Live coverage from WTXF-TV as its chopper is over the burning cab of a tanker truck at Old Lincoln Highway & Rt. 1 in Trevose, Pennsylvania (Bucks County). Normally we bring you citizen play-by-play, but this time it's from the "professionals". Sometimes I'm not sure there's much difference. Thanks to Greg Jakubowski for passing this along.
The video above is from Scott Crider and was taken during a recent high school football game at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka, Kansas. This story was just made for TV news. It’s perfect to help the anchors make that transition from news to sports. Here’s the story. According to various websites that covered this incident, the woman in black is Beverly Bernardi Post, a “local baton twirling legend”. Apparently, as they like to say way too much in TV news, “something went terribly wrong” (UK TV folks say ”something went horribly wrong”) as she was lighting up and a lot more than her batons were flaming.
Maybe the fire was a plot by the winning coach to avoid a Gatorade bath, because the sports drink became the extinguishing agent of choice for the flammable liquids fire engulfing the sidelines. As the band played on without missing a beat (play TV newscaster at home and fill in your own favorite tune with “fire” in the title that you think the band should have been playing and then chuckle), a number of people jumped into action to beat back the stubborn flames.
In the end, the fire went out and there were apparently no injuries. The unanswered question from everything I have read is whether the show went on. Did she get to twirl her famous flaming batons or was this sideline sideshow the only fireworks anyone got to see?
(Thanks to reader Joe Chamberland for alerting us to this video.)
To give you an idea how stubborn this van fire in Vancouver, BC was on Monday, the image below was taken from the video by NepaliUnited above more than 15 minutes after firefighters began putting water and foam on the burning vehicle. Two men from the van were seriously burned and fled the scene after a collision with another vehicle sent the van into the wall and onto the home’s front yard. Police initially said the fire inside the van was being fueled by chemicals and that the vehicle was a rolling meth lab. A follow-up statement by police indicates there were no chemicals and this was not a meth lab. It turns out there were containers of gasoline inside the back of the van.
VPD spokesman Const. Brian Montague said two men aged 19 and 25, both residents of Coquitlam, eventually walked into Eagle Ridge Hospital with serious burns to their upper body, arms, hands, head and face.
Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the collision that happened around 3:15 p.m. when a white panel van crashed into a concrete wall at Oak Street near 53rd.
Montague said that it initially appeared that equipment or chemicals for a meth lab were in the van.
However, he said later that gasoline, not chemicals or a meth lab, were involved in the fire and explosions that destroyed the van.
Thanks to Marquis Solomon for passing along this story of a ruptured natural gas line that ignited yesterday afternoon in Columbia, South Carolina as workers tried to deal with the line while firefighters stood by.
Wednesday afternoon, a crew working at the intersection of Sumter and Richland Streets ruptured a gas line. Hours later, an SCE&G crew was using a track hoe to repair the line when something caused the line to ignite.
In the video, you can see two employees quickly get away from the scene. Second later, Columbia firefighters begin dousing the area with water.
Video from firelensman of the Los Angeles Fire Department dealing with a fire early Wednesday morning at 14660 Arminta Street in Panorama City. Here’s some of the description with the video:
L.A. Firefighters first on scene had moderate smoke showing from the large 100 by 300 ft. one story commercial. As the fire quickly progressed with flames shooting through the roof, Firefighters went into defensive mode, knocking down the fire with wagon batteries, ladder pipes, portable monitors and numerous handlines. The building was a total loss, housing the companies National Displays and Arrow Chrome Plating. Hazardous Material crews remained on scene through the morning due to the chemicals involved.
More than four hours after the flames were extinguished, LAFD crews were summoned to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Bureau Headquarters, four-tenths of a mile northeast of the blaze, where eleven civilian and uniformed workers – who had not responded to the scene, expressed subjective respiratory irritation and general malaise.
One worker was taken to the hospital by colleagues prior to the Fire Department’s arrival. Following a comprehensive medical evaluation by LAFD Paramedics, nine of the remaining ten patients declined further medical treatment or transportation by Fire Department ambulance. One woman was taken by LAFD Paramedics to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. Her condition was not specified.
