In the early morning of Wednesday, November 9, Hamburg Fire Control began to receive multiple reports of heavy smoke in the north end of town. The source was quickly determined to be a very large fire occurring at a storage facility operating in the former Bethlehem Steel facility in the City of Lackawanna.
Chief Kevin Jewett of the Woodlawn Fire Company was investigating the smoke, and offered assistance from the Town of Hamburg to the Lackawanna Fire Department; the offer was quickly accepted. Initially, Woodlawn 6 (tower ladder) and Newton Abbott 1 (engine) were requested to the scene, in addition to numerous units en route or on location from the City of Buffalo.
Engine 1, led by second assistant chief Chad Locher, hooked into a hydrant on the corner of Route 5 and Lincoln Street in Lackawanna, and laid supply line to Woodlawn 6. This operation continued for approximately twelve hours.
Newton Abbott 6 was eventually called for a short time to provide an additional elevated master stream. Tower ladders from Scranton Fire Company (Hamburg), Reserve, and Seneca Hose (both West Seneca) also responded to the scene. Multiple other companies from the Towns of Hamburg and West Seneca staged for possible deployment into the scene, and throughout the area, in the event of secondary fires caused by falling, burning debris.
At approximately 9:00 PM, the volunteer companies on scene, including Newton Abbott 1, were demobilized and returned in service.