Fullerton Tower 6
Fire in Whitehall, Pa
Fire in Whitehall, Pa
Fire in Whitehall, Pa
Fire in Whitehall, Pa
Fire in Whitehall, Pa
Welcome to the Whitehall Township Bureau of Fire's website. Also referred to as the Whitehall Township Fire Department, our 125 plus volunteer members provide fire and rescue services for the 26,700 residents of Whitehall Township, Lehigh County. Our personnel and apparatus respond from five fire stations located throughout the 12.8 square mile Township. This website is dedicated to educating the public about our department and the job we do. Thank you for visiting!
Paraphrased from the Whitehall Coplay Press article written by Al Recker
David Nelson, who as more than 28 years of experience in firefighting and ambulance service, was confirmed Monday night as Whitehall Township's fire chief. The Board of Directors approved the hire during its regular meeting. Nelson will be administered the oath of office Sept 19th, his first official day in taking command of the township's 5 stations and personnel. Nelson, 45, fills the vacancy for a full time fire chief after the March 30th death of Robert L. Benner, who served in that capacity for 30 years.
Prior to coming to Whitehall, Nelson was the fire chief in Emmaus for nearly a year, heading the Borough's emergency services. Prior to his post in Emmaus, Nelson spent 11 years as a lieutenant for the Horry County, South Carolina, Fire Department in Myrtle Beach, SC. He previously served as a paramedic for the City of Allentown and a volunteer firefighter with Whitehall Township, Gretna Volunteer Fire Company and Crescent Volunteer Fire Department. He is US Army veteran having served as an infantry team leader in the 101st Airborne.
At 3:30PM on the hottest day of the summer and during a severe thunderstorm Whitehall firefighters from Hokendauqua, West Catasauqua and Fullerton were dispatched to an odor of smoke in the structure at the American Legion located off of Front Street in the Hokendauqua section of Whitehall Township.
Assistant Chief Bilder 3802 arrived first and quickly determined the attic was on fire. He requested a second alarm be transmitted which added fire apparatus from the Egypt and Cementon stations along with a ladder truck from Catasauqua and the air bottle filling truck from South Whitehall's Woodlawn Fire Company and a RIT response from the Greenawalds Fire Company.
Quint 3831 from Hokendauqua arrived first and crews quickly deployed hoses into the building. Close to 1000' feet of water supply hose was laid in from a hydrant on Front Street to the fire. As more personnel arrived, additional hoses were brought into the building. Firefighters from Catasauqua cut open a hole in the roof to vent built up heat and smoke from the attic which helped improve visibility for firefighters working in the smoke filled building. In time the fire was brought under control and members took a much needed break under the Legion's pavilion as a second severe storm flooded the scene. It was later determined a lightning strike from the first storm caused the blaze. The last remaining crews left the scene around 8:00 pm.
The picture above was furnished by Newsworking.org and the video was provided by Nester Video Productions.
At 6:53PM the first alarm assignment was transmitted for a house fire at 3323 S. 2nd Street in Whitehall Township. The Hokendauqua Fire Station is just 2 blocks north and on the same street. Also responding on the first alarm were the West Catasauqua and Fullerton stations. The 911 Center reported they were receiving numerous calls about the fire and that multiple homes were now involved. Hearing that, Acting Chief Joe Shambo requested a second alarm bringing in Whitehall's Egypt station, and a ladder truck from Catasauqua Borough as well as the air bottle filling truck and pumper from the Woodlawn Fire Co. Assistance was also received from the Greenawalds Fire Station. Soon after, the 3rd alarm was requested bringing in additional neighboring fire companies, some of whom were on stand by in Whitehall's stations to cover other calls during this time.
Hokendauqua's Engine 3811 arrived first and immediately went to work putting water on the flames. Additional help soon arrived and multiple hose lines and aerial devices were deployed. Despite best efforts, the flames had spread too far, too fast for the six residences to be saved. Unfortunately, six family pets, consisting of three dogs and three cats did not survive. Other pets were rescued by neighbors and firefighters. No injuries were reported to residents or fire personnel. The last remaining units finally left the scene shortly after midnight. The State Police Fire Marshall is investigating.
This fire grew rapidly, even though there were fire walls between each home.
We thank all the agencies who helped during this tragic event and offer our condolences to the families impacted by the fire. Video provided by Newsworking.org
At 4:13 AM The Coplay Borough Fire Department with assistance from Whitehall's Hokendauqua and Cementon Fire Stations were dispatched to a structure fire at the former General Supply property on Bridge Street in Coplay. The building, which previously housed the sales and administration offices and some inventory was fully engulfed upon arrival of fire personnel. At that time a second alarm was transmitted by Coplay's fire chief. This brought in additional personnel and equipment from the Egypt and Fullerton stations, as well as the air bottle fillng truck known as a cascade, from South Whitehall Township's Woodlawn fire station 32. Numerous hoselines were used to quell the blaze in the unoccupied 25'x 125' wooden building. Personnel were on scene for approximately 3 hours until all the remaining hot spots were extinguished.
