Hilltown Township Building Fire
May 23, 2019

At 17:36 hrs, Box 27-30 was transmitted for a building fire on Progress Drive in Hilltown Township. Chief 27 arrived at 17:40 hrs with a 100’ X 175’ building, used for trash transfer, with approximately 260 tons of trash inside. The trash pile was well involved with fire. Engine 27 arrived on location and laid 300’ of supply line to the scene. Engine 27 went into service with the wagon pipe and a blitz fire monitor to start darkening down the fire. Tower 74 (Souderton) was assigned the A side of the building went in service with their main, flowing water onto the trash fire inside. Rescue 59 (Silverdale) staged at the hydrant and assisted with firefighting operations. Tower 27 also assisted with fire suppression duties. Squad 18-1 (Montgomery Township) was standing by as a Rapid Intervention Team.

With the threat of fire breaking through the side D wall, Ladder 75 (Telford) and Engine 26 (Perkasie) positioned themselves on the C-D corner and side A, respectively. Engine 27-1 dropped a second supply line from Keystone drive to Engine 26 to protect the office building exposure. Engine 61 (Hilltown) staged at the second hydrant and Engine 60 (Hilltown) provided manpower at the scene. Due to environmental concerns, Engine 58 (Trumbauersville) monitored the conditions of a nearby stream for water runoff.

At 19:22 hrs, the fire was placed under control with extensive overhaul to be done. Fire crews worked with the property owners running loaders to remove all of the smoldering trash from inside the building to be wet down. This overhaul process took several hours to complete.

At 21:24 hrs, Marine 46 was requested to the scene in an attempt to use the fan on their boat to remove the smoke from the building. The fire was so deep seated, crews struggled using the heavy equipment inside with very limited visibility. Eventually, the air boat efforts were deemed unsuccessful, and heavy equipment was sent in again. Once a small interior partition wall was removed, loaders could access the final segment of the pile and extinguish the remaining fire.

While covering our station, Ladder 18 (Quakertown) and Squad 72 (Tylersport) responded to a residential fire alarm activation in West Rockhill Township.

Units: Engine 27, Engine 27-1, Tower 27, Utility 27, Command 1, Command 3
Mutual Aid: Engine 26, Engine 59, Engine 60, Engine 61, Engine 58, Rescue 59, Chemical 17, Marine 46, Montgomery County Tower 74, Ladder 75, Squad 18-1, North Penn Goodwill