At 13:13 on Tuesday afternoon, GFC Engine 55, Leesport Engine 37, and Temple Engine 11-1 were dispatched to a vehicle fire on Cross Keys Road just south of West Leesport Road.
Engine 55 arrived on scene and found a Bern Township Police SUV in a driveway on the 1000 block of Cross Keys Road completely engulfed in fire. The brush at the entrance to the driveway was also on fire as was the brush at the end of the driveway where the SUV was parked.
With no hydrants in the area, Chief Brian Fisher requested that Leesport Tanker 37 respond in place of Engine 37.
Firefighters from Temple 11, using an attack line from E55, proceeded to attack the SUV while GFC firefighters, using E55’s booster line, attacked the brush fire at the driveway’s entrance. The SUV’s fire was difficult to extinguish because of burning magnesium from the vehicles transfer case. A tow truck from V&M towing was able to lift the rear end of the SUV which gave firefighters better access to the burning metal. The SUV’s fire was finally extinguished by 13:56.
The two Bern Township Police officers, who were on patrol, noticed the fire when they pulled into the driveway in order to turn around to check on a resident who had just flagged them down. They were able to escape the SUV and retrieve their gear before the SUV became fully involved in fire. They attempted to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher, but were unsuccessful. Neither officer was injured.
The cause of the is under investigation by the Bern Township Police, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Fire Marshal’s office.
Bern Twp. Fire Police directed traffic around scene until the vehicle was removed. Normal traffic flow was resumed shortly after 14:30, and Engine55 returned to the Station.
Those responding for the GFC were:
Chief Brian Fisher
FF Gary Rarick
Probationary FF Jordan Miller
Probationary FF Craig Huntsinger
Jr. FF Dylan Matz
Fire Police Capt. Charlie Kerschner
Fire Police Lt. Jeff Allen
Photographer Steve Spies