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Working Apartment Fire

posted Mar 24, 2016, 4:58 PM by Jeffrey Sands, Assistant Chief 7-8B   [ updated Mar 24, 2016, 5:01 PM ]
Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Co responded to a report of a fire in Fox Hall, Foxwood Apts, off Henderson Hill Rd in Pike Creek Valley on March 23.  The alarm was received around 2130 hours.

The fire department arrived to find a 12 unit apartment building with fire showing from the rear of the building, a third floor bedroom window.  The fire was auto communicating vertically to windows on the fourth floor.  The building is 3 floors in the front, and 4 floors in the rear.

The alarm was quickly upgraded to bring additional resources.  Fire departments from Mill Creek, Cranston Heights, Hockessin, Christiana, Belvedere, and Five Points, assisted Aetna with firefighting efforts.  Ambulances from Aetna were assisted by NCC Paramedics.

A total of 12 pieces of fire apparatus with 60 firefighters were on the scene. The fire was brought under control in 50 minutes, however the fire department remained on scene in salvage and overhaul operations until after midnight.

The fire was contained to the floor of origin, with some vertical extension to the fourth floor.  The building was totally uninhabitable as the result of the fire.  There was fire, heat and smoke damage on the 3rd & 4th floors, and smoke and water damage on the 1st and 2nd floors. 

Of the 12 units, 10 were occupied at the time of the fire.  16 people were displaced by the fire.  All were able to stay the night with family or friends.  The Foxwood Apartment management office was located on the first floor of the fire building.  With damage to the office and electricity to the building disrupted, the office staff had to wait until the morning to begin relocating the residents to other apartments in the complex.

The complex was built in 1968 and does not have a residential sprinkler system. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.  One dog was rescued by firefighters.  Two cats were brought from the building.  Aetna EMS personnel worked on the cats using pet oxygen masks, however the cats succumbed to their injuries.

The fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Story by PIO John H. Farrell IV
Photos Courtesy of The News Journal