On the evening of Sunday, March 6, 2011, Fire/EMS units were dispatched with the County Police to a 911 report of a domestic dispute with an injured person. A paramedic engine from Croom Fire/EMS Station 845 and a paramedic ambulance from Brandywine Fire/EMS Station 840 were initially dispatched to a single family residence in the 10000 block of Behun Drive in Cheltenham at about 5:30 pm.
Fire/EMS units staged at a nearby intersection while police officers investigated the situation at the house. Police officers soon advised that a male was inside the home and was armed. Firefighter/Medics remained staged at a safe location.
At some point during the incident it is believed the subject set several small fires inside the home. The fire continued to grow in intensity from the basement with extension to the first floor and roof area. Additional Fire/EMS units were summoned to the scene and joined other units at a nearby staging area. The situation was still not deemed safe to enter the immediate area of the house as the status of armed subject was not known.
Firefighters positioned themselves to use extended ladders to dispense water on nearby homes to protect them from the radiant heat from the now well involved fire. Exposures were protected and the fire was extinguished at the house of origin.
Firefighters cleared the scene at around midnight and Fire Investigators continue to work with the County Police. The incident remains under investigation. Fire loss is estimated at $190,000. No further details are available from the Fire/EMS Department. For additional information you should contact the County Police Press Information Office.