“I heard five big booms. It sounded like an explosion,” said John Mason who lives near Fairfax County’s new Crosspointe fire station where a dangerous mistake could have been deadly.
“We don’t like that this happened, especially to us, but thankfully, nobody was seriously injured,” said Dan Schmidt, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.
Ironically, the accident happened during a routine safety check at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. Schmidt says a firefighter on the ladder truck was raising and moving the ladder when it hit the 230,000 volt transmission line above.
The firefighter who was on the truck jumped off and another one who was standing nearby was hit by flying debris from a concrete barrier that exploded. They were both transported to a hospital with minor injuries.
“Carelessness. They’re usually very professional. That’s not the kind of mistake you’d expect from them, ” said Richard Magee of Alexandria. He was one of more than 31,000 power customers of Dominion Virginia that lost power because of the incident.
Virginia Dominion officials say they restored power to all of those customers by 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Officials said the contact between the ladder truck and the power line caused a small fire in an electrical panel inside the fire station.
Metro officials told 9NEWS NOW the outage affected the King Street, Van Dorn, and Springfield Metro stations, where power has since been restored.
A third firefighter was taken to the hospital to check for possible hearing loss after the explosion. Both the Fairfax County Fire Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.
UPDATE: Virginia ladder hits 230,000 volt line during safety check. 3 firefighters slightly hurt. 31,000 lost power.27 comments
More video from Baltimore fifth-alarm: A large, mostly vacant warehouse burned Sunday morning in the Clipper Mill Industrial Park along the JFX. Firefighters used the highway as a vantage point to lob water onto the fire. The video above is from Michael “FirePix1075″ Schwartzberg. His still pictures can be seen here. We also have more details and news video posted. Click here for our coverage. Also, as we first mentioned while the fire was burning, the industrial park is where Firefighter Eric Schaefer died in 1995 after a wall collapse during a nine-alarm fire. The Sun’s Peter Hermann looks back at his coverage of that tragedy.
Fatal fire in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia: The way relatives describe it, firefighters weren’t likely to save 52-year-old Andy Wang from Saturday morning’s house fire on Paul Street, no matter how fast they got there. Wang’s nephew tells STATter911.com, he smelled smoke and traced it to a basement bedroom where he saw his uncle sitting on the bed on fire. The nephew made sure six other relatives escaped the house. The closest firehouse to Paul Street is Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Station 410 about 1.3 miles away. At the end of last week, Fairfax County decided not to staff that station overnight following the collapse of the roof over the bay area two weeks ago. For much of the two weeks, Engine 410′s crew had been using the Rehab Unit outside the station as its quarters. The engine is now with Truck 410 at Station 428 during night time hours. The Seven Corners firehouse (AKA Buffalo Ridge) is about two miles further away from the house on Paul Street. Officials say it took five minutes for the first unit to arrive on the scene. Firefighters we have talked to are very eager to again have coverage within Bailey’s Crossroads 24-hours-a-day (they spend most of the daylight and early evening hours in the first-due). Spokesman Dan Schmidt says the hope of county fire officials is that most of the living area at the Bailey’s Crossroads firehouse can be occupied during the next week or two, with a tent outside for apparatus. Click here for the fireground audio from Sunday’s fire.
This sure is different – chief cites grant competition for not allowing newly promoted career captain to be volunteer firefighter: This is a really interesting article from Fargo, North Dakota. The Fargo Fire Department recently promoted Joe Mangin to captain, but Mangin was told to accept that position he would have to resign as a member of the Casselton Volunteer Fire Department (where he had previously been assistant chief). The reason given is that Casselton competes with Fargo for grant money. At least three other Fargo captains are volunteers in North Dakota departments, including two who are chiefs of their departments. The explanation is those departments don’t compete with Fargo for funding. Here’s the story (may require log in).
The Philadelphia sound is a little smoky: It is where Chubby Checker recorded “The Twist”. It is also where songwriters Gamble and Huff developed the Philadelphia sound. A fire severely damaged the offices of Philadelphia International Records on Broad Street Sunday morning (see picture at left). Firefighters did their best to save Gold Records on the walls and other memorabilia. Read more about this legendary company at Philly.com. I am assuming their knowledge of the music industry surpasses their understanding of the fire service, considering this line in the story – “More than 100 fire personnel from Ladder 5 and Battalion 1 at Broad and Christian Streets responded to the two-alarm blaze … “. Damn, that is one crowded firehouse.