NOTE: Early this morning the Orlando Sentinel reported “multiple deaths and injuries” from the fire and explosions with 10 people unaccounted for. Now it is reported that all are accounted for and there are at least eight employees of the plant injured with no deaths. The fire is now out. At 2:40 this morning residents around the plant were allowed to return home.
Just before 7 a.m., Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith told reporters on the scene that, “we don’t think there was any act of sabotage or anything like that.”
Instead, “It was probably a human or equipment error,” he said.
He said the plant takes old propane cylinders, cleans them, refurbishes them, fills them and sells them. They pack them up on palettes for shipping.
Officials overnight said that as of Monday, there were about 53,000 20-gallon propane tanks on site. The fire came from those canisters, most of which ignited in the blaze. Due to the intensity of the flames, Keith said, firefighters had to let it burn itself out to some degree.
The three bulk tanks on the property — which hold 90,000 gallons of propane each — did not ignite in the fire, he said.
This one is reported to be from somewhere in Russia. In addition to the almost 40 cylinders taking off (check the 3:00 point), I am sure you will enjoy how people just block a lane of traffic on the highway to get their video and what appears to be a police officer who ventures close in his vehicle at about 6:30 in the video (as do some people on foot) and then decides it’s time to make a quick retreat.
There is quite a bit of news coverage about the two days of hearings this week by the National Transportation Safety Board into the freight-train derailment and vinyl chloride release last November near Paulsboro, New Jersey. As you will see in the TV report above, NTSB members were very critical of the actions by police officers and firefighters at the scene. At the hearing, one member didn’t believe the fire chief’s response that “no one died” was an adequate standard for judging how well the incident was handled. Paulsboro’s police chief thinks the NTSB’s claim that firefighters and police officers may have done more harm than good was ”unfair and unwarranted” (watch that story here).
But it’s clear NTSB does not believe this is just a Paulsboro or New Jersey problem. The lead of one of the articles by Rebecca Forand at the South Jersey Times makes that point: ”Volunteer fire fighters and emergency response personnel being thrust into catastrophic events without adequate training or resources is a wide-spread problem that needs to addressed, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded on Wednesday.”
First responders who swarmed the site of a freight-train derailment near Paulsboro, N.J., last November were not trained to deal with toxic substances like the vinyl chloride the train was carrying and did not own protective suits, federal investigators were told Wednesday.
“There is not enough hours in the day to handle home, family items and volunteer time and to get this training,” Glenn Roemmich, coordinator of the Paulsboro Office of Emergency Management, told National Transportation Safety Board officials.
The Paulsboro Fire Department is a volunteer squad, as are 70 percent to 80 percent of the fire departments across the country, said Robert Royall, chairman of the Hazardous Material Committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and assistant chief of emergency operations for the squad in Harris County, Texas.
“Paulsboro’s fire department is trained similarly to other volunteer departments in the country,” Royall told the NTSB investigators. “Most are trained at the operational level and know where to call up when the technician level is needed.”
Federal accident investigators believe local police and fire officials did more harm than good after a freight train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in Gloucester County, N.J. last year.
NTSB investigator Paul Stencil said local authorities failed to follow standard procedures requiring the use of breathing apparatuses for responders — even though monitors found unsafe concentrations of the chemical in the air.
“One hour and a half after the derailment, the hazardous materials team air monitoring data showed the first responders being exposed to vinyl chloride concentrations that significantly exceeded permissible or safe levels,” Stencil testified.
Fire officials also set up a command post 50 yards from where tank cars were leaking. Safety standards called for the post to be positioned in a safe area outside the hot zone.
Stencil said investigators found misinformation about the hazardousness of the chemical ran rampant following the derailment.
Paulsboro Police reported the chemical was non-toxic, even after fire officials learned vinyl chloride was highly flammable and could cause respiratory and nervous system issues, according to the NTSB.
Police also changed an initial evacuation order to a shelter-in-place order about a half hour after the accident based on the false information over the toxicity of the chemical.
