Firefighters were called around 6:40 p.m. to a building in the 2700 block of Sisson Street in the Remington area. Fire officials said the building housed several automotive businesses, including a body shop and 22 apartments on an upper floor.
Fire officials said careless smoking caused the fire, which caused about $1.3 million in damage.
Meanwhile, dozens of people living in the 22 adjacent apartments were evacuated. Rosemary Fitzsimmons could only watch and wonder if her place would go up in flames.
This sure was something I haven’t seen in my 40 years in the area. The DC Fire & EMS Department and the Arlington County Fire Department ran mutual aid to Charles County Maryland this afternoon. For those who don’t know the geography, Prince George’s County borders the Northeast and Southeast quadrants of our Nation’s Capital. Charles County borders the southern portions of Prince George’s County from approximately Accokeek to Baden. Arlington County is across the Potomac River in Virginia and borders the Northwest and Southwest quadrants of DC.
The fire that caused this was described in some news reports as a two-alarm fire and in others a general-alarm fire. The fire was at the Charles County fairgrounds in Bel Alton, south of the county seat of La Plata. Waldorf VFD on the north side of the county sent out the picture below with a tweet thanking DC’s Engine 4 and Truck 7 and Arlington’s Engine 113 for filling in at Waldorf’s quarters.
It could not be determined how many firefighters responded to the fire, though all Charles County firefighters are volunteers. Lon Walls, a spokesman for the D.C. fire department, said county officials requested help from the District, which sent Engine 2, Engine 4 and Truck 7, along with a deputy chief of operations. The trip is roughly 36 miles.
Mutual aid at such distances is unusual but not unheard of. In September 2010, the D.C. fire department sent at least one engine north on I-95 into West Baltimore to help on a four-alarm fire that destroyed a string of vacant rowhouses.
A two-alarm fire destroyed several structures and caused a brushfire Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. at the Charles County Fairgrounds, south of La Plata.
Charles County Government Spokeswoman Crystal Hunt said the blaze affected three structures, the livestock barn and two adjacent smaller barns.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, those fires had been contained, along with the brushfire behind the barns. Hunt said the call was issued as a general call, meaning all fire units in the county responded, along with some from St. Mary’s County. Hunt said that units from Calvert and King George County in Virginia could still potentially respond if necessary.
This video was posted to YouTube in August of 2010, apparently shot as a group of friends headed to an Orioles game. A STATter911.com reader sent it to me. It appears to me to be taken on the upper portion of St. Paul Street south of East Mulberry Street in Downtown Baltimore. You will only see about two seconds of the burning building. It’s the rest of the video that makes this a must see. It’s a look inside one of those cars you pass as your are responding. And no, before you ask, I can’t give you back the 2:08 you will have wasted by watching this.
Above and below are two additional clips shot by a bystander during the fire Tuesday morning in the 1700 block of R Street, Southeast that left two people dead and two DC firefighters injured. Our previous coverage can be found here.
At Penn Lumber, 601 Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore City, there is currently a fourth alarm working with a collapse and a mayday. Five firefighters have been injured. All are now accounted for and are reported to have non-life threatening injuries. At least two firefighters were trapped after the collapse.
In the radio traffic in the player above, the evacutation order comes at about 11:55 into the incident followed by the mayday at 24:48.
Conditions in the building worsened rapidly once firefighters responded, (PIO Kevin) Cartwright wrote in an email. The first-responding firefighters entered the building with hoses upon arriving, but “within moments,” the commanding officer ordered them to evacuate. As they were doing so, the building collapsed, trapping five firefighters.
All five were rescued and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. They were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for further evaluation, Cartwright wrote.
After gaining entry into the building, fire commanders, within moments, ordered crews out due to the intensity of the fire, Cartwright said.
As firefighters evacuated the building it completely collapsed, trapping five firefighters. Cartwright said all five firefighters were rescued and were transported to Shock Trauma. Their conditions were not immediately available, but Cartwright said they suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Under the policy, department personnel can be reprimanded for anything they write online about their jobs that doesn’t adhere to conduct rules, which require “good judgment” and “courtesy and respect to the public and to fellow employees.” The policy also restricts them from sharing information about fire scenes.
Fire Chief James S. Clack said the department crafted the policy to protect firefighters from getting into trouble for sharing sensitive information.
But union leaders called the policy too broad and said the department created it unilaterally after negotiations with union attorneys broke down last month. Social media and free-speech advocates balked at the scope of the policy and questioned its legality.