Lost ambulance reports: The Anne Arundel County Fire Department has been dealing for some time with lost ambulance reports from a now abandoned computer database and is also having problems with the software that replaced it. The impact includes failing to provided monthly patient-care reports to the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). MIEMSS provides free software to the large majority of Maryland’s counties that does the same job. Here’s the story from The Capital in Annapolis.
Four-alarms in Orange, New Jersey: A fire Saturday damaged nine homes. We have lots of video.
Detroit report and more: NIOSH has released its report into the death of Detroit Firefighter Walter Harris inside a vacant home in November, 2008. We put a bunch of links up with the report to give you some perspective on the city’s unbelievable problems. This includes a wonderful compilation of pictures by Paul Bassett. Click here for all of that. Since we posted that entry, our friend Steve in New Jersey came up with the video of Firefighter Harris that I couldn’t find and a very touching article about Harris and Engine 23 two months after his death.
New York Rent-a-firefighter idea receives mixed reaction: Suburban fire departments don’t seem to be in line asking for Syracuse firefighters to handle their calls. A look at the reaction to this potential money making idea by the Syracuse Fire Department.
Arrests in Texas church arsons: Firegeezer has the details on two people charged with setting as many as ten churches on fire east of Dallas. Click here.
FDNY firefighters honored: A group of Bronx firefighters already receiving recognition for their multiple rescues on Pelham Parkway. This is the one we told you about with the infant dangling from a window. Here’s the latest story.
Reverse Ricci now before the Supreme Court: 6000 African-Americans sued following a 1995 test for the Chicago Fire Department unfairly screened out minority applicants. Their case was thrown out because they may have waited too long to file suit. That issue and more is now before the Supreme Court in a case that had already been before Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Read the story.
Update on USAR teams. Fairfax County’s Virginia Task Force 1 and other teams involved in multiple successful rescues.5 comments
(Note: Please check the video player to the right. When new videos come in involving USAR teams, WUSA9.com’s Emily Cyr and Jillian Coyle are adding them, often before I am able to catch up with the details. You will also see other fire & EMS related videos in the player from the DC area and around the country.)
It is clear the urban search and rescue teams on the ground in Haiti are making progress. We have been keeping tabs of our local teams from Fairfax County, Virginia, but there is good work being done by many.
The first team from Virginia Task Force 1 is designated as USA-1 Heavy. It’s 72 personnel have been very busy. We told you about and showed you yesterday the rescue of the security guard at the UN building.
Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt tells us the same team successfully completed at 1:00 AM a 17-hour rescue of a woman at the Hotel Montana in Port-Au-Prince (part of that operation is seen on the video above).
They then went on to assist the French team with the rescue of four people (a fifth was being worked on late this morning). A portion of the team was also assisting the group from Spain on rescuing two people from an elevator shaft.
Team two is known as USA-5 USA-1 Medium. It has 42 36 people on the team. They arrived in Haiti early this morning and Schmidt confirms they are also using the US Embassy as a base of operations (considered a plus for security and coordination).
More as we know it.
USAR team rescues a woman earlier today.
FireSceneAudio.com has the radio traffic and Virginia’s Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department has the pictures. Gregory Hunter and Matt Cox, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, C-Shift took the images of the two-alarm house fire around Sunday evening at 8610 Cherry Drive in the Providence area of the county.
Here is an excerpt from the press release by PIO Dan Schmidt:
Firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke bursting through the front and sides of both floors of the home upon arrival. Massive fire was coming from the rear and out of second floor windows when firefighters arrived on scene. The Incident Commander quickly struck a second alarm, bringing over 60 firefighters to the scene. An aerial ladder was used to place large streams of water in the attic and roof area. Firefighters fought the fire from all four sides of the all-brick, two-story home. Firefighters contended with extreme temperatures and black ice while fighting the fire. It took firefighters about an hour to bring the fire under total control. Using defensive measures, firefighters ensured close-by homes were not damaged. No one was home when the fire broke out. Two adults have been displaced. There were no injuries.
Dozens of cats die in Virginia fire. Blaze at home of Fairfax County couple involved with cat rescue group.2 comments
By Lindsey Mastis, WUSA9.com:
Dozens of cats and the family’s birds perished in a house fire in Fairfax County, Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Mark Emlet and Kristen Tunstall foster many of the cats for Fancy Cats Rescue Team.
Emlet says there were 64 cats in the home located in the Centreville area. The couple left Saturday morning on vacation. At about 3:00 PM, a pet sitter arrived and found the first floor full of smoke. She called 911, and firefighters arrived a few minutes later.
Dan Schmidt, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman, says the fire extinguished on its own. According to Schmidt eight cats survived the fire. Others are still unaccounted for. Fairfax County Animal Control removed the dead cats and birds from the home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.