Ladder 43 First Due Truck Co. To 3-Alarm Building Fire in Norristown Borough
By Watch Desk
November 2, 2020

At 13:15 hours, Plymouth Fire Company No. 1 (Montco 43)'s Ladder 43 was dispatched to the 700 block of Kohn Street in neighboring Norristown Borough for the report of a dwelling fire. Montgomery County 911 indicated multiple callers reporting flames and smoke from the windows of an abandoned house.

Norristown Fire Department's Assistant 27 went en route moments after dispatch and reported visible smoke in the air from across town. The working fire dispatch was sounded summoning further mutal aid from the surrounding area. Assistant 27 arrived to a 3 story middle of the row boarded up and abandoned dwelling with fire showing from side alpha on the first floor and heavy smoke pushing from the floors above. Chief 27 then arrived on scene and completed a 360 degree size up and reported heavy fire from the top floor on the charlie division.

Quint and Engine 27 arrived and proceeded to force entry and stretch an 1 3/4" attack line into the fire building. Ladder 43 arrived as the first due truck company and immediately went to work forcing entry into the bravo and delta exposure dwellings. The crew along with members of the first alarm assignment also began to throw numerous ground ladders to the original fire building and the exposures.

First in engine companies were met with heavy fire conditions and extreme heat and found the fire was already well advance prior to their arrival. Fire would be found throughout the 3 floors of the original dwelling and was now extending throughout the row on the bravo and delta exposure via the cockloft. Command then requested the second alarm struck bringing in more mutal aid to the scene.

As conditions continued to deteriorate, the evacuation tones were sounded and the incident was placed into an exterior operation. Ladder 43's master stream was then placed into service along with several other aerial devices on scene to begin extinguishing the large volume of fire. Ladder 43 operated for several hours dousing flames from multiple buildings.

A 3rd alarm was eventually struck by command to bring in additional manpower to begin relieving first in crews. Ladder 43 was released from the scene around 16:30 hours and returned to quarters.

Station 27 units along with several 3rd alarm and special called companies continue to remain on scene hitting hot spots and opening up areas to ensure all fire is extinguished.

A tremendous job by all companies who operated at today's scene. Everyone worked in extreme conditions that included forcible entry issues on multiple boarded up doors and windows, the cold temperatures and the extreme wind that would aid in this fire spreading to the majority of the row.

Special thanks to FF Marc Montelius for some of the pictures and video!