Fire and Law Enforcement personnel are still investing the cause of a house fire that claimed the life of a 79 year old longtime resident. Fire and EMS personnel were called to 11 Medley Lane around 5:00 pm on the evening of Sunday, February 2nd. Engine 1613 reported a column of smoke in the sky as they were responding from the temporary firehouse at the McGinley Elementary School. The first arriving police officer reported heavy fire and smoke from the front of the house.
Engine 1613 arrived within four minutes and confirmed the report of heavy fire showing. Captain Friddell met with police officials who advised him that one person was unaccounted for. Firefighter Bennett, with the assistance of Willingboro Police, worked on establishing a connection to a nearby fire hydrant. Firefighter Carcasio pulled a 2 1/2" hoseline and started to extinguish the fire. Captain Friddell and Firefighter Bowe made entry through a front window and started to search the home. They were able to search two rooms before having to exit the house due to deteriorating conditions.
Once outside they assisted Firefighter Carcasio with maneuvering the 2 1/2" hoseline to better extinguish the fire. Beverly Engine 1222 arrived on scene and its crew pulled a 2" hoseline from Engine 1613 to assist with extinguishing the fire. Once both lines were in service, Captain Friddell and Firefighter Bowe reentered the home and with the assistance of a thermal imaging camera they were able to locate the occupant of the home who was already deceased.
Mount Laurel Ladder 3615 and Cinnaminson RIC Engine 2013 arrived on scene and used hand tools to make access to assist with extinguishing the fire in the attic. A Battalion Chief from Mount Laurel had arrived on scene and established command of the incident until the arrival of Willingboro Deputy Chief Clark. A second RIC Crew from Moorestown Engine 3111 was on scene, but never put in service. The fire was able to be placed under control at 5:33 pm.
Due to the nature of the incident, a joint investigation was performed by the Willingboro Police Department Detective Bureau, The Burlington County Fire Marshals Office, and the New Jersey State Division Of Fire Safety. There is no cause of fire determination at this time. One firefighter from a mutual aid department was transported to a local hospital for a leg injury. All utilities for the home were disconnected, and a board-up company was called to secure the home. All units were available from the incident at 9:13 pm.