A six-alarm fire on Labor Day 2013 brought firefighters throughout Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County, Maryland to the 800 block of South Pickett Street in Alexandria. It also forced STATter911.com off his fat butt to drive the 15 minutes to capture the video above. The fire was impacted by a water main break a block away earlier in the day. Toward the end of the video you will see the large amount of hose on the ground on the west side of the fire as part of the relay to bring in water from other mains.
The warehouse fire was reported at about noon on Monday and firefighters contained it by about 4 p.m.
South Van Dorn Street at Edsall Road was closed as firefighters extinguish the blaze.
Chief Fire Marshal Robert Rodriguez with the Alexandria Fire Department says no injuries have been reported.
The fire is about a block away from a water main break at the intersection of South Pickett and South Van Dorn streets. Rodriguez says the water main break is giving firefighters some trouble, but they are working around it.
The funeral service for Alexandria Fire Department Paramedic Joshua Weissman is scheduled for 1:00 PM Eastern time. WUSA9.com is scheduled to stream it live on the player above. As a backup, Beth El Hebrew Congregation, where the service is being held, has its own live streaming here.
Paramedic Weissman died last week from injuries he received after falling off an I-395 bridge while operating at a car fire.
Below is video from last night's visitation in Alexandria.
NOTE: STATter911.com is planning to provide live streaming of the funeral service for Paramedic Joshua Weissman on Thursday from Beth El Hebrew Congregation at 1:00 PM Eastern time. No word yet on streaming availability from the services for Firefighter Whitacre.
Over the next three days a paramedic and a firefighter from Virginia will be buried with honors. Both were killed in the line of duty in the past week. Below are the arrangements for Firefighter Zachary Whitacre of the Gore Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department and Paramedic Joshua Weissman of the Alexandria Fire Department.
Firefighter Zachary Whitacre
From Frederick County Fire & Rescue Department:
Visitation will be Friday, February 17, 2012 from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Giffin Funeral Home, Capon Bridge, WV.
Due to limited parking, no Fire or EMS apparatus will be permitted at the viewings at Giffin Funeral Home.
Saturday, February 18 visitation will be from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Winchester Church of God, 2080 North Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA, 22603
Funeral Service with Honors will be held Saturday, February 18 at 1:00 pm at Winchester Church of God, 2080 North Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA 22603
Interment will follow at Ebenezer Christian Church Cemetery, 2158 Ebenezer Church Road, Gainesboro, VA 22603.
Processional Route will be from 2080 North Frederick Pike (Route 522) to Gainesboro Road (Route 684) to North Hayfield Road(Route 600) to Northwestern Pike (Route 50).
Based on the family’s request, immediate family and members of Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue will attend a private service at the burial site.
Fire, Rescue and Law Enforcement Agencies participating with apparatus should contact Gainesboro Fire and Rescue Station at (540) 888-3988 to list the number of apparatus and personnel attending.
Please find attached information regarding the Memorial Service for Volunteer Firefighter Zachary Whitacre. Additional information can be obtained by clicking the link below to Giffin Funeral Home.
General Parking will be available at Victory Center Lot, 5001 Eisenhower Avenue.
Parking for Alexandria Fire Department, Color Guards, and Honor Guards will be available at Hoffman Center Lot, at Eisenhower Avenue, and Stovall Street.
Shuttle bus service at these locations will begin at 7:00 a.m.
All participants are urged to carpool and use public transit to attend memorial events. Parking will be extremely limited and road closures or traffic delays could make it difficult for participants to arrive at events.
At the request of the Weissman family, in lieu of flowers, donations and condolences may be sent to:
Joshua A. Weissman Memorial Fund
c/o Alexandria Firefighters, Inc – IAFF Local 2141
4600 Duke Street, Suite 429, Alexandria, VA 22304
It is with great sadness that Alexandria Fire Chief Adam K. Thiel announced the death of Paramedic Joshua Weissman at 4:25pm on Thursday, February 9.
While responding to a car fire on Interstate 395 near Glebe Road on the evening of February 8, Paramedic Weissman fell from the roadway, where he suffered a severe head injury. He was rescued by City of Alexandria and Arlington County Firefighters and Paramedics, with assistance from the City of Alexandria and Arlington County Police Departments and the Virginia State Police. Despite valiant efforts by the medical team at the Washington Hospital Center, Paramedic Weissman’s injuries proved to be fatal.
Joshua Weissman, 33, of Bristow, VA. was a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department, and was hired in April 2006.
An Alexandria ambulance parked on I-395 northbound, alongside the HOV lanes, to reach the burning vehicle.