Bradley Shear, a Bethesda attorney who has advised state legislators in Annapolis on social media policy, said the new provisions are “troubling” and potentially unconstitutional.
“I think the policy is clearly suspect,” Shear said. “It’s over-broad, it’s retroactive, and I think they need to go back to the drawing board.”
Chief Clack told The Sun that while attorneys for the City threw in a lot of things, ”I’m going to be most interested in people when they’re working”,
The policy, like many these days, brings up as many questions as it answers. One thing that is banned is ”the real-time public disclosure of locations of deployed units, assets or personnel or any other real-time information from an incident scene.” Until earlier this year, IAFF Local 734 was using Baltimore City firefighters to provide such information to the public much as IAFF Local 36 in Washington, DC is doing currently. Could a fire department legally ban such union activity?
Three Baltimore City firefighters were injured as maydays were called in two different house fires about an hour apart overnight. One of those fires left an adult and four children dead.
Above is audio from radioreference.com via firefighterdispatch of first fire on Bonsal Street. Mayday is at about 5:25.
In the first fire around 1:00 AM, a lieutenant is in serious condition with second and third degree burns to the hands, face and neck and a firefighter has third degree burns to the hand and is in stable condition. Both are at Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center. The fire occurred in the 1400 block of Bonsal Street.
The deadly fire was around 2:00 AM in the 5600 block of Denwood Avenue in northeast Baltimore.
One firefighter was hurt when he fell through the second story floor all the way to the basement. He was found immediately and pulled from the house. Medics rushed him to Bayview where he’s expected to be okay.
Fire investigators are now on the scene trying to figure out what caused the fire, but they believe it started in the basement of the home. It’s not clear if the smoke alarms in the home were working when the fire started.
Today’s Baltimore Sun describes in detail the prostitution related charges against Firefighter Jamar Simmons of the Baltimore City Fire Department. A month ago Simmons was arrested with another man, Franklin Coit, on charges similar to those they were arrested for in Baltimore County in 2010. In that case the men received probation before judgment.
Today’s article cites court records that accuse the men of operating a prostitution ring out of an apartment in Southwest Baltimore. The charges indicate that Simmons and Coit pocketed a percentage of the money taken in by a group of women selling sex out of the apartment.
Inside the raided apartment, according to court records, city police found a stage with two floor-to-ceiling poles, a large bar with a DJ booth, two bedrooms and a kitchen with six lockers labeled with women’s nicknames.
In one room, court records say, police found a chalkboard with written reminders to the women. Among them: do not mention sex for money on the phone, always search clients for police wires and tout the location of the third-story, loft-style apartment in the 200 block of S. Pulaski Street as being just 10 minutes from downtown.
“Ask about law enforcement!” the board warned, according to court records.
Police say the loft housed a prostitution ring that Simmons and 33-year-old Franklin Coit — a pair arrested in Baltimore County in 2010 on similar prostitution charges — had built with the help of some 25 women over the past couple of years.
The lawyer for Simmons denies that the apartment was a hub for prostitution and denies his client operated as a pimp. Simmons is suspended without pay from the department. An internal fire department investigation is also underway.
Three Baltimore City fire companies that had been slated to permanently close Sunday will remain open for four more days due to the weather, a department spokesman said Saturday.
Fire officials have decided to keep the three companies open until Thursday morning to help clean up from the storm and aid those suffering from heat-related health problems, said spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright.
“It’s a common practice for the fire department to increase our manpower due to natural disasters,” Cartwright said.
Firefighters at those companies will also help people suffering from heat-related health problems. The Baltimore Sun reports East Baltimore’s Truck 15, west Baltimore’s Truck 10 and southeast Baltimore’s Engine 11 had been set to close Sunday morning as a cost-cutting measure.
Two other companies had been set to move to new stations, but that move has also been postponed.
It’s getting down to the wire on the planned permanent July 1 closings of three fire companies in Baltimore, Maryland. Union officials and others have been making the case that recent fires involving the units on the chopping block prove that these fire companies are extremely important to the safety of the citizens and city firefighters. One of those stories from WMAR-TV, above, looks at this issue in connection with the five-alarm fire in Fells Point on Monday.
WBFF-TV looks at another aspect of this battle over closing companies and the Fells Point fire. It focuses on the online forum run by the Baltimore Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 964. Specifically, a thread titled What a Shame!, that contains very passionate comments quite critical of fellow firefighters and officers who may have responded as volunteers, or had connections to suburban volunteer fire companies that provided mutual aid to Baltimore City during the five-alarm fire. Those postings believe such assistance undermines the work to save the three companies. The TV station reports Chief Jim Clack says the comments are under investigation.