“Despite public statements that the hazard had completely dissipated, air monitoring teams continued to detect a vinyl chloride throughout the morning of the accident,” Stencil said.
Evacuation orders were eventually reordered that evening and lasted for several days.
“First and foremost was making sure the residents of the town was safe,” Fire Chief Alfonso Giampola said, defending his shelter-in-place decision. “Knowing its (vinyl chloride’s) characteristics, we didn’t want anybody walking in it, driving in it. That’s why we went to a shelter-in-place.”
One major point of questioning focused on the fact that none of the first responders or train personnel wore any respiratory apparatus during the hours and days following the chemical release.
The volunteer fire department, prior to the incident, was not equipped with the devices, and those issued by the county had been deemed ineffective shortly after the accident.
Police Captain Vernon Marino testified that the four officers he had on duty did not have respiratory masks, and they had to walk through the fog of chemicals to evacuate individuals.
“It’s an eye-opener. A wake up call. Shame on us. We really didn’t prepare for that incident,” Giampola said. “This is a training exercise and we have to look at it that way. We’re little, small Paulsboro, but if this happens again somewhere else other than Paulsboro, I hope that chief learns from the things we did and he can do it better.”
“The issues that we have with evacuating large numbers of people, we would still have today,” Glenn Roemmich, emergency management coordinator for the Paulsboro Office of Emergency Management, told National Transportation Safety Board investigators Wednesday.
First responders also still lack protective equipment. That lack made them vulnerable to exposure to vinyl chloride during the Nov. 30 derailment. But that may be difficult to remedy. NTSB officials estimated that 25,000 to 30,000 rail cars containing hazardous materials pass through Paulsboro each year. And a respirator that protects against vinyl chloride might not protect against the vast number of other chemicals in transit.
“How many canisters can I afford to buy for how many chemicals that go through?” Paulsboro Fire Chief Alfonso G. Giampola said Tuesday, citing budgetary constraints.
“This is not a Paulsboro problem,” NTSB vice chairman Christopher A. Hart said at the conclusion of the hearing. “This is a national problem: of resources, of training. How do we address the situation?”
That was Paulsboro Police Chief Chris Wachter firing back at federal investigators after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) claimed that local officials may have done more harm than good when a train derailed in New Jersey last November. “Federal investigators are saying that; federal government at its best,” said Chief Wachter. “We did what we thought we had to do at the moment. It unfolded very quickly.”
The NTSB said that Paulsboro officials didn’t follow safety standards for handling a chemical spill, compounding first responders and the public’s exposure to the 23,000 gallons of vinyl chloride that leaked from the derailed freight train. “Once we realized what we had is when we started to make the other precautionary measures, sheltering in place, moving people in and out trying to lock everything down,” Wachter responded.
“No one should criticize them,” said Paulsboro resident Janice Callahan. “They did what they thought was best, but they didn’t have the correct information.” When asked who she blames, “It’s Conrail,” she said. Paulsboro residents defended local authorities and first responders, but the NTSB claims that they set up a command post too close to the spill hot zone. That first responders should have been wearing breathing apparatus and that local residents should have been evacuated, not told to stay indoors. “They weren’t here. They don’t know,” Wachter said. “They can say what they want to say. We know we did what was appropriate for the community.”
While Conrail wouldn’t comment, 24 local first responders have filed suit against the rail company since the spill. Claiming they suffer from headaches, breathing and neurological problems.
Amateur video surfaced on CNN Sunday showing Asiana Airlines Flight 214 approaching the runway and striking what appears to be a seawall before rotating counterclockwise and coming to a stop. Fred Hayes said he shot the video about a mile from the crash scene.
“We were expecting a lot of burns,” said Dr. Margaret Knudson, San Francisco General Hospital’s chief of surgery. “But we didn’t see them.”
At San Francisco General, 19 survivors remained hospitalized, six of them in critical condition.
The cockpit voice recorder of Asiana Flight 214 reveal the pilots called to initiate a “go-around” at another landing 1.5 second before impact, NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman told reporters on Sunday.
