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.
A year ago this past Monday 10 Southern Maryland firefighters were injured during a house fire in Calvert County. Four received significant burns. The fire was in a large home at 3380 Soper Road in Huntingtown. Calvert County firefighters were joined by firefighters from Prince George’s County, Anne Arundel County and Charles County.
On Thursday, Chief Jonathan Riffe of the Huntingtown VFD released the report looking into the events of that fire.
A veteran firefighter — whose brush with death from a sudden explosion during a Brooklyn blaze last year was captured on video — walked out of a Manhattan hospital today after a miraculous recovery.
Robert Wiedmann, dressed in an FDNY T-shirt and with his arms still bandaged, flashed a grin as he thanked the doctors, family and fellow smoke-eaters for their support throughout his 10 grueling operations since the Dec. 19 fire in Crown Heights.
“I never thought I wouldn’t walk out of here,” said Wiedmann, 38, of Islip Terrace. “It took three months, but I did it.”
“Three months is a long time — it’s an emotional day obviously,” said Robert Wiedmann, 38, who had serious burns on more than 50 percent of his body after the Dec. 19 fire on the third floor of a brownstone on Prospect Place in Crown Heights.
Wiedmann and firefighter James Gersbeck became trapped inside the building; Gersbeck also suffered burns but was able to escape, while Wiedmann was engulfed in flames. He had to be rescued through a window.
Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said that Wiedmann’s “commitment, his perseverance, has given every member of this department an uplifting spirit of hope, resilience and recovery.”
This is some of the radio communications with Brooklyn from the fire Monday morning at 1102 Prospect Place in Crown Heights where Firefighter Robert Wiedmann, 38 of Rescue 2, bailed out of a window in flames after the top floor flashed.
Firefighter Wiedmann was taken to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he was in serious but stable condition Monday evening with burns over 45 percent of his body, the authorities said. Another firefighter, James Gersbeck, 52, was seriously injured as well; three other firefighters were treated for minor injuries.
This appears to be the clearest & most extensive version of the video of the escape by Firefighter Wiedmann.
The brownstone was empty, but the firefighters did not know that as they searched amid the four smoke-filled bedrooms on the top floor. Meanwhile, other firefighters prepared a hose and carried it up the stairs, Chief of Department Edward Kilduff said.
Without warning, a front room ignited, trapping Firefighters Wiedmann and Gersbeck, who were searching for residents to rescue, Chief Kilduff said. Firefighter Gersbeck made his way to the door and tumbled down the stairs, Chief Kilduff said.
Mr. Wiedmann was "literally on fire when he came out that window," said Stephen Cassidy, the president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
Mr. Cassidy said city budget cuts—which lowered manpower on one engine truck to four men from five—increased the response time and endangered the firefighters.
Chief of Department Edward Kilduff rejected the claim. The distance between the fire hydrant and the structure was small and "the line was in position in a sufficient amount of time," he said. Two engine trucks responded, and firefighters were spraying water on the flames six minutes after the fire was reported, he said.
FDNY Firefighters rescued one of their own earlier, pulling him "on fire" from a Brooklyn brownstone. As members searched the Crown Heights dwelling for victims, the top floor of the 3 story dwelling on Prospect Place apparently flashed, trapping at least one Rescue 2 Firefighter inside. An aerial ladder was raised to the third floor window and another Firefighter at the top of the ladder helped get him out. The FF was burning and the FF on the ladder hit him on his back to knock down the fire.
The injured R-2 Firefighter was treated and taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell with burns over 40% of his body, including his face, head and hands and is critical-but breathing on his own.The brownstone turned out to be empty as a family of 6 lives there but was not home. 4 other firefighters were hurt and are being treated at local hospitals-1 in serious condition and the other 2 stable.
At this time, 1 Firefighter has critical, 3rd degree hand burns and multiple other 2nd and 3rd degree spot burns (45% overall) and will be in surgery. The 2nd most serious Firefighter has several 2nd and 3rd degree burns and is doing well.
Fire this morning just after 9:00 AM at 1102 Prospect Place has left two firefighters from FDNY in the Cornell Burn Center in serious condition. Three other firefighters were also hurt. Witnesses told Trevor Kapp and Barry Paddock of the New York Daily News that the top floor of the brownstone erupted in a fireball. It trapped at least one firefighter inside who came out head first and on fire. He is reported to have burns over about 30 percent of his body. Here's more from the New York Daily News:
“He was about to jump out the window,” said neighbor Joseph Ward, 29.
Rescue workers extended a ladder to the third floor window. A firefighter at the top of the ladder helped the trapped smoke-eater, flames shooting off his body, crawl out to safety.
