5 Calls Keeps Avondale Busy
By Lieutenant Anton Bilski
April 28, 2023

What started off as a calm Friday, ended with Avondale volunteers and staff responding to five emergencies throughout the day.

The day started off with crews making their way up to the Chester County Public Safety Training Campus in Coatesville to visit one of our members, Wes Owen, during his live burn for the Octorara Homeland Security program. While attending the event, and at the request of Deputy 37 (Corle), Engine 23-2 made the response to a fire alarm on Overhill Rd in South Coatesville Borough.

Crews then returned back to the Avondale local around noon. While on the ride home, Oxford Fire Company was dispatched to assist Quarryville Fire Company (Lancaster Sta. 57) on a house fire, the assignment was upgraded to a 2-alarm fire which brought in West Grove and Cochranville.

Due to three stations in the southern end of Chester County being out of service, Engine 23-2 was dispatched to relocate to West Grove Fire Company, while Modena Fire Company relocated to Oxford Fire Company.

As crews arrived at Station 22, Engine 23-2 was dispatched for an elevator rescue at the Penn Medicine building on Woodview Road in Penn Township. Crews arrived to find a female subject stuck in the elevator between the first and second floor. Fortunately, the subject was not in any distress and was successfully freed.

After West Grove units cleared the fire in Quarryville, Avondale was released and headed back to the station. After 1530 hours, Avondale and Medic 94 (Southern Chester County EMS) were dispatched to the intersection of Newark and Line Roads in New Garden Township. Engine 23-1 and Chief 23 (Cole) went en route just after dispatch, with EMS following shortly after them. Units were advised that a single vehicle had overturned multiple times. Chief 23 arrived and confirmed the vehicle was on its wheels and the operator was out of the vehicle. Chief 23 had Avondale command, fire crews stabilized the vehicle and swept up debris while fire police closed the road for responder safety.

Three hours later, around 1820 hours, Avondale was dispatched for their fifth call. It was a reported electrical fire inside the Dollar General in New Garden Township. Engine 23-2 and the Tanker made the response and were advised of an electrical smoke odor. First to arrive was a Fire Police Officer. He reported insulation hanging out of the ceiling on fire and upgraded the assignment to a building fire.

Due to the structure being attached to a strip mall, a high-hazard assignment was dispatched. This brought in mutual aid from West Grove (22), Kennett (24), Longwood (25), Cochranville (27), Po-Mar-Lin (36), Hockessin (N19), Cranston Heights (N14), Chester County HAZMAT (15), and Medic 94.

Engine 23-2 arrived as the first due engine and pulled a 300' attack line to the interior of the store where crews were met with a smoke condition as well as burning insulation coming from the ceiling. Crews were able to confirm the fire had not spread to any other part of the business by opening up the ceiling tiles and pulling down surrounding insulation to confirm there was no fire extension. Tower 24 and Engine 23-1 crews made access to the roof above the business to check for any fire extension as well as checking the HVAC units on top.

Once it was confirmed there was no present hazardous conditions, the HAZMAT team was recalled from the assignment.

Crews from West Grove, Po-Mar-Lin and Longwood assisted interior crews with opening up the ceiling and providing interior scene lighting once the power was shut off. Crews from Cochranville and Hockessin staged in manpower and stood by as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) in the event a firefighter was to go down and had to be rescued from the structure. All remaining crews staged in the manpower sector until released by Command.

Chester County Fire Marshalls Office arrived and completed an investigation of the fire while PECO electric secured the power to the business.

Units: Chief, Deputy, Engine(s) 1 & 2, Ambulance(s) 1 & 2, Tanker, Traffic
Mutual Aid: West Grove (22), Kennett (24), Longwood (25), Cochranville (27), Po-Mar-Lin (36), Hockessin (19), Cranston Heights (14), Medic 94, Chester County Fire Marshalls Office, Chester County HAZMAT (15), Modena (37)