A child is dead following an apartment fire in Dallas Sunday morning, according to a spokesperson for Dallas Fire-Rescue.
A call for the fire came in around 9:15 a.m. from the Casa Flora Apartments in the 2600 block of Highland Road. When firefighters arrived on scene, they entered the second-floor apartment and quickly extinguished the flames, but the child was not able to get out in time.
Firefighters pulled him out of the unit, where he was pronounced dead.
At least one person was injured Tuesday when an explosion ripped the top off a triple-decker in Pawtucket.
The blast happened at about 10 a.m. at 422 Mineral Spring Ave. Smoke and flames were seen coming from the top of the house. Debris littered surrounding streets.
Image by off-duty Providence firefighter Jermaine Woods who was thanked by Pawtucket mayor for helping out.
Robert Garrey told WPRO radio that he helped three people out of the building. The Central Falls man said two of them – a woman and an infant – appeared unharmed, but he said a man was badly burned. All three had been on the home’s third floor.
Pawtucket Police Major Martins said a man and a baby who live on the third floor were transported to the hospital, but the extent of their injuries isn’t yet known. An eyewitness told us the man suffered burns while trying to protect his family.
A woman who lived in the apartment was able to make it out safely.
There are reports an off-duty Providence firefighter entered the burning apartment and helped the residents to safety. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras congratulated him for his bravery in a tweet, identifying him as Jermaine Woods.
Thanks to firefighterdispatch for alerting us to the audio above from a fire yesterday in the 200 block of Hague Street in Detroit. It provides a dose of reality, showing what Detroit firefighters have been facing for a long time now.
Take a listen. It goes from having to verify that any ladder trucks responding have a working aerial ladder (SOP in Detroit), to no thermal imaging camera available on the fireground, to no EMS unit available, to a chief being told he can’t use a police car to transport the woman firefighters pulled from the home and are doing CPR on.
But despite the obstacles, the news story below indicates Detroit firefighters saved a life on Hague Street yesterday and a family is grateful.
The Lawrenceburg Fire Department rescued five people from a burning apartment complex Wednesday morning, including three children.
The fire started just after 2 a.m. at Oak Grove Apartments, located at 405 Oak Street. Firefighters could see flames when they pulled up. They had heard some residents were trapped in multiple units.
Firefighters used ground ladders to get two people out. While they were doing this, a second team moved up the stairs and saved three children, two of which were dropped from a balcony to police officers below.
In video recorded on the scene, you see firefighters get to one of the families. About 45 seconds in, you hear an emergency worker say ”Drop him! Drop the kid!”
The child, wearing only a diaper, is dropped a short ways. The officer quickly catches the child.
Faulty radios may have slowed the treatment of victims at the Navy Yard shooting.
The Navy’s fire department, civilians who protect naval facilities across the Washington region, were the first to arrive at the Navy Yard to treat the wounded Monday morning after Aaron Alexis opened fire inside Building 197.
But Greg Russell, president of Local F121 of the International Association of Firefighters, says firefighters could not communicate with each other because their digital radios did not work.
He says they actually had to send runners between the command center inside a building and the area where their equipment was staged.
“I believe that the radio problems is a contributing factor to the chaos and delay of prompt medical care to the victims,” says Russell.
He says he can’t say for sure if the faulty radios led to the loss of a life. But it was not the first time the radios have malfunctioned.
“We have been raising this issue for the greater portion of five years. This is not new to the Naval District of Washington,” he says.
The Navy firefighters eventually borrowed radios from the D.C. fire department to get the job done.
The Navy fire department has 250 firefighters in the Washington District spread among 13 fire houses. They protect all naval facilities including the Navy Yard, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.
Russell says the radios’ Mayday system, which should alert firefighters when one of their own is in trouble, also doesn’t work. And he says the radios eat up batteries at an alarming rate.
The radios are actually borrowed from the Army, which uses them at several facilities including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
In response to an inquiry from WTOP about the faulty radios, the Navy issued the following written statement:
“At this time the Naval District Washington focus remains on healing as a Navy family and transitioning to normal operations at the Washington Navy Yard. The Secretary of the Navy has ordered a review of physical security and we will support it fully. Our biggest concern is our Navy Family.”
On Thursday, the union representing civilian police officers at the Navy Yard complained about being under-staffed because of budget cuts, which slowed their agency’s response to the shootings.
We’ve got more details after explosive accusations suggest lives could have been spared at the Navy Yard shooting if the first rescuers inside were able to communicate.
We are specifically referring to the U.S. Naval District of Washington Fire and EMS Department and reports that their emergency radios failed them during the Navy Yard shooting incident.
“I would say there is a great likelihood that more lives could have been saved ,” said Gregory Russell with the National Capital Federal Firefighters. He is the president of the National Capital Federal Firefighters Union. He is also a fire inspector with the U.S. Naval District of Washington Fire, and EMS Department. That’s the same department responsible for fire and EMS services at the Navy Yard.
“They were there almost instantly after the call was put out.”
And just as fast he says, the troubles in communication among Navy firefighters began. He says the radio’s provided to them by the navy failed.
“Immediately upon their arrival they were experiencing radio problems. they were not receiveing and not able to transmit messages to other emergency responders”
He tells us a batallion chief who was the first inside building 197 was trying to report details from inside the shooting scene and set up triage, but couldn’t.
“This required the use of a runner. We had to assign a fire captain as a chiefs aide…he would have to go all the way outside of the building to transmit.”
The president of this union says he is so fed up with the problem that he is drafting a letter calling for the resignation of all those who had anything to do with the purchase and deployment of these radios.
We asked the union president if there were documents reporting the radio failures. He was able to provide reports from 2010, 2012, and one report from january 2013.
“These poorly functioning radios contributed to the chaos,” he said.
WUSA9 reached out to the Regional Fire Chief C.P. Miedzinski by phone. He refused to comment on the matter saying they would e-mail statement to us, but we never received that.
