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Marsh Fire Upgraded to Structure Fire - 29000 Block Park View Drive, Ellis Point
Friday, April 20, 2012

At 3:48 p.m. on Friday, April 20, the Millville Volunteer Fire Company received an initial dispatch for a marsh fire in the Ellis Point development. A second call came in upgrading the response to a working structure fire, which resulted in the Bethany Beach and Dagsboro Volunteer Fire Companies being alerted. Equipment began responding within 3 minutes of the call. The firefighters arrived on the scene to a 3-story single family home with fire throughout the structure, with the second and third floors heavily involved and the roof beginning to collapse. Engine-6 was first on the scene with Engine-4 seconds behind. Engine-4 was placed at a hydrant to establish a water supply for Engine-6. Fire Captain Craig Temple passed command to Rescue Captain Cody Lockwood after a brief assessment of the incident. An initial attack began with a 2-1/2" line on the structure with a second 1-3/4" line pulled to protect the exposed house located on Side D. At this time Rescue Captain Lockwood was notified a Millville fire policeman had received a non-life threatening injury and was going to be transported to Beebe Hospital, resulting in a request for a second BLS unit to respond to the scene. An additional 2-1/2" line was added to protect the adjacent house on Side D and prevent any fire extension into it. (It is noted that the 3-story house adjacent to Side D was within 7 feet of the structure on fire.) Rescue Captain Lockwood called for a second alarm due to the possibility of the fire extending into the adjacent house, which activated the response of the Frankford and Roxana Volunteer Fire Companies. A crew led by Dagsboro Assistant Chief Marvel was assigned to enter the exposed house with an 1-3/4" line to check for exposure. Rescue Captain Lockwood then directed Truck 84 to back to the front of the involved structure and set up for ladder pipe operations, along with Quit 70 beside it to do the same. Dagsboro Fire Chief Furbush was assigned to mitigate an active gas leak on Side B with a 4th 1-3/4" line. Bethany Beach Deputy Chief Parrett conducted a 360 of the scene to assist with the operations. A crew from Dagsboro was assigned to pull a 3" ally line and hook up a Gated-Y for fire attack and exposure protection. Brush 84 arrived on the scene with Lieutenant Oakley assigned to begin the attack on the marsh fire ignited due to the structure fire. Frankford Assistant Chief Holland and his crew was assigned to assist Lieutenant Oakley with the marsh operations. Rescue Captain Lockwood began staging the rest of the incoming apparatus with the responders being directed to the manpower pool located near Truck 84, which was assigned to Millville Fire Lieutenant Klink. Roxana Chief Johnson was assigned staging and water supply, setting up a water shuttle on Whites Neck Road. When Rescue Captain Lockwood received a report from Dagsboro Assistant Chief Marvel stating there was no fire extension into the exposed house on Side D and it was under control, he had the crew focus on ladder pipe operations, and a 3" monitor was placed on the A-B corner to help with the fire attack. Millville Lieutenant Oakley advised the marsh fire was contained with trees still burning needing to be cut down. Crews on Side C threw ground ladders and briefly attacked the fire on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Rescue Captain Lockwood then shut down all operations and pulled all units to Side A to identify the remaining hot spots. The fire was declared under control at 7:05 p.m., at which time the electric meter was safely secured by the power company. The assessment of the structure indicated the 3rd floor had collapsed with the roof; Side D started to lean out becoming unstable; Side B also appeared unstable. Ladder operations continued to hit hot spots in the structure and on the marsh. By 6:12 p.m. units were beginning to be released from the scene, with the last Millville units returning to the station at 7:10 p.m. Rescue Captain Cody Lockwood turned the scene over to the Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office for investigation. The Millville Volunteer Fire Company would also like to thank the Millsboro, Gumboro, Rehoboth Beach, Selbyville, Ocean City and Bishopville Volunteer Fire Companies for providing cover-ups at the stations that responded to the fire scene. “DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS PROUDLY SERVING OUR COMMUNITY”

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