According to Geller, there is a three-foot gap between two cement barriers separating the lanes. Geller said Weissman was climbing over one barrier to get to the HOV lanes when he fell about 30 feet into the creek. He suffered severe head injuries in the fall.
A firefighter and paramedic, formerly of Ithaca, died Thursday after falling from a highway overpass while responding to a car fire in northern Virginia.
Joshua Weissman, 33, of Bristow, Va., a firefighter for the Alexandria Fire Department, responded to a car fire on Interstate 395 Wednesday night in Shirlington, Va. State police said two cement barriers with a 3-foot gap between separate the lanes.
Weissman fell 30 feet to the creek below the interstate. He was pulled from the creek by fellow firefighters and taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died late Thursday afternoon of a severe head injury, Alexandria Fire Department officials said.
Weissman was a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department. Fire officials say the last time an employee was seriously injured while on duty was 15 years ago.
Weissman worked at one time for Bangs Ambulance as a first responder. He joined the Cayuga Heights Fire Department as a teenager.
Cayuga Heights Fire Chief George Tamborelle described Weissman as dedicated to the profession. He even met his wife at the fire department.
"He was completely dedicated to helping others from the time he was 16," Tamborelle said. "All he's wanted to do was be a firefighter and a paramedic, and he's done that."
Thursday morning, Tamborelle said, "Josh is absolutely caring; you have to know Josh to really understand it. He is really a friend. He'd do anything for anybody. I know you say that about people, but with Josh it's so true. I probably wouldn't be chief if it wasn't for him."
The City of Alexandria announces that the Alexandria Fire Department paramedic that was critically injured on the evening of February 8 is Joshua Weissman, 33, of Bristow, VA. Weissman is a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department, and was hired in April 2006. As of this morning he remains in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center.
At approximately 6:21 p.m. on February 8, 2012, the Alexandria Fire Department responded to reports of a car on fire on the northbound lanes of I-395 near South Glebe Road. An Alexandria ambulance, of which Weissman was part of the crew, stopped in the northbound lanes of I-395 alongside the HOV lane to reach the burning vehicle. During the course of leaving the ambulance, Weissman fell off the roadway and into Four Mile Run Creek, which is approximately 20 feet below the interstate. Weissman was rescued from the creek by firefighters from Alexandria City and Arlington County and transported to MedStar with life-threatening injuries. The cause of the accident is under investigation by Virginia State Police.
From Google Maps, gap between spans where Paramedic Weissman fell.
An Alexandria paramedic is in critical condition after he plunged from an overpass along I-395 in Shirlington while responding to a car fire near South Glebe Road on Wednesday night.
Alexandria Fire Department paramedic Joshua Weissman, 33, of Bristow, Va. was leaving an ambulance at the scene and fell from the interstate into Four Mile Run Creek, approximately 20 feet below the interstate. The creek is described as rocky.
Weissman, who is with the Seminary Road Station in Alexandria, was extricated from the creek by Alexandria City and Arlington County firefigthers and taken to Med Star with life threatening injuries. He is currently in critical condition at Washington Hospital Center.
After a long day yesterday, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department PIO Mark Brady started the day with a run down of the significant wind driven fires that provided the department with one of the busiest days in its history. Below is Brady’s press release and pictures:
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department experienced one of the busiest days in the Departments history due to high winds and dry conditions that resulted in hundreds of brush fires and structure fires. Numerous personnel have been operating at several “hot spots” overnight and into this morning. These locations include Chalk Point, Laurel and Piscataway. The fires are 90% contained and should be near extinguishment today. It is safe to say that Saturday, February 19, 2011, will be remembered as one of the busiest days in our history. The Fire/EMS Department recalled off-duty firefighters to report to work; the last time this was done was September 11, 2001. Fire/EMS Department Public Safety Communications handled 821 calls for service yesterday; a normal day average is about 350 calls. Firefighters were summoned from throughout the state and the District of Columbia to assist on incidents (a complete list of mutual aid jurisdictions is listed below). Of all the homes damaged during this wind/fire event, it is estimated that $1 million + in fire loss occurred. Another estimated $1 million + in fire loss occurred to commercial property.
Photo by PGFD’s Mark Brady showing Engine 841 in position at the Van Dusen Road fire. The crew eventually had to abandon this spot, bringing the rig to safety but losing hose. At the Chalk Point Road fire BR 836 was destroyed by the fire.
