Firefighters were called around 6:40 p.m. to a building in the 2700 block of Sisson Street in the Remington area. Fire officials said the building housed several automotive businesses, including a body shop and 22 apartments on an upper floor.
Fire officials said careless smoking caused the fire, which caused about $1.3 million in damage.
Meanwhile, dozens of people living in the 22 adjacent apartments were evacuated. Rosemary Fitzsimmons could only watch and wonder if her place would go up in flames.
This video was posted to YouTube in August of 2010, apparently shot as a group of friends headed to an Orioles game. A STATter911.com reader sent it to me. It appears to me to be taken on the upper portion of St. Paul Street south of East Mulberry Street in Downtown Baltimore. You will only see about two seconds of the burning building. It’s the rest of the video that makes this a must see. It’s a look inside one of those cars you pass as your are responding. And no, before you ask, I can’t give you back the 2:08 you will have wasted by watching this.
At Penn Lumber, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore City, there is currently a fourth alarm working with a collapse and a mayday. Five firefighters have been injured. All are now accounted for and are reported to have non-life threatening injuries. At least two firefighters were trapped after the collapse.
In the radio traffic in the player above, the evacutation order comes at about 11:55 into the incident followed by the mayday at 24:48.
Conditions in the building worsened rapidly once firefighters responded, (PIO Kevin) Cartwright wrote in an email. The first-responding firefighters entered the building with hoses upon arriving, but “within moments,” the commanding officer ordered them to evacuate. As they were doing so, the building collapsed, trapping five firefighters.
All five were rescued and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for further evaluation, Cartwright wrote.
After gaining entry into the building, fire commanders, within moments, ordered crews out due to the intensity of the fire, Cartwright said.
As firefighters evacuated the building it completely collapsed, trapping five firefighters. Cartwright said all five firefighters were rescued and were transported to Shock Trauma. Their conditions were not immediately available, but Cartwright said they suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Under the policy, department personnel can be reprimanded for anything they write online about their jobs that doesn’t adhere to conduct rules, which require “good judgment” and “courtesy and respect to the public and to fellow employees.” The policy also restricts them from sharing information about fire scenes.
Fire Chief James S. Clack said the department crafted the policy to protect firefighters from getting into trouble for sharing sensitive information.
But union leaders called the policy too broad and said the department created it unilaterally after negotiations with union attorneys broke down last month. Social media and free-speech advocates balked at the scope of the policy and questioned its legality.
Bradley Shear, a Bethesda attorney who has advised state legislators in Annapolis on social media policy, said the new provisions are “troubling” and potentially unconstitutional.
“I think the policy is clearly suspect,” Shear said. “It’s over-broad, it’s retroactive, and I think they need to go back to the drawing board.”
Chief Clack told The Sun that while attorneys for the City threw in a lot of things, ”I’m going to be most interested in people when they’re working”,
The policy, like many these days, brings up as many questions as it answers. One thing that is banned is ”the real-time public disclosure of locations of deployed units, assets or personnel or any other real-time information from an incident scene.” Until earlier this year, IAFF Local 734 was using Baltimore City firefighters to provide such information to the public much as IAFF Local 36 in Washington, DC is doing currently. Could a fire department legally ban such union activity?
Three Baltimore City firefighters were injured as maydays were called in two different house fires about an hour apart overnight. One of those fires left an adult and four children dead.
Above is audio from radioreference.com via firefighterdispatch of first fire on Bonsal Street. Mayday is at about 5:25.
In the first fire around 1:00 AM, a lieutenant is in serious condition with second and third degree burns to the hands, face and neck and a firefighter has third degree burns to the hand and is in stable condition. Both are at Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center. The fire occurred in the 1400 block of Bonsal Street.
The deadly fire was around 2:00 AM in the 5600 block of Denwood Avenue in northeast Baltimore.
One firefighter was hurt when he fell through the second story floor all the way to the basement. He was found immediately and pulled from the house. Medics rushed him to Bayview where he’s expected to be okay.
Fire investigators are now on the scene trying to figure out what caused the fire, but they believe it started in the basement of the home. It’s not clear if the smoke alarms in the home were working when the fire started.
Today’s Baltimore Sun describes in detail the prostitution related charges against Firefighter Jamar Simmons of the Baltimore City Fire Department. A month ago Simmons was arrested with another man, Franklin Coit, on charges similar to those they were arrested for in Baltimore County in 2010. In that case the men received probation before judgment.
