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Working House Fire - 500 Block of Atlantic Avenue
Tuesday, June 2, 2009

At 11:01 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, the Millville, Bethany Beach and Roxana Volunteer Fire Companies were dispatched along with the Sussex County Paramedics to a structure fire at the 500 block of Atlantic Avenue. The responders arrived to an older two-story balloon constructed house on fire. The only occupant of the dwelling was awakened by breaking glass and was able to escape through a second floor window in the front of the house before the responders arrived. Third Assistant Chief Richie Walls led the first crew into the building with a 1¾-inch compressed air foam line for the initial attack. Additional 1¾-inch lines were placed into service as other crews arrived while searches were being completed on all three floors. Bethany Beach’s 3rd Assistant Chief Brian McConologue was assigned to oversee Operations. Ventilation of the roof area was initiated by Bethany Beach’s First Assistant Chief Lucas Powell. Millville’s Rescue Captain R.C. Evans was in charge of the 1st floor Interior with Dagsboro’s Chief Tom Glenn overseeing the 2nd floor Interior. Bethany Beach’s 2nd Assistant Chief Eric Myers handled Accountability and Staging. An adequate water supply was established with the units responding to the scene with Millville’s Chief Engineer Jack Melson functioning as the Water Supply Officer. The R.I.T. assignment was given to Roxana. Roxana’s Rehab unit was placed into service under the direction of Career EMT-B Gary Walls. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office. First Assistant Chief Mark Lloyd declared the fire under control at 12:45 a.m. Units remained on the scene until 2:26 a.m. The Frankford, Selbyville, Rehoboth, and Dagsboro Fire Companies also provided assistance during the alarm. Cover-up assignments were done by the Millsboro, Ocean City, and Bishopville Fire Companies. There were no injuries to firefighters on the scene. The occupant of the house was taken by private vehicle to the Millville Medical Center for treatment of minor cuts and scrapes received during his escape from the second floor window. Millville Volunteer Fire Company Public Information Officer Bob Powell states: “We were very fortunate to not have a fire death in this incident since there were no working smoke detectors in the house. Thankfully, the occupant woke up before being overcome by smoke and was able to escape from the burning house and avoid serious injury.” “DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS PROUDLY SERVING OUR COMMUNITY”

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