As we know, those in fire and EMS can’t go anywhere without someone capturing them on video. Even on EMS calls, neighbors and bystanders are pulling out the smartphones. Such was the case Friday when the firefighters from Rochester (NY) Fire Department Engine 5 handled a cardiac arrest across from the firehouse. Not only were the bystanders shooting video, they were cheering on the firefighters and the victim.
The firefighters brought the man back to life and the video is getting some attention. The story above is from the TV show Right This Minute and shows that the man they saved, Artie, visited the firehouse this week. The video below is the raw video from Joe Ignizio. Here is some of what Mr. Ignizio wrote in the description.
Engine 5 located in Rochester, NY was called into action on a man who had a heart attack and stopped breathing. My Brother Frank and I jumped up on the patients truck which hit a utility pole and assisted in getting him out of his seat belt and out of the truck. He was purplish in color and not breathing. Then that’s where the miracle began. As you can see in the video the great ENGINE 5 team went to work. They relentlessly worked on their patient trying to revive him. Not seen in the video the fire department ENGINE 5 used an electronic device to shock his heart. After 3 times. The mans heart started.
Below is a comment Mr. Ignizio posted with the video:
I spoke to ARTIE on the phone today, the man who needed ENGINE 5 help.. He was a complete stranger to me until today. He is 58 years old and is very happy and grateful for everyone’s help. He has seen and knows about the video. After speaking to this man, I now know why it was not his time. He is an amazing soul. Thanks for calling Artie and I hope to meet you soon.
I wasn’t sure I was going to again post my personal account of September 11, 2001 until a few days ago. That’s when I came across a news article on the web talking about the terrorist attacks of 12-years-ago. It mentioned that one of those attacks occurred “on a plane that crash-landed in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania”. Obviously the details of that enormously tragic day are already muddy in the minds of many, even those whose job it is to keep others informed about such events. It was a good reminder why those who witnessed this history in New York, Arlington, Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania need to keep telling their stories.
Mine is just the story of an observer who had a close-up view for a little while at the Pentagon. There are much more important stories out there about amazingly heroic efforts to save lives and to get people out of harm’s way. Please make sure you, your children and grandchildren know these stories.
The account below came about because in October of 2001 I was asked by journalist Allison Gilbert to contribute my experiences at the Pentagon to a book called Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11. While I knew I was only one of many TV and radio reporters and anchors who would be contributing to the book, and Allison would only be using a couple of blurbs, it was an opportunity for me to write a chronology of the day and put a few thoughts down. It concludes with a postscript written 40-days after the attacks that looks at the public’s perception of firefighters following the enormous sacrifice made by 343 members of the Fire Department of New York.
September 11, 2001
8:52 AM: Spending time with my son is always the best way to start the day. Sam, almost two years old, is eating his breakfast. I bring my toast into the den to sit with him. The television is on so we can do what we usually do in the morning, watch my wife, Hillary Howard, Sam’s mom, do the weather on WUSA-TV. Instead of the “Early Show” ending to make way for local news, I see the open to a “CBS News Special Report”. I turn the sound up, but don’t need Bryant Gumbel to tell me that something is very wrong at one of the World Trade Center towers. The thick, black smoke pouring out of many windows and from the roof makes it very clear this is a major disaster in the making. Gumbel says there is a report that a plane hit the building. Those words send me out of the room and upstairs to quickly finish getting dressed.
9:03 AM: I occasionally glance at the TV upstairs. A little slow to comprehend some of what it going on, it dawns on me that this appears to be a crystal clear day. I am starting to wonder if this plane crash is really an accident. As I think about calling the newsroom to suggest we might be dealing with a terrorist attack of some sort, any doubts I had are immediately erased. My head quickly turns toward to the TV as I hear a woman say to Byrant Gumbel, “Oh, there is another one! Another plane just hit! Oh, my gosh! Another plane has hit! Another building! Flew right into the middle of it. Explosion.”
It hit me instantly that our lives have suddenly changed.
9:05 AM: On the phone to the station, I talk to Dave Roberts, our news director. I am convinced that if the people who did this were organized enough to quickly hit two targets like the World Trade Center towers, Washington would be next. We decide I will head into town to start looking around for increased security measures and be ready if another attack occurs.
9:10 AM: No time for our normal goodbye ritual. I give Sam a quick kiss and hug. Sam says something about “Jay Jay”. “Jay Jay the Jet Plane”, Sam’s favorite TV show, comes on soon. Not knowing what he may have already seen on TV this morning, I tell him calmly that “Jay Jay” is having a bad day. With the uncertainty of what was ahead, I didn’t want to leave Sam. I knew, though, he was in good hands with Glenda, the woman who takes care of him while we are at work.
9:15 AM: Realizing my good friend, Dan Patrick, our night assignment manager, is probably asleep and has no idea what is going on, I wake him. Dan doesn’t believe me when I describe the events of the morning along with my concern that Washington is next. Certainly I would have thought this was one of his sick practical jokes if the situation were reversed. Hanging up, I’m not sure he is convinced that this is for real.
9:25 AM: My first stop, the State Department. I circle the block and notice some extra officers being deployed around the building. Other street activity appears normal. Checking out the Pentagon never enters my mind.
9:38 AM: East bound on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House, I turn north on 17th Street. At that moment the scanners in my car come alive. On numerous police and fire radio frequencies, people are yelling that a plane hit the Pentagon. Making a fast U-turn, I see the smoke rising across the Potomac River. I get the assignment desk on the phone. It’s a bad connection. I yell into the phone, “Pentagon, Pentagon, Pentagon. Send everyone to the Pentagon. I should be there soon.”
I carefully bust a few lights on southbound 17th Street. Making a right turn, traffic is light on westbound Independence Avenue.
