On a Saturday evening at approximately 5:45pm, nearly all area fire companies were called to assist the Avondale Fire Company with a house fire on East Avondale - New London Road, at the intersection of Clay Creek Roads and Inniscrone Drive. The fire, which took nearly 2.5 hours to control, caused extensive damage to the home.
The initial dispatch indicated the home was on fire with many calls coming in. First arriving units reported a house "well-involved" and units responding could see a large header of smoke as they approached the area. Avondale's officers arrived setting up command and operations sectors, with heavy smoke and fire evident from the residence.
Ladder 22 from West Grove arrived first, backing up the driveway and deploying ground ladders on all sides and the main ladder. Immediately Engine 23-1 (Avondale) arrived to lay a line up the driveway and deployed multiple handlines to fight the fire. Tankers from West Grove and Avondale arrived to provide initial water supply. Engine 22-1 from West Grove arrived and laid a 5" supply line from the bottom of the driveway into the Inniscrone development to hook the closest hydrant -- this became the primary water source for the scene.
Over the next minutes crews attempted to quickly knock down the fire. Arriving units from Cochranville, Oxford, Kennett, Hockessin and Longwood -- along with additional Avondale and West Grove units -- arrived to supply staffing for the firefight. Entering the home from many directions and floors, crews encountered heavy fire and smoke, and collapsing ceiling and hazards -- including holes in the floor. At one point during the firefight, crews were withdrawn for safety purposes and crew checks were conducted to determine that all personnel were accounted for.
The Ladder 22 master stream and handlines were used to provide a fire knockdown, and then crews returned into the structure to fight the fire. With fire in the walls, a two hour effort to open up walls, floors and the roof was used to find the fire and ultimately bring it under control. Additional engine crews were called to supplement units on the scene over the course of the four hour effort.
Every fire company in southern Chester County responded to this incident, as well as units from Delaware. At the same time, units from far away companies like Quarryville, West Chester, and Delaware County were called to provide standby companies in the firehouses in West Grove, Avondale, and Kennett.
There were no injuries reported. Our thanks to some of the homeowners in the community in Inniscrone who offered assistance during this event.
West Grove units returned for clean up which ended at about 11pm, some 5.5 hours after the initial dispatch.