Perched at the top of the ladder, the rescuer pounded on his injured comrade’s back to subdue the flames. Debris from the still-burning building showered down around them.
Wednesday October 5, 2011 at 0931 hours, Engine 62 and Tanker 6 were alerted to 235 Leonard Court for the house fire (directly behind St Leonard VFD). Units from the St Leonard VFD arrived on location with heavy fire showing from a split-foyer residence advising the correct address would be on Maryland Avenue. A Working Fire Dispatch was sounded bringing a 3rd crew from quarters aboard Squad 6.
Engine 62 arrived on location, laid 1,000 feet of 3" from a hydrant and advanced an attack line to the rear of the residence to assist with extinguishing the fire. During the process, Firefighter Michael Montgomery Jr of the Huntingtown VFD partially fell through the floor causing 2nd and 3rd degree burns to his right leg. He was air-lifted to Med Star and is currently admitted to the Burn Unit. The Chief of the Department, Assistant Chief of the Department and a handful of other members are bedside with Michael Montgomery Jr along with the DCFD Burn Foundation.
It is anticipated that in the next few days, Montgomery will undergo surgery and possible skin grafts. The leadership and membership of the Huntingtown VFD ask that you keep the Montgomery family in your thoughts and prayers.
Two firefighters from Calvert County, Maryland are being treated at the Medstar Burn Unit of the Washington Hospital Center after a three alarm fire that began late last night. Seven other firefighters were hurt. The fire reportedly started in the chimney of the 10,000 square-foot home. Video on this page from FDVideo2008 on YouTube.
Chief 6C arrived to find smoke showing from the second floor eves of a 10,000 square foot mega-mansion. Engine 62 arrived, laying a supply line, advancing the 400′ pre-connect and began pulling the ceiling, at which time; they found fire in the attic spreading rapidly. Within seconds, conditions deteriorated significantly resulting in zero visibility and intense heat. Command immediately ordered evacuation tones. Due to high winds off the river, water supply issues, distance from the fire house, and the size of the structure (10,000 square feet), fire spread rapidly. Immediately thereafter, the second floor flashed over resulting in nine firefighters being injured, five from Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and four from Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department. As a result of the unbearable heat, several firefighters took extreme measures such as jumping out of windows and running through walls to evacuate the structure. Chief 6A immediately ordered a Full Second Alarm with two Tankers. Later in the incident, additional units were Special Alarmed to the scene. On scene were several ambulances and medics providing care to the injured firefighters. Although units from Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s, Anne Arundel, and Prince Georges were utilized, fire spread in such a rapid manner that the home is considered a total loss.
Two of the Huntingtown firefighters were seriously injured and transported by aviation to Washington Hospital Center. The other seven firefighters were transported to Calvert Memorial Hospital for evaluation and treatment. Subsequently, six of those initially transported to Calvert Memorial, two from Huntingtown and four from Prince Frederick, were transported to Baltimore Shock Trauma and Washington MedStar for follow-up evaluation and treatment for smoke inhalation. All seven firefighters have since been released.
With regards to the two firefighters air lifted to Washington Hospital Center, one of the firefighters is in stable condition with second degree burns to hands, neck, and face. He is expected to be released in two to three days. The second firefighter, the more seriously injured of the two, suffered respiratory burns, in addition to second degree burns to his hands, neck, and face regions. He is conscious and fully alert, but remains in serious condition. It is unknown at this time when he is expected to be released from Washington Hospital Center.
Eight Firefighters from Huntingtown & Prince Frederick VFD’s (Calvert County, Maryland) were forced to bail out of a 10,000 square foot single family dwelling “mega McMansion” around midnight last night. When Firefighters arrived, they had light smoke coming from the second floor but then conditions quickly turned ugly. Reports are that members were operating inside, searching for fire, of what started as a chimney fire when the conditions rapidly changed. At one point, the chimney of the house collapsed into the roof, creating a rapid rush of air into the fire area. Conditions then rapidly changed with flashover-like conditions. Additional companies from Calvert County responded following the emergency.
This fire is on the heals of a MAYDAY fire yesterday in Prince Frederick’s 1st due where there were reported FF’s missing. The FF was found and several other FF’s suffered burn injuries as well. We wish them all a rapid reocovery.
On Saturday, March 19, 2011, at approximately 11:56 pm, the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad had a report of a chimney fire on Soper Road. The first alarm was sounded on the original dispatch and shortly after the Chief Officer arrived on the scene, a second alarm was dispatched.
Every company in Calvert County (Huntingtown, Prince Frederick, Dunkirk, St. Leonard, North Beach and Solomons) was on the call now. Also, companies from Harwood, Hollywood and Benedict were on the second alarm. There were tankers not only from Calvert County, but from other multi aid counties to supply water.
