The fire started just before 4 p.m. in the 3100 block of West Peterson Avenue, according to the Chicago Fire Department. After determining that the blaze was too strong to fight from the inside—and that the building was of a type of construction prone to collapse during fires–firefighters set up a defensive perimeter and a collapse zone. At one point, what were likely propane tanks on the roof caused a series of explosions.
"We believe those were propane tanks left on the building by the workers (on the roof),” said deputy fire commissioner Michael Callahan. “One of them may have been, and I haven't confirmed this, a transformer in the alley."
Most gutted was the Mid-America Furniture store at the strip mall while an American Mattress store and a For Eyes optical shop were also "destroyed," according to the department's news office.
On Nov. 15, 1963, Chicago firefighter Eddie Groya pulled a 5-year-old to safety from a furious blaze in an apartment building at 547 W. Melrose. The little boy, Ricardo Vega, was a refugee from Cuba whose family had fled the Castro regime with only the clothes on their backs.
He never forgot the powerful hands that grabbed him and his grandfather from the smoke and flames and carried them down the stairs to safety. This Wednesday, he will be the honor guard who stands next to Eddie Groya’s casket.
The 5-year-old boy whose life Groya saved was a Cuban refugee who grew up to become Chicago Fire Lieutenant Rick Vega. What’s even more amazing is that Vega now works out of the same Lakeview firehouse as the man who inspired him to become a firefighter. It’s just a few blocks away from the burning apartment building where Vega was led to safety by the steady hands of fireman Eddie Groya.
Lieutenant Vega says he’ll stand honor guard during Groya’s wake Wednesday is his full uniform, honoring the life of the man who saved his life.
“These guys had no masks. They’ve got an unbelievable fire, they were throwing these wooden ladders, not these aluminum ladders we have now,” Vega remembered. “You know how these guys did it? It’s incredible. And how we got out was even more incredible, without masks, because we should not have made it.”
Anatomy of the 4-11: 13:08 E23 looking for rubbish 2500 W. Cullerton St. / Full Still b/o Main FAO for 2444 W. 21st St. » 13:13 Still & Box Alarm b/o Batt 4 for 3 story 200×100 smoke on 2nd fl and heavy smoke from several 1st fl windows » 13:20 2-11 Alarm b/o 2-2-1 reports heavy fire throughout 3 story warehouse 200×150 » Companies go defensive » Batt 2 requests CTA Pink Line be shut down » 13:31 2-2-1 requests additional TL and reserve snorkel » Corrected size-up by 2-2-1 is at least 300×150 » 13:38 3-11 Alarm b/o 2-1-28 plus 2 additional TLs » 13:45 4-11 Alarm / EMS Plan 1 / Level 1 HazMat b/o 2-1-28 » 13:58 2-7-1/Batt 4 4 master streams on West side of building making little progress » 14:00 EMS Plan 1 secured b/o 2-1-28 » 14:04 2-1-3 in command / All officers switch to Ch 5 Command » 14:30 2-7-1/2-1-3 11 master streams working, gas company digging in Sector 1 to shut off main, 1 line to sprinkler system in Sector 4
A Southwest Side warehouse partially collapsed during a 4-11 alarm blaze this afternoon that also caused the CTA to shut down the Pink Line.
The blaze was reported in a 100-by-300 foot, 2-story warehouse at 2444 W. 21st St. about 1:12 p.m., and as of 1:20 p.m. evacuations were underway, according to Fire Media. The 3-11 alarm was called at 1:40 p.m., and the 4-11 alarm followed soon after. The 4-11 alarm was struck out at about 3:47 p.m.
At about 2:43 p.m. Fire Media reported the building was starting to collapse.
WGN Morning News anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten scrambled to report on helicopter footage of an apparent plane crash near 29th Street and Martin Luther King Drive around 8 a.m. Friday morning. A few minutes later, after considerable ad-libbing, they learned that the apparent wreckage had actually been staged for the NBC series “Chicago Fire.”
Look on the bright side, the producers can take the video of the real news coverage of the fake crash and incorporate it into the story. That should add some realism.
A firefighter fell through the floor while battling a blaze at a vacant building on the South Side this morning and was pulled to safety by other firefighters, officials said.
A mayday was called when the firefighter fell through the first floor of the vacant two-story building near Calumet Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive. Other firefighters pulled him out through a basement window, officials said.
Make sure you take some time to sit down and watch this video from the Chicago Fire Department and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. It is a good way to start the new year.
It was produced and directed by the extremely talented Rob Maloney and managed for NFFF by JoEllen Kelly (I would call her the executive producer).
