Saturday, August 24, 2013

2 Alarm Fire Strikes Wilmington at Midday with Maydays

A RIT Team member clears a doorway for firefighters working on level-2.

Wilmington, DE (August 22, 2013) -- A noonday fire at 4th and Orange Streets went to 2 alarms, after a stubborn blaze in a condemned 200 year old building put city firefighters to task. The fire was deep seated and spreading quickly when Deputy Chief Michael Donahue called for the 2nd alarm around Noon.  That call brought in the WFD's entire on duty force. including:

-Skyboom 2,
-Squad 3,
-Engine 5,
-Engine 6,
-Ladder 1,
-Tower Ladder 2,
-Engine 25. (Talleyville)

In addition, St Francis EMS, New Castle County Paramedics, Office of L&I and Trooper-4 were on scene.

Talleyville Firefighters stand-by to move into the fire structure and conduct overhaul operations.

Following mayday calls, Deputy Chief Donahue ordered evacuation of the buildings and companies transitioned into elevated master streams operations. 3 firefighters were injured, including D/C Donahue -- 2 were transported to Wilmington Hospital by St Francis EMS and County Paramedics.

County companies covered Wilmington Stations as re-called city firefighters restored their own companies using reserve apparatus.

The fire building is 200 plus years old and was condemned by Licenses and Inspections about a year ago for a number of violations.  According to the owner, he was working to bring the structure up to code when the fire broke out.

"I've lost everything," said owner Michael Gross as he hugged his wife tightly. "Everything we own was in in there."  The building had been in his family for 4 generations.

St. Fran EMS personnel take vitals on a firefighter complaining of dizziness.
Many Wilmington firefighters had mentioned that this was a blaze they all knew would eventually happen. In recent months, Wilmington Fire Marshall's Office and Licenses and Inspections have been following the letter of the code closing down nearly a dozen businesses.

The fire department was at full staffing at the time the blaze broke out. No companies were in bypass for the day.

Full photo coverage HERE

photos: Lou Angeli


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