Lt. Ryan McGovern of Boston Fire Department's Engine 28 is recovering from burns after he fell partially through the floor of a single-family home at 14 Pond Circle in Jamaica Plain around 1:00 Wednesday morning. Above is the radio traffic from Boston Fire Communications during the mayday that was called when Lt. McGovern activated his emergency alert button. Lt. McGovern was able to self-rescue and walked out on his own. He has second and third-degree burns on his thigh and third-degree burns on his left hand and wrist. Lt. McGovern was discharged from the hospital and is reported home for Thanksgiving.
After crews knocked down much of the fire, McGovern was venturing into the dark with a thermal-imaging camera when he suddenly heard “crack, crack” — and crashed through the floor. He kept himself from plummeting into the basement by gripping with his hands and legs, even as embers burned him.
“I knew I was in a bad spot, and to be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come out of the hole,” he said. “I thought I was going to end up in the basement.”
McGovern made a mayday call on his radio, but got no response. He then pressed an emergency alert button on the radio, deploying a rapid intervention team.
Despite being laden with 50 pounds of gear, McGovern managed to pull himself out before the rescue team arrived. He carefully walked out, careful to make sure there were no other weak spots in the floor.
Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says the firefighter, who has been identified as 28-year department veteran Stanley Wilson, radioed in shortly before 5:30 a.m. that he was trapped and lost, at which point his radio went dead. It’s believed he became trapped when one of the floors collapsed. Almost three hours later his body was recovered from the wreckage.
The body was draped in an American flag as it was removed from the wreckage. Firefighters lined the path from the wreckage and saluted as Wilson was carried into an ambulance to be taken to the medical examiner’s office.
Wilson, 51, is survived by his wife and two sons. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Wilson was a 1980 graduate from Lake Highlands High School, a few miles away from the condo complex where he died.
At 11 a.m. Monday, Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Louie Bright, III confirmed that 28-year veteran Stanley Wilson was found dead inside the rubble of the fire hours after a radio message was heard from the firefighter saying, “I’m trapped.”
“A longtime member with the department,” Bright said. “A hard worker, certainly a hero with us for all of his efforts today.”
At about 8:30 a.m., a gurney set up for the missing firefighter was moved and firefighters formed a line around the burnt out building. The firefighters saluted as Wilson’s body, draped with a United States flag, was carried to an ambulance.
In addition to pulling the boy from the rubble, firefighters were able to rescue five other people during the blaze, Evans said.
Two Dallas firefighters, both with leg injuries, were taken to a hospital and a resident was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
NOTE: The City of Phoenix also lost a police officer today. Officer Daryl Raetz was also pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He had been hit by a vehicle that fled the scene at an incident in West Phoenix (scene video here).
23-year-old Bradley Harper had just finished fighting a mulch fire in south Phoenix Saturday night, when a fire truck and ambulance tried to pass each other on a narrow road. Harper, who was taking off his gear at the time, found himself pinned between the two vehicles.
He would later be pronounced dead following his arrival at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
“When you’re one of us, you really love these people,” said Phoenix Fire chief Bob Khan. “It’s an uncommon bond.”
Phoenix lost two first-responders Sunday as a firefighter who was wounded in a mulch fire died from his injuries and a police officer was killed in a hit-and-run incident in west Phoenix, authorities said.
The police officer, identified as Daryl Raetz, was killed early Sunday in an incident at 51st and Cambridge avenues, just south of Thomas Road. Authorities said the driver of the vehicle that struck the officer fled.
Raetz, 29, was a veteran of the Iraq War, officials said. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Department officials said the firefighter was trapped between two emergency vehicles and was transported to the hospital in extremely critical condition. The Phoenix Police Department is investigating the accident, which happened around 5:30 p.m. in the area of 39th Avenue and Miami Street. The fire department was responding to a fire at a fertilizer company, according to fire officials.
Phoenix police said crews were repositioning several trucks when the firefighter became pinned. It’s still unclear exactly how that happened.
Saturday night firefighters were huddled outside the entrance of the emergency room at the hospital while the young man’s wife and parents waited inside.
Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan described the firefighter as resilient. Khan said the 23-year-old had been a member of the department for two years and that he volunteered to be assigned to Phoenix’s busiest fire unit.
A Wayne-Westland firefighter’s life has been tragically cut short. Wednesday, 29-year-old Brian Woehlke was killed on the job.
At 8:17 a.m., a 911 call from a cell phone reported a working fire at The Electric Stick on Wayne Road in Westland, previously a pool hall converted into a charity poker venue. The 13,000 square foot structure includes Marvaso’s Italian Grille.
While fighting the fire, it was discovered that Woehlke was unaccounted for.
