The Freedom Valley Chronicles: The Millennium Fire – Part One Introduction

Tomorrow – August 13, 2018 – is the tenth anniversary of what was likely the worst fire in history of the Borough of Conshohocken.

In a matter of a few hours, utter devastation befell Conshohocken.

One hundred and eighty-nine residential housing units were destroyed.  Additional property was also damaged.

Approximately 375 people became homeless.

Reports indicated 11 fire fighters were injured – none seriously.

A few animals died.

The good news:  No people died.  No tenants were injured.  Most pets were able to run or be rescued.

We will publish three news columns tomorrow afternoon.

One news column will be published early in the afternoon.  This news column will detail the initial plans and development of what was originally called “Millennium 2000”.  This complex was planned as part of the efforts to re-shape the riverfront of Conshohocken from industrial use to residential and office uses.

At 4:53 PM – the tenth anniversary of the exact time when the first alarm was sounded by the Borough of Conshohocken to respond to this fire – we will publish a news column detailing the beginning stages of the fire.

As tomorrow night progresses, another news column will be published to show what was happening ten years ago along Washington Street.

During the next few days, additional news columns will be published detailing this fire event.

You’ll learn how fire fighters from near and far fought the fire, strived to stop hotspots from reigniting the fire, and stood in reserve in case of need.

You’ll learn what caused the fire.

You’ll learn how the settlement was reached to resolve the legal aspects of liability.

You’ll learn about some of the experiences of your neighbors.

You’ll learn how some of your neighbors intervened to help some of the residents affected by the fire.  Both two-legged and four-legged residents.

Sadly, you’ll learn what the following quote means:

“I’d like mice on the moon.”

Finally, you’ll be given the opportunity to say “Thank You” to some of the men and women who fought the inferno and who stood at the ready to protect the people of Conshohocken.

The fire as seen from Two Tower Bridge on August 13, 2008. Within a few hours, approximately 375 people became homeless.

The top photograph is courtesy of Mr. Brian Alpha, August 13, 2008.

The second photograph is courtesy of Mr. Malcolm Stanley, August 13, 2008.

Do you have questions about local history?  A street name?  A building?

Your questions may be used in a future news column.

Contact Richard McDonough at

© 2018 Richard McDonough