There were seven “significant” incidents that occurred yesterday:
…6 am – 8400 block of Potomac Avenue in College Park – House Fire & multiple outbuildings/Brush Fire. Family Helped by Citizens Services Unit. Event closed out at 9:30 am.
…9:30 am – Chalk Point Road, Baden – 60 Acre Brush Fire. 100 firefighters, 1 Brush Vehicle burned up in this event, 1 firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion, units operated throughout the night.
…10:59 am – 5400 block of Van Dusen Road, Beltsville/Laurel – 300 Acre Brush/Mulch Fire. 100+ firefighters, 90% contained, units operated throughout the overnight, potential for a multiple day event. Interstate 95 was closed for 4 hours due to smoke and adjacent land areas burning. Two firefighters suffered non-serious injuries during this event.
Mark Brady photo from Piscataway Road. We haven’t seen much in the way of video or pictures from this fire. It apparently did the most property damage and received the least amount of news coverage.
…11:42 am – 11900 through the 12200 block of Piscataway Road in Clinton – 250 Acre Brush/House Fire, 2 homes, 5 + outbuildings and 5 abandoned farm homes. One family assisted by Citizen Services Unit. 150 firefighters, 90% contained, units operated overnight and will continue today, potential multiple day event.
…1:06 pm – Queen Anne Road in Bowie- 15 Acre Brush Fire
…4:18 pm – 5100 block of Decatur Street, Bladensburg – 2 house fires, 2 families displaced, assisted by Citizens Services Unit
There are firefighters operating in Prince George’s County from all of our routine Mutual Aide Counties, including all of our contiguous jurisdictions, as well as through assistance coordinated by the County Emergency Operations Center and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, from:
- St Mary’s County MD
- Calvert County MD
- Charles County MD
- Anne Arundel County MD
- Montgomery County MD
- Baltimore City MD
- Arlington County VA
- Alexandria City VA
- Fairfax County VA
- Washington DC
- Washington County MD
- Carroll County MD
- Cecil County MD
- Caroline County MD
- Queen Anne County MD
- Natural Resources
Another Brady photo. From Piscataway Road and Windbrook Drive.
The Emergency Operations Center in Landover Hills, was activated and was staffed with personnel from County Police, Fire/EMS, Central Services, Public Works, Emergency Management, Red Cross, Public Safety Communications, Homeland Security, and the County Executives Office.
There will continue to be smoke and odors from all of these fires for days. Citizens should keep their windows closed, and if they are sensitive to smoke, avoid areas impacted by these events.
Some roadways may become blocked from time to time as hoselines are stretched across roads. We did not officially evacuate anyone, nor prohibit them from returning to their homes, however people were not able to physically drive to their homes. We did close the Ice House in Beltsville/Laurel, due to the hazardous smoke and travel conditions.
Interstate 95 was closed in both directions in Laurel for approximately 4 hours.
Since early this morning the area around your Nation’s Capital has been hit hard with winds, sparking numerous brush fires and threatening and burning some homes. Fires are still burning. We will add info to this entry over the next couple of hours. In the meantime you can listen live to some of the area departments.
The winds toppled the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in Washington, DC.
Prince George’s County ordered the call back of career personnel to handle the numerous large fires. Two of the largest fires are at opposite ends of the county. One is in the Beltsville area along the 5400 block of Van Dusen Road. It forced the shut down of part of the adjacent I-95. Another fire still burning out of control along Piscataway Road. It has required mutual aid from Arlington County, Fairfax County and the City of Alexandria in Virginia. Maryland units are assisting PGFD from as far away as Baltimore City and Caroline and Queen Anne’s Counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore (about 65 miles)..
The fires moved so fast that a brush unit from Baden VFD was burned and a pumper from Belstville had to be quickly moved.
North of the Washington area, Baltimore County has been dealing with a number of multi-alarm building fires since last night, plus numerous brush fires today.
I-95 was also closed for a while in the Dale City area of Prince William County due to a fire near the rest stop. See the picture above.
The morning started in Prince George’s County with a hint as to what was to come with the fire above (video provided by Firefighter Close Calls) at 8400 Potomac Avenue in the College Park area. Here is info from PGFD’s Mark Brady:
Firefighters were alerted around 6:00 am, Saturday, February 19, 2011, to a house fire in the 8400 block of Potomac Avenue. Upon arrival firefighters were met with a challenging scene involving a 2-story wood frame home fully involved with fire, rapid wind driven extension to homes on either side, two sheds on fire in back yards and a natural gas fire on the exterior of one of the neighbors houses.
With high winds and rapid extension with additional structures in imminent danger; the Incident Commander requested a Second Alarm, bringing additional firefighters and resources to the scene.
