Willingboro Fire Department Willingboro Fire Department


2019 Incidents
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Down Power Line Leads To House Fire
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By Firefighter Mark Robertson Sr.
March 23, 2017

A Twin Hills home suffered serious damage during a fire on the afternoon of March 14th. Willingboro Firefighters were originally called to the area of 605 Beverly-Rancocas Road at 1:22 pm for a down power line. The line had fallen due to a tree branch that broken due to the weight of snow that day's storm. Engine 1613 arrived in the area and found a power line that was arching on a chain-link fence.

While awaiting the arrival of Public Service Electric, the crew of Engine 1613 noticed smoke coming from the home. They requested Engine 1612, which had just cleared a prior incident, to respond for assistance. Lieutenant Friddell also requested a full house fire dispatch, which brought in additional crews from Willingboro (Chief of Department Burnett, Deputy Chief Sitzenstock, and Ladder 1615) and out of town departments. Upon arriving at the front of the structure, Captain Ramsey and Engine 1612 reported heavy smoke coming from 113 Toledo Lane.

Chief Burnett arrived and took command of the incident, and Deputy Chief Sitzenstock became the Operations Officer. The fire was now progressing, however due to the electricity that was flowing through the home, no crews could enter the house because of possibly getting electrocuted. A Public Service Electric supervisor was in the area and was able to quickly summon a crew to shut down the power. Within 10 minutes of arriving on scene, crews from Willingboro, Westampton, and Mount Laurel were using two 1 3/4" and one 2" hoseline to extinguish the fire. A second alarm was called to the scene for additional manpower.

An aggressive attack of the fire ensued, with crews finding fire conditions in the garage and kitchen area of the home. The fire also damaged a natural gas pipe, which helped to intensify the fire. Due to the quick work of all the firefighters, Chief Burnett was able to place the fire under control 20 minutes after firefighters first entered the home. The area effected by the fire suffered the most damage, and the rest of the home suffered damage from heat and smoke.

Once the fire was completely extinguished an investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Fire Marshals Office. The Willingboro Township Construction Office was on scene and declared the home uninhabitable. The American Red Cross came to the scene to assist the residents with temporary housing and other provisions. A neighboring home suffered some minor damage, but no body from either home, or firefighters, were injured as a result of the fire.

All units were clear from the scene at 4:38 pm.

Units: Chief 1600, Deputy Chief 1601, Engines 1612 and 1613, Ladder 1615, and Ambulances 1692 and 1693
 
Mutual Aid: Westampton Engine 2722, Mount Laurel Deputy Chief 3620 and Engine 3611, Moorestown Deputy Chief 3101 and RIC 3113, Delran Engine 2312, Burlington City Battalion Chief 9002 and Ladder 9035, Cinnaminson RIC 2012, and the Burlington County Fire Marshals Office
 

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