A raging fire swept through the “C” building at the Hilltop Condominium complex in Brookhaven last Tuesday, the day after Christmas, leaving 18 families homeless.
The blaze began at 6 P.M. and was under control by 7:30 P.M. Firefighters had difficulty controlling the inferno due to extremely frigid temperatures and a loss of water pressure.
Police arrived to find multiple units fully engulfed in flames and third floor residents Tim and Jessica Segarra, their 21 month-old daughter, Lucy, and dog, Daisy, were trapped on the balcony. As firefighters arrived, the occupants were rescued safely by ladder and fire suppression efforts began.
It was reported that firefighters were removed from the building because of deteriorating weather conditions. Even though the fire was brought under control relatively quickly, fire units remained on-site for seven hours.
Brookhaven Fire Chief Rob Montella and Assistant Fire Chief Charles Leslie, firefighters from the Brookhaven Fire Department, and members of the Brookhaven Police Department continue investigating the blaze that officials believe started in Unit 12.
There were no injuries and everyone was brought to safety. The Red Paw Relief Team rescued a dog and three cats and transported them for treatment.
Displaced residents were taken to the Brookhaven Municipal Center where donations of clothing, money, food and gift cards literally poured in from across the county. Within a few hours, officials asked people to stop clothing donations, but money and gift cards are still acceptable.
“On behalf of Hilltop residents affected by the fire, there aren’t enough words to thank the entire community for the generosity and support they’ve shown since the second this happened,” wrote Hilltop Condominiums President Adrienne Hallinan.
“…If you lived in “C” building and see this, and need something specific, please message me; we WILL help you! Sincerely grateful I have the privilege to live in a community that has such a big heart. Thank you also to everyone that has come to help manage all the donations.”
Cash and gift cards totaling more than $10,000 have been distributed already to affected families.
In addition to Brookhaven, other responding fire companies included Middletown, Garden City, Rocky Run, Parkside, Chester Township, Upland, Aston, Media, Springfield, Yeadon, and Swarthmore.
Also at the scene were Crozer paramedics, North Penn Canteen Services, Red Paw, Red Cross, and the Delaware County Emergency Services Mobile Unit. The Brookhaven Public Works Department assisted with icy conditions and Brookhaven Emergency Management opened borough hall, which was used as a shelter.
Lower Chichester and Sharon Hill fire companies covered while units operated at the fire.
Donations of cash and gift cards may be dropped off at the Brookhaven Municipal building on Cambridge Road or at the Hilltop Condominiums office.
For additional information, call Adrienne Hallinan at 610-220-2600.