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January 20, 2004 
Wilmington, DE, firefighters douse blaze
Pet die in fire
by Lieutenant Michael R. Schaal
photo by T.J. Healy II

In  Wilmington, Delaware, on  Tuesday, Januarty 20 , the Wilmington Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire at  213 West 20th Street. 

The initial calls reported the fire in the basement. Battalion Chief Michael Donohue, first on the scene responding from Station 4, two blocks away, gave a report of heavy smoke showing from the basement windows of a two story, masonry, twin, single family dwelling. 

Within seconds, Battalion Chief Donohue gave a second report of fire showing from Side 4 and extending to the first floor. Donohue also requested Conectiv electric priority one, for an energized power line down in the rear of the house. 

The fire had burnt through the line attached to the house. All the residents that were home at the time of the fire escaped without injury, however one of the family pets, a Rotweiller puppy perished. 

Thirty firefighters took approximately 40 minutes to bring the fire under control. The fire gutted the basement area, and burnt through the floor to the first floor dining room.

The rest of the house sustained heavy smoke damage. The residence at 213 also sustained smoke damage.

There were no firefighters injured at this alarm. The American Red Cross was requested to respond and assist the four adults, two teenagers, and one child that were displaced due to the fire, with lodging and necessities. 

The cause and origin are under investigation by the Wilmington Fire Department Fire Marshal’s Office.