First in for the New Garden Basement Fire
By Firefighter Joshua May
January 27, 2022

At 0433 in the morning, Po-Mar-Lin was dispatched assisting Avondale Station 23 for a reported basement electrical fire. Rescue 36 staffed with 4 volunteers who were coming to the end of their duty shift responded shortly after dispatch. Longwood Fire Chief McCarthy arrived on the scene to confirm a working basement fire with fire showing on the alpha side. Arriving just a few minutes after leaving the station, Rescue 36 was the first engine on scene and immediately secured a fire hydrant for their own water supply, while a cross-lay hose line was pulled to the basement bilco entrance.
Three members of Po-Mar-Lin made an aggressive push into the basement, making access through the exterior bulkhead doors. Flames billowed across the basement ceiling as the three members pushed down the staircase to where the main bulk of the fire was. The Rescue crew was met with overcrowded conditions, next to no visibility due to thick smoke, live electrical wires, and heavy fire. Even with these struggling conditions, the crew was able to knock the bulk of the basement fire in under fifteen minutes! The Rescue crew then proceeded to hydraulically ventilate the basement by spraying water out of the basement door. This technique sucks heat and smoke out of the basement to enhance visibility and cool down the structure.
Shortly after, a fire was discovered on the first floor of the residence and the rescue and engine crew backed up Engine 23-2 crew in the ventilation and extinguishment of the first-floor fire.
The Rescue crew continued to salvage and overhaul the basement, removing most of the contents and soaking the rooms to further cool and stop the timber from rekindling.
After roughly four and a half hours on scene, Po-Mar-Lin returned back to Unionville, where the crews debriefed, cleaned tools and equipment, and repacked the hose.

Be sure to check out the photos and attachment video from the rescue crew making the push into the basement!

Units: Engine 36, Rescue 36, Chief 36
Mutual Aid: Avondale Fire Company, Cochranville Fire Company, Hockessin Fire Company, Kennett Fire Company, Longwood Fire Company, and West Grove Fire Company
Attachment 23 Basement Lay Down.mp4  (82,245k)