Boiler Malfunction with Smoke Condition
By Deputy Chief Rick Schartel
March 26, 2024

ON Tuesday morning March 26, TSFR along with our mutual aid partners from Shillington (E36), West Reading (E64), Mohnton (E57), Wyomissing (L79), Western Berks FD (L18), Muhlenberg Twp (66RIT,) and Western Berks EMS (M6513) were dispatched for a reported structure fire on Portland Avenue, in the West Wyomissing neighborhood of Spring Township. Companies were provided additional information reporting a boiler on fire.

E85 arrived on scene with black smoke from the chimney of a two-story mixed occupancy. Chief 85 arrived on scene, established Portland Avenue Command, completed a 360 of the building and confirmed smoke from the rear. E85s crew stretched an attack hose line and entered the structure. They encountered fire outside the boiler with a moderate smoke condition on the first floor. The crew secured power and fuel to the boiler and fire appeared to self-extinguish. Other companies arrived to check the second floor for extension.

Command established Level 2 staging at Reading Avenue and West Lawn Avenue. Captain 85 confirmed fuel was secured to the boiler and mechanical ventilation would be required. Command then placed the fire under control and released all companies with the exception of E85, E64, L79 and L18 which would be conducting mechanical ventilation until monitoring was complete with zero readings.

Companies were then released while Chief 85 was joined by the Twp Fire Marshal and Township codes to complete the investigation.