Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The Berwyn Fire Company was
dispatched at 2:14 p.m. to the intersection of Country Gate Dr. and Gate
View Dr. in Tredyffrin Township for an automobile fire. The information
from the Chester County Department of Emergency Services 9-1-1 Center
indicated a Tredyffrin Township Police Officer was reporting their
patrol car on fire.
Assistant Chief 2A (Justin Brundage)
arrived on scene at 2:17 p.m. to find a Tredyffrin Township patrol car
on fire in the middle of the roadway.
Just before firefighters
from Engine 2-2 made their approach to extinguish the fire, there was an
explosion that sent the trunk of the car over 50' into the air. The
blast also sent glass, metal and other debris over 100' away from the
patrol car. It is likely that the oxygen tank, stored in a medical bag
in the trunk, caused the explosion.
The crew of Engine 2-2 was
able to extinguish the fire shortly after their arrival. Firefighters
also contained the fuel and other vehicle fluids that were flowing
towards storm drains with absorbent pads and oil dry.
Station 2 Fire/EMS units cleared the scene at 4:27 p.m. This call
highlights the unexpected dangers firefighters encounter when dealing
with these types of fires.
Fortunately, there were no first
responders or civilians injured during this incident. The police officer
involved was able to safely exit their vehicle after smelling smoke
inside their car. The alert officer was able to remove their firearms
and ammunition before the fire overtook the vehicle. This action greatly
reduced the danger to firefighters and also to residents in the
The Chester County Fire Marshal's Office
investigated the cause of the fire and has ruled it accidental. A
preliminary source of the blaze has been attributed to the area of the
secondary power distribution system located in the trunk of the car.