At 12:58 AM Township firefighters from the Cementon, Egypt and Fullerton stations were dispatched to a garage fire on Leisenring Street in the Cementon section of the Township. Assistant Chief 3902 arrived first and advised that multiple garages were on fire. He then requested additional personnel and apparatus from the Hokendauqua station. The fire was brought under control is about 30 minutes. Video provided by Newsworking.org
With heavy hearts and many tears shed, on Monday April 4, 2016 members of the Whitehall Township Fire Department proudly participated in the viewing and funeral services for our Fire Chief Robert L. Benner. His final call was transmitted by Lehigh County Communications Center at the conclusion of his graveside service.
The day prior, residents of the community and countless fire trucks and personnel from several neighboring fire departments lined MacArthur Road, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the Lehigh Valley, for a memorial procession of all the Township fire apparatus in line up behind the hearse carrying Chief Benner. US flags were waived about, firefighters saluted, ladder trucks made arch ways over the roadway, just a tremendous and emotional show of respect for our Chief was displayed.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Jay Gilbert Funeral Home, Jay went way above and beyond to make sure all arrangements were made and orchestrated perfectly. We also thank St. Johns UCC Church of Fullerton for hosting this large ceremony which encompassed two days. Thanks to the Northampton Fire Department and East Allen Twp Fire Dept for providing the aerial arch at the church on Sunday, and the Catasauqua and Emmaus Fire Depts for providing the aerial arch on Monday. We also thank all the fire police who spent hours directing traffic, our mutual aid companies for covering our calls for us, the Whitehall Township Police Dept for their assistance, all the fire and EMS departments from across the region who came out in force, and everyone who attended the viewings and funeral.
Your support was absolutely amazing and we are forever grateful.
The Whitehall Township Bureau of Fire regrets to announce the passing of Fire Chief Robert L. Benner today March 30th, 2016. He will be greatly missed. With nearly 50 years of service to the Township, 30 of which as fire chief, his relentless dedication to the job, his firefighters, and the Township is what he will be remembered for, day or night, he was always there. Chief Benner joined the department in 1967 and was appointed fire chief in 1986. Along with being in charge of the fire department and its 120 active personnel, he also managed the Township fire training facilities. A facility which today is used for training firefighters throughout the region. In appreciation for his efforts over the years, the training grounds were formally named in his honor in May of 2015.
Bob, we are proud to have called you our Chief and are very sad to see you go. It's not going to be the same around here without you. Rest in peace.
At 12:24 Lehigh County Radio dispatched the Whitehall stations 36, 37 and 38 to a report of a garage fire to the rear of Gilboy Ford on MacArthur Road. Police arrived and reported it was a small building to the rear of the law offices at 2747 MacArthur Road with smoke coming from the eaves. Quint 3831 from Hokendauqua arrived first and pulled one 1 3/4" attack hose and entered the 1-story 15'×25' building. Equipment and personnel from Fullerton and West Catasauqua quickly followed and assisted with extinguishing the fire. Video footage provided by Newsworking.org
At 6:16 PM, the Lehigh County 911 Center transmitted a structure fire in Coplay Borough at 117 North Ruch Street. Coplay Fire Department and Whitehall's Hokendauqua Fire Station 38 along with Cetronia EMS 62 were dispatched on the assignment.
Coplay Fire Chief 501 arrived and signaled a working fire in a two-story apartment building with heavy fire showing on the first floor. He ordered Hokendauqua's Engine/Quint 3831 to come in and stretch two hand lines. The second due engine Coplay 511 tied into a hydrant at Ruch and Chestnut and brought water to 3831.
Chief 501 transmitted the 2nd alarm bringing in Whitehall's Egypt and Cementon stations, along with the aerial truck from Fullerton and South Whitehall's Woodlawn Fire Department Air Cascade unit.
Hokendauqua Engine 3811 , 3rd to arrive, positioned in an alley to the East of the fire building while Egypt's Engine 3911 stretched a hand line to the second floor apartment directly above the fire apartment for search and suppression. Cementon's Engine Rescue 4041 brought a hydrant supply line in for 3911.
A total of 4 hose lines were in operation. No injuries were reported, several apartment units were damaged in the fire.
During Whitehall Fire Department's open house at the Whitehall Fire Training grounds Saturday afternoon, Whitehall Township Firefighters and Township officials honored their fire chief, Bob Benner, by re-naming the facility to the Robert L. Benner Fire Training Facility.
Chief Benner joined the Whitehall Fire Department in 1967. He was promoted to Fire Marshal in 1976. After Chief William Balliet retired, Benner was promoted to Chief of Department in 1986. Today, he is still the Fire Chief, committing 48 years of his life to the safety of the residences and businesses of Whitehall Township.