Some Baltimore City firefighters criticized some of their own for using Baltimore County vehicles to respond to the fire. The city called on the county and other outside help during the fire, even though the department is now considering shutting down three fire companies because of budget cuts.
City Fire Chief, Jim Clack, says mutual aid is something the city has been practicing for decades. He says it’s important to maintain good relationships with other jurisdiction, not just for safety, but for many other reasons.
Fire officials said crews were called to the 500 block of S. Broadway Street at about 1:40 p.m. Monday, where they were met with heavy smoke and fire shooting through the roof of a three-story vacant brick building.
“Back on Register Street, it’s a pretty narrow street. It was hard to get apparatus in there. That’s where we initially tried to attack the fire. We did surround it on all sides, but it was really tough because the fire was in the middle of the block and there was no way to get to it once we couldn’t go inside,” Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Clack said.
Engine 8 ran into a little snag when their pumps malfunctioned. With the fire being fueled by winds it spread quickly up the interior stairwell to the upper floors. With a lack of water units were forced to stand fast at the front door until they got water. Eventually crews were able to enter the dwelling and fully extinguish the fire.
Just before 3:30 pm on April 6, 2012, Fire Communications alerted Box Alarm 52-2 for a reported dwelling on fire in the 800 block of Druid Park Lake Drive, West Baltimore. Some units had to take alternate routes due to a double shooting at W North Avenue and McCulloh Street. First arriving companies reported an end of group dwelling with heavy fire showing. Battalion Chief 3 arrived, reported fire on the 1st & second floors of a three story dwelling. A working fire was transmitted, bringing additional units to the scene. A few moments later, fire began to penetrate the roof and engulf the third floor. Battalion Chief 3 at that moment ordered a defensive attack due to the integrity of the building. Crews used monitor pipes, large hand lines and ladder pipes to pour water on the fire from a safe distance. The Fire Investigation Bureau has the fire under investigation and no injuries were reported.
Companies scheduled to close on July 1: Truck 10 at 1503 W. Lafayette Avenue; Truck 15 at 1223 N. Montford Avenue; Squad 11 at 5714 Eastern Avenue.
Companies scheduled to move on July 1: Engine 33 from 801 E. 25th Street to 1223 N. Montford Avenue; Truck 27 from 2700 Glenn Avenue to 5500 Reisterstown Road; Truck 6 from 1001 E. Fort Avenue to 15 S. Eutaw Street; Rescue 1 from 15 S. Eutaw Street to 1001 E. Fort Avenue.
Three city fire companies will disband, four more must find new homes. It’s part of the fire department’s efforts to do away with rotating closures.
It’s important to note that no firefighters will lose their jobs and no fire stations will be closed. But this is a big shuffle of fire personnel and equipment and some worry it leaves city residents at risk.
“We are going to be there just as quick as we are today,” Jim Clack, chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, said.
“We’re not laying off any firefighters,” Clack said. “We’re not closing any fire stations. We’re taking some firefighters from one area of the city and moving them to other stations.”
“Obviously, I don’t want to have anybody closed,” said Rick Hoffman, president of the firefighters union. “It makes our job a hell of a lot harder. We’re at bare bones right now. I don’t know how these people sleep at night. … They are gambling with the lives of the citizens of Baltimore and the lives of the firefighters serving Baltimore.”
Under the current plan, 72 firefighters would be transferred and 21 officers would be demoted, including six captains and nine lieutenants. The changes, Clack said, make the department more efficient and could improve response times.
This is a fire yesterday in the 1500 blk Sheffield Avenue in Northeast Baltimore, Maryland. IAFF Local 734 reports the closest engine company was closed for the day. The union also reports three firefighters suffered minor burns.
