Aggressive Interior Attack Saves Franklin Township House
September 9, 2020

A late afternoon fire in a Franklin Township house was quickly handled by crews from West Grove Fire Company and neighboring departments.

Just before 5pm, the Chester County 911 Center received a call reporting a fire in a house along Route 841 between School House and Avondale-New London Roads. The caller indicated that the roof was on fire and it was spreading elsewhere in the home. Units from West Grove Fire Company were dispatched, along with fire equipment from Avondale, Oxford, and Longwood.

WGFC Captain 22 arrived to report smoke showing from the roof ridge vents on a three story, wood-framed house. Engine 22-1 from West Grove arrived, pulling past the residence to leave room for the arriving ladder truck. Crews pulled a 300' 1-3/4" attack line and advanced the hose line in the front door and up to the third floor. There crews found fire in a bedroom and attic storage area, working aggressively in high heat and smoke conditions to make a quick knock down on the fire.

Avondale Engine 23-1 arrived, with crews directed to take a second, backup hand line to the second floor. WGFC Engine 22-2 from New London arrived -- with crews assigned to do a primary search of the residence for potential victims, while the driver laid a water supply line south of the scene where a water supply operation was being established. WGFC Engine 22-3 arrived and was assigned to set up at a hydrant to fill water Tankers (at Schoolhouse Road and Medford Farms). Tanker 22 handled a supply to Engine 22-1, and Tanker 23 was on standby at the water supply operation. Chief 22 had Command and Deputy Chief 22 had Water Supply Operations, with Captain 22 on Operations.

Rescue 25 from Longwood arrived as the "first due special" assignment, with crews handling the placement of ground ladders and standing by for the "RIT assignment" (Rapid Intervention Team -- a dedicated unit to be on standby for any firefighter rescues). Crews also began to use ground ladders to ventilate the roof to relieve heat and smoke conditions in the attic. Union Fire Company’s Ladder 21 arrived and raised its aerial to the roof with crews adding a second ventilation hole to complete the attic ventilation.

With the fire knocked down quickly by the first-in Engine crew, and both the primary and secondary searches complete, the fire was declared under control. Water from Tanker 22 and Engine 22-1 was sufficient for the initial attack, so the water supply operation south of the scene and the fill hydrant were not needed. Crews worked to assure there was no fire spread, and to clean up the operation, and repack hose on several engines.

West Grove and Avondale Ambulance units monitored fire personnel and treated one injured subject. WGFC Fire Police handled closure of Route 841 at both ends of the scene. The operation was completed in about 2.5 hours.

Units: Engines 22-1, 22-2 and 22-3, Rescue 22, Tanker 22, WGFC Fire Police, WGFC Ambulance
Mutual Aid: Engine 23-1, Tanker 23, Ambulance 23; Ladder 25, Rescue 25; Ladder 21; Chester County Fire Marshal; Medic 94; PA State Police.