9:41 AM: Anchors Mike Buchanan and Andrea Roane break into CBS coverage to report that there has been an apparent plane crash at the Pentagon. They have distant, but clear pictures of the Pentagon ablaze from our rooftop camera in Rosslyn.
9:43 AM: There is also little traffic heading outbound on the Memorial Bridge. Across the river, I now have a distant view of the Pentagon. The very black smoke I am seeing is surely caused by the fuel, now burning, that was in the plane’s tanks. I call the control room to try and get on the air, but the call cuts out as the anchors lead to me.
9:44 AM: Somehow I end up on southbound Washington Boulevard directly in front of the Pentagon helipad. That is good news, but for the moment it does me no good because there is wireless gridlock. I am unable to get a phone call out.
9:46 AM: I have my home video camera out and on the tripod, rolling off a few shots. The phone still isn’t working.
9:48 AM: Walking down Washington Boulevard is Heather Cabot a recently hired reporter for WUSA. She tells me her phone isn’t getting out either. I ask her to take over my camera and I will work on trying to get a phone call to the station. Heather tells me she is with photographer Mike Trammel. I look back to see Trammel and put my camera away.
9:52 AM: Heather’s phone finally gets through. I describe the scene as firefighters from Ft. Meyer and National Airport put the first water and foam on the burning Pentagon. Some people are looking at the sky, making sure another plane isn’t approaching. I suggest to Heather, that it is probably a good idea for us to do the same. Amazingly traffic on northbound Washington Boulevard has not been blocked and drivers are just whizzing by the burning Pentagon as they head to work.
A familiar red van pulls a few feet past us. It is one of our microwave vans with Bruce Bookholtz at the wheel. I am a bit amazed that, with no communication, we all end up at the same spot.
We hear a number of small pops and explosions. I am guessing those are tires popping from the vehicles that were parked against the building and are now burning, or possibly some small canisters exploding. Among the vehicles on fire is the new crash/rescue fire truck, belonging to the Ft. Meyer Fire Department. It is stationed at the Pentagon and is routinely on hand for helicopter landings and takeoffs, in case of an emergency. It is a fire truck designed for just this rare event, a plane crash, and it can’t be used.
9:55 AM: Heather tells me to look down on the street around us. I was so intent on watching the burning Pentagon, I hadn’t noticed there are what appear to be small pieces from the airplane at my feet. I had already seen the large amount of debris scattered on the Pentagon lawn, but so far no piece is large enough to be easily identified as an airplane part.
9:57 AM: Our first live video is on the air. You see flames crawling up the familiar face of the Pentagon along with some of the first victims as they are carried away from the building.
9:59 AM: I am on the air with Michael Kelly, an eyewitness Heather pulled out of the crowd. Kelly was driving on nearby I-395 when he saw the plane take aim on the Pentagon.
10:00 AM: Anchor Andrea Roane interrupts me, “Dave, Dave, Dave. We want to break in, because we want to go back to New York, where Dan Rather is anchoring our coverage, where one of the towers at the World Trade Center has collapsed”.
These words stop me in my tracks for a moment. I have no TV monitor to see this for myself. Just Andrea’s words. It doesn’t compute in my brain. I had been a firefighter. I had studied high-rise firefighting. There had been a number of major high-rise fires throughout the world that burned for many hours. To my knowledge there had never been a catastrophic collapse of an entire building. This was just one of many things happening today that no one has ever had to deal with.
Knowing how aggressive New York firefighters are, I realize there must be scores of dead rescuers. The last pictures I saw out of New York were from an hour ago. Even then it was pretty apparent, from the amount of fire, that anyone at the impact points and above had little chance of survival.
10:05 AM: They come back to me for our first interview with someone who was in the Pentagon at the time of the attack. Two or three men on stretchers pass by us. It is our first close-up look at the injured and they are severely, if not critically burned over a good portion of their bodies. These victims are flown out by helicopter to a hospital burn unit. Their lives will never be the same.
10:10 AM: A Virginia State Trooper starts moving everyone back. There is concern another plane is coming toward the Pentagon. We don’t move.
10:15 AM: As they come back to our live shot, five floors suddenly collapse around the jet’s impact point. There is now a large gash on the west side of the Pentagon.
10:18 AM: People start running away from the Pentagon. This time, FBI agents are telling us another plane is just minutes out. They order us to move immediately. I am able to get in a few quick words, attempting to explain to Mike and Andrea what is happening, before the transmitter is turned off and the live truck’s mast starts coming down.
10:28 AM: We move just a short distance off Washington Boulevard and down the ramp to Columbia Pike. As Bruce tries to re-establish a signal, I hear through my earpiece that the second tower in New York has collapsed. I just can’t imagine what it going on in Manhattan. The death toll must be staggering. I recall my wife once telling me her grandfather hauled truckloads of steel used to build the Twin Towers. Now those buildings don’t exist.
10:32 AM: We are again feeding live pictures of the burning Pentagon.
10:36 AM: Witnesses are giving different descriptions of the plane that hit the building. Some say it is an American Airlines 757, while others believe it was a business jet. The fire is still burning out of control.
10:38 AM: Mike Buchanan asks me if I have seen any large pieces of an airplane at the scene. As I answer this question, he interrupts me,“Hold on Dave. Hold on just a second. We’ve got a bulletin from AP. A large plane has just crashed in Western Pennsylvania.”
Mike also reads an AP report about a car bomb going off at the State Department. We are just across the river from State and we didn’t hear an explosion.
10:42 AM: An F-16 makes a low pass near the Pentagon. That, along with the plane crash in Pennsylvania, makes me think there was something to the threats that forced us move away from the building. I notice a large group of people huddled under the Washington Boulevard overpass.
10:52 AM: A Lt. Colonel with Air Force Public Affairs passes our location. We snag him. He urges people to keep far away from the Pentagon. If you have loved ones you can’t account for, he asks that you not come to the Pentagon. He has no idea of the number of dead or injured. Not much in the way of information, but it is the first official word.