The firefighters presented Benner with a new sign that will be installed at the entrance to the facility. Chief Benner said he had no idea this was going to happen, it was a total surprise.
Mayor Ed Hozza gave a speech and commended Benner for his many years of service and dedication he has for fire prevention education making Whitehall a safer place to live. His daughter Barbara was on hand to give a teary eyed speech about her father.
Shortly thereafter it was back to business as usual with the department handling multiple calls throughout the rest the afternoon. The day started early, with a working basement fire at 4am. Units cleared that scene just in time to get things set up for the Open House and Dedication Ceremony.
At 23:58 Coplay Fire Department and Whitehall Township's Hokendauqua Fire Station were dispatched for a dwelling fire at 155 North 9th Street in the Borough of Coplay. Coplay Police arrived minutes later and reported a working fire with smoke and flames visible from the residence. Fire personnel from both stations responded and proceeded to attack the flames from inside the house. Realizing the fire was well out of control, incident command quickly requested a second alarm assignment bringing in the Egypt and Cementon Whitehall stations as well.
With the fire rapidly spreading throughout the void spaces between the first and second floors and through the roof, personnel were eventually withdrawn and the fire hit from outside using the aerial ladder waterway on Hokendauqua's truck 3831. Over the next couple hours firefighters fought the blaze from inside and outside eventually bringing it under control around 02:00.
No injuries were incurred however the house was extensively damaged. Video footage provided by Newsworking.net
At 15:45 Saturday afternoon, 3 stations from Whitehall were sent to 105 Franklin Street in the Fullerton Section for a dwelling fire.
Chief of Department Robert Benner arrived and reported nothing showing. He was looking at the houses on the opposite side of the street and noticed everyone pointing to the antique business on the other side. He noticed smoke from the side of the 2-story commercial building that has apartments on the top floor. He signaled to the responding units that smoke was showing.
Engine 2 (LC 3712) arrived and stretched a dry hand line for a small fire behind the front wall where the electrical panel box was burning. A water can was used to extinguish the fire. A booster line was then deployed to the exterior to water down the wall. Engine 3 (LC 3831) backed into the parking lot to the front of the building and positioned their ladder.
Engine 12 (LC 3711) positioned at a hydrant but was ordered by the chief not to lay in. Chief 16 (LC 3501) special-called Egypt station for one engine for the lack of an engine response from the Fullerton's station.
A total of 5 engines and the rescue were on location for this fire. There was minor damage to the exterior of the building.
At 16:43 Whitehall sent Squad 1 (LC3611), Engines 2, 12 and Rescue 8 (LC 3641) to a report of a car fire at 5th and Pennsylvania Streets.
Deputy Chief Shambo arrives on locations and signals a working fire in the rear compartment.
When first-due Squad 1 arrived the car was fully-involved. One line was stretched and the fire was out 10 minutes later. The fire totally destroyed the Nissan Maxima. click here for more information
Monday night around 23:30 hours Whitehall Fire Department responded for a working car fire on Route 22 eastbound at Route 145. This video shows footage from a camera attached to a firefighters helmet. The fire was out within a few minutes. The Whitehall fire investigation team was dispatched to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire. EMS was dispatched for a person with burns to their arm.
At 10:58 AM July 26th Whitehall Fire Department's West Catasauqua and Fullerton stations were called in to assist the Catasauqua Borough Fire Department at a house fire at 725 Crane Street. The fire started on the rear porch of the house and quickly spread throughout the residence before fire units arrived. Numerous fire companies in the area were called to assist including several from neighboring Northampton County. While personnel from West Catasauqua and Fullerton were on scene, personnel from the Hokendauqua and Egypt stations were placed on stand by at their stations to cover other calls throughout the Township. For video footage and pictures visit Newsworking.net or click here
At 5:18 PM Sunday March 30th Whitehall Fire Department's Fullerton, West Catasauqua and Hokendauqua stations were dispatched for an odor of smoke in the Perkins Restaurant at 1450 MacArthur Road. Fire Chief Benner arrived minutes later and reported heavy smoke and flames coming from roof. All occupants by that point had evacuated the building. The Eqypt Fire Station was added to the assignment, along with a ladder truck from Catasauqua Fire Department. As flames consumed the front portion of the roof, a second alarm was transmitted bringing the Cementon Fire Station, Woodlawn Fire Company and Han-Le-Co Fire company in to assist as well. Firepolice from Whitehall and mutual aid companies worked to keep traffic at bay on busy MacArthur Road while firefighters battled the blaze. Cetronia Ambulance responded with two units to standby if needed. The fire was knocked down in approximately 30 minutes. The front portion of the roof was extensively damaged and the restaurant seating area below suffered significant water and smoke damage. Crews remained on scene for another two hours till the fire was completely extinguished. For video footage and pictures visit Newsworking.net or click here