At 1750 hours on Monday, January 25th, Avondale Fire Company was dispatched for an automobile accident in the 1600 block of Baltimore Pike in New Garden Township. Avondale Fire Company's Deputy 23 arrived to find a two-vehicle accident with injuries. Avondale Fire Company's Rescue 23 arrived on scene, controlled hazards, and cleared the roadway of debris. EMS treated the injured patient and transported the individual to a nearby hospital. Fire police from Kennett Fire Company and Po-Mar-Lin Fire Company were dispatched to assist Avondale's fire police with traffic control in the area. Crews were on-scene for about 30 minutes before being released.
As crews were clearing the accident scene, Kennett Fire Company was dispatched for a fire alarm at the Magnolia Street Apartments in the 600 block of West Cypress Street in Kennett Square Borough. Since Rescue 23 was already on the street, the crew responded to the scene to assist Kennett. While responding, the Chester County Fire Board upgraded the incident to an electrical fire as numerous 9-1-1 calls were received with reports of smoke coming out of an electrical box. Rescue 23 arrived under supervision of Lieutenant Cole and reported smoke showing from the four-story new construction apartment building. Deputy 23 arrived to find an above-ground PECO transformer on fire at the intersection of South Mill Road and D Street. Deputy 23 also found blown out windows, a partial wall collapse, and active fire to the rear of the Victory Brewing Company which occupies the ground floor of the complex. Deputy 23 established "Kennett Command" and requested PECO electric and gas workers to the scene. Chief 24 assumed Incident Command upon his arrival and Deputy 23 took control of Operations.
Upon arrival at the scene, Rescue 23 laid a 5” water supply line from a hydrant at the corner of Magnolia Court and South Mill Road and Kennett Fire Company's Engine 24 laid a second 5” water supply line from a hydrant at the corner of West Cypress Street and South Mill Road. Kennett's water supply line provided water to the building's fire department standpipe and Rescue 23 stretched a 1-3/4” handline to the fire.
Deputy 23 received reports of possible entrapment in the apartments. Crews from Rescue 23 and Engine 24 (Battalion Chief Brady) began a primary search and evacuation of the property. The crew from Rescue 23 rescued two cats and one dog from the apartment building. While evacuating the residents, crews reported smelling an odor of natural gas. Once the building was evacuated, Incident Command immediately evacuated all fire crews from the building after discovering that a natural gas line had been exposed in the fire room. Crews kept the fire knocked down while waiting for PECO to secure the gas line. Once the gas line was secured, crews went in-service with fire extinguishment and over-haul operations.
Avondale's fire police assisted Kennett Fire Company's fire police with traffic control in the area.
Avondale crews cleared the fire scene at approximately 0200 hours Tuesday morning and left the firehouse at approximately 0330 hours.
Thank you to Ed Scoop Dougherty and Chester County Working Fires for providing photos.
Special thanks to West Whiteland Fire Company's Engine 6-2 and Keystone Valley Fire Department's Ladder 8 for relocating to our station while we operated.