Two Alarm Fire in Coatesville
By Thorndale Fire Company
March 30, 2019

Shortly after returning from a Dwelling Fire Assignment in the Thorndale Heights section of Caln Township, the company was dispatched for an Engine to assist the Coatesville Fire Department with a house fire in the 200 block of New St. With a crew already on station, Engine 38, Chief 38 and Deputy 38 made the response on dispatch. Engine 43-1 was first arriving on scene and gave the report of a 2-story middle of the row with smoke showing, established New Street Command and requested the Working Fire Dispatch. Engine 38 arrived shortly after and assumed the third due Engine Company assignment which required securing our own water supply with a hydrant at Oak Street and Pine Alley and stretching a handline to Side Charlie of the building.

Engine 38’s crew was met with less than ideal conditions due to tough terrain with steep incline and a 9ft stone wall to climb to get the initial handline into service. From Pine Alley, Engine 38’s crew had to throw a ground ladder to climb atop a 9 ft stone wall then go approximately 150ft up a steep hill with debris and loose dirt to get access to the building on fire. Once Engine 38’s crew and handline were in place, crews were unable to advance any further due to live power lines actively arching as a result of the fire.

In coordinating with interior crews, Engine 38’s crew knocked down the exterior fire on the Charlie side of the fire building as well as fire that was impinging on the adjacent structures. With the active arching wires in the backyard Engine 38’s crew remained in place on the exterior on Side Charlie until the arrival of PECO to ensure the power was secure. Command assigned Captain 38 the role of Side Charlie Supervisor to assist in the coordination of fire ground duties since the row of homes hindered Command from doing a continual 360 of the building and monitoring conditions.

All responding crews worked for several hours to bring the fire to the fire under control. All crews operating were met with the tough surrounding terrain and the warm temperature day of Spring, which exhausted the First Alarm Resources. A second alarm was requested for additional manpower to assist with additional Overhaul Operations as well as monitoring CO levels in several of the connecting homes.

An Engine from West Bradford Fire Company provided coverage for Caln Township until being called into the scene for additional manpower as part of the 2nd alarm. With this an Engine from East Whiteland Fire Company was called to relocate to Station 38 and cover any calls that should occur within Caln Township. Engine 38 returned to Station 38 shortly after 20:30 hours to begin cleanup of our equipment. Thank you to the crew from East Whiteland Fire Company for helping us get Engine 38 back in service after the fire.

Photos Courtesy of IrishEyez Emergency Services Photography

Units: Chief 38, Deputy 38, Engine 38,