While checking an area of the building that had collapsed, they discovered the missing firefighter. He could not be revived. People watching the fire immediately began holding hands and praying.
Jennifer Woehlke made the following statement: “Brian loved going to work every day, and he worked his whole life to become a firefighter. Brian was proud a Wayne-Westland firefighter.”
The body of a Wayne Westland firefighter has been recovered from a blaze at a pair of businesses in a Westland strip mall today.
Brian Woehlke, 29, was found today, said Deputy Fire Chief Rob Arbini. Woehlke had been a firefighter for 10 months, Arbini said.
Mayor William Wild said he received notification of the body’s recovery at about 12:40 p.m. No information is being released about the firefighter.
Firefighters responded to a blaze at the Electric Stick, a billiards hall, at about 9 a.m. They received a mayday call through the communications system at about 9:30 a.m., indicating a firefighter was in distress. The call was received after a roof collapsed. The strip mall is located at Hunter and Wayne roads.
Woehlke is the first firefighter to fall in the line of duty in the City of Westland Fire Department’s 47-year history.
A Dearborn resident, Woehlke was married and the father of one child.,
Woehlke was among firefighters who responded to the fire sometime after 8 a.m. Wednesday. A may day distress radio call from Woehlke was received about 9:30 a.m. His body was recovered from the collapsed building about 12:40 p.m.
Woehlke is believed to have been trapped in debris from the collapsed Electric Stick and adjoining Marvaso’s Italian Grille.
Five firefighters reportedly went in and only four came out after the Electric Stick pool hall went up in flames Wednesday morning. Electric Stick is located on Wayne Road just south of Warren.
A restaurant was also destroyed in the fire.
Black smoke could be seen pouring from the building for miles.
Business owner George Marvaso says, “we will rebuild.” Marvaso, a man of strong faith says it is his faith that he will rely on throughout this time.
Electric Stick opened in 1993 as a billiard hall and in recent years had become a charity poker hall. Over the years Marvaso has been able to host tournaments that have raised more than $3-million dollars.
The paper reports it received the recording through “Freedom of Information Law”. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
From a struggle to supply enough water to aid firefighters to a harrowing rescue attempt that left multiple people injured, the recordings, obtained under Freedom of Information Law, detail the series of events that unfolded that frigid night.
Fire and law enforcement officials later determined a lighting apparatus in a small shed near the one-story home caused the fire, which they ruled accidental.
Here is an account of the emergency response based on dispatch records, along with a Tioga County Fire Investigation Team report and other details provided by county officials in news releases and during interviews.
As of this writing there are 45 comments with the article and 17 more on the paper’s Facebook page. That I can see, all of them are extremely negative about the decision to publish the article and the recording. Most of the comments are much more pointed than the original post from the Owego Fire Department. Most, like the Owego Fire Department’s Facebook message, express concern about the impact on Captain Porcari’s family and fellow firefighters. It should also be noted that at least 342 people recommended the article.
Before I go any further, let me state clearly a few things about STATter911.com. My goal with this site is to put in front of those who read STATter911.com information that is already in the public domain (almost always from the Internet and social media) about important issues, significant events and daily emergencies related to fire and EMS. Since leaving the television news business three-years-ago, I am no longer a reporter who originates the material, whether it be documents, information from anonymous sources, or audio recordings of radio traffic. But if it is on the web and I think there is something to learn from it, or could make for an interesting discussion, I often will post it. In fact, that is the main reason for providing the information about this controversy. I think there is a lot to learn from it and some important issues fire departments need to think about ahead of time.
As you know, this site and almost every other fire and EMS website you are familiar with has posted emergency radio traffic from significant fires, including ones where there have been line-of-duty-deaths. Many times these recordings are posted within a few hours of the event. While again, we aren’t the originators of the radio traffic recordings, the digital age has made it very easy for the recordings to be almost instantly published on the web, by virtually anyone. In addition, the radio traffic for thousands of fire departments can be heard live on the Internet thanks to sites like Broadcastify.com. Those recordings are then immediately available for members of the radio service to turn around and post on YouTube and elsewhere. I am not a member, but people who are, often communicate with me and other fire service site webmasters, notifying us that these recordings have been posted and are available.
My personal philosophy is that more information is generally better than less information. That said, on a number of occasions, I have delayed in posting radio traffic recordings that were available based on my own personal standard. Depending on the situation, the reasons have included the identity of an injured or deceased firefighter had not yet been made public, the recording included the final words of a firefighter, or the airing of the recording could have impacted an ongoing event. An example of the last case is, that while it had been made public, I held off on posting the initial radio traffic of Georgia firefighters making the notification they had been taken hostage until that situation was resolved.