Today’s article cites court records that accuse the men of operating a prostitution ring out of an apartment in Southwest Baltimore. The charges indicate that Simmons and Coit pocketed a percentage of the money taken in by a group of women selling sex out of the apartment.
Inside the raided apartment, according to court records, city police found a stage with two floor-to-ceiling poles, a large bar with a DJ booth, two bedrooms and a kitchen with six lockers labeled with women’s nicknames.
In one room, court records say, police found a chalkboard with written reminders to the women. Among them: do not mention sex for money on the phone, always search clients for police wires and tout the location of the third-story, loft-style apartment in the 200 block of S. Pulaski Street as being just 10 minutes from downtown.
“Ask about law enforcement!” the board warned, according to court records.
Police say the loft housed a prostitution ring that Simmons and 33-year-old Franklin Coit — a pair arrested in Baltimore County in 2010 on similar prostitution charges — had built with the help of some 25 women over the past couple of years.
The lawyer for Simmons denies that the apartment was a hub for prostitution and denies his client operated as a pimp. Simmons is suspended without pay from the department. An internal fire department investigation is also underway.
A severe thunderstorm caused some problems in Baltimore this evening. It came as thousands of firefighters in town for Firehouse Expo were enjoying their evening activities. The video above shows the problem the storm caused at the Hilton Baltimore. The hotel is owned by the city and is connected to the Baltimore Convention Center.
It was during Firehouse Expo three-years-ago that flooding caused hundreds of thousand of dollars in damage to the upper floors of the hotel. That flooding was caused by vandalism. While no one was charged, city officials publicly linked the act to firefighters.
Three Baltimore City fire companies that had been slated to permanently close Sunday will remain open for four more days due to the weather, a department spokesman said Saturday.
Fire officials have decided to keep the three companies open until Thursday morning to help clean up from the storm and aid those suffering from heat-related health problems, said spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright.
“It’s a common practice for the fire department to increase our manpower due to natural disasters,” Cartwright said.
Firefighters at those companies will also help people suffering from heat-related health problems. The Baltimore Sun reports East Baltimore’s Truck 15, west Baltimore’s Truck 10 and southeast Baltimore’s Engine 11 had been set to close Sunday morning as a cost-cutting measure.
Two other companies had been set to move to new stations, but that move has also been postponed.
It’s getting down to the wire on the planned permanent July 1 closings of three fire companies in Baltimore, Maryland. Union officials and others have been making the case that recent fires involving the units on the chopping block prove that these fire companies are extremely important to the safety of the citizens and city firefighters. One of those stories from WMAR-TV, above, looks at this issue in connection with the five-alarm fire in Fells Point on Monday.
WBFF-TV looks at another aspect of this battle over closing companies and the Fells Point fire. It focuses on the online forum run by the Baltimore Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 964. Specifically, a thread titled What a Shame!, that contains very passionate comments quite critical of fellow firefighters and officers who may have responded as volunteers, or had connections to suburban volunteer fire companies that provided mutual aid to Baltimore City during the five-alarm fire. Those postings believe such assistance undermines the work to save the three companies. The TV station reports Chief Jim Clack says the comments are under investigation.
Some Baltimore City firefighters criticized some of their own for using Baltimore County vehicles to respond to the fire. The city called on the county and other outside help during the fire, even though the department is now considering shutting down three fire companies because of budget cuts.
City Fire Chief, Jim Clack, says mutual aid is something the city has been practicing for decades. He says it’s important to maintain good relationships with other jurisdiction, not just for safety, but for many other reasons.
Fire officials said crews were called to the 500 block of S. Broadway Street at about 1:40 p.m. Monday, where they were met with heavy smoke and fire shooting through the roof of a three-story vacant brick building.
“Back on Register Street, it’s a pretty narrow street. It was hard to get apparatus in there. That’s where we initially tried to attack the fire. We did surround it on all sides, but it was really tough because the fire was in the middle of the block and there was no way to get to it once we couldn’t go inside,” Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Clack said.
Engine 8 ran into a little snag when their pumps malfunctioned. With the fire being fueled by winds it spread quickly up the interior stairwell to the upper floors. With a lack of water units were forced to stand fast at the front door until they got water. Eventually crews were able to enter the dwelling and fully extinguish the fire.
