Pattye Benson

Community Matters

House Fire on Sullivan Road, Wayne — Family in need of assistance, can you help?

There was a house fire on Tuesday morning in the Shand Tract area – Sullivan Road, Wayne. Volunteer fire companies from Berwyn, Valley Forge, Radnor, King of Prussia, Paoli, Malvern and Lafayette Ambulance (Upper Merion Township) all assisted with getting the fire under control. Deputy Chief Wayne Riddle from the Berwyn Fire Company, arrived moments after receiving the call to find the single family home with heavy smoke showing from the front of the home. Nearly 50 firefighter volunteers were on the scene and working together were able to spare the house from a total fire loss.

Although the family was not at home at the time of the fire, their two dogs were in the house. Both dogs were successfully rescued but one of the pets suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to a local animal hospital. The Chester County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze; I understood from a neighbor that early signs show that it may have been an electrical fire in the kitchen. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported. Crews from Newtown Square Company, Minquas Fire Company (Downingtown Borough), and Phoenixville Fire Department EMS stood by in Berwyn’s firehouse during the incident.

Thank you to the many volunteer firefighters who were on the scene so quickly which saved the house from a total loss. They were also able to keep the fire from spreading to adjoining properties. This story once again points to the importance of our local volunteer firefighters and we thank them!

As a community, we want to know how we can help Michael and Mary Bascome and their children. The family is a member of the Devon Strafford Little League (DSLL) family and this Saturday, May 8 the DSLL will be collecting financial contributions along with boy’s clothes sizes 4-5 and 7-8, small age appropriate toys, new toiletries, new kitchen items and any other essential items you feel would help the family. During the baseball games on Saturday, a table will be set up at New Eagle Elementary School for collection.

If you are unable to get to New Eagle Elementary School on Saturday (or would like to help immediately) you may leave donations on the porch of the Hunter’s, 435 Huntington Drive, Wayne, PA 19087. For financial contributions, please make checks payable to Michael Bascome.

Thank you for any help you can offer to this Tredyffrin family.

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  1. We are so blessed to have such professional & caring volunteer FD’s as well as a PD and other first responders… and as your article also points out a caring community!

    Tredyffrin Township Tredyffrin’s Police Department, the Lafayette Ambulance and Rescue Squad and other first responders saved a dog from a burning house this week. Officers found the dog unconscious in the house. They quickly brought him out to medics, who gave him oxygen. The dog was transported via ambulance to Devon Veterinary Hospital and is doing well.

    Sadly, the house sustained much damage, but everyone in the family – including the pets – are fine.

    Cops Bring Dog Back to Life After Fire
    Officers rush into burning home, grab unconscious pooch and revive him.

  2. Not to take away from any actions of the police, but after talking to my nephew who volunteers at one of the neighboring companies, but NBC’s article is actually incorrect. The Suburban’s is more accurate. The dog was actually rescued by the Berwyn firefighters while other dog ran out of the house when the police forced the door open. My nephew said that the firefighters found the dog unconscious upstairs. Kudos to our volunteers for their heroic work that day!

  3. Clarification, firefighters located one of the dogs during a search of the residence as other firefighters were putting out the fire. They brought the pooch out to PD and EMS for care as shown in the picture above. The second dog was able to run out on its own power. Good effort by all involved!!!

    Let’s all pitch in for the Bascome Family. Thanks for keeping the community in the loop Pattye.

  4. Pattye — Do you know whether the family already is in contact with the Red Cross? If not, and if they would like to be, I would be happy to make a connection.

    1. Steve – no I don’t know but that certainly sounds like a good idea. I don’t know the family personally so I’m not sure how we could get the message to them. Any ideas?

  5. The K9 was not transported via ambulance. Ambulances are for People! A local vet took the dog to an animal hospital that had better resources including oxygen. (not all vets have emergency resources)

    Fortunately the neighbor saw the smoke when they did, with no one home, that was the huge difference starting the responders on the way. The Firefighters on Berwyn’s first 2 engines and Valley Forge’s engine made a tremendous attack on the fire in the first few minutes saving the home.

    Hundreds of hours of training and drills all boil down to the first 5 minutes at the scene.

  6. I am thankful that no one was hurt in the fire and that the pets were rescued – however, I have to wonder why a family who lives in what is obviously a very nice house in a very nice neighborhood (and no doubt has insurance that will immediately provide thousands of dollars for their temporary housing, clothing and food) requires or even warrants our charity.

    I say this because there are many truly needy people in our townships who can use our help – just take a look at the TE Cares website ( or any other charity
    organization. (I am not associated with TE Cares, although I do contribute regularly when I can.)

    I wish this family well and I do not underestimate the trauma of this fire – but they do not appear to be a poor, destitute family without resources, and unfortunately, there are many such families in our area that do need our help.

    And YES, our rescue volunteers are awesome – I hope everyone sends in a contribution when asked.

  7. The insurance process is not as simple and quick as you may think. Sometimes the insurance company will wait until cause is determined, or until assessment has been verified. It’s no day in the park.

    With 3 children, a home you can no longer stay in, a lot of headaches…. your assumptions of an immediate check and everything they could need is rather out of line. Appearances of wealth are hardly representative of reality in this area. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

    I have no doubt that there are many needy families around, but don’t belittle this family’s need based on your assumptions.

  8. Yes, there is a need to provide short-term support to any family displaced by a fire. There is a gap between the fire and receipt of insurance proceeds. Further, even when the proceeds are received things are not restored instantly. Your point is well-taken that there are always families in need. However, this family certain has a short-term need which our community can fill until they are back on their feet.

    There are few things more devastating than a fire to a family.

  9. I am the mom at the house that was on fire last May. I just found this article on the web and all the beautiful comments from folks that saw Pattye Benson’s report from May 06, 2010- the day after our fire.
    It was the first I saw the article and I am moved to tears by the kind and generous comments.
    We had a hard summer and lost many valuable treasures and photos, but we are all safe now and I believe the community outreach actually brought our family closer to our neighbors, church, school and local stores. We are truly blessed and I thank everyone that gave prayers and support for us. By the way, Rocky, the dog that spent a few days a the Vet hospital, is doing great. He had a bad cough for about a week, but he is back to his chipper, happy self.
    Thank you Pattye and thank you readers for your kind words.
    -Mary Bascome

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment Mary. I cannot imagine how difficult the days and weeks following the fire must have been for you and your family. This is a wonderful community and a place where people really do reach out and help their neighbors. So glad that you and your family are well (and Rocky too!) – thank you for sharing the update.

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