2- Alarm Fire at the West End Fire Company in Pennsylvania

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On Sunday, July 2nd, 2006 the City of Coatesville Fire Department was dispatched at 1034 for an automatic fire alarm activation at one of their own stations, the West End Fire Company #3 in the 100 block of Strode Avenue.

Immediately following the dispatch, Captain Tracey of the West End Fire Company was reporting a confirmed fire, with smoke showing from the roof of the building.

Lieutenant Abel of the Washington Hose Company arrived on location and requested a second alarm to be dispatched, and two additional aerial ladders to the scene.

Chief 44 was in the area at the time and arrived on location and was assigned as the Incident Commander. Chief 44 assumed "West End Command."

Crews from the West End Fire Company quickly removed all apparatus from the building and set it up in the street, evacuated the entire building which also contains apartments, a social club, and a banquet hall and meeting room areas, and began to ascend to the roof to vent the fire contained in the attic.

As firefighters from surrounding fire companies began to arrive, they were assigned to assist with controlling the fire in the attic from the third floor banquet hall. The fire was vented through the roof by crews from Coatesville Ladder 43.

As the fire began consuming the roof, some of the structural trusses began to collapse and one firefighter was struck in the head by a light fixture. This firefighter was flown to the Lancaster General Hospital for evaluation by air medical helicopter Skycare 1. Sadsburyville Engine 31-2 was quickly dispatched to respond to West End Park at Madison Street and Ridge Avenue to prepare a landing area for Skycare 1.

Tac 44's crew arrived and staged in the parking lot of the Little Chef Restaurant next door to the firehouse. The crew was sent to the 3rd floor to assist.

Coatesville Engine 41-1 arrived and was assigned to lay a supply line from the hydrant at Strode Avenue & Charles Street for a secondary water supply.

Parkesburg Rescue 28 arrived and staged in the Little Chef parking lot and sent crews to the roof and third floor.

Thorndale Rescue 38 and Engine 38 were requested to arrive via Hope Avenue to Madison Street, and utilize the hydrant at Madison Street and Plum Street to supply Coatesville Ladder 43.

Modena Engine 37-2 arrived via Strode Avenue and sent crews to the scene.

East Brandywine Ladder 49 was directed to respond to the scene from Church Street to Madison Street and setup a third ladder to the roof of the building in the front.

Downingtown Alert Tower 45 arrived and was directed to come into the scene from Strode Avenue and Charles Street.

Sadsburyville Engine 31-2 and QRS 31 also responded to the scene after the helicopter had lifted off from the park for transport of the injured firefighter.

Ambulances from the Washington Hose Company, Westwood Fire Company, Martin's Corner Fire Company, Honey Brook Fire Company, Minquas Fire Company, and Medic 93 were all on location setting up a firefighter rehabilitation area due to the amount of firefighters on location and the extreme heat due to the weather.

Food and drinks were provided by DiLuigi's West Side Deli and the Little Chef Restaurant, and a large tent was provided by Walmart to keep firefighters in the shade.

Assistant Chief Paulukinas of the Washington Hose Company was the Operational Officer, Captain Tracey of the West End Fire Company was the Interior Officer, Assistant Chief Carbo of the Thorndale Fire Company was the Manpower Officer, and Paramedic Powell of Medic 93 was the EMS Officer.

The fire was officially placed under control at 1131.

Additional fire companies were relocated to the area to protect the communities while firefighters were working at this fire. Cochranville Engine 27-5 was covering for the Westwood Fire Company, Lionville Engine 47-4, Atglen Engine 26-1, and Oxford Ladder 21 were covering for the Washington Hose Company, Wagontown Rescue 35 was covering for the Thorndale Fire Company, and Longwood Engine 25-2 was covering for the Modena Fire Company.

Once the fire was under control, an extensive amount of overhaul was needed at the scene to pull down ceilings and check for additional damage. Cochranville Engine 27-5, Oxford Ladder 21, and Longwood Engine 25-2 were brought to the scene from the neighboring stations to assist with placing large tarps over equipment and furnishings inside the building to protect from water and smoke damage.

Two additional firefighters were transported to Brandywine Hospital for heat exhaustion.

An unbelievable amount of work was put forth by over 100 volunteer firefighters from all over the area to bring this fire quickly under control with as little damage as possible.

Thanks to the Christiana Fire Company of Lancaster County for standing by to cover the Westwood Fire Company during this incident. Christiana Tanker 5-2-1 and Oxford Ladder 21 also responded to another call on Ash Street in Valley Township during this incident.

The final Westwood units cleared this fire at 1610.

This was the second 2 alarm fire that area firefighters fought in less than 12 hours.

For the time being, some of the City of Coatesville's fire apparatus is being stored at the Westwood Fire Company until the West End Fire Company is able to reopen. We are more than happy to assist the West End Fire Company in anything they may need during this difficult time.

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