Vacant furniture factory burns in Salamanca, New York: Firefighters in and around Cattaraugus County were busy last night dealing with fire in two large historic buildings that had been the home of Fancher Furniture and Philadelphia Furniture. Also destroyed was a laser engraving company that employed 61 people. The mayor of Salamanca declared a state of emergency after power and phone service were lost to part of the town and because of concerns about chemicals in the buildings. Read more about the fire. Watch another story here. Lots of pictures of the fire here.
UPDATE- Ferry crash this morning: Just before 9:30 AM the Staten Island Ferry crashed into the dock on the Staten Island side. There is an early report from WCBS-TV of 10 minor injuries. At 11:00 AM there are now reports of as many as 60 people injured. Some serious. CNN coverage. Click here fo WCBS-TVcoverage. YouTube video. NY1 coverage.
The New York Post first reported it is the same vessel, the Andrew J. Barberi, that crashed in 2003 killing 11 people.
Things seem to be winding down but you can listen live to Staten Island via TheBravest.com.
Listen to this woman’s rescue story: Hearing Leslie Bills recall her dramatic conversation with 911 in the Nashville area, I am wondering if the fire pre-arrival protocols just failed to take into account these somewhat unique circumstances. Bills’ home was surrounded by extremely high water at the same time the fire in her garage was starting to spread to the rest of the house. A man on a Jet Ski came to the rescue as Bills was making some important decisions. Here’s the story.
Raw video from fire on Maryland congressman’s property: We have lots of video from Thursday’s fire on the Frederick County property owned by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. The fire destroyed parts of a barn and silo that had been turned into apartments. Click here for our coverage.
Update on Sparky, a firefighter’s fire setting dog: We heard yesterday from the wife of Alexandria Fire Department Firefighter Glenn Ross that Sparky and Brownie are now home. Sandy Ross says when they went to pick up the smoke eating dogs from Alexandria Animal Hospital someone had already paid the remaining $3000 of their bill. Sandy and Glenn want to thank everyone for their kindness after their home caught fire Tuesday. Glenn Ross heard the call being dispatched while working at Station 206. The fire was caught fairly early thanks to a five-year-old neighbor. Sparky is suspected of starting the fire by trying to go after a box of treats left on the stove top. Here’s our original story.
The battle is on in New York: A day after Mayor Bloomberg’s budget called for the closing of 20 engine companies unless the union agrees to a staffing reduction, the Uniformed Firefighters Association is calling the plan a threat to its members and public safety. Click here to read details.
Fire company members accused of stealing toilet paper and gasoline: Three members of the same family who have served New York’s Chestertown Fire Company for more than 50-years are accused of theft from the firehouse. But there is also a claim of a conflict if interest in having the Warren County Sheriff’s Department investigate these charges. Check it out.
Two new and one old drinking and responding incidents make the news: After we put together our stories of a New York firefighter who struck a cop responding to a fire and an Iowa fire chief accused of being drunk on an EMS call, comes word of another similar incident. This one is also from Iowa where a Janesville firefighter has now been charged with drunken driving after rolling a fire truck on March 27. Click here for the story from Firefighter Nation. Here’s our coverage of the other two stories.
Shot firefighter is fired: You may recall the December 12 story from Quincy, Massachusetts where Milton Firefighter Joseph Fasano was shot. As more was learned about the road rage incident things started looking bad for Fasano’s future with the fire department. Fasano has now been fired for insubordination and conduct unbecoming a firefighter. Check out the details.
Bringing the fire to the firefighters: The driver of a burning pick-up truck in McMinnville, Oregon, figured he was only a block or two away so why make the firefighters drive all the way to him when his vehicle caught fire. He drove the truck to the front ramp of the firehouse. Here’s the story.
Three-alarms in Baltimore: Early helicopter views of yesterday’s fire that spread through multiple row homes. Click here.
Chicago commissioner quits: You may recall our story about the self-proclaimed gift to women, John Brooks of Chicago. He’s the fire commissioner who, when accused of sexual misconduct by a payroll clerk, made it clear that thanks to God women always proposition him. When we first posted that story, it was pretty certain the end was near. Firegeezer brings us the conclusion to this chapter.
Also from Firegeezer: I could be wrong but I believe it was Jerry Seinfeld (could have been another comedian) who did a bit about how we as men always have it under control and think we can handle the problems. He used as an example tying down a mattress on top of our car and then holding it with our arm out the window to keep it from flying off as we ride down the highway. Bill Schumm has the sad story of a man who used his whole body to keep the mattress from flying away. The story does not have a happy or funny ending.
Where there’s smoke … : Too early to say if they will find any fire in Atlanta over allegations that there was cheating on a recent Atlanta Fire Department promotional exam. The two stories I have read so far only contain anonymous allegations that some people were given the answers ahead of time. If there is anything to back up the claims, it hasn’t been made public. City human resources officials say there is no formal complaint but that they have heard enough to launch an investigation. Here are the details.
Forget the games: That’s the advice of Stafford County, Virginia Chief Rob Brown when he addressed Fire-Rescue Med about the economic crisis. As chair of the IAFC task force looking at how chiefs can deal with the significant impact on their budgets, Chief Brown told the audience in Las Vegas that the worst thing they can do is issue ultimatums to their mayors and other political leaders. Jamie Thompson has the story at FireRescue1.com.
Baltimore chief is commencement speaker: I can assure you none of the schools I attended would ever want to see my return, but that is not the case with Chief Jim Clack. Baltimore’s chief is spending the day at the University of Minnesota, Crookston where he will give the commencement address. Chief Clack is a 1980 graduate. Read the story.