Just after 3 pm on October 25th the Pioneers along with mutual aid were dispatched for an apartment building fire in the area of the 300 block of S. Reading Rd. Just as it was dispatched LCWC updated the address to 175 Old Mill Rd in Ephrata Borough. Multiple calls were being received of a building fire in the area. Chief 12 (Akron) was first on scene of a 10 unit apartment building with heavy smoke showing and reports of subjects possibly trapped. Engine 15-1 was first on scene deploying several handlines and began an interior attack, Rescue 16 (Lincoln) began an aggressive search of the 2nd floor units to make sure all occupants were out. Approximately 5 minutes into operations the “evac tones” were hit due to the threat of a roof collapse. Crews began a defensive operation until the bulk of the fire was knocked down and could go back inside to hit hot spots. Crews operated on scene for almost 6 hours until all units cleared.
The State Police Fire Marshal along with Ephrata PD investigated the cause which has been traced to a discarded cigarette on a 2nd floor balcony. In total 14 residents have been displaced from the fire and are being assisted by the Red Cross. The Pioneers were assisted by Lincoln, Akron, Farmersville, Reamstown, Denver, Lititz, West Earl, Rothsville, Schoeneck, Stevens and Reinholds fire companies and EMS from Ephrata Ambulance, Rothsville Ambulance and Wellspan ALS. Thanks to Engine 3-1 (Martindale) and Truck 11 (Adamstown) for standing by in our station and helping to cleanup afterwards.