TAMAQUA – Four people — three adults and a child — had to be rescued from a burning building in this borough Wednesday afternoon, the second fire of the afternoon.
Fire broke out in an apartment building in at 320-322 West Broad Street around 1:30pm as Tamaqua firefighters were working to contain a garage fire across town.
West Broad Street Fire
Tamaqua Police and Coaldale firefighters, the first to the scene, arrived to find heavy fire at the rear of the apartment building, Tamaqua Assistant Chief Jason Hartz, said.
Though some Tamaqua crews were able to break away from the garage fire, out-of-town mutual aid from across eastern Schuylkill County and Carbon County’s Panther Valley was called to handle the apartment fire.
“There was tremendous support from mutual aid companies,” Hartz said.
Four people were trapped on the third floor of the building when crews first arrived, he said, and all four were safely rescued. He said no serious injuries were reported, though the occupants may have been evaluated.
The damage was contained to the 320/322 building, he said, and 324 West Broad was spared.
The fire remains under investigation, and a State Police fire marshal was at the scene Tuesday afternoon.
In total, 18 people were displaced from the building, all of whom are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Several firefighters were evaluated at the scene for minor injuries, Hartz said, though no specific number was provided and no major injuries were reported.
At one point, a supply line broke loose, spraying water across Broad and Lehigh Streets, sweeping one man off his feet. He was evaluated by a nearby Tamaqua Ambulance crew.
Responding to the scene were firefighters from Coaldale, Nesquehoning, Summit Hill, Mahanoy City, Pottsville, Hometown, McAdoo, Walker Township, West Penn Township, Schuylkill Township, and more.
Additional crews were called to empty stations for standby assignments, including Slatington, which moved from Lehigh County to Coaldale’s station.
The fire was officially brought under control around 4:15pm.
Rolling Mill Avenue fire
As that fire broke out, Tamaqua firefighters were battling another blaze in a garage in the 400 block of Rolling Mill Avenue.
The call came in just before 1:00pm for a garage fire at 418 Rolling Mill Avenue.
Firefighters from all four Tamaqua fire companies had the fire under control in about 40 minutes.
A State Police fire marshal is investigating, though Hartz said a point of origin is suspected.
Broad and Hunter vehicle accident
A third incident was reported as firefighters were at the West Broad Street scene.
Two block away, at Broad and Hunter Streets, a vehicle accident was reported.
No further details as to the vehicles involved or the status of the people involved were available Tuesday afternoon.