The crew of engine 47-2 made quick work of the smoldering material.
Over the course of the day, the township fire companies would handle a variety of calls, from fire alarms, outside electrical fires and water leak investigation. The end result would be a total of 9 calls in UMT with the finally being a stubborn trash compactor fire.
Shortly after 9:00 PM, as the crews from the King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company were backing in from a fire alarm call, the alert was sounded for a dumpster fire at the Plaza at King of Prussia Mall. Engine 47-1 (Camarda) and Squad 47 (Disanto) marked up with a crew of 4 each. Montgomery County ECC notified the crews that mall security were reporting a confirmed compactor unit on fire at receiving area #6. A quick size up found a standalone compactor unit under the east deck parking garage with fire in the hopper area. Engine 47-1 stretched a 1.75” line and began attacking the fire. Mall staff assisted in quickly securing the power to the unit. The area in question is also an active construction site causing limited access. D/C Camarda enlisted the assistance of UMPD Officer Blain Leis (who is also Fire Chief of the Gladwyne Fire Co. in neighboring Lower Merion) to seek out a water supply. Chief Leis found a hydrant hidden by some construction fencing and assisted the crew from Squad 47 with gaining access.
As the members from Swedesburg Fire Co. were clearing a wires call in King Manor section of the township, they were summoned to assist. Chief 49 (Recupido) along with crews from Pipeline and Squirt 49 arrived and assisted with overhauling the deep seated fire. The crews worked for just over an hour dealing with the fire and equipment restoration.