WUSA anchorman Gordon Peterson, who was originally sent to nearby National Airport for a flight to New York, arrives at our location.
10:54 AM: Mike and Andrea confirm there was no car bomb at the State Department. A little bit of good news.
11:06 AM: Gordon interviews Mike Walter, a television reporter for “USA Today Live”. Mike, on his way to work in Rosslyn, witnessed the Pentagon crash and offers the most vivid description so far.
11:10 AM: We are again ordered to move our live truck further away from the Pentagon.
11:31 AM: Our shot is back up. This time, from a hill in front of the Quick Mart. This Citgo, looks like a normal service station, but it is exclusively for use by military personnel.
11:39 AM: The fire is spreading. Suddenly there are flames showing in a number of windows far from the point of impact.
People again start moving quickly from the Pentagon. There is more talk of another hijacked plane heading our way.
11:52 AM: Again, more people rush from the Pentagon.
12:16 PM: I listen to Dan Patrick, with a phone report, describe his attempts to get from Northern Virginia to the TV station in Northwest Washington. Dan says he had to show identification to a police officer and explain his business in the city. Only then was he allowed to cross Key Bridge into Georgetown. The city is in lockdown.
12:18 PM: Gordon notices an ambulance convoy from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad pull up along Columbia Pike. It was a repeat of a scene I had witnessed, just on the other side of the Pentagon, almost 20 years earlier. The same Maryland squad sent a similar contingent after Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14th Street Bridge on January 13th, 1982.
12:20 PM: If I am not convinced how much turmoil there is in the country from these attacks, this does it. Mike and Andrea announce Disney World is being evacuated.
12:28 PM: A Navy public affairs officer officially confirms what has been painfully obvious. Besides the dead on the aircraft, Pentagon workers are dead inside the building. He has no idea how many people didn’t get out.
12:32 PM: Talking on the air with Mike and Andrea, it still isn’t clear which of the four hijacked jets smashed into the Pentagon. Right now, American Airlines believes the hijacked flight from Dulles crashed into one of the towers in New York.
Police move everyone, including the news media, off the hillside. Bruce pulls the truck around to the other end of the service station lot. This fourth move winds up being our last. It becomes home for the better part of two weeks.
1:19 PM: The first official briefing from the Pentagon. Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, announces that this was “a full assault on the United States of America”. The admiral says there was no way to prepare for an attack like this. I am shaking my head at the fact that the spokesman for the military headquarters of the United States of America is forced to talk to the world from a service station parking lot.
1:30 PM: CNN Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre joins me on the air for a few minutes. Our first time working together was at WTOP radio, 20 years ago, covering the Air Florida plane crash. Jamie says they always anticipated a terrorist attack at the Pentagon, but figured it would be on the other side of the building where all the top brass is located.
Off camera, Jamie tells me that just yesterday his son’s class in middle school had a discussion about the bombing in Oklahoma City. Jamie’s son told the class he always worries about his dad being hurt by an attack like this, because his dad works at the Pentagon. Jamie tried getting word to the school to let his son know he was okay.
1:50 PM: Andrea announces that the Urban Search and Rescue Team from Fairfax County, known as Virginia Task Force 1, has been activated and will be at the Pentagon shortly.
American Airlines now says they aren’t sure where Flight 77 ended up.
WUSA-TV’s Mike Trammel’s shot of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (third from the right) helping carry one of the injured from the Pentagon to a waiting ambulance.
1:56 PM: Admiral Quigley sets the tone for his second briefing by saying “you are going to have a lot more questions than I have answers.” Quigley doesn’t have an answer to the one question all of us are asking. He can only say, “we know there are casualties.”
He tells us Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was among the Pentagon workers hurrying from the building after the explosion. Rumsfeld helped the injured for about 15 minutes, getting several people onto stretchers. Then he went back inside to the National Military Command Center. The command center is reportedly smoky, but not damaged. (NOTE: Approaching the one-year anniversary of the attack, CNN’s Vito Maggiolo contacted me after looking at the raw video from September 11 shot by WUSA-TV photojournalist Mike Trammel. While many people had viewed that video, and all of it played out in front my own eyes, Vito was the only person to notice that one of the men carrying a stretcher with one of the first victims removed from the Pentagon was Secretary Rumsfeld.)
2:10 PM: Virginia Task Force 1 arrives. Normally Fairfax County’s Urban Search and Rescue Team is sent to some far off land by way of military transport. This time it was just a quick drive down Interstate 66 to the county on its eastern border.
2:23 PM: WUSA Photographer Greg Guise is able to provide some details surrounding the hijacked jet that went down in Pennsylvania. Greg grew up a few miles from the crash site and has business interests in the community. Greg relays a description of the scene from a radio engineer friend in Somerset County.
2:43 PM: For the past few hours we’ve seen no ambulances leave the area with lights and siren. We’re pretty certain that anyone alive is already being treated. Now reporter Jennifer Ryan, at the Virginia Hospital Center, confirms no more victims are expected from the Pentagon.
2:49 PM: Mike and Andrea report it’s now fairly clear the plane wreckage at the Pentagon is from American Airlines Flight 77 out of Dulles.
2:55 PM: Rear Admiral Stephen Pietropaoli, U.S. Navy Office of Information, tells us that in the recently renovated wedge of the Pentagon, where the attack occurred, there is blast resistant glass on the windows. In the days to come we hear from many who believe that this very expensive glass saved lives.
3:53 PM: Now briefing us at the Citgo press center, Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clark and Defense Protective Service Chief John Jester. Jester tells us the impact from the jet extends through to the C ring, the middle of the 5 rings of the Pentagon. All we see from our location, is that a portion of the E ring, the outer most portion of the Pentagon, has crumbled.
