On Sunday May 24th, 2020, Gladwyne Fire Company was dispatched to assist Station 22 along with Engine 26 and Ladder 28 for an apartment building fire.
Engine 24's crew consisting of Assistant Chief G. Andrew Culbertson, FF Engineer Daniel Hudecki, FF Pearce Flanagan, FF Justin Fusaro, FF Colin Flanagan and FF Sean Meals responded immediately and arrived on location at the same time as Ladder 22. Upon arrival, Ladder 22 took the front of the fire building and Engine 24 backed into Ladder 22 and laid 500 feet of 5 inch out to the hydrant to establish a street line, while the crew initiated firefighting duties along with Ladder 22's crew, FF Keith Haury and FF Kevin Kelley. The crew threw ground ladders to the second-floor balcony of the fire apartment and observed heavy fire within the apartment (against the wall were the hallway door was) and heavy smoke coming from one broken out window in the fire apartment. The crew forced entry into the glass patio door and immediately started putting water on the fire in an apartment with severe hoarding conditions.
Ladder 24's crew consisting of Captain Brian Brown (driving), Lieutenant Anthony Fisher, FF Samuel Leis, FF Glenn Montgomery (Tillerman) and Chief Blaine Leis arrived as the crew was stretching the line into the fire apartment. The communications center was advising of multiple people trapped on their balconies and some within the interior of the building. Ladder 24's crew meet up with Assistant Chief Culbertson and Chief Hayden (Merion Fire Company of Ardmore) and initiated a second-hand line to be deployed from the internal stand pipe system. As the crew was making their way down the hallway with extreme heat and heavy smoke, Lieutenant Fisher found an unconscious resident in the hallway that required rescue. Lieutenant Fisher communicated to FF Sam Leis and the two firefighters started to remove the victim down the hallway. Assistant Chief Culbertson and Chief Hayden met up with Lt Fisher and FF Leis and assisted with moving the victim to the internal stair tower, once at the stair tower the crew was met by FF Montgomery and FM Waters. The six firefighters worked aggressively to remove the unconscious female victim down the interior stairs and out to the awaiting Narberth EMS crew at the front door who administered immediate medical care and transported the victim to the hospital. The Firefighters immediately returned to the fire floor and assisted with extinguishing the fire that had started to get out of the fire apartment. The fire never made it past the original fire apartment and into the hallway outside of the fire apartment.
Lower Merion Police were on scene prior to the Fire Department removing residents from the building and helping to calm those residents who were threatening to jump from their balconies. The Lower Merion Police Officers did an excellent job at this fire.
As additional units from the other fire companies were arriving they were assigned to start throwing ground ladders around the back of the building to remove the occupants who were trapped on their balconies.
A large amount of overhaul was performed in the fire apartment which took the efforts of everybody on scene.
In all total the fire went to a 2nd alarm with mutual aid companies coming from all over Montgomery, Delaware and Chester Counties. Narberth Ambulance was on scene with multiple ambulances along with multiple assisting EMS units keeping all of our first responders safe as well as transporting the injured residents.
After the incident was over, firefighters then assisted all of the residents into the building in a coordinated effort for them to gather life sustaining items from their apartments and they escorted them out of the building. They were all then referred to the Red Cross who was on scene to assist.
The following Gladwyne Firefighters worked all night long and did an excellent job, that ultimately made a difference in many people's lives:
Chief Blaine Leis
AC Andy Culbertson
AC John Remillard
AC Chip McLean
Captain Brian Brown
Lieutenant Tony Fisher
Engineer Dan Hudecki
FF Colin Flanagan
FF Pearce Flanagan
FF Justin Fusaro
FF Tom Hayden (Chief 25 but was a part of the 24 crew in the beginning)
FF Ben Kleinman
FF Sam Leis
FF Mike McDermott
FF Sean Meals
FF Glen Montgomery
FF Ryan O'Donnell
FF Bart Rose
Thank you to all of our Mutual Aid Companies who covered our individual stations and also responded to the scene.