Around 6:00 am on January 23, 2012, while returning from a dwelling fire, Battalion Chief 3 (F. Ruff) came upon a two-story, middle of the group dwelling, with heavy fire showing from the first floor. The box alarm and working fire were requested. While requesting the assignment, Chief Ruff sees a civilian jump from the second floor, front window. He immediately requests an additional medic unit. The civilian tells him that there are two other occupants in the second floor, rear room. That information is immediately relayed to responding units. Engine 14 arrives and begins an aggressive interior attack with a preconnected hoseline. Trucks 10 & 23 arrive, deploying ground ladders and initiating a primary search. Command orders the RIT engine to assist in search and rescue due to the known life hazard. Engine 8 arrives in the rear and reports that there is an adult civilian who jumped from the second floor rear as well as an infant who may have been thrown from the second floor. Additional medic units were requested,a total of five, as well as the EMS Battalion Chief. Engine crews worked quickly to extinguish all of the fire while Truck crews performed search and rescue while ventilating and checking for any hidden fire. Paramedics worked quickly to provide advanced life support to two adults and one pediatric patient. The Fire Investigation Bureau, as well as Police Arson Investigators, were on scene to determine the cause and origin of the fire. The victim that jumped from the front of the dwelling was a 45 year old female who was transported to Shock Trauma, in serious condition, with injuries sustained from her fall. The adult victim that jumped from the rear was a 21 year old female who was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center with 2nd and 3rd degree burns, as well as injuries she sustained in her fall. The pediatric victim in the rear was transported to Johns Hopkins Pediatric Trauma Center for possible smoke inhalataion. There were no apparent injuries to the victim and it is not clear whether she was thrown to another person or landed on the ground.
This incident was a perfect example of how all aspects of the Fire Service work together, from the suppresion units to the emergency medical units to the exceptional job by the Fire Communications Bureau in relaying all pertinent information to responding units.
It's been a long time since we've run video from Michael "FirePix1075" Schwartzberg, one of our regular contributors. This is Michael's video from the three-alarm fire on Monday afternoon at a tire business in the 4100 block of West Belevedere Avenue in Baltimore. One person was burned. Here's Michael's description:
Just before 4:00 pm on September 26, the phones at the Baltimore City Fire Communications Bureau (FCB) began lighting up with callers reporting a building on fire in the 4100 block of W Belvedere Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. Engine 46, stationed just a few blocks away, arrived at Fire Box 46-12 reporting a two story auto repair building with heavy smoke & fire showing. At 4:02 pm, a "Working Fire" was transmitted bringing additional resources to the scene. Due to the conditions of the building and the amount of fire present, orders were given to establish a safety zone and begin exterior operations only. At 4:10 pm, a Second Alarm was transmitted. Crews used elevated master streams from ladder trucks as well as deck guns from engines and portable monitor pipes to flow thousands of gallons of water onto the fire. At 5:05 pm, a Third Alarm was requested, making it a total of 13 Engines, 6 Trucks, Rescue 1, 4 Battalion Chiefs (3 Fire & 1 EMS), 1 Deputy Chief & Aide (Shift Commander), 1 AirFLEX, 2 Safety Officers, 1 EMS Officer, 2 Medic Units, Fire Investigators & the Mobile Command Unit, with a total personnel compliment of 97 members on the scene.
Baltimore's fire chief is surrendering his department's emergency medical services training accreditation.
Chief James Clack announced Tuesday that the department would use training from outside educational institutions instead. He says officials may seek accreditation in the future.
Clack says when the state licensing agency raised questions about cheating at the training academy in June, he learned that the EMS training division had been placed on a one-year provisional status more than a year earlier.
A fire department investigation found recruits were given confidential testing materials they should not have received, but none of them intentionally cheated.
Internal charges were recommended for three instructors and two supervisors related to improper certification of a recruit and one supervisor related to the maintenance of student records and test security.
During yesterday's press conference Chief Clack pointed to a "lack of communication up and down the chain of command" explaining why he did not know until recently that poor paperwork handling had caused the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems to put the city's emergency medical training program on provisional status last year.
Joseph Brocato ran the academy from February 2007 until September 2010. Brocato, now retired, is disputing Chief Clack's account.
"As for Chief Clack's claim that he was not aware of the provisional status until June of 2011 or that he was not made aware of the contents of the letter," Brocato said in a written statement, "I will say that I personally briefed him on two separate occasions regarding the provisional status and our plan to correct the issues … Both briefings occurred in the summer of 2010, shortly after the letter was received."
Clack said he doesn't remember being briefed by Brocato on the academy's provisional status and that he's certain he never saw the May 2010 letter until a few weeks ago.
This is arrival video taken by a citizen at a two-alarm fire In Baltimore, Maryland yesterday afternoon. The fire was at 15 West Biddle Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood. You will see a helicopter overhead pretty quickly. That is from WBAL-TV. Click here and here for reports that have the early chopper video included. One of two police officers who rushed into the building to make sure everyone was out suffered smoke inhalation.
