When the alarm sounded and fire Chief Erik Pettaway arrived at 31 Norfolk Ave., he knew the fire was big. He also knew the building. The neighborhood native recently did a pre-plan of the complex, which takes up a block.
He gave the order for firefighters to back up and stay out of the building. Pettaway called out nine alarms, the maximum response in Boston, and units throughout the city and region rushed to the scene.
Minutes later, a section of a building collapsed near where fire trucks and firefighters would have been standing had the chief not given the order to back off.
“Chief Pettaway made the decision to pull the trucks back, and after the trucks were pulled back it collapsed. He probably saved a lot of injuries to firefighters, and that’s how well-trained these firefighters are,’’ said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, at the scene. “They made some real good calls early in the evening.’’
“What I tried to do was establish a collapse zone,’’ Pettaway said at the scene. “My concern is no one gets hurt. I wanted to make sure my men are OK.’’
Also on STATter911 …
- Video: 8th alarm in South Boston. – December 3, 2013
- Mayday radio traffic: Three-alarm fire in Boston with two maydays. Six firefighters hurt. One resident dead. – April 28, 2013
- Helmet-cam: House fire in Windber, PA with evacuation ordered due to water supply issues. – April 12, 2013
- Raw video: Commercial building fire with evacuation in Syracuse, NY. – January 1, 2013
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