Just before 3:30 pm on April 6, 2012, Fire Communications alerted Box Alarm 52-2 for a reported dwelling on fire in the 800 block of Druid Park Lake Drive, West Baltimore. Some units had to take alternate routes due to a double shooting at W North Avenue and McCulloh Street. First arriving companies reported an end of group dwelling with heavy fire showing. Battalion Chief 3 arrived, reported fire on the 1st & second floors of a three story dwelling. A working fire was transmitted, bringing additional units to the scene. A few moments later, fire began to penetrate the roof and engulf the third floor. Battalion Chief 3 at that moment ordered a defensive attack due to the integrity of the building. Crews used monitor pipes, large hand lines and ladder pipes to pour water on the fire from a safe distance. The Fire Investigation Bureau has the fire under investigation and no injuries were reported.
Companies scheduled to close on July 1: Truck 10 at 1503 W. Lafayette Avenue; Truck 15 at 1223 N. Montford Avenue; Squad 11 at 5714 Eastern Avenue.
Companies scheduled to move on July 1: Engine 33 from 801 E. 25th Street to 1223 N. Montford Avenue; Truck 27 from 2700 Glenn Avenue to 5500 Reisterstown Road; Truck 6 from 1001 E. Fort Avenue to 15 S. Eutaw Street; Rescue 1 from 15 S. Eutaw Street to 1001 E. Fort Avenue.
Three city fire companies will disband, four more must find new homes. It’s part of the fire department’s efforts to do away with rotating closures.
It’s important to note that no firefighters will lose their jobs and no fire stations will be closed. But this is a big shuffle of fire personnel and equipment and some worry it leaves city residents at risk.
“We are going to be there just as quick as we are today,” Jim Clack, chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, said.
“We’re not laying off any firefighters,” Clack said. “We’re not closing any fire stations. We’re taking some firefighters from one area of the city and moving them to other stations.”
“Obviously, I don’t want to have anybody closed,” said Rick Hoffman, president of the firefighters union. “It makes our job a hell of a lot harder. We’re at bare bones right now. I don’t know how these people sleep at night. … They are gambling with the lives of the citizens of Baltimore and the lives of the firefighters serving Baltimore.”
Under the current plan, 72 firefighters would be transferred and 21 officers would be demoted, including six captains and nine lieutenants. The changes, Clack said, make the department more efficient and could improve response times.
It's been a long time since we've run video from Michael "FirePix1075" Schwartzberg, one of our regular contributors. This is Michael's video from the three-alarm fire on Monday afternoon at a tire business in the 4100 block of West Belevedere Avenue in Baltimore. One person was burned. Here's Michael's description:
Just before 4:00 pm on September 26, the phones at the Baltimore City Fire Communications Bureau (FCB) began lighting up with callers reporting a building on fire in the 4100 block of W Belvedere Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. Engine 46, stationed just a few blocks away, arrived at Fire Box 46-12 reporting a two story auto repair building with heavy smoke & fire showing. At 4:02 pm, a "Working Fire" was transmitted bringing additional resources to the scene. Due to the conditions of the building and the amount of fire present, orders were given to establish a safety zone and begin exterior operations only. At 4:10 pm, a Second Alarm was transmitted. Crews used elevated master streams from ladder trucks as well as deck guns from engines and portable monitor pipes to flow thousands of gallons of water onto the fire. At 5:05 pm, a Third Alarm was requested, making it a total of 13 Engines, 6 Trucks, Rescue 1, 4 Battalion Chiefs (3 Fire & 1 EMS), 1 Deputy Chief & Aide (Shift Commander), 1 AirFLEX, 2 Safety Officers, 1 EMS Officer, 2 Medic Units, Fire Investigators & the Mobile Command Unit, with a total personnel compliment of 97 members on the scene.
Baltimore's fire chief is surrendering his department's emergency medical services training accreditation.
Chief James Clack announced Tuesday that the department would use training from outside educational institutions instead. He says officials may seek accreditation in the future.
Clack says when the state licensing agency raised questions about cheating at the training academy in June, he learned that the EMS training division had been placed on a one-year provisional status more than a year earlier.
A fire department investigation found recruits were given confidential testing materials they should not have received, but none of them intentionally cheated.
Internal charges were recommended for three instructors and two supervisors related to improper certification of a recruit and one supervisor related to the maintenance of student records and test security.
During yesterday's press conference Chief Clack pointed to a "lack of communication up and down the chain of command" explaining why he did not know until recently that poor paperwork handling had caused the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems to put the city's emergency medical training program on provisional status last year.
Joseph Brocato ran the academy from February 2007 until September 2010. Brocato, now retired, is disputing Chief Clack's account.