Clark admits she can’t confirm that all members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are accounted for. That news is a bit unsettling. We also hear about a Navy captain who burned his hands rescuing others. Clark says that man is already back from the hospital and wants to be put to work again, helping at the Pentagon.
4:12 PM: Rumors have been spreading that the U.S. military brought down the hijacked plane in Pennsylvania. Rear Admiral Craig Quigley says, “That didn’t happen. I cannot explain to you the cause of the crash of the airplane near Pittsburgh, but it was not engagement by a U.S. fighter aircraft.”
The Pentagon now confirms all the Joint Chiefs are accounted for.
4:54 PM: The second Urban Search and Rescue Team arrives. This one is from Montgomery County, Maryland.
5:04 PM: I see International Association of Firefighters General President, Harold Schaitberger and his press person, George Burke arrive at the Citgo. I grab Harold for a live interview. Harold has been in close touch with his people in New York. We learn for the first time that more than 200 New York firefighters probably perished when the towers collapsed. He calls firefighters “our domestic soldiers”. Schaitberger says the civilian death toll will be in the thousands. Off camera he lets me know that much of FDNY’s command staff was lost, including the Chief of the Department and the head of Special Operations.
5:36 PM: Harold Schaitberger joins me again with the story of two Ft. Meyer firefighters who were at the Pentagon when the crash occurred. They were standing near the fire truck we saw burning this morning. Both men were knocked down and injured by the force of the crash. They helped rescue a group of people through some of the office windows, before the firefighters themselves were hospitalized.
6:42 PM: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield briefs the press. For the first time since the crash, the press conference is held inside the Pentagon. I watch it from our van. Pushed for a body count, Rumsfeld says, “It will not be a few”. The Pentagon “will be in business tomorrow”.
8:45 PM: New information has been slow in coming, but marching up Columbia Pike with the television lights reflecting off his orange vest is a member of Montgomery County’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team. Captain Scott Graham gives us the first solid information about the fire and rescue efforts. Scott becomes a lifeline for information in the days to come.
Despite the large fire still burning, Graham says the USAR team members are always optimistic about finding people alive. He says, “We have to look at it as a rescue effort for us. We have to look at it as a very unstable building. And our job, pretty much, is to take the name of the Pentagon off the outside of it and go in and rescue the people that are in there”.
9:52 PM: Another familiar face shows up at the Citgo. Ed Plaugher is the fire chief of Arlington County. The Pentagon is in Arlington County, Virginia and Chief Plaugher is the man in charge of the fire and rescue operations. None of the other reporters nearby seem to know who Plaugher is, or if they do, they don’t care. Ed joins me live at 10:00 PM with the first solid news about the loss of life at the Pentagon. There are no figures as of yet, but the Pentagon has given him a range to work with. Plaugher says it is believed that anywhere from 100 to 800 people work in the area where the impact occurred. While that is fairly large range, it lets us know that the death toll will likely be in the hundreds at the Pentagon, as compared to the thousands presumed dead in New York. Plaugher’s guess is, when it is over, the number at the Pentagon will be in the low hundreds.
Plaugher later receives some heat when his statements are taken out of context. Some news reports claim Plaugher estimated the death toll at 800. Days later we learn that 125 were killed on the ground and 64 perished aboard Flight 77.
On another topic Chief Plaugher says, “To be honest with you, we always were afraid of the Pentagon as being a target, but never in our wildest dreams to this extent. I am still in disbelief.”
11:03 PM: Fire has broken through in at least four places along the Pentagon roof. Chief Plaugher says aggressive interior firefighting operations will cease until daylight. But, crews overnight, will continue to pour in water from the outside to keep the fire from spreading further.
I relay a phone conversation with Scott Graham a few minutes before our 11:00 PM newscast. Scott and most of the USAR team members from Montgomery and Fairfax Counties worked very closely with Deputy Chief Ray Downey from the Fire Department of New York. Downey, commander of FDNY’s Special Operations, is unaccounted for after the towers collapsed. Scott says Downey commanded all the USAR teams in Oklahoma City after the bombing there. He says Downey wrote the book on urban search and rescue. Skills Downey taught will be utilized in New York and Arlington by hundreds of rescuers in the difficult days to come. His voice cracking, Scott tells me, “We lost a damn good man”.
We lost a lot of good men and women today.
October 27, 2001
11:15 PM: As I am looking back at September 11th, I have just spent a week covering the deaths of two Washington, D.C. postal workers, from inhalation anthrax. Others are hospitalized because of anthrax that was sent through the U.S. Mail. No one knows how this story will play out.
There is a lot of uncertainty since September 11th. Our war efforts, our security in public places, our ability to travel safely by air, our economic future. Like all parents, Hillary and I worry over what this will mean for our young son.
This much I’m sure of. Through the thick smoke hanging over New York and Washington, it became clear that some remarkable people walk among us.
Some are just ordinary citizens who put other people’s lives ahead of their own. Staying behind, trying to make sure everyone gets out.
Others are paid to protect us. But I don’t think anyone believes for a moment that a police officer, paramedic or firefighter’s modest salary is enough to encourage someone to walk into the places that these men and women did on September 11th. It takes much more than money. It takes heart, and courage, and a belief you can make a difference.
I know firefighters the best. Six years in a busy volunteer company during my youth, and almost 30 years making the fire service my beat as a reporter, have given me some perspective.
In many big cities, including our Nation’s Capital, the fire departments have long taken a back seat when it comes to funding. Citizens who can tell you how many times the police patrol car comes down their block, or how many officers are walking the beat, have no idea how many firefighters are on duty in the neighborhood fire station. Political leaders know this to be true and through the years have made drastic cuts in fire protection, often without protest from the public.
Through the years, I have reported many stories where citizens and firefighters have died because of these cuts. Just last week an understaffed ladder company became an issue in Houston, Texas, after a fire captain died in a high-rise apartment building fire.
