Transformer Explosion Causes 5 Acre Brush Fire in Newlin Township
By Fire Chief Christopher Corle Jr.
January 14, 2024

On January 14, 2024, at 1644 the Modena Fire Company was dispatched to a trees and wires with brush. Lieutenant 37 (Rullo) made the response and was advised the caller reported the transformer exploded and caught brush on fire below. He arrived minutes later confirming a large brush fire running the hill side.

Battalion 37 (Dowlin) arrived on scene establishing Laurel Road Command requesting a re-alert of 37 and adding Engine 44-5, Brush 39 & 36. As well as requesting Peco Priority 1 as the main power line was down and still energized creating issue with fire suppression.

Laurel Road runs between Strasburg Road and Harveys Bridge Road in Newlin Twp. and many years ago floods washed out the creek bed below causing the road to collapse , the township decided not to fix this and permanently closed the road at the break. Unfortunately this fire was right at the break causing access issue for fire crews.

Companies worked together to find the best access to the area the fire had spread too because of the high winds, multiple other brush units and tankers were called to contain the fire and crews spent extra time mopping up to ensure the fire didn't flare back up in the high winds.

Peco finally arrive 1 hour and 45 minutes into the incident and was able to kill the power to the high tension line that was energized, at the point the incident was placed under control and crews remained on scene till 1745.

All said and done the fire spread to around 5 acers due to the high winds, we like to thank all our mutual aid companies for their assistance on this fire as it had multiple challenges to over come. Also a thank you to the Christiana Fire Company (Lancaster 52) for covering our station during the incident.

Units: Command 37, Squad 37, Engine 37, Brush 37, Ambulance 37-2
Mutual Aid: 44, 39, 36, 24, 25, 33, 31, 6, 51