“There is no discussion of any aircraft anomalies or concerns with the approach,” National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman told reporters Sunday, providing an update on Saturday’s plane crash. She said a call from a crew member to increase speed was made approximately seven seconds before impact.
An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crashed and burned at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing two people and injuring 61 others.
The deadly crash happened around 11:30 a.m. Saturday on runway 28 behind Terminal 2 – the international terminal, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The San Francisco Fire Dept. confirmed to KCBS that there were two deaths and 61 injuries from the crash. At San Francisco General Hospital, officials said eight adults and two children were listed in critical condition.
The plane that crashed was flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, initially said to be a cargo plane – but later was identified as a passenger jet.
The airline said 291 people were on board, including a group of vacationing Korean school children. Eyewitnesses at the airport saw passengers evacuated by emergency slides from the plane after the crash.
An Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, forcing passengers to jump down the emergency inflatable slides to safety. It was not immediately known whether there were any injuries.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown said Flight 214 crashed while landing on runway 28 left at the airport at 11:26 PDT.
A video clip posted to YouTube shows smoke coming from a silver-colored jet on the tarmac. Passengers could be seen jumping down the inflatable emergency slides. Television footage showed debris strewn about the tarmac and pieces of the plane lying on the runway.
Fire trucks had sprayed a white fire retardant on the wreckage.
A call to the airline seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to San Francisco to probe the crash. NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said Saturday that NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman would head the team.
Asiana is a South Korean airline, second in size to national carrier Korean Air. It has recently tried to expand its presence in the United States, and joined the oneWorld alliance, anchored by American Airlines and British Airways.
The 777-200 is a long-range plane from Boeing. The twin-engine aircraft is one of the world’s most popular long-distance planes, often used for flights of 12 hours or more, from one continent to another. The airline’s website says its 777s can carry between 246 to 300 passengers.
The last time a large U.S. airline lost a plane in a fatal crash was an American Airlines Airbus A300 taking off from JFK in 2001.
Smaller airlines have had crashes since then. The last fatal U.S. crash was a Continental Express flight operated by Colgan Air, which crashed into a house near Buffalo, N.Y. on Feb. 12, 2009. The crash killed all 49 people on board and one man in a house.
The video is from my squad in Taiwan, share to all firefighter.
Do Not Think You Are Always Lucky！ Today, we were dispatch to extinguish a rubbish fire. When we arrive to the accident place, we find that is JUST a little BIT flame about 1 meter square, and we think that won’t cause any danger. I was wrong.
(Although I had been knowing that it’s always something special to make the rubbish burning because the trash wasn’t spontaneous combustion. We should take all gear (include SCBA) to treat with this accident. But I didn’t follow the standard because I looked down on the ant flame! And then we met a explosion.)
In the beginning, We took a 1.5″ hoseline to the fireground, then we turn on the nozzle and apply water stream to the flame, the fire grow up suddenly. our squad got a little back to the flame when see the sense, then a few seconds later it make a BIG BOOM!
This is a good and alarming case, and I want to share this case to all firefighters to recognize that must taking serious attitude to face to the rubbish fire.
A massive explosion at a fireworks warehouse killed two workers Thursday, police said, leaving a huge plume of smoke blanketing an area west of Montreal.
A series of explosions spread from the charred building after the initial blast at B.E.M. Fireworks near Valleyfield, Quebec. Images from the scene showed a building near a major highway completely destroyed.
Provincial police said two bodies were found in the wreckage but they did not identify them.
Nearly two hours after the blast, fireworks could still be heard exploding at the scene of the fire that continued to burn out of control hours after the explosion, according to witnesses.
Local fire chief Stephane Massicotte said since the warehouse was filled with pyrotechnics it was difficult to battle the blaze.
“This caused a huge amount of flames and very intense heat,” Massicotte told reporters.
He said 150 firefighters were used to battle the flames, which were under control by early Thursday afternoon. Reporters on the ground also indicated that there were no fire hydrants in the vicinity.
“All of a sudden I heard, ‘boom, boom, bang,’” Mario Cramerstetter said from his office, which is just over a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from the site.
Cramerstetter said it looked like a small building caught fire first and then spread to a larger storage unit.