Firefighters are can-do people. Their skills at making things work under adversity often hides from the public the shortcomings in their staffing, equipment and facilities.
Some of the good that has come from the sacrifices made by the 343 members of FDNY who died on September 11th, is the recognition, by the public, of what firefighters really do.
A recent trip to Arlington County Fire Station #2 brought this home. The firehouse is covered with cards and letters from all over the world. Many are from school children, with drawings of the firefighters in action at the Pentagon and World Trade Center. All say thanks.
Veterans of more than 20 years in the fire service are astounded by the reaction these days as they drive through local streets. People stop and wave. When the firefighters walk into a building in uniform, they are applauded.
On October 7th, I was at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Just two hours before military action in Afghanistan began, President Bush told the stories of some of the 99 domestic soldiers who died in the line of duty in the United States last year. I watched as spouses and children received a flag and a red rose, and heard a bell toll in honor of their loved one, our hero.
I have forced myself on most days since September 11th to read the New York Post, Daily News and Times and the accounts of the daily funerals of New York firefighters. It is difficult to read about the pain their wives and children are going through. It is the least, though, that we can do. It is important to remember this unbelievable sacrifice.
My hope is that people all over the United States are paying very close attention to these same stories of heroism. My hope is that they don’t forget these stories when someone is trying to save a little money and close down their local firehouse.
Right now when Sam sees a fire truck he says, “Evan”. “Revvin’ Evan” is the animated fire engine on that “Jay Jay the Jet Plane” cartoon show he loves. When Sam is old enough, I will make sure he knows a lot more about firefighters. I will make sure Sam understands exactly who those people were climbing up the clogged, smoke filled, stairways, as he sat in his high chair, watching the first pictures transmitted from New York, at 8:52 AM, on September 11th, 2001.
I am not sure if this is old or new because I haven’t found news coverage of this story other than on LiveLeak and YouTube, but it sure is compelling. Here’s the description with the video that was posted earlier today:
Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine: a gas explosion occurred on the 3rd floor of a residential building. A fire started immediately after the explosion and engulfed residences on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
4 people, including the 1-year-old toddler, found themselves buried under the debris in the apartments - in the video we can see the mother and her child being pulled out of the rubble, both are alive, they suffered minor injuries. Looks like the mom shielded the child with her own body.
Among the other injured – 2 workers who were renovating one of the apartments and using a propane gas cylinder to install a decorative ceiling – preliminary investigation points to the cylinder as the cause of explosion. Almost 70 firefighters were involved in battling this blaze.
An autopsy was being conducted Sunday to determine whether one of the two teenage passengers killed on the Asiana Airlines flight had been run over by a San Francisco fire rig at the crash scene.
The 16-year-old girl was found near the evacuation slide near the left wing of Asiana Flight 214 that crashed Saturday during a landing at San Francisco International Airport.
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said Sunday her injuries are consistent with having been run over.
“As it possibly could have happened, based on the injuries sustained, it could have been one of our vehicles that added to the injuries, or another vehicle,” Hayes-White said. “That could have been something that happened in the chaos. It will be part of our investigation.”
Hayes-White said a runway video recording of the first seconds of the crash could help unravel what occurred. “Part of it was a pretty good vantage point,” she said.
While federal investigators began piecing together what led to the crash, San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault disclosed that he was looking into the possibility that one of the two teenage passengers who died Saturday actually survived the crash but was run over by a rescue vehicle rushing to aid victims as the plane burst into flames. Remarkably, 305 of 307 passengers survived the crash and more than a third didn’t even require hospitalization. Only a small number were critically injured.
Foucrault, the coroner, said senior San Francisco Fire Department officials notified him and his staff at the crash site on Saturday that one of the 16-year-olds who was killed may have been struck on the runaway. Foucrault said an autopsy he expects to be completed by Monday will involve determining whether the girl’s death was caused by injuries suffered in the crash or “a secondary incident.”
Foucrault said one of the bodies was found on the tarmac near where the plane’s tail broke off when it slammed into the runway. The other was found on the left side of the plane about 30 feet away from where the jetliner came to rest after it skidded down the runway.
Authorities said Sunday that the girl, found near the west wing of the aircraft, suffered injuries consistent with being run over by a vehicle. She also did not suffer extensive burns.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee described the situation for first responders to the crash site as “very chaotic” with “lots of smoke” as he spoke with reporters at San Francisco General Hospital, where many of the surviving crash victims are being treated.
Lee said given that scene, it might be possible a vehicle could have run over the girl – but he said that determination would have to be made by the coroner and crash investigators.
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.
Firefighters from all departments throughout Jackson County came to the rescue. Five workers from Bay City-based Dore and Associates Contracting Inc. were rescued from the fourth or fifth floors, and one was rescued from the 11th floor.
“Our primary focus was to get the people out,” said Matt Heins, Jackson’s director of Police and Fire Services. “(The contractors) are okay. The medical personnel on scene checked them out.”
Firefighters used a ladder truck to get to the five workers on the fourth or fifth floor, and helped them climb down. For the man trapped on the 11th floor, firefighters used a Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety ladder truck because it is much taller and reaches up seven or eight stories.
Heins said the man on the 11th floor was able to get down several stories to get into the bucket, and was lowered to safety.
Jackson Fire Chief Matthew Heins says the fire started in a pile of debris on the third or fourth floor of the building. What caused the fire is still under investigation.
The six demolition crewmen were working in the area of the fire when it started around 2 pm. The fire and smoke left the crewmen trapped with no way down.
“There was flames coming out of one of the windows and there was extensive smoke. Initially we were only told there were five, but a short time later we found the sixth person missing,” said Heins.
Firefighters were able to get all six workers out by a ladder. All six were able to get down the ladder on their own. They suffered minor smoke inhalation, but there were no injuries.
