CORAPOLOIS, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Authorities say two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation after a blaze at a western Pennsylvania volunteer fire department.
The fire in the Robinson Township Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 in Allegheny County was reported shortly before midnight Saturday.
Fire chief Kenny Kisow said the building was in flames within minutes. One volunteer managed to get the fire engine out before it was seriously damaged, but he and another firefighter were later treated for smoke inhalation.
Kisow said the building wasn’t seriously damaged, but the company lost its special services truck, the squad truck and three inflatable boats. He estimated damage at $600,000 to $700,000.
A volunteer firefighter, Stephen Campbell, lives across the street. He heard the emergency whistles and saw flames shooting from the roof. Campbell began fighting the fire with a garden hose.
“I could see what was on fire down at ground level, spraying a garden hose, it was going down, but the intense heat when you had not protective gear, it gets to you,” he said.
Others came to help, but when Campbell began suffering from smoke inhalation they realized they needed a fire truck parked in the garage.
They had trouble getting the truck started, but eventually just floored it and drove it through a door to get it out.
Video surveillance footage shows the fire started in an All Terrain Vehicle. It was destroyed along with two firetrucks and all of the swift water rescue equipment.
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