Police ordered the surrounding community of Coteau-du-Lac evacuated. A nearby highway was also closed in both directions.
Police also said low traces of metal materials were found in the surrounding area.
Video captured by a news helicopter showed fireworks igniting inside the remnants of the smoldering building.
According to its website, B.E.M. has been designing and manufacturing pyrotechnics and fireworks for 25 years.
This is video from ntvinh1602 of a fire today at 28 Tran Hung Dao in Hanoi, Vietam. According to the description, the service station is located across from the Central Military Hospital 108. Ten firefighters were hurt, including at least two who were seriously burned. Pictures here show one person with his clothes on fire. The fire spread from the service station lot to a nearby bar.
14h15, fire kept spreading out with huge blasts. 50 firefighters tried to control the fire, about 10 firetruck waited to reach the scene. A sedan car parking in the gas station and nearby beerhouse caught fire and destroyed completely. But no one died so far, only 3 gas station employees injured.
16h, firefighters shouted with joy when the fire under control temporarily, no black smoke rises. However, the fire hose and sprinkler continually bubbles to cool the tank.
16h15, the intense flames and fire burning harder than the beginning. At least two firefighters were taken to the hospital in very serious condition. The reason is when the fire was extinguished temporarily, enforcers decided to discharged gasoline from the tanker to prevent fires, then it met the hot heat and started to fire again!
According to Tuoi Tre’s on-the-scene-reporters, at least 10 firefighters sustained burn injuries while battling the fire and all of them have been taken to hospital for treatment.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear yet. 20 fire trucks and a large number of firefighters have been deployed to the scene.
As of 4:45pm today, firefighters were still working to put it out entirely. Around 15 mins later, more than 1000 people were deployed to extinguish the fire. Tuoi Tre reporters at the scene said they could feel the heat and the smell of gasoline hundreds of meters away from the fire scene.
Authorities say three people suffered minor injuries when a small plane crashed into the living room of an apartment in Herndon.
Capt. Willie Bailey with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue says the plane was headed from the Philadelphia area to Manassas Regional Airport early Friday when it ran out of fuel and crashed.Officials say three people – two in the apartment and one in the Cessna 177B – had minor injuries.The Red Cross is helping nine adults, seven children and three pets who had to leave the building.
The two-passenger plane crashed into a three-story apartment building in the 2200 block of Astoria Circle at around 12:30 Friday morning, authorities say.
The two people in the plane and one person in the building were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.Nine adults, seven children and three pets were evacuated from the building.Sources say that the plane was on its way to Manassas airport from Philadelphia and ran out of fuel. The Cessna tried to land in Dulles, but did not make it and crashed into the apartment building.When the plane crashed into one of the apartment buildings, the pilot stumbled out of the plane and told one of the residents, “I think we hit your apartment.”About 20 people have been evacuated from the building, while cranes are beginning the long process of stabilizing the structure and removing the lodged plane.
The video above captured the explosion earlier this afternoon. It is at approximately 1:05 in the video.
In the video immediate below the person with the camera asks. “How far away do you think we are?’. His answer comes almost immediately. Clearly not far enough. Thanks to STATter911.com reader Lewis Melcher for first alerting us to both videos.
Authorities in Baltimore County were responding to a report of a train derailment in the White Marsh area that caused a loud explosion and sent a plume of white smoke into the sky that could be seen clearly from downtown Baltimore.
Baltimore County police posted to Twitter that a cargo train had derailed in the 7500 block of Lake Drive, near an industrial park. Initial reports were that no one was hurt, but hazardous material teams were responding to the scene.
Several industrial buildings were reported to have collapsed, and police were diverting traffic from Pulaski Highway.
A meteorolgist at KFOR-TV said a short time ago the devastation from today’s tornadoes in Oklahoma will dwarf the infamous May 3, 1999 tornado outbreak. KFOR-TV’s live coverage of the aftermath, and the continuing outbreak is above.
Particularly hard hit is Moore, Oklahoma where there are reports of two schools leveled, with searches of those schools continuing.
Authorities say an elementary school in an Oklahoma City suburb took a direct hit from a mile-wide tornado.
Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department says there is no word of injuries from the elementary school. Knight says the school suffered “extensive damage” on Monday afternoon. He did not say which school was hit.
Neighborhoods in Moore, Okla., are flattened and blown apart, with shards of wood and pieces of insulation strewn everywhere. Television footage also showed first responders picking through rubble and twisted metal in the suburb south of Oklahoma City.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The suburb of Moore was hit hard by a tornado in 1999. The storm had the highest winds ever recorded near the earth’s surface.
More from AP:
A mile-wide tornado churned through the Oklahoma City suburbs, destroying homes for the second day in a row Monday, as part of a severe weather outbreak that was expected to spread in other parts of the Plains and Midwest.
A massive black-and-blue cloud dragged across the landscape just south of Will Rogers World Airport.
Television video showed debris from homes and businesses being carried aloft as the twister rolled through Moore, a community on the south side of Oklahoma City. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
In advance of the storm, the Oklahoma House of Representatives stopped work so Capitol employees could take shelter in the basement. Television and radio broadcasters urged residents to take shelter because the storm’s strength and size.
“We’re just waiting to see what happens. It’s a mile-wide tornado. It’s still grinding out,” said Mark Meyers, a spokesman for the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. “We are currently on standby for tornado response. Whatever happens, we’ll be ready to respond.”
The strongest winds on earth — 302 mph — were recorded near Moore during a tornado May 3, 1999.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman had predicted a major outbreak of severe weather Monday in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Storms on Sunday killed two people near Shawnee, about 35 miles southeast of Oklahoma City. Gov. Mary Fallin earlier Monday took a tour of the areas hardest hit and she expressed concern that, with power out, Oklahomans might not receive warnings about the new round of storms.
Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said a 79-year-old man, who was later identified as Glen Irish, was found dead Sunday out in the open at Steelman Estates, a mobile home park near Shawnee. The state medical examiner’s office said Monday that a 76-year-old man, Billy Hutchinson, was found dead in a vehicle.
The office said both men lived in Shawnee, but the city wasn’t hit by the tornado and it wasn’t immediately clear if either or both lived in the mobile home park, which is near the city.
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.
WacoTrib.com has come up with a list of 11 of the 14 people who died in the explosion Wednesday in West, Texas. Nine of the 11 are firefighters. To my knowledge this is not from an “official” release from authorities in Texas. You will note that in addition to the West VFD and Dallas Fire & Rescue, previously mentioned, the firefighters are from the fire departments of Mertens, Navarro Mills and Abbott.
• Morris Bridges, 41. Fire sprinkler technician for Action Fire Pros. Member of West Volunteer Fire Department.
• Perry Calvin, 37. Student at Hill College Fire Academy. Member of Mertens and Navarro Mills volunteer fire departments.
• Jerry Chapman, 26. Member of Abbott Volunteer Fire Department.
• Cody Dragoo, 50. Foreman at West Fertilizer Co. Member of West Volunteer Fire Department.
• Kenny Harris, 52. Dallas city fire captain.
• Jimmy Matus, 52. Owner of Westex Welding in West.
• Joey Pustejovsky. West City Secretary. Member of West Volunteer Fire Department.
• Cyrus Reed. Worked at Waxahachie plant. Member of Abbott Volunteer Fire Department.
• Robert Snokhaus, 48. Central Texas Iron Works employee, West volunteer firefighter.
• Doug Snokhaus, 50. Central Texas Iron Works employee, West volunteer firefighter.
• Buck Uptmor, 40s. Owner of fencing company. Lived near West.
“It’s tough, man,” said Steve Vanek, West’s mayor pro tem and volunteer fireman who survived the blast. “All these guys we’ve known all our lives. One of the firemen that died was a lifelong friend of my son. I’ve known him since he was born.”
Vanek also said Friday that the West Volunteer Fire Department lost three of its five fire engines in the blast, including a new $200,000 pumper. He said the department will rebuild, but in the meantime it will need help from its neighbors.