The fire consumed parts the 3rd and 4th floor, North-West corner. The size of the fire and building was too big for the Jackson Fire Department to handle alone. 6 other fire departments from around Jackson County also responded to the call.
A parking garage has partially collapsed outside a shopping mall in suburban Maryland, and officials say one construction worker who was trapped has died.
Montgomery County rescuers were working to stabilize the structure to free a second worker for more than three hours on Thursday. Officials say it appears a 50,000-pound section of the parking deck collapsed outside a Macy’s store.
Fire Department spokeswoman Beth Anne Nesselt says one man died. The second worker has been freed and is being airlifted by helicopter to a shock trauma center. The worker has serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.
Assistant Fire Chief Scott Graham says rescuers confirmed there were no other people inside the structure.
The parking deck was under construction during the collapse and was not open to the public.
Video from the scene showed a large concrete slab that appears to have fallen out of place.
Montgomery County Fire officials say a 50,000 pound beam fell at an angle just after 1:47 p.m. at a parking deck near Macy’s. The beam fell from the third floor to the second floor, where the two workers were.
The parking deck was under construction at the time and was closed to the public.
There were about 20 workers at the garage at the time of the collapse.
The Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department says units responded to Westfield Montgomery Mall “for major structure collapse” on Thursday afternoon.
Montgomery County Fire officials say they got a call at 1:47 p.m. at the location at 7125 Democracy Blvd. They say a key section of the parking deck collapsed. Assistant Chief Scott Graham says they are trying to rescue two adults.
More than 100 people are working on the rescue right now, says Graham.
We are told the parking garage was not open to the public because it was under construction.
The body of a Dallas firefighter who radioed for help after becoming trapped in a burning condominium has been recovered.
The firefighter, whose name has not yet been released, was among the 100 Dallas firefighters who responded to a six-alarm fire at the Hearthwood Condominiums at 12363 Abrams Road Monday morning.
When firefighters arrived shortly before 3 a.m., smoke was seen billowing through the roof of the complex. Dallas Fire-Rescue’s Jason Evans said firefighters initially started to attack the fire offensively, but moved to a defensive posture due to how fast the fire was growing.
At about 5 a.m., one of the firefighters radioed that he was trapped inside the building and that he wasn’t sure where he was. Evans said crews had not been able to reach the firefighter by radio since that message.
At about 9:15 a.m., the body of the firefighter was found. He was removed from the rubble, covered in an American flag and carried to an ambulance as dozens of firefighters and onlookers flanked either side, removed their helmets and saluted the procession.
Jason Evans with Dallas Fire-Rescue told NBC 5′s Kendra Lyn that the missing firefighter used his radio to say he was trapped inside and did not know where he was. Evans says crews have not been able to reach the firefighter by radio since that last message.
Evans also said the huge fire is keeping crews from searching the building for any injured or trapped residents inside the building.
At least 24 units in the complex are involved in the fire and embers from the flames have been reported landing on town homes behind the complex.
Dallas Fire-Rescue elevated the blaze to a six-alarm fire at 5:23 a.m. Monday, bringing in additional units to help battle the blaze. Ninety firefighters and 15 fire engines were at the scene as of 5:16 a.m.
Dallas firefighters are “still looking” for a comrade they believe is trapped inside a six-alarm blaze that has devoured a condominium complex at Abrams Road and LBJ Freeeway.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says the firefighter radio’d in that he was trapped and lost, at which point his radio went dead. He has not been heard from since. It’s believed he became trapped when one of the floors collapsed.
Evans says the call first came in at 2:52 this morning. Firefighters arrived to find an elderly woman trapped in a third-story unit. She was rescued, with a ladder truck, and treated at the scene by paramedics.
Thanks in part to gusty winds, it didn’t take long for the fire to spread: “It went to six at 5:22,” says Evans.
“It got defensive pretty fast,” says Evans, who adds that “at least 24 units in the complex are completely destroyed.”
One person is dead as a result of a fire that heavily damaged two three-story homes at Tremont and Sudbury streets on Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The victim lived on the third floor, and firefighters were able to get him out of the house as it was burning, Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Ayotte said. The man was taken to Waterbury Hospital, where he died, he said.
Ayotte said three firefighters were injured, and were treated at Watebury Hospital.
“There is a lot of damage to both buildings. They’re pretty well gutted,” Ayotte said. “The fire had a head start. Both houses were pretty well involved by the time we got there.”
Broadcastify.com audio via firefighterdispatch from a fire reported around 6:30 this morning on Linden Street in Boston, Massachusetts. There are two separate maydays on the audio. One at 9:50 and the other at 22:00. The pictures on this page are from the Boston Fire Department.
The Boston Fire Department says a house fire in the city’s Allston neighborhood has killed one person and injured 15 people, including six firefighters.
Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Fire Department, said the fire at the 2-1/2- story wood frame house was reported at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.
He says none of the injuries to the firefighters or residents were life-threatening and all firefighters were treated and released. Some of the residents remained hospitalized late Sunday afternoon.
One firefighter fell through a second-story floor while another fell down the stairs, Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald said.
One resident jumped from the upper floors while three others were taken down ladders. An BFD aerial tower was unable to reach the upper floors because of power lines, MacDonald said.
“It got so bad that the chief ordered everyone out of the building,” MacDonald said. “One resident told us someone was missing. We could not make entry. We knew there was a good possibility we would find someone inside.”
Above is audio from alertpage of this morning’s mayday at a fire in Baltimore County, Maryland that left Reisterstown VFC Firefighter Gene Kirchner in critical condition. Firefighter Kirchner was found unconscious on the 2nd floor. A 58-year-old man was found dead in the house. The mayday call is heard at 6:45 into the video. Time has been condensed for this recording with pauses removed. Below is an update to this morning’s story.
