At 15:28 on Saturday, April 14, Station 55 was dispatched to the report of a vehicle fire on the Top Star convenience store’s pump island.
Engine 55, along with Temple Engine 11, arrived to find a coupe parked on the fuel tarmac, fully engulfed in flame. Fire had spread to the pumps, which had been shut off by the store clerk.
Engine 11 pulled a cross lay and began to attack the blaze. The GFC crew laid a 5” line from E55 to E11 to supply it with water while E11 pulled its trash line to connect to a portable foam unit. Foam was then applied the vehicle and surrounding area which terminated the fire. The fire was extinguished about 10 minutes after engines arrived.
West Reading Engine 64 and Wyomissing Tower 79 arrived shortly thereafter to assist. Tower 79 used its boom to inspect the canopy overhang for damage and declared it safe.
Bern Township Fire Police closed westbound Van Reed Road during the incident
The origin of the fire was determined to have been a gas can that was located in the vehicle’s trunk. It had somehow overturned and spilled its contents into the trunk and caught fire. The source of ignition has yet to be determined. There are conflicting reports as to the sequence of events, i.e. was the vehicle on fire before or after it entered the station. This will hopefully be resolved when the Bern Township Fire Marshal reviews the store’s surveillance video.
The convenience store is currently open, but without gasoline sales. Fueling service will resume sometime next week.
No one was injured during the incident.
Those responding for the GFC were:
Chief Brian Fisher
Capt. Joe Stoudt
Lt. Scott Trate
FF Dylan Noll
FF Gary Rarick
Fire Police Patrolman Donny Sando
Photographer Steve Spies