"As for Chief Clack's claim that he was not aware of the provisional status until June of 2011 or that he was not made aware of the contents of the letter," Brocato said in a written statement, "I will say that I personally briefed him on two separate occasions regarding the provisional status and our plan to correct the issues … Both briefings occurred in the summer of 2010, shortly after the letter was received."
Clack said he doesn't remember being briefed by Brocato on the academy's provisional status and that he's certain he never saw the May 2010 letter until a few weeks ago.
This is arrival video taken by a citizen at a two-alarm fire In Baltimore, Maryland yesterday afternoon. The fire was at 15 West Biddle Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood. You will see a helicopter overhead pretty quickly. That is from WBAL-TV. Click here and here for reports that have the early chopper video included. One of two police officers who rushed into the building to make sure everyone was out suffered smoke inhalation.
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:
After The Buffalo News asked about Niagara Falls (NY) Fire Chief Roger Melchior’s postings on the forum of the Baltimore Fire Officers Association the mayor fired the chief. According to the paper, postings under Melchior’s name referred to people from Cairo as “camel jockeys”. Melchior, 63, previously worked in Baltimore and Green Bay.
The paper says it was contacted by a ranking firefighter in Baltimore concerned about the comments.
The article says Melchior had been under fire after taking a two week vacation following a long medical leave shortly after he started in Niagara Falls.
Late last week, Melchior denied to a reporter — then to city officials — that he posted any messages on the forum used by firefighters in Baltimore, where he once worked, and said that someone must have been posting under his name.
Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster and other city leaders, however, concluded that because some of the posts contained information about meetings and other events in the Falls that were known only to a small number of people, Melchoir was misleading them.
“There were two separate issues,” Dyster said today. “What comments were posted and did he own up to posting them? He did not.”
The flap involving the online postings was “just the icing on the cake” which led to Melchior’s termination, (City Council Chairman Samuel) Fruscione said. He said there were other problems the Council had with him.
“Since his appointment in November, he has hardly ever worked. He spent most of time on sick leave and vacation time,” the Council president said. “He wasn’t a big performer overall.”
He collapsed shortly after he was sworn in, and after leaving the hospital, collapsed again at his home, breaking his leg.
After almost nine months Firefighter/Paramedic Jeffrey Novack has been cleared for full duty by the Baltimore City Fire Department. Novack, from Truck 12, was critically injured, with burns and broken bones, during an April fire at an apartment building next to the firehouse on Liberty Heights Avenue. The good news came today from Baltimore Firefighters, IAFF Local 734. Here’s the message:
IAFF Local 734 photo of Jeffrey Novack's Christmas visit with Lucille Ziglier.
Novack was seriously injured battling a northwest Baltimore apartment fire on April 7, 2010. He pulled one victim, Ms Lucille Ziglier, from the third floor of the building, through the fire, and onto safety. Knowing there were still more people inside, he immediately turned her care over to Paramedics and returned to continue searching. There he located another victim on the third floor. While assisting the victim, Novack became trapped by fire and was forced to jump out of a third story window. He spent many weeks in Shock Trauma undergoing several surgeries. He was then transferred to the Bayview burn center for burn care.
After some fire and medical refresher training, and upon receipt of his new fire gear, FFPM Novack will return to the front lines, protecting the Citizens of Baltimore from his station, Truck Company No. 12 at 3906 Liberty Heights Avenue.
The Baltimore City Fire Department had a busy end of 2010 and seems to be starting 2011 the same way. The video above is from Michael “FirePix1075” Schwartzberg of the fire that began late Saturday night at 315 North Howard Street. Here’s Michael’s write-up from the fire:
Baltimore City, Maryland firefighters were dispatched around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night January 1, 2011 to 315 North Howard Street for smoke reported coming from a commercial building (Box 23-9). Crews found heavy smoke coming from a 7-story building that was partially vacant. Firefighters initially attempted an interior attack but the incident commander pulled crews out as conditions deteriorated. Firefighters used multiple deck guns, handlines and ladder pipes from outside the structure to attack the deep-seated fire.
Photo by Stanley Jaworski. Click the image for more.
More than 4.5 hours after the initial call, firefighters were still flowing large amounts of water into the structure to control the fire. One firefighter sustained minor injuries when he was hit in the helmet by a sledgehammer while operating on the fireground. The MTA Light Rail was shut down due to the location of the fire fronting the tracks. The BCFD Fire Investigation Bureau is investigating the cause and origin of the fire.