At 2:01am on Monday morning, the West Grove Fire Company and six other fire companies were dispatched for a fire in Penn Township, Chester County that turned into an all out battle over four hours.
The call was originally dispatched as a possible fire in a garage at Baltimore Pike just west of Route 796 in Jennversville. The Chester County 911 Center reported to WGFC Chief Chambers that there were several calls, and that they now believed the call to be a residential structure, not a garage. They then reported that a member responding had seen fire showing and upgraded the call to a "working fire dispatch."
Engine 22-1 responded from West Grove first, with the Chief arriving on location to report fire showing on three sides and on the second floor. He established Jennersville Command, and directed Engine 1 to pull past the structure and deploy attack lines, indicating there was a hydrant across the street (close enough for a hand lay). Engine 22-2 from New London arrived, with the crews assisting by deploying a second handline, and Engine 2 taking the hydrant to supply Engine 1. Ladder 22 arrived and was directed to the rear of the structure to ladder the building and raise it's aerial to the roof.
Crews encountered heavy fire conditions on both the first and second floor interiors, with weakend floor conditions and the risk of internal collapse. Fire had also overtaken a second floor deck in the rear, which had collapsed, and there was active fire along the rear and west-side roof eaves.
Crews from two engines from Oxford, and an Engine from Avondale assisted in the fire attack, and helping to ladder both floors on all sides of the fire building. Ladder 21 from Oxford arrived and was positioned on the east side of the structure, with its crew also deploying numerous ground ladders and raising its main to the roof as well.
Engine 22-3 from Landenberg arrived and it's crew joined up with Ladder 22 to head to the roof to open up vent holes, as the crews o the second floor were encountering heavy fire conditions above the second floor ceiling, as they fought to gain access to the attic space. Kennett's Tower 24 arrived and deployed the third aerial to the building, working fire conditions on the east side and corner of the building. Crews from WGFC Engine 3 and Oxford Ladder 21 opened up numerous vent holes in the roof during the incident.
Rescue 25 from Longwood arrived and deployed a crew as a rapid intervention team (for firefighter safety and rescue), while Cochranville's Rescue 27 deployed its air system to refill crew bottles. Chief 25 established Operations, with Chief 22 running command, and Chief 27 running the Manpower Pool. There were also officers deployed on each division (floor) during the firefight, with WGFC Assistant 22 working the interior operations. Crews spent nearly 3 hours opening up walls and working to extinguish pockets of fire on all three levels and all corners of the building to assure total extinguishment. Engine 52-2 from Lancaster County (Christiana) also assisted in the fire attack).
Three attack hand lines were deployed with more than 1,100 feet of hoseline in service, along with 200 feet of large diameter hose to supply the scene from the hydrant. Nearly a dozen ground ladders were deployed to assure firefighter access and egress from all levels and sides of the building.
Crews from WGFC and Avondale ambulances established a rehab sector monitoring firefighter conditions, and distributing water and food. WGFC fire police had the Jennersville intersection shut down during the four+ hour incident.
The Chester County Fire Marshal's and the State Police Fire Marshall were conducting a full investigation as crews cleaned up and returned. Most units were back in quarters for extensive cleanup by 630am, nearly 4.5 hours after dispatch. There were no reported injuries.