A special, special thank you from Rob, JoEllen, the leadership at NFFF and me to our regular STATter911.com contributor Steve Redick. Steve, graciously opened up his video library to Rob and NFFF for this project.
Of course, these stories could not be told without the cooperation and compassion of Commissioner Robert Hoff, IAFF Local 2, the men and women of the department and the survivors of fallen firefighters from CFD.
The video above was taken as the first lines were stretched for a fire at 525 W. Armitage Avenue in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood on Friday afternoon. Watch the pretty violent flash at :21 into the video (still frame below).
The building was built in 1888 and at one time it housed a funeral home. It was under renovation when the fire occurred.
This eventually became a 2-11 alarm and much of the building collpased. See the WLS-TV video below for the collapse. In addition there are two other clips from YouTube.
Chicago firefighters responded yesterday to a fire at 525 W. Armitage, less than a block from the quarters of Engine 22. Upon arrival, they found heavy fire on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a three-flat that was undergoing renovation. The alarm was escalated to a 2-11 for additional companies. During the course of the fire, the building suffered a catastrophic collapse.
A still-and-box alarm was initially called for the fire at 12:50 p.m, but it was later upgraded to a 2-11 alarm, according to the Fire Department. Firefighters used four master hose lines and four hand lines to fight the blaze.
House fire in Modesto, California: Two firefighters were hurt fighting this fire yesterday at 1608 College Avenue. Shot by ModestoNews.org.
Looking back ten years: A long, chronological view of 9-11-2001 from my vantage point at the Pentagon. It concludes with a look at how the public perceives firefighters that, in hindsight, is still quite relevant. Here it is.
On that note. Click here to look at what happens when you put the word firefighter into the Google News search engine. The first 19 pages of articles (about a dozen to a page) are almost exclusively about firefighters and the tenth anniversary of September 11th. Many of the news items are about communities not only paying tribute to those who were lost in New York, but honoring or featuring local firefighters around the country with parades and other events. It isn't until the 20th page that other news about firefighters starts showing up alongside the 9-11 articles. So, are firefighters once again heroes after a couple of years of attacks on budgets, staffing and pensions? I am guessing the hero label will have a much shorter shelf life than a decade ago and likely has a September 12 sell by date.
From Tennessee to Harlem: FireTruckBlog.com looks at a rig donated to FDNY ten-years-ago that is still running in Harlem. Click here.
Lou Angeli's video from New York: Delaware's Lou Angeli, who has long combined his experience as a news videographer with his passion for the fire service, is featured in a story about his call to New York to chronicle the aftermath of the attacks. He spent 16 days with an up close and personal view through his lens. Check it out.
One more chance to say Statter sent you: You have until September 15th to get a nice discount for the Gateway Midwest Firefighter & Leadership Training event October 21-23 in St. Charles, MO. Put STATTER in the promo code. Here's the website. I hope to see you there.
Fairfax County Professional Fire & Rescue Officers Association: A reminder that the 9th Annual Professional Development Seminar is October 6 & 7 at the Marriott in Tysons Corner, VA. Still time to sign up. Click here for details.
Firefighters save City Hall: In some communities firefighters have been looking for City Hall to save them, but that was not the case on Saturday in Painesville, Ohio. Here's more.
2-11 in Chicago: Steve Redick video at an auto repair shop that burned yesterday in the 5600 block of Grand Avenue.
The NTSB has launched an investigation into today's deadly collision between an Amtrak train and a semi-truck on Highway 95 near the I-80 Trinity exit.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Lopez says five or six people were killed in the 11:30am accident on U.S. Highway 95 about 70 miles east of Reno. The California Zephyr was en route 2,400 miles from Chicago to Emeryville, California.
Amtrak officials say there were about 204 passengers on the train and 14 crew members. It was Train 5, the westbound California Zephyr, heading from Chicago to Emeryville.
Nevada Highway Patrol told FOX40 witnesses told them the train’s crossing lights were working at the time of the collision. The semi collided with the 4th car of the train. The semi was empty at the time, and there was just the driver inside the cab.
Around 12:30 on Sunday morning a 2-11 Alarm and EMS Plan 1 were called for a fire in the 4200 block of West Hadden Avenue in Humboldt Park on Chicago's West Side. A mayday was called during the fire. Also, neighbors caught a teenaged girl who jumped from the one-and-a-half story single family home. A grandmother and grandson were found on the lawn in the rear of the house.
The 74-year-old grandmother suffered second degree burns to her face and her five-year-old grandson suffered from smoke inhalation, police said. The good Samaritan, Daniel Cole, said "The woman had a burnt forehead and legs and the baby had smoke coming out of his mouth."
