Pennsylvania News

Monday, March 27, 2023

2 more victims found dead following West Reading chocolate factory explosion; 7 people killed

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Officials say two more people have been found dead following the devastating explosion at the R.M. Palmer Company in West Reading, Pennsylvania. The two victims are believed to be the two people who were previously unaccounted for, officials said during a briefing Sunday night. In total, the explosion has claimed the lives of seven people. Their names have not been released at this time. During a briefing on March 26, 2023, officials confirmed two more bodies were found at the site of a West Reading chocolate factory explosion. The death toll stands at seven. The incident happened at approximately 5 p.m. Friday evening. Witnesses reported hearing an explosion coming from the candy factory, then saw flames shortly after. Kristen Wisniewski lives three blocks from the local and well-known chocolate company.
WPVI-TV ABC 6 Philadelphia

Firefighter sustained ‘life-threatening’ injury while extinguishing Lackawanna County fire, currently in stable condition

A firefighter was transported to the hospital while responding to a fire in Lackawanna County Thursday afternoon. At 5:20 p.m., crews were dispatched to the 1100 block of Community Drive for a working house fire. Officials say multiple units from the Scranton Fire Department and surrounding areas responded to the fire and were able to extinguish it. According to the Scranton Association of Firefighters, Captain Roger Rogalewicz of the Scranton Fire Department suffered “a major injury” while cleaning up after the fire. First responders said EMS and firefighters jumped into action to transport the captain to the hospital. Scranton Fire Chief John Judge says the firefighter is currently in stable condition at the Geisinger Community Medical Center ICU.
WBRE-TV NBC 28 Wilkes-Barre

Cornwall fire company takes unique approach to attract volunteers

Dozens of volunteer fire companies spent several hours putting out a brush fire in Lebanon County last week. First responders said it took so long to get it under control because there weren't enough firefighters. Rich Stichter has been a firefighter since he was 16, but his years of experience just weren't enough on Monday. "It (the fire) was spreading faster than we could put it out," he said. Stichter and one other volunteer were the only ones available to respond to a brush fire along Route 322 in Cornwall. When they called for help, a tanker truck and one additional firefighter showed up. "The help situation is getting worse and worse," Stichter said. He knows finding volunteers is a problem around the country. To attract attention, the Community Fire Company of Cornwall Borough decided to invest in advertising.
WGAL-TV NBC 8 Lancaster

2 hospitalized after Sunbury fire involving 2 duplexes

11 people were displaced and 2 were sent to the hospital after a fire in Sunbury. The Sunbury fire department said they arrived at around 1:30 p.m. to Miller Street. They reported the fire as a second alarm and called in help from other local departments. They said it took about an hour and a half to get it under control. Officials have not given an update on those hospitalized. The fire chief gave status of the 2 duplexes that were involved in the fire. “We’re waiting for an excavator to tear this building down so we can get the rest of the fire out," said Chief Ronald Rupp Jr. of the Sunbury Fire Department. When asked if the other building was going to be demolished as well, he responded “No, it needs work, there is a lot of water damage and exterior damage." The fire marshal was on scene and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
WOLF-TV FOX 56 Hazelton

With River Intakes Shut, Tankers Brought To Area For Bucks County Firefighters

With Aqua Pennsylvania’s Delaware River intakes in Bristol Borough shut due to the chemical spill, Bucks County officials have brought in tankers from around the county to support local firefighters. Aqua provides hydrant and drinking water to Bensalem Township and Bristol Borough and parts of Bristol Township. With the Delaware River intakes shut, there has been concern hydrants may not put out enough water if a blaze occurs, a fire source said. The tanker trucks will provide additional water for fire trucks if needed in place of hydrants. The trucks will be stationed throughout Bristol Borough, Bristol Township, and Bensalem Township, according to officials. Aqua has not announced when their Delaware River intakes will reopen. They have been closed since the chemical spill in Bristol Township was discovered late Friday night.
Levittown Now

Erie: Local Craft Fair Helps Vendors and Volunteer Fire Department

Perry Hi-Way Hose Company was home to the Spring Craft and Gift Show this weekend. This event is big for local vendors, but is also vital to the volunteer fire department. The social hall had tables galore filled with vendors for their annual event. Glenda Jaruszewicz, a Girl Scout Troop Leader for 71000 said they've been busy selling cookies recently, "It's busy two months so far. We've been everywhere from going door to door to pulling a wagon to coming up here." This weekend event helped organizations like local girl scout troops sell cookies and other goods. Not only do these events help the local vendors, but they're also a huge help to the Perry Hi-Way Hose Company. Firefighters said that they'll be using all the money raised this weekend to help with equipment and to help with new gear for their firefighters.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Firefighter saved after battling blaze in Scranton

A firefighter with the Scranton Fire Department is in stable condition after suffering a life-threatening medical emergency while responding to a structure fire on Thursday. The fire broke out at 1106 Community Drive in Ransom Twp, prompting a dispatch for assistance from the Newton Ransom Volunteer Fire Department. Initially, only Engine 7 from West Scranton was requested to help, but the officer on duty soon requested additional units from the City of Scranton after seeing visible smoke in the area. Engine 7 arrived on the scene first and immediately began fire suppression actions. Once the fire was under control, the veteran firefighter, who was rehabbing equipment, suffered the medical emergency.
WOLF-TV FOX 56 Hazelton

Cause of Kensington warehouse fire under investigation

The cause of a warehouse fire in Kensington is under investigation. Firefighters were called to the scene at Mascher and Tioga Streets just before 3 p.m. Thursday. The fire went to two alarms. No one was injured.
KYW-TV CBS 3 Philadelphia

City of Erie swears in eight new firefighters in special ceremony

The City of Erie Fire Department had a special swearing in ceremony Thursday morning, an event that had to wait over a year because of the pandemic. Eight City of Erie firefighters are finally getting sworn into the department. “It’s a completing of all their hard training and testing and sacrifices that they made to become fire fighters, it’s a crowning achievement,” said Joe Walko, chief of the Erie Fire Department. The chief added why its special to be a fire fighter. “To protect and to serve our first job is to save lives our second job is to fight fires and now that EMS is in crisis with manpower, we are still meeting the call in our objectives and taking care of the people of Erie,” Chief Walko went on to say. The fire department also has a special import from Spain to help with some of the most important jobs.

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