Wayne, Radnor Township, PA —  A smokey blaze broke out at a home on the 300 Block of  Louella Avenue in Wayne early yesterday at 12:23 AM. Delaware County’s emergency 911 center dispatched the call as smoke coming from a house fire with possible entrapment.  Units from the Radnor and the Berwyn Fire Companies were dispatched.  

The first unit on the scene found heavy smoke and fire coming from the first floor of a large three-story Tudor home.  The first arriving fire engines took their hoses into the stately home and immediately went to the basement and the first floor where the fire was showing.

Other arriving firefighters went to the second floor of the home to search for any victims, and they found a 94-year-old man that was suffering from smoke inhalation.  Fire rescuers quickly hustled the man from the building and the Medics from the Radnor Fire Company Ambulance treated and transported the man to Paoli Memorial Hospital.

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Photo credit.  Eric Chobert Radnor Fire Company

 

Due to the size of the residence, the amount of fire and smoke,  fire officers called for more help and a second alarm was struck at 12:37 AM bringing in crews from the surrounding areas including Bryn Mawr and Gladwyne.

Photo credit.  Eric Chobert Radnor Fire Company

 

Sources say that a woman who may have been the victim’s wife escaped the blaze, went to a neighboring home and called the 911 center.  She was subsequently transported to a local hospital by the medics from Narberth Ambulance.

Basement fires are generally considered one of the worst type of house fires for the firefighters.  Smoke, heat, and gases are subsequently trapped and slowly released throughout the home. While the heat builds and the fire spreads the firefighters usually have only one or two ways to gain access to this lower level.  The heat, noxious gases, and smoke while initially contained in the basement look for ways to escape, and a stairwell is one of the best routes to do so. Unfortunately for the firefighters; this same stairway is the method used by the firefighters to get to the seat of the fire.  

 Basement entryway

Photo credit.  Damien Enderle Radnor Fire Company

 

The fire crews needed to be especially concerned with any damage done to the first floor that they would tread on. 

The heat and humidity created another obstacle for the firefighters who after donning their firefighting gear of 60 plus pounds had to work their way through the building, looking for any victims while sizing up whether the fire had extended beyond the basement and first floor.

Fire crews from Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County were on the scene.  

Fire companies that assisted Radnor spanned three counties:

  • Berwyn Fire Company
  • Bryn Mawr Fire Company
  • Gladwyne Fire Company
  • Ardmore Fire Company
  • Paoli Fire Company
  • King of Prussia Fire Company
  • Narberth Ambulance
  • Marple Township Ambulance 
  • Newtown Square Fire Company

Police officials from Radnor and the Pennsylvania State police were on the scene. 

So many fire companies were assisting at the one fire that it left a void in fire coverage throughout the area.  Haverford Township provided assistance covering the void by sending units and firefighters from the Brookline Fire Company and the Manoa Fire Company who were sent to cover the Radnor firehouse.  The West End Fire Company out of Phoenixville, sent a mobile intensive care unit to the Radnor fire station to cover any emergency medical service calls. 

Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries to the fire or EMS personnel.

The last emergency unit cleared the scened at approximately 4 AM.

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