Friday, June 8, 2012

The Week Begins with a Multi-Alarm Fire

Pottstown firemen rescue man from building fire.
     The week began on a nasty note with a multi-alarm building fire in Pottstown early Monday morning. I hit the ground running hearing a call confirming one person trapped inside the Third Street home. Racing to the scene only minutes from my house, thick smoke billowed from the structure.
     I  ran the block and a half from where I parked my pickup truck. One person had already been taken off the roof by neighbors assisting with a ladder but there was still someone unaccounted for inside the building.
     The Pottstown Fire Department was on the scene and surrounding companies were called to assist. Flames rip from the upper floor windows as firemen sprayed water to knock down the fire while a team searched for the missing home owner.
     I made my way around the front of the house as rescuers carried the injured 89-year-old man from a first floor bedroom. They rush him to a waiting ambulance and he was airlifted to a Philadelphia hospital in critical condition.
Flames rip from window.
     The fire intensified on the home and flames raged up the side of the structure. The Sanatoga ladder holding several firemen had to be swung away from the blaze just beneath them. A fireman fighting inside the home was injured with minor burns to his ears and head.
     I ate some smoke while shooting photos as the wind swirled during a morning drizzle. I stayed back moving around as the breeze changed directions to keep from inhaling to much of it. Firemen continued to keep fire hoses fixed on the flames finally putting it out.
Suspect arrested by Pottstown P.D.
     The busy news week continued on Tuesday and I was out again by 8 a.m. Pottstown police began a sweep across town rounding up alleged drug dealers and others wanted for various crimes committed in the borough. During the day they arrested twenty-two people. I photographed a number of these arrests and photos appeared on the front page of The Mercury and on the web site. This was scheduled to be my week to work the late shift, but with the early news my day changes quickly.
     Wednesday was calmer and the start of graduation week coverage for me. The rain showers predicted held off and Pottstown's graduating class of 2012 proudly walked onto the Grigg Memorial Stadium field for their commencement. There were lots of smiles and cheers as the seniors came into view of their families.
Pottstown High School graduation.
     Pottstown holds a classy graduation ceremony, one that I always enjoy covering. Every day holds a different challenge. WOW! I checked Friday's schedule and we have six graduations to cover. Let's hope for a quiet news day.

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