In the New York fire there apparently was no such recording made available on the web. Instead, the newspaper went through long established channels on obtaining public records to get the recording. That I can see, no one is claiming the paper did anything illegal or sneaky in getting the recordings. As a strong believer in the First Amendment, I fully support the paper’s right to do so and at the same time I fully support the community’s right to give them hell for doing it.
And “community” may be an important part of this controversy. Every community is different. I’ve been posting radio traffic from line-of-duty-deaths and incidents where firefighters have been injured on this site for almost six-years. Some of the radio transmissions were much more graphic than what is on the New York recording (think of Kyle Wilson’s last words from Prince William County, VA). Despite the scores, if not hundreds, of radio traffic recordings I’ve posted, I’ve never received anything near the outpouring of emotion and criticism that is directed toward the Press and Sun Bulletin. Yes, there are occasionally one or two people who think the recordings should be taken down immediately. But it’s a fact of life, that almost anything posted, offends someone. This includes routine house fire videos that offend homeowners. If I were to take down everything that someone finds offensive, I might as well shut down the whole site.
I can tell by the statistics from YouTube and my own site that these recordings of radio traffic are extremely popular among firefighters. But nothing comes without a cost. There is no doubt that, the instant release of the radio traffic puts increased pressure and possible scrutiny on the department involved. Even with a delay of many months, the recordings will have an impact that fire departments need to prepare for.
Here are some questions for you to consider, based on the controversy in New York:
Is it realistic for a fire department to think something that is considered a public record should not be released because of concerns about the personal feelings of the survivors of an incident?
Should a news organization only publish recordings and/or information after an official investigation is completed?
Should a news organization be allowed to conduct its own investigation of an incident?
Is a fire department line-of-duty-death fair game for a reporter to probe?
Do we really want the press to make decisions based on potential emotional impact or to just put on the record the facts they have discovered regardless of who might be hurt?
Whose standard of what’s offensive should rule the day, the newspaper’s, the fire department’s or the community’s?
Do you think any fire department radio traffic recordings should be allowed to be published on the Internet? If only certain ones, which ones? Who decides?
Should the fire department be the leader of a boycott of news organizations it finds offensive?
When you do publicly protest should you be worried you bring more attention to what you want everyone to ignore?
It is with deep sorrow and regret that the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company announces the line of duty passing of Firefighter Gene Kirchner. Gene succumbed to his injures after an 8 day fight. He sustained critical injuries while he was performing a search on a dwelling fire April 24, 2013. Gene is a 9 year member of our company and was a junior fire fighter for 2 years. A full fire department funeral will be scheduled.
Date of Funeral: Sunday, May 5, 2013 Time of Funeral: 1 pm
A volunteer firefighter who joined the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company as a teenager more than a decade ago died Thursday of injuries sustained in a fire last week that also killed another man.
Gene Kirchner, 25, died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, officials said.
“Everybody is extremely shocked by this,” said Craig Hewitt, assistant chief of the fire company. “They’re missing Gene right now. He was a very key part of our fire company, and he will be greatly missed.”
Kirchner was one of the first firefighters to respond to the house fire on Hanover Road early on the morning of April 24.
He tried to save a man trapped inside, officials said. Kirchner was found unconscious on the second floor when a county response team arrived, officials said.
Over two years have passed since firefighter Mark Falkenhan was killed at an apartment fire on Dowling Circle in Towson. His death resulted, in part, from a collapse of the Incident Command System (ICS), when first-arriving units were faced with heavy fire and multiple rescues. ICS is a procedural policy for ensuring that command and control mechanisms are continually utilized during mitigation efforts at every incident. “Command” is assumed by the officer of the first-arriving unit and passed to the responding chief officer upon his or her arrival.
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts investigations of fires that result in firefighter deaths. Among the recommendations made by the NIOSH investigation of the Dowling Circle fire was the following: “Increase command officer staffing to ensure fire fighter safety during emergency operations.”
Despite the clear findings of the NIOSH, very few operational changes have been implemented by the Baltimore County Fire Department to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future, and nothing has been done to improve command staffing.
In fact, Baltimore County has fewer on-duty command officers (per capita) than any other department in the metro area. Baltimore County has only three command officers on duty at any given time. Similar-sized jurisdictions (Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Baltimore City) typically have six to 10 command officers on duty. These departments understand how essential it is to provide adequate command and control on the fireground by enabling command officers to reach the incident scene quickly.
By virtue of the limited number of command officers in Baltimore County, each officer is responsible for a very large geographic area (battalion). Therefore, response times for command officers are excessive. It is not unusual for battalion chiefs to take 20 or even 25 minutes to respond to an incident. These chiefs arrive too late to command incidents during the critical early stages of the fire attack, which is typically when things go wrong — sometimes very wrong.
