Fire causes moderate damage at First Quality


LOCK HAVEN — There was a flurry of fire sirens Thursday afternoon as dozens of pieces of fire apparatus raced to First Quality Tissue for what was reported as a “structure fire.”

“The fire started at about 2:10 p.m. in a paper machine and spread into the drop ceiling and through the roof,” Castanea Fire Chief Brandon Myers said, calling damage moderate to the interior of Building 2 and the roof.

Myers said he called in a second and then a third alarm, due to a lack of manpower.

“The problem was finding it. There’s a lot of confined space up there. It’s a large building,” he said of the need for fire volunteers.

Once the fire was found, it was put out quickly, he said.

Firefighters used tankers initially and then switched over to First Quality’s hydrant system. “They have a great system for us… high pressure,” he said.

As for calling so many companies, the chief said, “It was the middle of the afternoon when everybody’s working. I needed more manpower. We had all of Clinton County there and more,” he said.

One fire company after another arrived at the scene with engines, rescue trucks, ambulances, tankers, and two tower trucks, one from Lock Haven and one from Jersey Shore.

Instructions were given to report to the south side of the building.

The fire was out and all companies were back in quarters and available at 4:10 p.m.

Several companies returned to the scene at about 4:40 for a flare-up, but it was put out within 10 minutes, the chief said.

Fire companies responded from Lock Haven, Avis, Beech Creek, Wayne, Lamar Township, Castanea, Mill Hall, Dunnstown, Woolrich, Flemington, and Citizens Hose and Independent Hose of Jersey Shore. Standing by at Lock Haven were fire companies from Bellefonte, Pleasant Gap and South Williamsport.