At approximately 12:20 am, the evaluation alarm was sounded as the fire had reached unsafe conditions and there was the need to get firefighters out of the house.
What started as a chimney fire turned into a 3-alarm fire that destroyed a Huntingtown, MD, home.
Huntingtown Fire officials say that shortly after midnight they responded to a call for a chimney fire at a 2-million dollar home on the 3300 block of Soper Road along the Patuxent River.
Fire officials say that soon after their arrival the chimney collapsed through the second floor threatening the structure and making the situation extremely dangerous for firefighters.
Firefighters were battling not only the flames but 20 mile winds along the riverfront and the fact that there were no hydrants at that location.
Assistant Chief Michael Montgomery of the Calvert County Fire Department said that all five occupants of the house were able to escape the fire unharmed but eight volunteer firefighters were injured. Two of the firefighters were transported to Washington Hospital Center, one of them in serious condition.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
A woman and two children are dead after fire broke out at a Lorton, Virginia townhouse complex on Hagel Circle around 8:30 this morning.
At 2:30 pm Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt says that firefighters did not rescue four people via ladder from the second floor of the burning townhome as the department originally reported. Three children were lowered from a window to bystanders by an adult male who then escaped. All four are now at the Medstar Burn Unit at the Washington Hospital Center. Schmidt says their conditions are now not considered to be life-threatening.
According to Schmidt, those brought down by ladder by firefighters were the victims who died in the fire.
Schmidt says there were heavy fire conditions on Side A on both floors when firefighters arrived.
Very early video in Tempe, Arizona: A neighbor grabbed his camera as he escaped a neighboring apartment from this February 16th fire at the Worthington Place complex on Hardy Drive in Tempe. He began rolling before the arrival of firefighters. A man and a woman who escaped through a second floor window were injured. The man, Alan Schuler, was seriously burned. He is a member of an improv comedy troupe. The fire occurred just after midnight.
Two firefighters struck by EMS captain in Fairfax County: An EMS supervisor pulling up to the scene of a cyclist struck in Herndon, Virginia last night hit two firefighters already treating the patient. The SUV, driven by EMS 401, was described as “slow moving” at the time of the collision. One of the firefighters was flown to a trauma unit, but both have since been treated and released. We have pictures & video from the scene, along with the radio traffic. Click here.
What happens in Las Vegas leaves Las Vegas: This includes a memo from City of Las Vegas Chief Greg Gammon. Firefighter Nation alerted us to this story from the Review-Journal. The paper’s Lawrence Mower reports, “The Las Vegas Fire Department chief is urging his firefighters to avoid spending time at the gym during work hours and not to ‘abuse sick leave’ as his department battles poor public perception during its stand to avoid pay cuts and layoffs.” There is much more. Read the memo. Read the article.
Lots of opinions on the border war: It seems like I spent most of yesterday moderating comments about the story of the dispute between Anne Arundel County and Calvert County’s Dunkirk VFD. More than 50 comments so far. If you missed the update, Dunkirk’s wagon driver, David Stream, has been charged by Anne Arundel County police in the February 14 collision with Tower 40 that has brought many issues to the surface. Stream is also a career firefighter in Prince George’s County. Here is our coverage and all the comments.
Driver of ambulance responding to his own burning home charged: Ron Young alerted us to this follow-up to a really tragic story. Joseph Sims Jr. has now been charged with careless driving in the crash that occurred while he was responding in a Middle Township, New Jersey ambulance to a fire at his own home. That fire trapped and killed Sims’ elderly father. Officials say Sims responded on his own with lights and sirens and not in an official capacity. That played a role in the decision to charge. Read the latest. Click here for our earlier coverage of the crash and the fire.
Three UK fire officials in custody over deaths of four firefighters: The November, 2007 fire at a vegetable packing plant in Warwickshire has resulted in the arrest of three men described as fire service staff and members of the union. The three turned themselves at a police station to be ”questioned on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter and offences under health and safety laws.” More from the BBC.
53 days later, burned Modesto firefighter walks out of the hospital: Fire Engineer James Adams is now home and his colleagues who were by his side through his ordeal made sure Adams’ departure from the burn unit was celebrated. Adams had been there since New Years Day when he and Firefighter Jason Clevenger fell through the roof of a burning home. Read the story. Watch the raw video. Click here and here for our previous coverage of this story.
Chief cuffed: The other story that has people talking is the February 15th incident where a battalion chief was handcuffed by a member of the California Highway Patrol at a crash scene. If you didn’t see the latest version of our story we added interviews with the CHP spokesperson and the Montecito fire chief. Click here for our coverage.