Massive Fire Ruled Accidental, Cutting Torch Ignited Lawnmower, Two Barns

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The Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal has determined that today’s fire near Hartly, Delaware that destroyed several buildings was accidental, according to Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael G. Chionchio.

Chionchio said the blaze, reported shortly before noon, occurred in the 5900 block of Westville Road. The Hartly Fire Company responded to the 9-1-1 report of fire on the residential property.

State fire investigators were called to the scene and conducted the origin and cause analysis. The fire started when a person using a cutting torch to cut a bolt accidentally ignited a lawnmower under repair, said Chionchio. The fire spread from the lawn mower damaging two pole barns and one trailer.

Heavy fire damage was estimated at $500,000. There were no reported injuries.

Breaking Report

Firefighters from across Kent County are responding to structure fire in the 5900 block of Westville Road in Camden Wyoming.

Firefighters on scene are reporting a 50 x 50 pole barn is fully involved, threatening a second pole barn and a home.

Crews are reporting that propane tanks are exploding.

Westville Road has been ordered closed.

Command has ordered an exterior attack only.

Tankers en route with water resupply.


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About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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