January 29, 2020 – The Mill Creek Fire Company was dispatched to a multi-family structure fire at 11:37 hours at the Crossing at Limestone Apartments (Patrician Terrance). Firefighters arrived on the scene within a couple of minutes and found heavy smoke pouring from the three-story structure. The smoke was so dense and low to the ground it stopped traffic on Limestone Road (Rt 7). The apartment building faced the main highway. Fire command quickly escalated the alarm to a 2nd alarm at 11:39 hours and all traffic south and north bound was shut down. Over 85 firefighters along with paramedics and EMT’s were at the scene. Fire companies from Mill Creek, Belvedere, Cranston Heights, Minquas, Elsmere, Newark, Five Points, Christiana, Wilmington Manor and Hockessin battled the blaze.
The fire broke though the attic and onto the roof and an emergency evacuation was called at 11:47 hours. Several people were injured along with one firefighter who received 2nd degree burns and was transported to the hospital. Multiple basic life support units were dispatched to the scene. The fire was placed under control at 12:35 hours and units remained on the scene till 14:30 hours when both lanes of Limestone Road (Rt 7) were open to traffic.
The St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Stanton was the gathering point for the displaced residents and the Red Cross. DELDOT and DART offered buses to transport the displaced residents from the scene to the church. These efforts were arranged by the New Castle County Emergency Preparedness Office. Over 24 adults and children are unable to return to their home. The building is uninhabitable and damage estimates are high. There were eleven apartments in the building.
The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.