The Delaware fire company that responded to a fire at the home of President Joe Biden in 2004 responded to the president’s dramatic account of the fire.
On Tuesday, Biden claimed that the fire which occurred in his then-home in Wilmington, Delaware, while he was still a senator, nearly took the lives of firefighters.
“I was doing ‘Meet the Press’ and lightning struck a little pond behind my house, came up through the ground into the air conditioning system and ended up generating thick black smoke,” Biden said at the White House Summit on Fire Prevention and Control.
“From the basement to the third floor, the attic, everything was ruined,” Biden added. “And the kitchen floor — we almost lost a couple firefighters, they tell me, because the kitchen floor was — the burning between the beams and in the house in addition to, it almost collapsed into the basement.”
At the time of the fire, the fire chief of the Cranston Heights Fire Company, the first responders to the fire, said that the group got to the blaze quickly and that the flames didn’t spread beyond the kitchen.
The report said, “Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the house, but were able to keep the flames from spreading beyond the kitchen, said Cranston Heights Fire Company Chief George Lamborn. ‘Luckily, we got it pretty early,’ he said. ‘The fire was under control in 20 minutes.’”
In a statement on Friday, the Cranston Heights Fire Company said that while the fire could be considered “insignificant” to the fire service, it was “obviously significant” to the homeowner.
“For the fire service, this could be considered an insignificant fire as it did not lead to multiple alarms and did not need a widespread incident response throughout the county,” the fire company said. “However, in the case for any homeowner, it was obviously significant at the time and was quickly responded to by the local firefighters.”
The fire company used the opportunity to caution readers that fires can involve structural issues in homes and can be “very dangerous,” causing quick and unexpected collapses.
“Any fire that firefighters encounter is inherently dangerous and can put their lives at risk, as they attempt to save lives and property,” the fire company said. “In this case, the fire was contained in 20 minutes and avoided significant extension into the rest of the home. However, it still caused damage to the home.”
“The traumatic experience, as recollected by President Joe Biden and any victim of a home fire, is recognized by the fire service. We appreciate the concern and support of the President for the fire company that protects his home and his family, both at the time of the fire and today. The fire company and its members also truly appreciate his concern for the safety of the responders as they sought to protect life and property at the time,” the fire company said.
“A quick response by the local Fire Company ultimately extinguished this fire, prior to a devastating result,” the fire company concluded.
“I know from experience how much — how much anxiety and fear and concern there are in the people,” he said. “We didn’t lose our whole home, but lightning struck and we lost an awful lot of it about 15 years ago.”
Biden previously had told the story back in November 2021 when he claimed that the house burned down while his wife was inside.
“I know, having had a house burn down with my wife in it — she got out safely, God willing — that having a significant portion of it burn, I can tell: 10 minutes makes a hell of a difference,” Biden said in New Hampshire during a trip promoting his $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
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