Welu remains in hospital, condition improves slightly

Cause of fire that destroyed home on March 15 is still under investigation
April 3, 2014
Jim Welu remains in Crozer-Chester Medical Center outside of Philadelphia in critical, but stable condition, after a fire destroyed his home on March 15. COURTESY LEWES FIRE DEPARTMENT

The condition of a Milton-area man injured when his Overbrook Shores home was destroyed by fire has improved slightly.

Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Harry Miller, State Fire Marshal Sussex Division, said he received a call from members of Jim Welu's family Monday, March 31. Miller said family members told him Welu's condition had gone from critical to critical but stable following the March 15 fire.

Welu was transported to Beebe Medical Center and then transferred to Crozer-Chester Medical Center outside Philadelphia, where he continues to receive treatment.

Firefighters were called to the scene around 3:30 a.m. When Lewes firefighters arrived, the home was already heavily involved, and fire was spreading to a nearby field. Assistance was provided by Milton, Rehoboth Beach, Georgetown, Slaughter Beach, Ellendale and Millsboro.

Firefighters said the home collapsed the next morning, and they returned to the scene, where the structure was still burning under the pile, a Lewes Volunteer Fire Company report says. The estimated loss is estimated at $300,000.

Miller said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, explaining that in the case of serious fire or incident a major incident response is sent to the site. Each person is given a specific task, which helps the efficiency of the process.

Miller said interviews are still being conducted and an interview of Welu will be one of the key pieces of the investigation, but it won't be scheduled until Welu is ready.