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Residential Structure Fire With Rescue - 35000 Block Atlantic Avenue, Millville
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at approximately 6:15 a.m., Millville Volunteer Fire Company member Elaine Downing was traveling west on Atlantic Avenue on her way to work when she noticed a casement window open in the front of a residence on the south side of the road, which was unusual.  As she was turning her vehicle around to investigate further, Elaine called the MVFCo Station 1 to ask someone to meet her at the residence.  Past Chief’s Roger Hitchens and Eddie Hammond, along with President Greg Tietmeyer were at the firehouse and responded to her request in their personal vehicles, not knowing at that time the house was on fire.  As Elaine approached the residence, she could now see smoke coming from the window, parked her vehicle across the street, headed toward the house and heard the owner saying call 911 and asking for help.  Elaine called 911 and kept the owner at the window until Roger Hitchens and Eddie Hammond arrived to help the owner escape through the window.  Greg Tietmeyer went to the nearby home of the owner’s son making him aware of the situation.  The owner was transported to Beebe Medical Center in Lewes by ambulance B70 for treatment of smoke inhalation, being released later in the afternoon to return home.  Fortunately for the owner, she was awakened by her dogs whimpering since the smoke detectors in the house were not working.  In a follow-up conversation with the owner, she stated she had doubts about making it out, then saw Elaine and yelled for help.

At 6:21 a.m. on February 14, the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center dispatched the Millville, Bethany Beach and Roxana Volunteer Fire Companies and the Sussex County Paramedics for a structure fire in the vicinity of the 32105-35141 Blocks of Atlantic Avenue.  The fire was quickly extinguished when the units reached the scene.  First Assistant Chief Richie Walls declared the situation under control at 6:57 a.m. and turned the scene over to the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office for investigation.  The State Fire Marshal determined an unattended candle started the fire and caused an estimated $8,500 in damage.


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