For the first time since the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 fire equipment from the Nation’s Capital was sent to assist the Baltimore City Fire Department. Between 5:30 PM and midnight there were two four-alarm fires and a two-alarm fire in Baltimore.
It started with rowhomes burning on the west side of the 1300 block of North Calhoun Street in West Baltimore around 5:30 PM. Before long flames were coming from homes on the east side of the street. Four-alarms were called to handle the fires on both sides of the street.
Just past 6:30 PM two other rowhomes were burning two blocks to the east, in the 1300 block of North Carey Street. Many units from the Calhoun Street fire were then deployed on Carey Street. Operations Chief Donald Heinbuch walked over from the initial fire and took command. Fire Chief Jim Clack initially took the Charlie sector. This fire also went to four alarms.
Click the image for more photos of the DC Fire & EMS Department units sent to Baltimore courtesy of Stanley J. Jaworski
Baltimore City required much mutual aid from around the region to respond to the additional alarms and fill firehouses.
Sources indicate that the DC Fire & EMS Department sent the following units and command staff to the Steadman fire station: E-10, E-16, T-13, BC-4, FC Rubin, AFC-O Schultz, DFC-CA Crosswhite, and DFC-Special Operations Gill. (Note: In 1904 the DC fire equipment went via the B & O Railroad.)
Around 11:00 PM firefighters were called back to the 1300 block of North Carey for a rekindle. It was held to a single alarm.
Sky Eye Chopper 13 caught the start of the second fire, right across the street from the first one on North Calhoun Street. Three rowhomes were ablaze and wind is most likely to blame.
“It certainly could have played a factor in the second fire; we don’t know at this point. But when the initial companies arrived on location, there was very, very heavy fire and smoke conditions. Some embers may have blown onto these other homes,” said Kevin Cartwright.
One hundred firefighters and 40 engines and trucks saturated the area, shutting down several streets. When the first and second fires were smoldering, there was another call. The third fire started just blocks away on Carey Street. Fire officials say the wind may have blown embers over to that block, but it could have been something else. Arson has not been ruled out.
As these fires burned Baltimore’s IAFF Local 734 sent this email at 7:01 PM:
The fire originating in the 1300 block even side of N Calhoun Street has extended across the alley to the 1300 block odd side of N Carey Street. A second alarm has been requested for that fire, in addition to the four alarms on N Calhoun Street.These fires have over 25 of Baltimore’s Fire engines and over 10 of its Hook and Ladder trucks on the scene. Remember, due to the budget cuts from the Mayor and City Council, there are currently 3 units sitting in stations unmanned in order to save money.
There was also another multi-alarm fire (see video below). This time the fire was in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood at Charles Street and Madison Street.
Roof operations in Tampa: A smoky restaurant fire at 7212 N. Armenia Avenue on Saturday. This raw video is from Tampa Fire Rescue. Read more here. There is more Tampa news and video below.
Trial for Baltimore mayor starts today: While this is not directly fire service related, Mayor Sheila Dixon has certainly not been a favorite among firefighters. Realistically speaking, even mayors without these criminal problems are having a tough time staying on the good side of city employees in tough budget times. But as you can read in this AP article previewing the trial, Mayor Dixon has had a particularly tough time with her image issues. Some of Dixon’s legal problems stem from allegations she made personal use of holiday gift cards the mayor’s office had asked businesses to donate to the needy. That doesn’t need to be illegal for it to be problematic. And as reporter Ben Nuckols writes it is just one in a series of similar public image problems Sheila Dixon has inflicted on herself.
New York’s Unified Call Taking system cited for dispatch error in deadly Queens fire: The wrong address was put into the computer for the triple fatal in Woodside on Saturday. Firefighters union officials point out the delay and are again pointing fingers at the Unified Call Taking system which has police dispatchers taking fire information from 911 callers. The New York Times has the story.
With a fire station that is only open one week per month what could be next for Gilroy, California?: Gilroy’s Sunrise Fire Station is being shut down three weeks a month to save money (that’s what the article says). Now a council member has an idea how to save even more money. He wants the union to give up minimum staffing of 4 on engines at its two other stations. Read more. The city’s document on the brownouts (or if the newspaper is correct, near blackout) doesn’t indicate the fire station will be closed that often. Here it is.
Tampa Fire Rescue image of crews trying to rescue worker overcome by fumes aboard a Coast Guard ship in drydock. Click the image for the raw video and the details.