“You talk about family — I mean, it really is,” Vanek said.Case in point were longtime West volunteer firefighters Robert and Doug Snokhaus. Robert, 48, and Doug, 50, also worked at Central Texas Iron Works in Waco, where they were on the emergency response team.“
They were both amazing professionals at their respective responsibilities and not only long time employees but friends to everyone here at CTIW,” said company president David Harwell in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The number of people dead following the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas last night is still unclear, with varying reports coming from different officials and news organizations. What is consistent in the reporting is that firefighters and paramedics are among the dead and unaccounted for.
A briefing at 8:30 local time again confirmed again there are missing firefighters. At the briefing it was also reported that a police officer/volunteer firefighter initially reported as missing as found this morning at a Waco hospital suffering serious injuries.
Update at 8:30 a.m. Thursday: Sgt W. Patrick Swanton, the Waco police spokesman handling media briefings in West, said at a press conference a little after 8:20 this morning that search and rescue teams are still looking for survivors.
That “is good news to me,” he said. That means authorities have “not gotten to the point of no return.”
Swanton did not update the number of those injured or killed, and he did not release names of any of the casualties. He repeated the earlier figure of five to 15 people killed but said that’s based on “very limited” information from “folks at the scene,” including local, state and federal officials.
One emergency worker who had been reported as missing, a constable serving as a volunteer firefighter, has been found hospitalized with “serious” injuries. Three or four first responders, among the first to fight the fire before the fertilizer plant exploded shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday, remain missing, Swanton said.
Swanton also said a “small amount” of looting was reported overnight.
Rescuers continued working Thursday morning in West in spite of a cold rain after a long night of door-to-door searches for victims of a Wednesday night explosion that killed between 5 and 15 people and injured more than 100 more.
Six firefighters and two paramedics are confirmed dead and seven nursing home residents were missing after the blast according to West EMS Director Dr. George Smith, who said earlier Wednesday night as many as 60 or 70 people may have died in the blast at West Fertilizer.
One police officer who was reported missing was located Thursday morning at Waco hospital where he was being treated for several injuries.
Smith said early Thursday morning he expects more bodies will be found during the search of damaged and destroyed homes.
At 4:15 a.m., West, Texas EMS director Dr. George Smith confirmed that two paramedics lost their lives in Tuesday night’s explosion at West Fertilizer Company. He said six firefighters remained unaccounted for.
A major explosion occurred Wednesday night at a fertilizer plant in the city of West, near Hillsboro in north-central Texas – killing between five and 15 people and injuring at least 160 more.
Waco Police Spokesperson Sgt. William Patrick Swanton said a fire began Wednesday evening at the West Fertilizer plant. Fifty minutes later, an explosion was reported in a frantic radio call from the scene of the fire at the plant at 1471 Jerry Mashek Dr. just off Interstate 35.
At least five to 15 people were killed and more than 160 wounded when a large fertilizer plant explosion rocked a small Texas town late Wednesday, destroying dozens of homes under a cloud of toxic smoke, police said.
Between three and five firefighters were still missing, Waco, Texas, police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton told reporters early Thursday.
Firefighters, including local volunteers, were battling a blaze at the time of the blast, which caused a ground tremor equivalent to a magnitude-2.1 earthquake, the USGS said. In Amarillo, Texas, a seismograph recorded the blast with a magnitude of 2.5, Swanton said.
A caller first reported the fire at the North Arlington warehouse at 29 Ewing Ave. at around 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 23. Fire and medical units from North Arlington, Lyndhurst, East Rutherford, Rutherford, Moonachie, East Newark and Belleville responded. Carlstadt and Wood-Ridge trucks were requested to cover the North Arlington fire house.
The business listed at the address is Par-Metal Products Inc., which sells metal chassis for electronics.
Firefighters had to deal with icing, frozen gear and water supply concerns while battling four-alarm fire through single-digit temperatures at a metal shop in Bergen County, N.J.
The cold weather made it tough for crews responding to the blaze on Ewing Avenue in North Arlington, a dead-end industrial road near Schuyler Avenue. Fire officials on the scene said water supply, frozen gear and firefighters’ comfort and safety were big concerns.