A mayday was called when a firefighter was briefly trapped in a stairwell when it collapsed, (Fire Media Affairs spokesman Chief Joe) Roccasalva said. The firefighter suffered minor injuries but was not transported to a hospital, he said.
Three DC firefighters in good condition, one still has a long recovery ahead: We hope to hear more today on Firefighter Charles "Chucky" Ryan who was in critical condition with burns over 40% of his body from Friday's fire in Northeast Washington. Click here for the weekend report.
Protecting exposures first in the Cherry Blossom Parade fire: People commenting on the videos of the SUV burning in the middle of Saturday's Cherry Blossom Parade are wondering why no one could come up with a fire extinguisher to handle what was initially a very small fire in the engine. But some people did think to unhitch the float just in case the whole vehicle went up. Engine 2 arrived in time to squirt a little water and save the day. Here are the videos.
Bear's beach vacation is interupted: Martin Grube's Fire Rescue TV has video of Virginia Beach Fire Department's Ladder 11 helping get a bear out of a tree on Friday. Check it out.
Recycling plant fire: The view from atop a railroad car as the yard of a recycling plant burns along the tracks in Phoenix. Click here.
17-minute response time for house fire being questioned: The fire chief in Cahokia, Illinois says they shoot for a seven to ten minute response time but that it can take more than that for the volunteers to get to the firehouse and then to the scene. Here's the story.
Personal escape rope saves FDNY firefighter: There were two maydays at a three-alarm fire in Queens on Saturday. One trapped firefighter used his rope to make a quick exit when conditions deteriorated and the second fell through the floor. You will find details here and more at Backstep Firefighter.
Man coming out of the closet attacks firefighter: Police in Mission, Kansas believe the man hiding in the closet of the burning office set the fire. He is also charged with attacking a firefighter. Read and watch the story.
Second-alarm in Irvington, New Jersey: I think this fire on 19th Avenue occurred on April 4th.
A story that is more than just a drunk guy behind the steering wheel of an out-of-service fire engine: The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says the driver of the fire engine was a volunteer firefighter with the Hamilton VFD who forced a deputy to head for a ditch early Saturday morning to avoid the speeding rig. But it is the passengers that make this story even more interesting. They are all volunteers in Loudoun County (or were, since the driver and two of them have since resigned). They include a 19-year-old woman, an off-duty Leesburg cop and two men who are in positions of authority in the county fire service. According to news reports all had been drinking. Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Chief W. Keith Brower, Jr. and Fire-Rescue Commission Chair Douglas G. Rambo briefed reporters on the unpleasant details yesterday afternoon. Here is our coverage from Sunday.
Born from RIT: I asked a new STATter911.com advertiser to write a guest column on his interesting product. Greg Turnell, a lieutenant in DC, invented TURK, a cart that has a number of applications, but was built to help firefighters transport all the required RIT gear to the fireground without killing yourself. Clck here to learn more.
Antique of the Week, rig hit in Massachusetts, Ohio rollover & a lot of news: Glenn Usdin goes back almost 75 years for the rig featured in the video for the latest Antique of the Week. Click here. Of course there is lots more apparatus news from FireTruckBlog.com.
Three Cleveland firefighters struck, man arrested: It happened Sunday morning on I-480 and two of the firefighters remain hospitalized. According to WKYC-TV, ”one firefighter suffered a lacerated kidney and rib injuries. The other fireman has significant lower body injuries and underwent surgery Sunday afternoon.” Here’s more.
A bad bill or just bad reporting?: I don’t know the answer for sure, but my hunch is a politician’s exaggeration of the problem and the failure to read the bill by reporters has people believing they are going to ban all photography within 500 feet of a crash scene in Illinois. I could be totally wrong, but my read from far away shows it is nothing of the sort. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Firefighter spots burglary in progress: A firefighter watched as a man broke into a store across the street from a firehouse in Hooksett, New Hampshire. The firefighter’s call to police brought a quick arrest of a burglar. Here’s the story.
Chicago firefighter in classic photo retires: It is a photo of more than 30-years-ago that many of you will recognize. It shows Firefighter John Steinmetz, just two years on the job in Chicago, holding the body of a girl in the fourth floor window of a burning apartment building trying to get help. Yesterday Captain John Steinmetz was honored as he arrived for his final shift before retiring. Read the story.
At least eight people, including one firefighter, were hospitalized Saturday after fire ripped through a motel on Chicago’s South Side.
Firefighters were called to the Seville Motel on the 9100-block of South Stony Island where the blaze was burning on the second floor of the two-story structure.
