On Wednesday, June 20 a large house fire was reported at 523 S. Washington Street, directly behind the Milford Little League fields in downtown Milford. The house was badly damaged but thanks to the courage of complete strangers, the individuals inside the house lived to see another day.
According to eyewitness accounts, from parents at the little league ball fields, the fire became apparent to bystanders around 7pm when they noticed smoke rising from the house.
“At first we just thought they might be grilling but there were two off-duty Houston firefighters watching the game with us and they told us it was too much smoke to be just a grill,” stated Brittany Moore. “Then all of the sudden the second story windows busted out and flames starting shooting out.”
Immediately 20-30 parents and visitors to the park ran over to help residents that were still left in the house. Some of the individuals noted as being first on the scene were Tom Cahall, Barry & Brenda Brown, Samantha Wright, Micheal Edwards Kathie Betts and Kelly Morris
“Some of the men carried the handicapped woman from the home, then proceeded to go back in the burning house to get her oxygen tanks and concentrator so they didn’t explode,” explains Amanda Reed. “They made sure everyone was out of the house safely”
Fire Chief William Carpenter, of the Carlisle Fire Company, stated that when Milford was called to the fire it was “very heavy and throughout the house.” Due to the heat and humidity, several local fire companies were called to the scene to help rotate fire fighters from the blaze.
“The heat and humidity made it very difficult for the guys to handle the fire,” commented Chief Carpenter. “When we arrived on scene we got the word that the individuals in the house had all been safely removed.”
According to Chief Carpenter several fire companies were on scene Wednesday included Carlisle, Ellendale, Memorial, Farmington, Harrington and Frederica. Members of Bowers and Greenwood Fire Companies were on hold at the Carlisle Fire House during the incident.
The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Offices reported that two occupants were assisted out of the residence, without injury. Deputies from the Office of the State Fire Marshal conducted the investigation and determined the fire originated in a second floor storage room and was caused by an electrical failure in an extension cord. The Damage resulting from the fire was estimated at $125,000.
The bravery displayed by the parents at the little league field Wednesday night reminded many of the selflessness of individuals and strong community that still exists in the small town of Milford.
“It was just people helping people, that was the bottom line,” commented eyewitness Donald Brown. “It is what you expect out of your neighbor and it brought out the best in people.”