Officials: Discarded Smoking Materials Caused Fire That Displaced 25 In Bear

Bear – Yesterday at around 11:55 a.m. Christiana Fire/EMS was alerted to the area of 55 Paisley Lane in the St Andrews Townhouse Community for an “Outside Fire”, according to Christiana Fire Company Chief Richard Perillo.

As crews responded to the scene they were told that an off-duty firefighter was on scene confirming heavy fire.

Perillo said while responding the units were advised that the fire was now extending into the homes. Christiana Fire Engines and the Ladder Truck arrived within minutes to find two (2) townhomes on fire within the group of six (6).

Upon arrival the Fire Department found heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the residence and extending into the roof, according to Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Robert Fox.

A 2nd Alarm response was immediately requested as fire continued to spread to a third home within the group. Firefighters battled the blaze and stopped the spread of fire to neighboring units, according to Perrill. A fourth home did sustain smoke and water damage during the attempts to prevent further spread of fire. A 3rd Alarm was sounded as the fire continued to progress.

One firefighter from the first arriving Engine Company sustained burns to their neck from dropping debris while fighting the fire, said Perillo. “The Firefighter was expected to be released from the ER within a few hours and would follow up with the Crozer Burn Center for further treatments.”, added Perillo.

Approximately 25 people were assisted by the Red Cross of Delmarva and the leasing office for the St. Andrews complex, according to Fox.

Deputy Fire Marshal Fox determined that the fire was accidental and caused by discarded smoking materials on the rear deck.

Fox said the fire caused approximately 500,000 dollars in damage to the initial residence and at least two other residences on either side.

Chief Perillo said that Fire Departments from across the county either assisted with fighting this fire or covered the areas while others worked to save lives and property.

First responders included New Castle County Paramedics, along with members from Christiana, Aetna, Hose, Hook & Ladder, Wilmington Manor, Delaware City, Goodwill, Odessa, Port Penn, Cranston Heights, Elsmere and Claymont Fire Companies.

Fire Police, The Delaware Fire Marshal’s Office, New Castle County Police and St. Frances Hospital also responded to the scene.

No civilian injuries were reported and the Office of Emergency Management along with representatives from Red Cross assisted the families from all six (6) homes who were displaced as a result of the fire.