ABC7 is told the fire started at approximately 4:15 a.m. Dozens of firefighters responded and were having a hard time extinguishing the fire. Flames could be seen shooting from the motel’s roof as late as 8 a.m.
“As you can see right now are, the fire is still up in the roof area, and we have it under control now. It’s not going to get any worse. We got all the people out,” said Chief Michael Fox. “The fire is running the whole length of the building.”
A special call was made for the Mobile Ventilation Unit (9-2-3) from Engine 106′s quarters and it was put to work in Sector 1 to push the fire to the rear and through the roof to allow companies to get at it since much of the roof had remained intact.
The alarm was struck out at 11:25 p.m., Fire Department spokesman Kevin MacGregor said, but personnel remained on the scene for cleanup and investigation.
While fire officials believe the blaze was concentrated in the rear of the unused factory building, fire crews were cautious battling the fire because of the lightweight construction of the building, MacGregor said.
Firefighters had trained their hoses on the rear of the building and battled the fire defensively, MacGregor said, and kept the flames from spreading to other buildings.
The building apparently housed a couple or businesses, MacGregor said. A sign outside the building said “Eurosonic Blinds and Shutters.”
Click the image to see more of Steve Redick’s photos from the fire.
Dave’s phone problems were no accident: If you missed it, on New Year’s Day we ran a special report about a secret video sent my way that blows the lid off the plot to shut down STATter911.com. My own employees and a certain fire blogger are implicated in this sinister plan. This all comes as a terrible, terrible shock to me. I had no idea. I thought everyone liked me. You will see, along with the video, my attempt to go undercover and infiltrate the group headed by the evil Mr. Big (at least that’s what I am guessing he makes everyone call him). Click here, if you dare.
The FDNY versus MTA video really took off: I believe the video of FDNY Engine Engine 276 and the MTA Bus 5004 on Brooklyn’s Kings Highway has been shared by more people on Facebook than any other STATter911.com story. It was put up on Friday morning. Click here if you somehow missed this must see clip.
Pictures from New Year’s Day Chicago 2-11 that left three firefighters injured: Tim Olk has lots of pictures after his early arrival to the fire Saturday at 4315 W. 25th Place. Six people, including three firefighters were hurt. Firefighters rescued a mother and child from the home. ChicagoAreaFire.com has Tim’s pictures and details.
The Rube says farewell to the troops: The administration of Mayor Vincent Gray officially began yesterday. As we reported a while back, Gray’s choice for chief is Kenneth Ellerbe. Chief Dennis Rubin said his goodbye over the radio system last Wednesday and we posted the audio on Friday. Click here to listen.
Battle of Waterloo is appealed: In Waterloo Iowa the former fire chief has asked the Civil Service Commission to look at his case after being demoted a month ago to captain. The demotion paves the way for the mayor’s plan to have the police chief run both departments as director of safety services. Check it out.
Retired firefighter hits the jackpot: More than $8 million for a retired firefighter from Leandro, California who hit it big on a caisno’s progressive slot machine. Here’s the story.
If you are looking for video from yesterday’s funeral in Chicago for Firefighter Corey Ankum, Glenn Usdin has a number of them posted on his FireTruckBlog.com. One of the videos is taken with a group of on-duty firefighters on an overpass as the procession passes by.
Arrangements for FF Edward J. Stringer are as follows:
Monday, December 27, 2010 (3A) (EMS 2)
Blake Lamb Funeral Home
4727 W. 103rd St.
Oak Lawn, IL
Visitation: 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 (1A)(EMS 2)
10:00 a.m. (Tentative)
St. Rita of Cascia Chapel
7740 S. Western
12000 S. Kedzie Ave
Blue Island, IL
Arrangements for FF/EMT Corey D. Ankum
Wake – Visitation
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 (2B) (EMS 4)
2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Apostolic Church of God
6320 S. Dorchester
Early Visitation before funeral service: Thursday, December 30, 2010 (3B) (EMS 1)
Apostolic Church of God
6320 S. Dorchester, Chicago
Funeral Service: Thursday, December 30, 2010 (3B) (EMS 1)
Apostolic Church of God
6320 S. Dorchester, Chicago
Interment: Lincoln Cemetery
12300 S. Kedzie
A memorial fund has been set up for the Ankum Family at Chase Bank. You can call any Chase Bank and tell them you would like to make a donation to this fund. Tell them it is a business fund under FF Corey Ankum Memorial Fund.