It required nearly an hour for the bulk of the fire to be extinguished and another 2 hours to completely extinguish the fire in the house of origin. Firefighters kept the exterior natural gas fire in check and were able to extinguish that fire after Washington Gas Company workers shut off the natural gas main at about 8:30 am.
Late morning, at the far south end of Prince George’s County, a brush fire was reported near the Chalk Point Power Plant. I believe this is the fire that damaged Baden’s BR 36, a 1964 Ford.
Not too long after that, a fire that has required a lot of resources through the day was reported in the Beltsville area along the 5400 block of Van Dusen Road. This is the fire just west of I-95. It caused major traffic problems along the highway. The video above is some of the smoke from that fire that I shot while in the area this afternoon. Below are details from Brady released at 1:49 PM:
The largest incident involves about 100 acres of 30 foot high piles of mulch. The brush fire has extended about 2 miles over to Interstate 95. This fire has been burning since 12 noon and is still considered out of control.
In the video above a driver shows conditions on I-95 South near the Beltsville fire. The most interesting part is around 7:20 as Foam Unit 812 from College Park responds to a fire in the median strip of the highway.
Brady also announced a cancellation because of the fire. The event was to be hold where the initial staging area was located:
The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department has been forced to require the cancellation of the charity ice hockey event at the Ice House on Old Gunpowder Road.
This event was a game between Washington Capitals Alumni and public safety officers.
Also on the north end PGFD had a fire at Laurel Mall (short clip above). Brady reports during the 2:00 PM hour, “firefighters arrived at the Burlington Coat Factory, 14700 Baltimore Avenue, with a fire that appears to have started in a dumpster outside the building. The high winds blew the fire into the loading docks and inside the building.”
The picture above, courtesy of Firefighter Close Calls, is from a fire on Decatur Street and shows what PGFD and other departments have been dealing with today.
The other major fire tapping the region’s resources is along Piscataway Road between Clinton and Fort Washington. That battle began when a battalion chief rolled up on a couple of old structures burning on Gallahan Road. Here is Brady’s report at 4:46 PM:
A brush fire that appears to have started at a farm on Gallahan Road spread quickly driven by high winds. The fire damaged as many as 20 structures that include homes (some abandoned), sheds and barns. This incident escalated quickly to a third alarm with about 30 pieces of fire apparatus on location with about 120 firefighters working to extinguish the fires.
Damage to occupied homes are minor to moderate. No civilian or firefighter injuries have been reported.
Command post is set up at Piscataway Road and Windbrook Drive.
Below are news reports from around the region on the fires and high winds from WJLA-TV:
Damage is estimated at $3 million dollars from yesterday’s four-alarm apartment fire at the Southport apartments on Edsall Road in Alexandria, Virginia.
The fire was reported around 1:50 PM. First arriving units found fire on all three floors and immediately called a second-alarm.
Alexandria Fire Department PIO Bob Rodriguez said firefighters were evacuated from the building and defensive operations began around 2:12 PM. This was followed by a third alarm and then a fourth-alarm to assist with water supply.
One hundred and thirty firefighters fought the fire, which was reported under control at 4:24 p.m.
One firefighter was taken to a hospital for evaluation following a minor injury.
This is the nice video: The video above was shot by the Red Deer Advocate of a fire in a detached home in Edmonton’s Sylvan Lake yesterday that spread to three other homes. No one was seriously injured. If you click here, we have details and some early videos shot by citizens including a couple we dub the fire critics (sorry Rhett). They got to the fire before the firefighters and if you can handle the language you might be interested in what they have to say.
Deadly dumpster explosion report: A state fire marshal’s report has been issued in the December LODD of Firefighter Steven Koeser. FF Koeser died when a dumpster exploded at a foundry in Wisconsin. Click here to read the report and our coverage.
It takes a village: An interesting video from Lebanon City, Pennsylvania showing a short staffed crew getting some help from a police officer and other bystanders. Click here.
Chief and councilmember square off this morning: At 9:15 this morning there is another City Council hearing on the DC Fire & EMS Department’s overtime expenditures. As we reported yesterday, Chief Dennis Rubin sent an email to the department explaining the error of Councilmember Phil Mendelson’s ways in drastically cutting OT in the next budget. It is the first meeting since Mendelson requested an investigation of the chief for overspending his budget and Rubin’s response showing the impact of the cuts. Click here if you missed it.
Retirees must repay pension funds lots of money: For the average retired firefighter it is $43,000 and it is almost double that for the former cops. That’s how much a judge says the retirees must repay two pension funds in Minneapolis because of overpayments. Check out the story.
