LOWER MAKEFIELD >> A Christmas Eve fire caused extensive smoke, fire and water damage to a newly-renovated two story house on Nancy Road.
Between 45 and 50 firefighters from six companies were dispatched to the scene just after 11 p.m. on Dec. 24 for a garage fire.
When Yardley-Makefield Fire Company's Deputy Chief Tim Chamberlain arrived on the scene, fire was visible from the garage extending along the roofline to the back of the house.
Firefighters immediately went into service with four hand lines, two positioned inside the house and two on the outside.
It took firefighters about an hour and a half to bring the blaze under control early on Christmas morning.
“We were able to make a pretty good stop and save a lot of belongings on the second floor of the house for the residents,” said Chamberlain, who served as incident commander.
Firefighters from the Yardley-Makefield and Morrisville fire companies knocked down the bulk of the fire, said Chamberlain, while firefighters from Newtown, Upper Makefield, Langhorne-Middletown and West Trenton fire companies helped with overhaul operations, extension and on scene support.
“It was tough because it was Christmas Eve and we were limited in manpower,” said Chamberlain. “It’s also heartbreaking for the family to have to go through this on Christmas Eve.”
Fortunately, said Chamberlain, no one was hurt in the fire.
According to Chamberlain, the family had just completed renovating the first floor of the house. “So a lot of the old cabinets were in the garage adding to the fuel load of the fire. A lot of the furniture from the deck was in the garage - all the wicker chairs. It just had a lot of fuel load for the fire to really get going.”
Chamberlain described the fire itself as labor intensive. “Plus with the cold of the night, it was tough for the guys. But everyone did a great job.
“I have to commend everyone who was there - all the firefighters, all of our mutual aid companies,” said the deputy chief. “They all worked well together and did a great job. For the time of year, the time of night it was and the holiday, everything went pretty well.”
Firefighters remained on the scene through the early morning hours of Christmas Day conducting overhaul operations and quelling hot spots.
The fire caused extensive fire, smoke and water damage throughout the structure.
“It’s devastating,” said Chamberlain. “The resident was all excited that the renovation was all done. And they just had the dumpsters removed just a day or two before.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Middletown Township Fire Marshal’s Office.