Transportation Information: Round trip bus service is being planned for Northside Local 2 members who wish to attend the funeral service for Brother Edward Stringer on Tuesday, December 28, 2010. Buses will leave at approximately 8:00 a.m. from Nonno Pino’s located at 6718 N. Northwest Highway in Edison Park. The buses will return immediately following the conclusion of the funeral service at St. Rita’s.
Anyone interest in securing bus transportation should contact Brother Jim O’Donnell (773)682-9336 or Local 2 3rd Dist. BA Roger Perez (773)322-7432 as soon as possible for more information and scheduling.
We anticipate similar service will be arranged for Brother Corey Ankum’s service, but as of right now his funeral service plans have not yet been finalized. We will provide that information as soon as it becomes available.
Hotel Information: Room blocks have been held at the following hotels for the week of 12/27 through 12/31
Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 East Wacker
$89 a night rate plus tax – block is under “Firefighters Union”
(312)565-1234 – mention block
200 North Columbus
$119 a night plus tax with free parking – block is under “Fire”
1-800 526-2008 – mention block
We have been getting some questions from those looking for a place to leave a message of condolence following the deaths of Firefighter Edward Stringer and Firefighter Corey Adams in Chicago. The image above is from the website for IAFF Local 2. Here is the link to the forum on the union’s website.
WFLD-TV reports the City of Chicago had filed suit against the owners of the abandoned building where Firefighter Corey Ankum and Firefighter Edward Stringer died.
In 2007 inspectors found 14 building code violations, including rotting trusses and holes in the roof of the building in the 1700 block of East 75th Street. They determined the building was not safe and was unstable.
Now Chicago officials say that city attorneys are reviewing further action against the owners. This could include a $500 per day fine for each violation. They are also looking at the possibility of a criminal prosecution.
STATEMENT OF MAYOR RICHARD M. DALEY ON THE DEATHS OF FIREFIGHTERS EDWARD STRINGER AND CORY ANKUM
On behalf of all the residents of Chicago, I extend my condolences to the families of Firefighters Edward Stringer and Cory Ankum, who died today in the line of duty. I knew Cory Ankum and his family and I share in their loss today.
Our prayers go out to the families of these two firefighters and to their brothers and sisters in the Chicago Fire Department, who put their lives in danger every day to keep Chicagoans safe.
FF Edward J. Stringer, Engine 63 on the left and FF/EMT Corey D. Ankum, Truck 34 on the right.
And our thoughts and prayers are with the other brave firefighters who remain hospitalized as a result of today’s fire.
The deaths of Firefighters Stringer and Ankum are both a sad reminder of how much gratitude we owe our first responders and a tragedy for all Chicagoans.
One of the firefighters who died in an extra-alarm blaze this morning had been a police officer before deciding he wanted to join the Chicago Fire Department, his family said.
“He loved helping people and, I guess, he wanted to join to be like his older brother,” Gerald Glover, a firefighter himself, said about Corey Ankum. “I’ve been a firefighter 25 years.”
Neighbors said the second firefighter who died, identified by Mayor Richard M. Daley’s office as Edward Stringer, had two grown children and lived alone. Records show he has worked for the Fire Department since 1998.
“He was the best neighbor we’ve ever had in the 50 years we’re living here,” said an elderly woman who lived down the block from his brick Cape Cod home on the West Side.
Stringer and Ankum had been on the roof of the building in the 1700 block of East 75th Street with other firefighters when it collapsed, according to the brother of a firefighter on the scene.
“I knew Cory Ankum and his family and I share in their loss today,’’ Daley said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. “. . . The deaths of Firefighters Stringer and Ankum are both a sad reminder of how much gratitude we owe our first responders and a tragedy for all Chicagoans.’’
Ankum was a former Chicago cop who joined the Chicago Fire Department’s Engine 72 a year ago and was described as a favorite at the firehouse at 79th and South Chicago.
The father of three children under 12 years old — including a 1 year old — was “first and foremost, a devoted family man,” said his brother, Gerald Glover, also a firefighter, who worked a different shift at the same firehouse.
The older brother said Ankum switched careers to join him in the fire department because he felt “police officers weren’t getting respect any more.”
The Chicago Fire Department District Commander, who didn’t want to be identified, was walking out of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office Wednesday carrying a Chicago flag that had been used to drape the remains of both firefighters and a red plastic bag filled with Stringer’s clothing. He said he knows Stringer’s mother, a retired city worker.
“We lost a friend, we lost a brother,’’ he said of Stringer. Stringer “would jump in’’ whenever needed. He also had a “quick wit.’’
Both firefighters were “excellent men, excellent firefighters, excellent parents, excellent friends,’’ the district commander said.