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Back to Back House Fires After Strong Storms Move Through the Area
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By Fire Chief Justin Gattorno
May 15, 2018

As strong thunderstorms were moving through the area the company was dispatched to the 600 block of Chesterville road for the report of a house fire. The homeowner was reporting that insulation and an outlet were on fire. Once on scene investigating crews found that an electrical surge had burned through an electrical cord and caught the insulation in the area on fire. The basement had a light smoke condition. The fire was out on arrival. Crews checked the area with thermal imaging cameras, secured the electric and ventilated the smoke/haze out of the basement. The company was assisted by Union Fire Company Fire Company #1 of Oxford, Avondale Fire Company, Singerly Fire Company and Cochranville Fire Company.

As the units were back in the station the Chester County Fireboard dispatched the company to the 100 block of Borden way for an investigation inside. All West Grove units hit the street right away as they had just returned from the Chesterville road assignment. Chief 22 arrived and reported nothing evident from the exterior of the building. While conducting a 360 degree walk around of the building it was discovered that there was an obvious lightning strike on the back side of the house at the roof line with the area smoking. The assignment was upgraded to a building fire. This brought back the same mutual aid units to the scene that had just returned from the Chesterville road fire.

Engine 22-2 arrived and pulled an 1.75" handline but there was no direct access to the area that was burning until the ladder arrived due to the location burning on the roofline at the chimney. Ladder 22 used a 35' extension ladder and a 16' roof ladder to gain access to the area. Ladder 21 setup their main on the front of the building and brought a 40' extension ladder to the back of the building to assist. Engine 22-1 and Tanker 22 were setup to establish a water supply if needed. Once the area was opened up the fire was extinguished and the area was checked with a thermal imaging camera for extension. Interior crews found multiple burned outlets and tripped breakers. Once the interior was cleared with a thermal imaging camera the situation was under control.

Units: Engine 22-1, Engine 22-2, Ladder 22, Rescue 22, Ambulance 22-1, Utility 22, Tanker 22, Chief 22, Deputy 22
 
Mutual Aid: Station 21, 23, 27, Cecil Engine 13
 
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