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WGFC and Area Fire Companies Battle Structure Fire in Jennersville
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By Secretary Bill Wohl
April 17, 2017

At 2:01am on Monday morning, the West Grove Fire Company and six other fire companies were dispatched for a fire in Penn Township, Chester County that turned into an all out battle over four hours.

The call was originally dispatched as a possible fire in a garage at Baltimore Pike just west of Route 796 in Jennversville. The Chester County 911 Center reported to WGFC Chief Chambers that there were several calls, and that they now believed the call to be a residential structure, not a garage. They then reported that a member responding had seen fire showing and upgraded the call to a "working fire dispatch."

Engine 22-1 responded from West Grove first, with the Chief arriving on location to report fire showing on three sides and on the second floor. He established Jennersville Command, and directed Engine 1 to pull past the structure and deploy attack lines, indicating there was a hydrant across the street (close enough for a hand lay). Engine 22-2 from New London arrived, with the crews assisting by deploying a second handline, and Engine 2 taking the hydrant to supply Engine 1. Ladder 22 arrived and was directed to the rear of the structure to ladder the building and raise it's aerial to the roof.

Crews encountered heavy fire conditions on both the first and second floor interiors, with weakend floor conditions and the risk of internal collapse. Fire had also overtaken a second floor deck in the rear, which had collapsed, and there was active fire along the rear and west-side roof eaves.

Crews from two engines from Oxford, and an Engine from Avondale assisted in the fire attack, and helping to ladder both floors on all sides of the fire building. Ladder 21 from Oxford arrived and was positioned on the east side of the structure, with its crew also deploying numerous ground ladders and raising its main to the roof as well.

Engine 22-3 from Landenberg arrived and it's crew joined up with Ladder 22 to head to the roof to open up vent holes, as the crews o the second floor were encountering heavy fire conditions above the second floor ceiling, as they fought to gain access to the attic space. Kennett's Tower 24 arrived and deployed the third aerial to the building, working fire conditions on the east side and corner of the building. Crews from WGFC Engine 3 and Oxford Ladder 21 opened up numerous vent holes in the roof during the incident.

Rescue 25 from Longwood arrived and deployed a crew as a rapid intervention team (for firefighter safety and rescue), while Cochranville's Rescue 27 deployed its air system to refill crew bottles. Chief 25 established Operations, with Chief 22 running command, and Chief 27 running the Manpower Pool. There were also officers deployed on each division (floor) during the firefight, with WGFC Assistant 22 working the interior operations. Crews spent nearly 3 hours opening up walls and working to extinguish pockets of fire on all three levels and all corners of the building to assure total extinguishment. Engine 52-2 from Lancaster County (Christiana) also assisted in the fire attack).

Three attack hand lines were deployed with more than 1,100 feet of hoseline in service, along with 200 feet of large diameter hose to supply the scene from the hydrant. Nearly a dozen ground ladders were deployed to assure firefighter access and egress from all levels and sides of the building.

Crews from WGFC and Avondale ambulances established a rehab sector monitoring firefighter conditions, and distributing water and food. WGFC fire police had the Jennersville intersection shut down during the four+ hour incident.

The Chester County Fire Marshal's and the State Police Fire Marshall were conducting a full investigation as crews cleaned up and returned. Most units were back in quarters for extensive cleanup by 630am, nearly 4.5 hours after dispatch. There were no reported injuries.

Units: WGFC Engines 1,2,3, Ladder 22, Squad 22, Ambulance 22, 22 Fire Police
 
Mutual Aid: Ladder 21, Engines 21-4 and 21-2, Engine 23-2, Rescue 25, Rescue 27, Ladder 24, Lancaster Engine 52-2, Chester County Fire Marshals, PA State Police Fire Marshal, New Castle 14 for Standby at 22
 
Looking at the rear and west sides of the incient from the turntable on Ladder 22.  Tower 24 is in the background.
Looking at the rear and west sides of the incient from the turntable on Ladder 22. Tower 24 is in the background.
 
