Just after midnight on July 9th, the community was awakened by the sound of a loud crash. With many members living in the area who were also awakened, they proceded to the fire station. Deputy 18 was notified of the sound coming from the Brandywine SPCA and investigated. As the communications center was recieving calls, Deputy 18 notified them of a vehicle into the building with a fire at the Brandywine SPCA at 600 South Street. Engine 18 arrived quickly and established a supply line to the scene. The crew rapidly stretched a hand line and began attacking the fire. Ladder 18 arrived shortly after the Engine and forced entry to the building to begin searching. Chief 18 arrived and assumed the New Castle Command and requested a second alarm and the New Castle County Collapse Rescue Team. Engine 12 arrived and established a second supply line and stretched a second line into the building. It was determined that there were a large number of animals trapped in cages in the building that needed to be evacuated. The crews began working rapidly to remove the cats and dogs from the area closest to the fire. Additional responding units arrived and assisted with supression and the removal of animals. Throughout the operation, just over 100 animals were removed from the building to waiting responders and bystandards. After the fire was extinguished, members from the NCC Collapse Rescue Team assessed the area where the car entered the building and removed some hazards before declaring the area safe for continued operations. Sadly, the driver of the vehicle that entered into the building succumbed to her injuries. Also, three cats perished in the area of the impact. Good Will units were on scene for over 4 1/2 hours before clearing and turning the scene over to the Delaware State Fire Marshalls Office.
Responding companies included Good Will, Christiana, Wilmington Manor, Holloway Terrace, Minquadale, Delaware City, Minquas, Cranston Heights, Mill Creek, Elsmere, New Castle County Paramedics, and Claymont (Collapse Rescue).
Photo credit to the respective photographers.