TBT - Reservoir Fire 1965
By Member NSFC Webmaster
April 24, 2024

It was terribly busy in April 1965. First, our firehouse was torn down, then we had the massive Reservoir Fire of April 15th to the 17th 1965.

The firefighters of Newtown Square and multiple surrounding companies spent a weekend putting out the “brushfire of all brush fires” when the woods around the Springton Lake Reservoir burned. The fire was accidentally started by a homeowner on Llangollen Lane and spread to the dam on Route 252, two miles away. With firemen walking through the woods putting out fires, efforts were hindered due to the lack of communication.

The difficulties in communicating with the firemen on foot during this fire led to the Newtown Square Fire Company purchasing the first set of portable radios or what was known as walkie-talkies back in the day.

The brush burning laws of years ago were not existent and having the long break leading up to Easter gave people time to clean up their yards. As a result, the Friday, and Saturday before Easter, we were busier than most for brushfires.

Over the years in interviews with past members, more than once it was mentioned to our NSFC Historian that on Good Friday they would arrive at the firehouse early in the morning and make sure they brought a lunch because they knew that they would be out running numerous calls that day.

High winds and sparks were flying in large areas and volunteers were hard-pressed to gain control of the raging flames. In one of the historical photos, it shows that the Edgmont fireman wetting down the roof of Haven house on the Dr. John E Carson property.

We are happy to report that after the tearing down of the old firehouse, and the fire that destroyed much of the woods along the reservoir, Dr Carson did host a dinner Party at his house for the firemen and their families in the late summer.


Karen Spina April 27, 2024 at 2:01 PM
I remember this as a little kid - our house was at the top of Llangollen Lane which had a great view of the reservoir. We could see this happening from our back deck. My mom was on the phone to the fire company reporting it!