Reported Building Fire at Sunoco and Motorcycle Accident
By Lieutenant Anton Bilski
April 4, 2023
Shortly after 1700 hours on Tuesday evening, Avondale Fire Company, along with surrounding mutual aid companies were dispatched to a reported commercial building fire at the Sunoco on Gap Newport Pike. The caller reported a smoke condition inside the convenience store with no visible fire seen. Chief 23 (Cole) made the response after dispatch along with Engine 23-2, Ambulance 23-1 and Ambulance 23-3. Southern Chester County Regional Police arrived on the scene and reported an active smoke condition in the store. Chief 23 arrived and established "Avondale Command" with Assistant 24 (Franks) handling interior operations. Engine 23-2 arrived as the first due engine and laid a 5" supply line from the hydrant at the Route 41 entrance. Engine 2's crew pulled a 200' 1' 3/4 attack line to the entrance of the store. Engine 23-1 arrived as the second due engine and secured Engine 2's hydrant. Engine 1's crew then pulled a back up 300' 1" 3/4 attack line in the event a second line would be needed for fire attack. Due to the building being considered a "high hazard" structure, multiple ladders were dispatched to the scene. On scene were Ladder 22 from West Grove, Ladder 19 from Hockessin, Ladder 25 from Longwood and Tower 24 from Kennett. Ladder 19 put their ladder up into the A/B corner of the store, Ladder 22 placed their ladder up into the A/D corner and Ladder 25 placed their ladder into the B/C corner, while the remaining aerial pieces staged. Crews inside the store were met with a smoke condition coming from an unknown source. Crews used thermal cameras to seek any possible fire in the walls and ceilings but couldn't locate any active fire throughout the store. While on the outside, Engine 1's crew, Ladder 19 and 25's crew were tasked with opening up a corner spot of the store that had reported heat readings. Crews utilized hooks and Halligan bars to remove the stone siding and wood paneling to expose the A/B corner support beams of any possible fire extension. As a precaution, the 300' attack line was charged and crews soaked down the interior space as well as outside siding and mulch. During this incident, Chester County Fire Board notified Avondale Command of an auto accident involving a motorcycle in the area of Broad Run Road and Newark Road in southern New Garden Township. Avondale Command released Rescue 23, Rescue 25, Chief 25, Traffic 25 and New Castle Ambulance 19. Due to the nature of the incident, an ALS (Advanced Life Support) medic unit was automatically dispatched. That unit was Medic 94-2 out of Avondale's station. Fire police shut down Route 41 northbound towards Avondale to provide traffic control around the fire scene and apparatus coming in from all directions.