Thursday, December 17, 2009

Truck Fire Couldn’t Be Extinguished

On December 17, 1975 at 5:32 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to a tractor-trailer fire at Rt. 174 at Exit 10. A tractor-trailer carrying aluminum waste materials caught fire. When firefighters arrived they feared the contents of the truck could have been explosive or that it could have been giving off noxious fumes. While Chief Charles Myers supervised the activities of the firefighters Chief Crawford Wiestling contacted the National Chemical Advisory Center to determine what measures had to be taken to deal with the incident. It was determined that the incident was not explosive since the materials were not in an enclosed container and that the smoke was not toxic. Since firefighters were unable to extinguish the fire with water, the trailer was moved to an open field about 5:40 p.m. to let burn. Firefighters returned to the scene later that night and again the next morning to attempt to stop the fire. The following day they returned again and were working to cut a fire break in the middle of the truck to stop the blaze. The fire was still burning when this article was printed in the local newspaper with no estimate of when it would burn itself out. A follow up article never appeared in the paper to say when the blaze was out. Almost 50 firefighters from the Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance made three runs for the day also.


Sparky said...

I remember this one as a kid.

Haney said...

Years ago, maybe still, there was a big hunk of aluminum that had melted off of this truck sitting around the firehouse. It might still be in the basement at the station.

Brad Myers said...

That big hunk was taken to the station and a lamp was to be made with it. I remember it sitting around for years with nothing done. Maybe some of the more seasoned men that were on the call will be able to elaborate on the incident.