In the early morning hours of November 17th just after midnight West Chester Fire Department was dispatched to the 700blk of N Franklin St in West Chester for the reported building fire at Barclay Friends Home which is a nursing home. Shortly after dispatch it was realized that this was going to be a very serious and life threatening event that would eventually require assistance from Fire Companies all over Chester County, Delaware County and even Montgomery County. Crews arrived with fire on the roof of the building and quickly spreading to the 3rd and 2nd floors. To complicate things they not only had to worry about the fire but also the lives of the hundreds of residents still in the building that needed to be evacuated.
A 2nd alarm was struck and eventually a 3rd, 4th and 5th alarms. Along with at least a 3 alarm medical box alarm that brought EMS units from all over as well. During all of that for the first time ever an all call was dispatched in Chester County for all available Fire Police to respond and assist. Traffic 38 and Utility 38 responded with a total crew of 5. Upon arrival the crews had to park several blocks away and walk up to the scene. Originally assigned to help with crowd control it became evident that more help was needed with getting the elderly victims into awaiting buses and ambulances that were on scene. Fire Police Officers Mostyn and Walsh assisted with getting the victims onto the buses as quickly and as safely as possible. It took approx 2 hours to get everyone loaded on all the buses but with the help of Fire Police, Firefighters, EMT's, Paramedics, Doctors and Civilians it gone done in a safe manner without anyone getting injured. While Mostyn and Walsh were helping with that. Fire Police Lieutenant Neff and Fire Police Officers Henderson and Cunningham assisted with traffic control and crowd control.
This was a very chaotic scene from the very beginning but Thanks to countless hours of training all the crews involved were ready and able to help in a quick fashion. The crew from Traffic and Utility 38 returned to station around 0600.