Firefighters were called to a dwelling fire on Ogden Avenue on Thursday, April 12, at 12:34 p.m. for a “building fire — in the eve outside the window.” Assistant Chief Rick Lee, one of the first arriving firefighters found a single family dwelling with fire extending from the 1st floor at the rear of the structure.
Due to the time of day, Chief Lee knew that manpower would be a critical issue. The first alarm dispatched five neighboring fire departments. This was quickly expanded to three alarms calling upon the resources of 16 fire departments from as far away as Aston and Haverford Twp.
The fire quickly extended up the exterior wall to the roof area. The fire’s head start combined with the lack of manpower and equipment forced firefighters to evacuate the structure until master streams could be deployed to knock down the bulk of the fire. At that time the interior attack was resumed until the fire was brought under control and finally extinguished. Luckily the house is situated midway between two fire hydrants so water supply was not an issue once apparatus arrived on scene. Apparatus remained on scene until approximately 4 p.m.
The exact cause of the fire is under investigation by the Swarthmore Fire Marshal.