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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Three Alarm Fire Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - 02.09.2014

(The Morning Call) - Fire crews arrived about 8:30 a.m. to battle the three-alarm blaze, which forced firefighters to evacuate the charred, white-sided building at 68 E. Broad St. moments before the roof collapsed about 10:30 a.m. The fire, which also damaged red-brick building at 70 E. Broad St., sent a plume of white and gray smoke into the sky that could be seen miles away.

Assistant Fire Chief Warren Achey confirmed there were no injuries and reported mid-afternoon that the fire was out. The cause, he said, is under investigation.

Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez called the fire "a tragedy."

"This place had a lot of family history," said Donchez, a Leeson family friend. "A lot has been lost, but it can be rebuilt. Thankfully, no one was hurt."

Companies found heavy smoke pushing from 68 E. Broad Street and struck the 2nd alarm. Ladder 2 positioned in front of the fire building with Engine 6. Engine members stretched into the fire building and was confronted with heavy fire. With fire extending in the walls between the fire building and exposure 2 (70 E. Broad Street) the 3rd alarm was transmitted.

Crews cut a vent hole in both the original fire building and exposure 2. Companies found heavy fire in the attic of the exposure.

Ladder 1 and Engine 9 positioned in the rear of the building. Engine 9 stretched 2 hand lines while the Ladder Company went to the roof to vent the rear of exposure 2.

As the roof burned off the original building, companies directed multiple streams between it and exposure 4.

The fire was brought under control by 12:00 PM.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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