On one of its busiest days of the year, the West Grove Fire Company was dispatched to assist Aetna Hook, Hose & Ladder Company of Newark, Delaware for a reported working structure fire in Newark. The call came at about 5:30pm on a day in which this call was the seventh incident for the WGFC among a total of 12 emergencies for September 24.
The dispatch requested the WGFC to join a large number of New Castle County fire companies responding into Newark to Country Club Drive off of New London Road to the Fairfield Apartments. Initial reports from 911 indicated a large number of emergency calls from the building reporting a fire in an apartment on the third floor. The apartment buildings are behind the Food Lion shopping center. An off duty state trooper then reported a large volume of fire on the third floor, and the first in Newark fire officer reported fire through the roof.
WGFC responded with three Engines, one from each station. The crew of WGFC members joined dozens of firefighters and EMTs from Delaware in a fire fighting effort that lasted just over two hours. When WGFC units arrived, fire was burning through the roof, and most of third floor at the building's west end was completely involved, with some roof collapse.
During the incident, Engines from Newark, Millcreek, Christiana, and Five Points were in service. Ladder trucks from Newark, Five Points, Millcreek (two), and Christiana were on the scene and/or operating. Specialty Units from New Castle County Emergency Dispatch, Saint Francis Hospital, New Castle County EMS, and the State Fire Marshal's office were on the scene, along with police from Newark, and various fire police.
WGFC firefighters were on the second and third floor of the building, and then assisted in rolling and repacking hose so that Newark and other units could get back into service.
Additional pictures and video are available here:
No injuries were reported, and late evening news reports said that the Fire Marshal believes burning candles may have contributed to the fire.
(Some photos taken from videos with our thanks to KYW and WPVI)