On Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at approximately 6:02am Allegheny County 9-1-1 received numerous calls reporting a structure fire in the area of the Chartiers Valley Self Storage facility on Noblestown Road, in the East Carnegie section of Scott Township. The following units were dispatched on the initial assignment; East Carnegie (Station 256), Glendale (Station 257), Bower Hill (Station 255), Kirwan Heights (Station 124) and Scott Township EMS (Station 740). Due to the location of the fire being so close to the Westwood section of the City of Pittsburgh, the initial structure assignment for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire was dispatched, as numerous calls were also coming in from residents in the Westwood neighborhood.
Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Engine 29, which is the first due Engine in the Westwood neighborhood, arrived on the scene within minutes and confirmed that the structure is actually in Scott Township. Lieutenant from 29 Engine reported heavy fire and smoke coming from a large commercial structure. Engine 29 took a hydrant near East Carnegie fire station and layed to the Charlie side of the structure. Crews immediately set up for deck gun operations for an initial attack on the fire. Lieutenant 256-2 arrived on the scene reporting heavy fire and smoke showing from a large commercial structure, housing Mike Jones Flooring Company, with multiple self storage unit exposures on the Bravo side. Chief 257 arrived on the scene and assumed Noblestown command, Lieutenant 256-2 was assigned operations.
Truck 256 arrived on the scene and set up for aerial master stream operations on the Alpha/Bravo corner of the structure. At approximately 6:18am Green Tree (Station 163) Truck was dispatched in place of 257 Truck. EMS command requested Medical Rescue Team South (Station 780) be dispatched for their rehab unit at approximately 6:30am. Command requested a 2nd alarm assignment at 6:35am. Crafton (Station 128) was dispatched on the 2nd alarm. Truck 163 set up for aerial master stream operations on the Charlie/Delta side of the structure. Truck 163 was supplied by City of Pittsburgh Engine 29. Deputy 256 arrived on the scene moments after the 2nd alarm was transmitted and assumed Noblestown command and Chief 255 was assigned to operations.
Crews had numerous 2 ½” attack lines, portable deck guns and aerial master streams in operation trained not only on the well involved structure, but the exposure storage units to protect them from the radiant heat. At approximately 7:00am there was a structural collapse of the roof, as well as the 2nd division into the 1st division on the Delta side of the involved structure. Command requested a P.A.R. check and all crews were accounted for. A collapse zone was established and crews continued battling the raging inferno defensively. The involved structure had a significant fuel load of flooring products, glue and adhesives. At 7:35am command requested that Mount Lebanon (Station 198) be dispatched for coverage for Stations 124 and 257 while their units are committed at the fire scene.
Command requested a special call for Heidelberg (Station 170) for their CAFS Engine at approximately 7:38am. At approximately 8:30am Chief 255 requested that Upper St. Clair (Station 284) transfer one Engine to Station 255 for coverage while they are committed at the scene. At 8:45am command requested that Bridgeville (Station 117) Rescue with on board cascade system be dispatched to the scene to fill spent air cylinders. Command placed the fire under control at 9:20am, however crews would be on the scene for an extended period of time performing extensive overhaul operations and extinguishing numerous hot spots throughout the structure and the collapsed rubble.
The Salvation Army mobile canteen unit was at the scene providing food and drinks to the emergency personnel. The DEP was contacted over concerns of run off from water at the fire scene going into a creek, in case there were any hazards within the structure. With as much fire load and radiant heat that there was at the height of the fire, crews did a good job at keeping the fire within the building of origin and protecting the immediate exposures. The Allegheny County Fire Marshal was called to the scene to investigate the fire that heavily damaged the business. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.