Sirens sounded across southern Chester County Monday afternoon as fire trucks raced to Elk Creek Road in East Nottingham Township for a reported house fire. For many, the location of the fire was easily marked by a tall column of dark black smoke.
WGFC was already out on a call in London Britain Township for a reported fire type unknown call near 896 and Flint Hill Road. Engine 22-3 located close by at the London Britain Station was in the area quickly confirming a controlled burn -- with a driving-by caller thinking it was an emergency. WGFC units responding included Tanker 22, Brush 22 and Ladder 22 and the Ambulance. With Engine 3 determining the brush fire was controlled and attended, WGFC units immediately redirected as a structure fire near Oxford was coming into the Chester County 911 Center.
Dispatched at 2:49pm, the Union Fire Company of Oxford was first dispatched with WGFC and other companies for a fire in a garage, that was quickly upgraded to a house fire. With additional calls coming into the 911 Center, and with a large smoke column visible, Chief 21 requested a working fire dispatch -- which adds a full compliment of equipment normally needed on a "working" fire (a confirmed fire). With that, units from Rising Sun, Cochranville, Quarryville and Avondale were also dispatched.
Chief 21 arrived to report a large ranch-style home with a fully involved attached garage. Oxford's first Engine laid in a large diameter supply line from the intersection at Route 472 and arrived at the fire location. Crews were directed to immediately pull a 2-1/2" attack line to the garage to flow large volumes of water at the fire. As additional crews arrived, additional 1-3/4" attack lines were stretched, with an effort to knock down the large volume of fire while trying to hold the fire from extending further into the house. While the fire had a large head start before firefighters arrived, this aggressive response held much of the major fire damage to the garage area. The rest of the house had smoke damage.
The crews from WGFC arrived with Rescue 22, Ladder 22 and Engine 22-3 all arriving together. Crews from the Rescue and Ladder entered the residence to perform a full primary and secondary search throughout the house, and found heavy smoke conditions throughout. WGFC and Union Fire Company crews also entered the attic spaces to check for fire spread in that area. Ladder 21 extended its aerial ladder to the roof to support operations there.
Chief 21 requested additional ambulances to the scene, as the fire resulted in two injuries -- one burn injury transported to the Chester Crozer Burn Center, and a second patient with smoke inhalation was taken to Jennersville Hospital.
Water Tankers supplied the scene once the large supply line was charged, with WGFC Engines 22-3 and the Rescue supplying tank water until the water supply was fully established. Area Fire Police had roads in the area closed down to support fire operations.
With extensive overhaul, the fire was declared under control with crews from area departments on scene for about 2.5 hours. Numerous fire companies were also on standby for fire companies working on scene.