The dwelling, a two-story Victorian, was used as a few separate apartments, and was less than a quarter-mile from the closest fire company, so they arrived quickly. On arrival they had heavy fire and smoke. When they went inside, they found Steven Stark, 58, on the second floor. He was taken to Northwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At some point, volunteer Firefighter Gene Kirchner, 24, issued a mayday call from inside the home. Firefighters found him unconscious, rescued him and transported him to Northwest Hospital, then to Baltimore Shock Trauma, where his condition is critical. What happened and why is unknown yet.
Steven Stark, 58, of the unit block of Hanover Road, was found in an upstairs hallway of his home during an intense search and rescue effort and transported to Northwest Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, said Captain Rich Schenning, a department spokesman.
Kirchner, whose exact age was not immediately available, was resuscitated at the scene and transported to Northwest Hospital Center before being transferred to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical condition Wednesday morning, Schenning said.
Firefighters conducting a secondary search of the home located Stark, Schenning said.
Firefighters were met by heavy fire and smoke. When they went inside, they said they found Steven Stark, 58, on the second floor. He was taken to Northwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Baltimore County fire officials said a volunteer firefighter, identified as Gene Kirchner, 24, issued a mayday call and collapsed inside the home. Crews found him and took him to Northwest Hospital. He was then transferred to Shock Trauma, where his condition isn’t known.
Officials said the bulk of the fire was held to the back portion of the house. Fire investigators are still looking for the cause. 11 News has learned that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been called in to assist.
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.
Above is more complete radio traffic from firefighterdispatch of the incident in Suwanee, Georgia yesterday where the crews from Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services Engine 10 and Med 10 where taken hostage for four hours.
Police used “flash bang” concussion grenades to stun the gunman, who had lured firefighters to the residence by faking a heart attack hours earlier.
Officers with Gwinnett County’s SWAT team then killed the man in a shootout.
It was a violent end to a harrowing day for public safety officials and people in the community, dozens of whom watched the standoff unfold over four hours.
It started after firefighters responded to the medical call at 2440 Walnut Grove Way just after 3 p.m. The gunman initially took five firefighters hostage, but let one leave to move a firetruck in front of the house, Ritter said.
One police officer was wounded in the exchange of gunfire, but his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. The firefighters suffered minor injuries. All were transported to a local hospital.
The driver of a tractor trailer saved from the cab hanging over the side of the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel Monday has been charged with reckless driving.
Sgt. Michelle Anaya with the Virginia State Police said the driver of the tractor trailer lost control and struck the bridge heading southbound just before 9 a.m. The cab caught fire and was left hanging off the side of the bridge.
Anaya told WAVY.com the driver, who was trapped inside, was extracted by the Newport News and Suffolk fire departments. Almira Ribic, 43, of Newport News was transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center. She was treated and released from the hospital, according to hospital spokesman Peter Glagola.
The truck ran off the right side of the road, hit the bridge, overturned and caught fire, said Sgt. Michelle Anaya, state police spokeswoman. The cab of the truck was left dangling over the James River with the driver inside.
As the fire was extinguished, rescuers parked a firetruck from Suffolk on the northbound bridge, and firefighters from Newport News were on the southbound bridge, Anaya said. The Suffolk firetruck stretched out a ladder, also called an elevated platform, to the cab of the truck, and Newport News Master Firefighter Scott Dye rappelled down to the driver, Anaya said.
The mayor of Philadelphia on Sunday ordered flags flown at half-staff and called for prayers for the family and colleagues of a veteran fire captain killed when a roof collapsed beneath him as he battled a blaze, the third city firefighter killed in the line of duty in a year.
Capt. Michael Goodwin, 53, plunged onto the second-floor roof of the three-story building in the Fabric Row section during Saturday night’s blaze. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Fellow firefighter Andrew Godlewski, 28, burned on his hands while trying to rescue Goodwin, was discharged Sunday from a hospital, officials said.
“We must never forget the grave risks that these heroic public servants take every day at a moment’s notice on behalf of us all,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement Sunday.
At an emotional news conference late Saturday, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers called Goodwin, a 29-year veteran, “a really good person.”
“He was the kind of guy who looked out for his folks,” he said. “A ladder man. A firefighter’s firefighter.”
Goodwin is survived by a wife, two grown children and three siblings, one of whom is a police officer, he said.
Police officers and fellow firefighters saluted Goodwin’s body, draped in an American flag, as it was carried to a hospital and, later, to a funeral home.
The loss came as the fire department prepared to mark a year since an April 9 blaze at a warehouse that killed Capt. Robert Neary, 59, and Daniel Sweeney, 25. They also died in a collapse, which came as they inspected an adjacent building.
“We have a department that is wounded,” Ayers said. “We have scars that are fresh, and indeed they have now been reopened.”
Nutter ordered flags flown at half-staff at all city buildings for the next 30 days in Goodwin’s honor, officials said.
At Goodwin’s fire station deep in south Philadelphia, bouquets were clustered on and around a wooden bench along with a large toy fire truck and ladder.
The American Red Cross of southeastern Pennsylvania said 17 residents were displaced by the blaze, and three of them needed financial help with hotels, food and clothing.
At the scene Sunday afternoon, a fire hose planted in the middle of the street sprayed a jet of water onto the remains of the building, which had collapsed into a pile that stretched over the sidewalk in between two other three-story row homes. Meals and counseling were being provided for grieving firefighters, the Red Cross said.
The blaze appeared to have started in a fabric store downstairs before spreading to upstairs apartments and a neighboring boutique, the store’s owner said. The proprietors of both stores told The Philadelphia Inquirer that everyone in both buildings at the time of the fire managed to escape.
The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately known, but Bruce Blumenthal, the owner of Jack B. Fabrics, said he believes it started in a wall and may have been electrical in nature. Blumenthal said he smelled smoke coming from the basement at around 5 p.m. and found a box of collars and cuffs on fire. He tried to put the flames out with an extinguisher to no avail, he said.