“We’re getting multiple calls.” was the message given to Deputy 19 Ed Truman en route to a report of a dwelling fire at 588 Almshouse Road in Doylestown Township on Friday, April 13 2018. On the report of multiple calls, Bucks County Fire Radio upgraded the response to a working fire and Deputy 19 ordered a Tanker Task force added to the response. On arrival, Truman reported heavy fire from the rear, and instructed Engine 19 to lead off. All occupants were out of the home.
The house was a 1 and 2 story wood frame, and had headway. Winds from the southwest made finding the seat difficult, and a heavy interior fire load made for a hot blaze. Small explosions and a compromised electric service line complicated matters. The weather, which had finally changed to springlike temperatures, made for challenging conditions for firefighters.
Tankers set up water supply at the intersection of Lower State and Almshouse Roads. Multiple handlines were placed in service. The outcome was difficult though, as the fire raced throughout the 2 story portion and destroyed the home. The fire was declared under control at 3:42 PM by Deputy Chief Ed Truman.
Responding as mutual aid were Warrington, Chalfont, Plumsteadville, Point Pleasant, Dublin, Hilltown, Warminster, Warwick, Midway, New Hope Eagle and Horsham Fire. Covering companies were Montgomery Township and Hatboro from Montgomery County, Midway and Warwick. Central Bucks and Chal-Brit EMS provided medical and rehab services. Fire police from Doylestown, Chalfont, Plumsteadville, Dublin, Perkasie, and Ottsville handled traffic. North Penn Goodwill assisted with rehab and fed over 50 firefighters. The Red Cross was called to assist with the homeowners.
Last night at our monthly business meeting, Chief Karl Knott of the Central Bucks Regional Police Department was introduced to the membership by Doylestown Borough Mayor (and fire company member) Ron Strouse. Chief Knott brought a picture from his days as a volunteer firefighter in Huntingdon Valley, and discussed his plans for his command and working with the fire company. He also mentioned how much he loved the pancake breakfast- you’re always welcome at DFC Chief!
After the latest round of Nor’easters in March, the fire company was kept busy by incidents not caused by nature. On March 25, the company was dispatched to a garage fire at 578 E. Butler Ave., in New Britain Borough. On arrival, Chief 19 Mike Wood reported a fully involved garage, and placed companies in service. A quick knock on the remains of the structure and the company was headed home an hour later. On the evening of March 29, the dispatch was for an overturned vehicle with entrapment in the 100 block of West Court Street in Doylestown Borough. Rescue 19 and Engine 79 responded, stabilized the vehicle and removed the occupant with minor injuries.The next day, March 30, the dispatch was for a crash with entrapment on Rt. 611 at Duane Road. Rescue 19 and Engine 79’s crews went in service and removed the roof of the vehicle to safely remove the trapped occupant.On April 3, the dispatch was for wires in the dwelling at 15 Shady Grove Circle in Doylestown Township. On arrival, Chief Engineer 19 Denny Loux reported a smoke condition in the dwelling, and on further investiagtion found an electrical fire in the basement and upgraded the call to a working dwelling fire. Once PECO secured the power, the fire, which was contained by dry chemical extinguishers, was able to be extinguished fully, with relatively minor damage to the home and no injuries. Doylestown Township fire marshal Rick Schea and PECO are continuing to investigate.