Chief & wife at center of tragedy are now in the middle of a potential scandal: It has only been a month since Danny & Stephanie Clark were the first help to arrive at a vehicle wreck just south of Cashion, Oklahoma. They found their daughter dead and six of her friends injured. Now, Danny Clark, Cashion’s fire chief and director of emergency management, and Stephanie Clark, the town’s clerk and treasurer, have been placed on administrative leave with pay. The mayor says they are being investigated for “questionable financial practices”. In that town they aren’t alone with these kind of troubles. Read more.
A little must see video in the what goes up, must come down department: In this case it is the way you come down. A new high-rise rescue rig was very publicly demonstrated recently in Spain and it appears it is not ready for prime time. We also have two companion videos. Click here.
Lots of rescues at Massachusetts 5th-alarm: Firegeezer is all over a fire that destroyed a four-story apartment building in Greenfield, MA. Click here.
Fireground audio illustrates some of the drama from a fatal 3-alarm fire: People waiting at windows ready to jump and water supply issues are evident on the audio from last Monday’s midday fire in Jacksonville, Florida. One of the water problems came from a citizen’s car running over and disrupting a 5-inch supply line. Check it out.
Another all-hazards department. You too can be a FF/Herpetologist: In one town in India the firefighters are getting snake catching lessons because of a rise in the snake population. Not me. That’s where I would be telling them what they could do with that snakes and their lessons. Click here for the details.
Maybe they needed to call a pachydermatologist: Instead they called 911 in Enid, Oklahoma when an SUV collided with an elephant. The plight of that elephant is truly a serious matter that previously caught the attention of federal authorities and likely will again. While that part has little to do with the fire service (other than having to respond to another escape by poor Kamba), there is the interesting 911 call and, in my opinion, an enlightening discussion in our comments section. That’s where a somewhat naive question by Firehouse Zen‘s Mick Mayers forces me to respectfully provide the chief with an anatomy lesson and a fire service reality check. Just trust me. You don’t want to miss this one. Our coverage begins right here.
CO leak at church: Saturday, people started feeling sick at St. Bernard Church in Prince George’s County, MD. Responding crews soon found CO levels at 1300 ppm. Click here.
More from Gary: This was an occupied house that apparently had a natural gas explosion Saturday night. There was a report of people trapped initially. No one was injured. Much of the rear of the home was destroyed by the blast.
Maryland house fire: A family escaped this burning home at Pointer Ridge Drive near Sportsman Way in Gaithersburg around 11:00. Montgomery County Assistant Chief Scott Graham says the fire appears to have started in the garage. Click the image for more pictures.
New – report of tentative agreement on pays cuts for Baltimore firefighters: WBAL Radio is reporting that there is a tentative agreement on a pay cut for city firefighters. It will come in the form of non-paid vacation days. At the same time the Board of Estimates has given Mayor Sheila Dixon approval to cut police and fire salaries if negotiations don’t work. Read the story here (also listen to interview with officers’ union president Steve Fugate) and here.
More on Elyria dive team: Yesterday we told you about the muzzling of the Elyria, Ohio lieutenant who tried to speak at a council meeting about problems with the dive team he leads. A city attorney cut short his testimony. There is much more detail about the issues in this latest article and interview with the union president.
More staffing issues: This time it is Columbia, South Carolina firefighters sounding the alarm about reduced staffing and closed fire companies. Click here.
Off-duty firefighter saves woman: It happened in Newark, New Jersey during a house fire yesterday afternoon. Read the story.
Did they every think it was possible somebody just doesn’t like them?: The 3-alarm fire on Tuesday night at Sara Lee’s coffee and tea plant in Moonachie, NJ is the fourth fire there in a year. No indication of arson. The previous three fires were blamed on the coffee roasting machines. Click here.
Boston fraud charges: Firegeezer has the latest on the Boston firefighter who retired on disability and was in a body building competition. Fraud charges have now been placed against Albert Arroyo and two others. Click here.
A Baltimore City Fire Department paramedic who incorrectly determined a gunshot victim had died will be suspended without pay.
Fire Department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright said the individual will be suspended for 29 days without pay. The paramedic must also be retrained in some skills and demonstrate proficiency before returning to duty.
On Aug. 1, the fire department paramedic treating a burglary suspect police shot in the head said he was dead. But other authorities at the scene saw Michael Quarles moving 30 minutes later and asked paramedics to come back.
The department’s Quality Assurance Board investigated the paramedic’s actions and interviewed emergency workers at the scene before disciplining the paramedic.