Chief’s job on the line over apparently innocent ID switch: In Huntsville, Ontario Chief Stephen Hernen has been reassigned after an apparent security breach in preparation for the G8 Summit coming to his town in a little more than a month. It seems the chief temporarily gave his security pass to his assistant chief. Here’s the operative part of the article by Colin Freeze at The Globe and Mail:
Sources say that, as fire chief, Mr. Hernen had a pass to an RCMP-led Integrated Security Unit training site, where some local firefighters were participating in exercises. When one firefighter had to be replaced and another escorted in, the fire chief allegedly sent an assistant in his place – carrying his personal security key.
Right now that assistant chief is running the department.
Firefighter stabbed while working on patient: A firefighter/paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department was stabbed in the thigh yesterday and is in stable condition. Charles MacDougal, who had previously been Paramedic of the Year, has been released from the hospital (watch the video as he heads home) At last word the assailant was on the loose. Firefighter Close Calls has more details.
Looking Back: That’s the title of Firegeezer’s regular feature of pictures and advertisements from fire service publications of long ago. If you have never seen it , check it out. It is one of favorites.
Congratulations to some friends in Alexandria: Not that either of them would tell me about it, but two of my friends were recognized by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce yesterday. You may recall the story we did on Firefighter Doug Townshend last year when he saved his own brother from a house fire. It remains one of my all time favorite stories. Doug received the Gold Medal of Valor. Congratulations Doug. This is a fire/EMS blog and we don’t normally cover the cops unless they get in the way of the fire department (he wrote with a smile). But I became friends with Sgt. Terri Mucci when I was a firefighter (ancient history) and she was barely out of high school. So, I guess that counts. Terri and Fire Captain Doug McDaniel received Silver Medals and other police and firefighters received Bronze Medals for their roles at a shooting scene where a woman was wounded and a little girl was in harms way. Click here to read about all of the award winners and the emcee of the event (another friend and former co-worker), former Redskin Charles Mann.
Glenn Ross was about to sit down to dinner at Alexandria Fire Department Station 206 Tuesday evening when he heard a familiar address come across the radio. Other Alexandria and Fairfax County stations were dispatched to a report of a house fire at the firefighter’s Franconia home.
There were lots of thoughts going through the mind of Glenn Ross, with the most important being to get home. Battalion Chief Joe Hoffmaster decided the safest way to get him there was aboard Engine 206.
Discovering that his wife was at not home, Firefighter Ross then thought about his two dogs who spend the day in the kitchen. When he pulled up, Sparky and Brownie were on a neighbor’s lawn, unconscious. They were wearing pet oxygen masks and being treated by Fairfax County paramedics. Firefighters found the dogs under a table in the burning kitchen.
The kitchen is gutted and the Ross home has significant smoke and water damage.
Investigators believe the fire started because of a box left on the stove top ignited. What was in that container leaves a big clue into the leading theory of how this blaze began. It was a box of dog biscuits.
Glenn Ross believes that one of the dogs, most likely Sparky, jumped up trying to get the treats and accidentally turned on a burner.
Dr. Katy Nelson at Alexandria Animal Hospital and Veterinary Emergency Service is treating both Brownie and Sparky for smoke inhalation and corneal burns. Dr. Nelson says both dogs are recovering nicely.
Dr. Nelson agrees with Firefighter Ross. In her professional opinion, the fire starter is clearly the always hungry Sparky, a beagle.
Ross says the hero of the day is a five-year-old neighbor who saw smoke coming from the home while playing outside. The boy ran in to get his grandparents who called 911. The early call apparently meant the difference between life and death for Sparky and Brownie.
Ross says the lesson learned is one that is basic in his business: Never leave anything combustible on or near the stove.
Glenn Ross says he is also learning what it is like to be on the receiving end of all the brotherhood the fire service has to offer. According to Ross offers of help have come in from his brother and sister firefighters across Northern Virginia.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) along with the the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Fire Chiefs Committee unveiled the subway system’s new battery-powered, portable response and recon vehicles today. The emergency management types at WMATA have been telling us for some time about this new capability and their efforts to train area fire departments on the use of the new carts.
We have posted four videos showing and describing the Mobile Emergency Response Vehicles (MERVs). Below, are clips of the vehicle being assembled and a ride on the rails photographed by 9NEWS NOW’s Greg Guise. At bottom, is raw video of the press conference with Arlington County Fire Department Chief Jim Schwartz.
