RIDLEY TOWNSHIP — A raging fire roared through a township home Tuesday morning, causing heavy damage, officials said.
Firefighters were called to a single-family dwelling in the 300 block of Seventh Avenue in the Milmont Park section of the township just before 8 a.m.
They encountered heavy fire and smoke. Flames worked their way up an outside wall and were shooting from the roof. Firefighters later reported the roof had collapsed.
Fire Marshal Bob Griffith said two residents were taken to the hospital for observation and smoke inhalation. A small dog died in the blaze.
“They were in the house when the fire started and inhaled some smoke, but they got out successfully,” Griffith said. “The fire started on the first floor, spread to the second floor and up into the attic.”
Griffith said the cause of the fire was accidental. An electrical outlet faulted below a small ornamental Christmas tree on the front window bay. The homeowner found the fire and attempted too put it out with water. However they were unsuccessful; plastic blinds ignited behind the ornament and the fire extended from there.
Griffith said a outlet fault can happen at anytime he reminds home owners not to overload electrical outlets and perform a basic inspection on lights to make sure and wiring are in good condition before using.
“The flames were shooting up the porch. It was totally engulfed,” said neighbor Gus Signora as firefighters worked to control the blaze. “My wife called to me and said the house is on fire. This is the second time they’ve had a fire there. The first time the fire department couldn’t find them, they had to run down the street to get them,(fire trucks) and bring them back. They won’t dedicate the street, I’ve been arguing with the township and the commissioner and they say we’re working on it.”
Signora said a family of five lives in the home which is about 25 years old on a private drive, with the address listed as Seventh Avenue.
Firefighters attacked the blaze from the front yard as well as from the backyards of adjoining homes on Hastings Avenue.
The streets throughout the area were blocked as firefighters from as far as Aston stretched large hose lines to control the blaze.
A front bedroom suffered the worst damage, with flames eating away at the ceiling and roof. Firefighters covered in insulation could be seen pulling down sections of ceiling to reach hidden flames in the attic.
Smoke from the fire floated over much of the area and residents reported seeing flames from as far away as Ridley High School, blocks away.
At one point firefighters withdrew from the home and used a ladder pipe to attack the flames before they went back inside with hand lines.
“The fire had a head start on them when they got here, they had fire showing on the first and second floor. There was a request a second alarm for manpower all Ridley Township, and surrounding areas,” Griffith said.
The family is staying with relatives in the Holmes area as they begin the process of rebuilding and dealing with insurance issues.