Bristol Township, PA Firefighters Battle House Fire

At 1420 hrs. on Feb. 12th, 2003, Bucks County 911 began receiving numerous calls reporting a house fire in the Indian Creek subdivision of Bristol Township. Comments ranged from "smoke showing from a house," "smoke and flames from a house" and "house fully involved."

At 1422 hrs., Tactical Box 13-06 was transmitted for a house fire at 25 Island Road. Units dispatched were Engine 13/Tower 13 from Co. 13 (Levittown Fire Co. 1), Engine 12 from Co. 12 (Newportville Fire Co. 1), Engine 10/Rescue 10 from Co. 10 (Edgley Fire Co.) and Engine 77 from Co. 77 (William Penn Fire Co). As Chief 13 signed on air responding, Dispatcher #457 Scott Molle advised him that there had been numerous calls reporting fire showing.

At 1425 hrs, Chief 13 arrived on-scene and gave the initial size-up as a "2-story wood frame dwelling, fire showing from side 1." He advised E-13 that there was a hydrant in-front of 36 Island and that they were to lay in. Chief 13 also confirmed with neighbors that all occupants were out and advised responding units as well as Fire/EMS Dispatch of this.

Engine 13 arrived on-scene at 1430 hrs, and after laying in, the crew went in service with handlines. Other units arrived on-scene soon after and their crews also assisted.

Firefighting operations were hampered by accumulated snowfall built up around the house, very low wind chill factors and strong wind gusts.

As crews were making an interior attack, the wind gusts pushed the fire through the second floor/attic area, and at 1440 hrs Chief 13 ordered the units to evacuate the building.

E-13 went into service with their deck gun and handlines were used for an exterior attack. After the main body of fire was knocked down, E-13 again had to use their deckgun after the winds caused the fire to flare up again on the Exposure 4 side on the 2nd floor/attic area.

Fire was reported under control at 1456 hrs with units remain onscene for overhaul. No injuries were reported. Bristol Twp. Police were called to the scene during active firefighting ops when a female occupant of the residence arrived onscene and tried to run past crews in the front yard into the house. She was restrained by Fire/EMS personnel and removed from the front of the house and taken to a neighbors house.

Fire Marshal FM225 investigated the fire, and reported it to be accidental with the fire starting in the kitchen area.