At top, is the story for 9NEWS NOW by Bruce Leshan. That story includes Vito Maggiolo video and 911 calls from an April, 2000 incident where a train filled with 250 pasengers was sent to check out a report of smoke in a tunnel. They became trapped by an electrical fire. Bruce also wrote the article that follows:
Firefighters from across our region are showing off a new battery-powered rail cart that could make all the difference if there’s another Metro crash.
The $20,000 carts were designed in Britain to speed firefighters to emergency scenes deep inside the London Tube. The DC region is the first in the U.S. to get them.
Firefighters say there have been many incidents when they could have used the carts in Metro.
“We can’t breath!” a desperate passenger pleaded to rescue workers 10 years ago, while hundreds of passengers were stuck in a stopped train in smoky Metro tunnel.
“It took about an hour for the firemen to get there,” Susan Little told 9NEWS NOW.
Firefighters say the 26 “Mobile Emergency Response Vehicles” will help them speed into crises far faster.
“The other day, they put it together and had it going down the tracks in one minute and four seconds,” said one Arlington firefighter, as he watched the cart zip down a rail line at a Metro Yard in Alexandria.
Firefighters have carts now, but you have to push them. Loaded down in turnout gear, it can take them an hour to get to a scene. With the cart, they can go twelve miles an hour and get to a scene in minutes.
After the Sarin gas attacks 15 years ago in the Tokyo subway, British security officials asked rescue workers to invent a vehicle to get passengers out from deep under London in the tube.
The carts were used extensively after the terrorist attacks on the London subway in 2005.
Arlington Fire officials say they sure could have used one in a drill that had a train stuck under the Potomac between Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom.
“In that one, it took 45 minutes to an hour to get to the victims,” says Arlington Battalion Chief James Daugherty, who’s been leading the project. “With a cart like this, five to ten minutes at most.”
In London, firefighters are actually drilled on driving the subway trains, so that if the operator is incapacitated in a poison gas attack, the rescuers can pull up in the cart and drive the train passengers to safety.
The carts were paid for with a $860,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security.
For the fourth time in as many days we are telling you about a firehouse that has been greatly damaged or destroyed due to fire, collapse or both in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. This time it is the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department in Carroll County, Maryland.
News reports indicate the roof over the social hall collapsed and then sparked a gas fed fire. This happened around 8:45 AM.
By 10:00 AM the fire had gone to a third-alarm plus additional equipment.
Below is the early fireground audio from FireSceneAudio.com.
Early Monday morning heavy snow collapsed the flat roof at Fairfax County’s Station 410 in Bailey’s Crossroads. Eighteen firefighters inside escaped without injury. That firehouse is destroyed and a ladder truck, engine, EMS units and a boat were under the rubble. Here is our coverage of that incident.
There is also a sagging roof at Station 408 in Annandale three miles away. For now, at both stations the apparatus is outside in the elements. In Annandale, crews are sleeping in tents inside the bingo hall. 9NEWS NOW’s Greg Guise spent some time during the blizzard yesterday with the crew at Station 408. That story is below.
Concerns about the roof at Alexandria’s Station 206 three miles east of Bailey’s Crossroads resulted in the evacuation of that station Monday night. Snow was removed from the flat roof and a structural engineer gave the okay to return to the firehouse on Tuesday.
We have been under blizzard conditions through most of the day in the National Capital area. Click above to see live coverage of our latest storm.
STATter911.com programming note: You may have noticed we didn’t send out our Quick Takes news digest for the last two days and we are a little late in providing this one. Coverage of the back-to-back snowstorms for television and dealing with the impact of the storms around the STATter911.com World Headquarters complex left our staff with little time to complete their assignments. We have admonished them and have threatened to cut their ration of gruel if they don’t start carrying their weight around here soon. Also, if you don’t see anything posted at all for a long time it probably means the Verizon FIOS line that has been sitting in the snow covered street in front of the Headquarters building finally broke. It came down Saturday with the power pole.
Baltimore County fire station burns overnight: Firefighters were able to get one of two engines out of the bay around 2:30 this morning when fire broke out at Station 6 in Dundalk. But the brand new Engine 6 is now history, along with two medic units, a brush truck and a Maryland National Guard vehicle. Click here for pictures of the damage and more details.
Another fire station is down for the count. This one in Delaware. Firefighters at Station 26, the Townsend Fire Department in New Castle County, saw the roof sagging. They were able to remove the apparatus before the roof came down. Click the picture from Esteban Parra at The News Journal for more information.
