Fire Chief Robert Novatnack reports that three firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze in hot weather.
[A]s three members of the Bethlehem Fire department conducted aggressive interior firefighting, rapidly changing fire conditions forced our three firefighters to use emergency measures to evacuate the building as conditions deteriorated. Incidents like this happen fast on the fire ground, and on his day our firefighters relied on their training and instincts to remove themselves from imminent danger. Two of the firefighters were back at work the same day, while the firefighter with the leg injury is still recuperating.Chief Novatnack adds that fire officials will continue investigating this incident as it happened and make any recommended changes needed to protect firefighters and the public. Mayor Bob Donchez stated “that the mission of the Bethlehem Fire Department is, first and foremost, to protect the lives of the residents within the City of Bethlehem, and the lives of our firefighters”.