At 04:42 on Sunday, February 12th, the GFC received a dispatch for an AFA at the Berks Heim. The seriousness of this dispatch was soon realized when the dispatch was upgraded to a structure fire in the facility’s kitchen. Along with the GFC, dispatches were issued to Temple Co. 11, Western Berks Co. 18, Mt. Pleasant Co. 30, Leesport Co. 37, West Reading Co. 64, Bernville Co. 29, Township of Spring Co. 85, Wyomissing Col. 79, and Western Berks Ambulance.
GFC’s E55 and crew arrived on scene at 04:53 and were met by a nurse on scene who guided them to the fire’s location in the building’s kitchen. There they were met by several nurses and a security guard. They explained that 30 minutes prior to the fire starting, a security guard had plugged in a commercial toaster unit. On top of the toaster were stacked several plastic trays and cups. The heat from the toaster caused the trays and cups to catch fire, setting off the fire alarm and activating an overhead sprinkler. Security discovered the fire and managed to extinguish it by using dry chemical extinguishers prior to fire crews arriving.
Photos by GFC’s FF Dylan Heckman
The toaster was unplugged by fire personnel and the process of ventilation, checking for fire extension and residual smoke on other floors, securing the sprinkler system, and resetting the fire alarm system were then undertaken. The situation was secured by 05:49 and building control was returned to maintenance and security personnel.
No one was injured during the incident and damage estimates were not available.
Those responding for the GFC were:
Assistant Chief Terry Royce
FFs Dylan Heckman and Dylan Matz