Note – In his noon briefing, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley made mention of concerns of roofs collapsing under the weight of the snow. He cited the brand new fire engine in Baltimore County as being buried under a collapse of a fire station. Yes, that is true. But Governor O’Malley failed to mention the roof came in after the fire started.
Update on Northern Virginia firehouse problems: Even under blizzard conditions, the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department is intending to keep an engine and ambulance operating out of Station 410′s parking lot following Monday’s roof collapse that destroyed the firehouse. That duty is being handled by rotating crews. The truck crew from the Bailey’s firehouse is operating out of Station 428 in Seven Corners, which used to be the home of Tower 28. There is also no cover for the fire equipment at Station 408 just down Columbia Pike three miles in Annandale. Part of that roof is sagging. My colleague Greg Guise tells me the firefighters are sleeping in tents inside the bingo hole. And in nearby Alexandria, firefighters moved back into Station 206 Tuesday afternoon after it was closed the day before due to roof concerns. Click here for our previous coverage and inside pictures of the damage at Station 410.
Power company admits they started the fire: Remember the fire I shot on Sunday where electric company crews had just turned back on the juice for the neighborhood when a home started to burn? While I have been unsuccessful, despite repeated attempts and conversations to get the Arlington County Fire Department to provide specifics on how the fire started (all the PIO would tell me is that it was electrical), there is someone taking responsibility for the fire. Dominion Virginia Power spokeswoman LeHa Anderson told me yesterday afternoon a crew on North Lexington Street, working hard to restore electricity, made a very unusual and costly mistake. According to Anderson, they got their wires crossed, accidentally energizing the neutral line. As you can imagine the power company is now working closely with the elderly woman and her daughter who lived in the house. Here is our previous story.
Hose wagon: One-thousand feet of 3-inch hose, a gated wye, and a 24-foot ladder adorn this Maryland National Guard 5-ton truck. This is from an early morning two-alarm fire. The Guard are at many fire stations in the Mid-Atlantic region helping the firefighters get to the emergencies. Picture from the 1229th Transportation Company of the Maryland National Guard.
Controversy over sale of New York firehouse to CNN’s Anderson Cooper: We had previously told you that the historic former quarters of Fire Patrol 2 in Greenwich Village had been sold to the CNN anchor. Now there is concern over what happened to a plaque honoring a patrol member who died on September 11. Click here for the story.
It’s just lunch (or dinner): Yes, it’s February Sweeps in my business. Firegeezer has his own juicy expose on the work of a TV reporter who spent his time checking the eating habits of Boston firefighters. Specifically he reports that they actually use their fire trucks to pick up food for dinner. Shocking. Even Commissioner Roderick Fraser, who has been at odds with the rank and file, found no problem with this practice. Film at 11 (or just click here for Geezer). BTW, on my way to work in the 11:00 AM hour a couple of times I week, I see the same fire companies at the same supermarket. Little did I know I had been passing up a TV exclusive. Clearly, I am just a hack.
This evening Alexandria, Virginia officials tell STATter911.com that Station 206 at 4609 Seminary Road has been closed due to structural concerns following the weekend’s heavy snowfall. More snow is on the way tomorrow. Firefighters and equipment have been moved to other Alexandria fire stations.
Station 206 is about three miles to the east of Fairfax County’s Station 410 in Bailey’s Crossroads. The roof over that fire station caved in at 3:00 this morning. All 18 firefighters inside the firehouse escaped unharmed. Underneath that collapsed roof are an engine company, ladder truck and other fire and EMS vehicles. The crews from Station 410 have been sent to other nearby stations, but are running a paramedic engine and ambulance out of the parking lot when possible (no ladder truck).
The closing of the two firehouses leaves a big gap in coverage along the border between the two jurisdictions. On tops of these problems, just three miles to the south of the Bailey’s Crossroads station, a sagging roof was discovered at Station 408 in Annandale. Firefighters in Annandale were operating out of the adjacent bingo hall. Having fire equipment and ambulances outside, particularly with the possibility of another foot or more of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday is also a problem at the two Fairfax County firehouses.
It is unclear at the moment what long term plans are in the works for providing fire and EMS coverage for the busy area served by these three adjacent fire companies.
The roof problems at Station 206 and Station 408 were discovered after officials ordered inspections of flat roofs at firehouses following the collapse at Station 410.
Station 410 was built in 1974 by the Bailey’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department. A new roof was put on in 1998. Volunteer officials were on the scene working with Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department officials assessing the damage.
From the STATter911.com archives: This is a little DCFD action I came across recently. It is the October 15, 1984 fire at the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters building at 475 L’Enfant Plaza, Southwest (20260-2200, if anyone cares).