Crews faced extensive overhaul to expose pockets of fire and assure total extinguishment.
Crews faced extensive overhaul to expose pockets of fire and assure total extinguishment.
 
Three ladder trucks are deployed as six area fire companies assist West Grove at a structure fire in Jennersville, Penn Township.  Assisting WGFC were fire companies from  Avondale, Kennett, Longwood, Cochranville, Oxford and Christiana (Lancaster).
Three ladder trucks are deployed as six area fire companies assist West Grove at a structure fire in Jennersville, Penn Township. Assisting WGFC were fire companies from Avondale, Kennett, Longwood, Cochranville, Oxford and Christiana (Lancaster).
 
Tower 24 on the west side of the building.
Tower 24 on the west side of the building.
 
Fire from the eaves.
Fire from the eaves.
 
Engine 22-3's crew works to open up the roof.
Engine 22-3's crew works to open up the roof.
 
Opening up the roof from Ladder 22
Opening up the roof from Ladder 22
 
Roof work as the fire rages just below in the attic.
Roof work as the fire rages just below in the attic.
 
Crews work to open up the roof.
Crews work to open up the roof.
 
This view is from the east side, with Ladders 21 and 22 visible.
This view is from the east side, with Ladders 21 and 22 visible.
 
Crews are working the first and second floors in this shot from the rear of the building.
Crews are working the first and second floors in this shot from the rear of the building.
 
Fire showing in the ceiling of the second floor.
Fire showing in the ceiling of the second floor.
 
Interior crews are making progress from moving from the first floor to the second floor.
Interior crews are making progress from moving from the first floor to the second floor.
 
There was heavy fire in the second floor as crews attacked the fire from below.
There was heavy fire in the second floor as crews attacked the fire from below.
 
Crews prepare to go to the roof.
Crews prepare to go to the roof.
 
Exterior crews dampened down the fire in the rear, where a second floor deck structure had collapsed prior to the arrival of first in crews.
Exterior crews dampened down the fire in the rear, where a second floor deck structure had collapsed prior to the arrival of first in crews.
 
Crews extinguish exterior fires at the roof line in the rear.
Crews extinguish exterior fires at the roof line in the rear.
 
Ladder 22 positions to take the roof.
Ladder 22 positions to take the roof.
 
This view from Old Baltimore Pike shows strong work by the Ladder crews to make sure ground ladders were in all windows for fire crew entry and exit.
This view from Old Baltimore Pike shows strong work by the Ladder crews to make sure ground ladders were in all windows for fire crew entry and exit.
 
Crews work on both floors to extinguish heavy fire on all floors.
Crews work on both floors to extinguish heavy fire on all floors.
 
Crews had to repack nearly 1100 feet of attack lines.
Crews had to repack nearly 1100 feet of attack lines.
 
1100 feet of dirty hose had to be washed after the four hour fire fight.
1100 feet of dirty hose had to be washed after the four hour fire fight.
 
Ground crews darken down debris during overhaul.
Ground crews darken down debris during overhaul.
 
 

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2017 Incidents
Fire EMS
Jan 42 216
Feb 60 191
Mar 70 209
Apr 70 169
May 54 175
Jun 46 161
Jul 70 239
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Total 412 1360

Fire Run Statistics By Township
Franklin 40
London Britain 22
London Grove 44
New London 56
Penn 131
West Grove 30
Mutual Aid 89
Total 412

EMS Run Statistics By Township
Franklin 100
London Britain 73
London Grove 135
Londonderry 76
New London 152
Penn 621
West Grove 86
Mutual Aid 117
Total 1360

Past Incidents
Fire EMS
2016 708 2313
2015 560 2208
2014 619 2244
2013 577 2095
2012 577 1957
2011 534 2035
2010 588 1782
2009 507 1669
2008 529 1624
2007 584 1624
2006 554 1412

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West Grove Fire Company
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