Lt. Kelli Weeks is at the center of the mysterious investigation at the Bourne Fire Department. Click the image for the latest.
Bourne’s identity is in crisis: The Bourne Fire Department in Massachusetts seems to be more like a soap opera than a place providing emergency services. A deputy chief is on full duty status while a rape charge goes through the courts. His wife, a lieutenant who posed for a charity calendar, is under investigation for something. Firefighters are being interviewed at the police station about the lieutenant. Town officials refuse to shed any light on what is going on and apparently have accused a firefighter of leaking information to the press. That firefighter is now off duty because of stress issues. And there’s more. Click here for our rundown.
A battle in New Jersey over the effective closing of a volunteer company: We have a detailed article from the Courier-Post’s Jane Roh showing both sides of the fight in Cherry Hill, New Jersey over orders from the chief of the Cherry Hill Fire Department that forced the VFC to close. Interesting stuff that is well worth reading. Click here.
Man arrested for fire at place where 9/11 remains are held: Craven and contemptible is how New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg describes someone who would do this act. Read the story.
Better late than never I: Three days after it occurred, we finally reported on a two-alarm fire a few miles from STATter911.com’s World Headquarters. The fire was Thursday in Alexandria, Virginia and an alert regular reader found some early video. Click here.
Better late than never II: The Wenatchee World is a lot slower than STATter911.com. On Friday, the paper posted a story about a member of the Wenatchee Fire Department who was terminated in July. Apparently the paper only recently noticed that a woman, heralded as the first-ever female firefighter in Wenatchee when she was hired in May, 2008, was missing from the 36 member department. It turns out that Kari Paulson had her probation period extended after a c0-worker filed a complaint (a rather tardy filing) after being sent more than 50 sexually suggestive text messages while on duty. The paper reports, while on the extended probation, Paulson called in sick. On that sick day she was spotted at a Coldplay concert (I admit I had to look it up to find out they are an English alternative rock band). Read the story.
In Marathon County, Wisconsin firefighters train with new radios that have been drawing complaints. The Wausau Daily Herald's Brian Reisinger takes a look at the history and concerns about the radio system. Click the picture by the paper's Corey Schjoth to read the story.
Actions of medics are focus of lawsuit: A story from Ohio on the Bainbridge Township Fire Department. A lawsuit has been filed saying that medics did not provide the proper treatment to a woman in cardiac arrest and changed their story about what was and wasn’t done. WKYC-TV reports word from Bainbridge officials is that appropriate care was provided. At the same time the TV station reports the two paramedics were given remedial training, protocols were changed and the medical director replaced. Click here for the story.
Joy ride in FD vehicle: Police in Massachusetts have arrested a 39-year-old man for stealing a Crown Vic belonging to the Lowell Fire Department. Click here for details.
The long road to become a firefighter: A very interesting article about a 40-something who decided to become a firefighter after a career as a chef , on the water and both.
Housekeeping: Some of you who subscribe to home delivery of STATter911.com may not be getting that service now that we have moved. There is a convenient place to re-subscribe (or be a new subscriber) in the right hand column near the top. Also, if you have a site that has been running an RSS feed of STATter911.com, thank you! If you haven’t updated it to our new blog the address is simple- http://statter911.com/feed/ . Don’t forget you can follow STATter911.com on Twitter, our Facebook fan page, on LinkedIn and Firefighter Nation. If none of those work, just send me your number and I will read STATter911.com to you over the phone.
4-alarm house fire: Sunday evening in West Caldwell, New Jersey. Description with the video indicates water issues with the initial companies.
This is from a two-alarm fire on Thursday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. The fire was reported around 9:00 AM in the 3700 block of Lyons Lane in the Parkfairfax complex. I was aware of the fire and am clearly late in reporting this. Thanks to an alert STATter911.com reader for finding the video and waking me up. Part 1 of the video is above with Part 2 below. There are also three more clips: Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.
Here is what WUSA9.com reported on Thursday:
Captain Luis Santano, spokesperson for the Alexandria Fire Department, says the blaze broke out in the attic of a two-story condominium building shortly after 9:00 Thursday morning.
Santano says firefighters mounted an aggressive attack on the flames in the attic and now have the blaze under control.
According to Santano the damage was contained to four condo units inside the building, which are now uninhabitable. Firefighters are in the process of assessing the damage.
Witnesses say they were alerted to the fire by a dog owned by one of the residents.
Santano says all occupants of the building, as well as firefighters, escaped injury.