On Jan. 11, 2011, it took approximately 20 minutes for the initial battalion chief to arrive at the fire that claimed Mark Falkenhan’s life. Upon arrival, that chief immediately made the determination that the building was not safe for interior firefighting operations; he ordered the evacuation of the building. Seconds later, Mark transmitted the “Mayday,” signaling that he was trapped in a third floor apartment. What would have happened if the battalion chief had arrived one minute (or even 30 seconds) earlier that day?
This past Wednesday, firefighter Gene Kirchner, 25, of the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company was critically injured during a house fire with people trapped. Although the facts surrounding his injuries are yet to be determined, it seems highly likely that in this case too, his injuries resulted in part from the delayed response of a command officer. The command officer was responding from the Woodlawn/Catonsville area, as would normally be the case. A response from that location to Reisterstown takes about 15 minutes.
I joined the Baltimore County Fire Department in 1987, when the department had six battalion chiefs on duty on each shift. Today, there are just three battalion chiefs on duty on each shift. Each chief oversees 16-20 stations. Each chief covers more than 200 square miles. Unlike other departments in the region that assign multiple chief officers on structure fires, Baltimore County dispatches just one. Baltimore County’s fire and EMS personnel are at unacceptable risk of injury and death because there are too few command officers.
I retired as a division chief in February 2012. Throughout my tenure, I remained vehemently opposed to the reduction in command staff that occurred during the 1990s. There are a number of reasons I decided to retire, but my inability to convince the administration of the need to improve command staffing levels (especially in light of Mark’s death) was certainly a factor. I didn’t want to be the chief-in-charge of an incident at which we lost another firefighter whose death might have been prevented by enhancing command staffing.
Two months following my retirement, I met with County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. I wanted him to hear from me how dire this situation is. I told him I feared that if command staffing did not improve, another incident would claim the life of a firefighter in Baltimore County. To Gene, the Kirchner family, and to all my brothers and sisters in the Baltimore County Fire Service, I’m praying I was wrong.
Above is audio from alertpage of this morning’s mayday at a fire in Baltimore County, Maryland that left Reisterstown VFC Firefighter Gene Kirchner in critical condition. Firefighter Kirchner was found unconscious on the 2nd floor. A 58-year-old man was found dead in the house. The mayday call is heard at 6:45 into the video. Time has been condensed for this recording with pauses removed. Below is an update to this morning’s story.
The dwelling, a two-story Victorian, was used as a few separate apartments, and was less than a quarter-mile from the closest fire company, so they arrived quickly. On arrival they had heavy fire and smoke. When they went inside, they found Steven Stark, 58, on the second floor. He was taken to Northwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At some point, volunteer Firefighter Gene Kirchner, 24, issued a mayday call from inside the home. Firefighters found him unconscious, rescued him and transported him to Northwest Hospital, then to Baltimore Shock Trauma, where his condition is critical. What happened and why is unknown yet.
Steven Stark, 58, of the unit block of Hanover Road, was found in an upstairs hallway of his home during an intense search and rescue effort and transported to Northwest Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, said Captain Rich Schenning, a department spokesman.
Kirchner, whose exact age was not immediately available, was resuscitated at the scene and transported to Northwest Hospital Center before being transferred to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was listed in critical condition Wednesday morning, Schenning said.
Firefighters conducting a secondary search of the home located Stark, Schenning said.
Firefighters were met by heavy fire and smoke. When they went inside, they said they found Steven Stark, 58, on the second floor. He was taken to Northwest Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Baltimore County fire officials said a volunteer firefighter, identified as Gene Kirchner, 24, issued a mayday call and collapsed inside the home. Crews found him and took him to Northwest Hospital. He was then transferred to Shock Trauma, where his condition isn’t known.
Officials said the bulk of the fire was held to the back portion of the house. Fire investigators are still looking for the cause. 11 News has learned that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been called in to assist.
Michael R. Goodwin, Sr.,Captain, Philadelphia Fire Department, Badge # 2773, passed away tragically serving the citizens of Philadelphia on April 6, 2013.Beloved husband of Kelly (nee McDonnell). Loving Dad of Dorothy Dunn (Timothy) and Michael R., Jr. Loving Pop of Timothy Jr. and Bailey Dunn. Dear son of Elizabeth and the late James Goodwin, brother of James (Kelly), Robert (Brenda) and Deborah Goodwin, brother in law of Thomas McDonnell (Joann). Also Surviving are many nieces and nephews. Mike was a member of the Philadelphia Fire Department for over 29 years. He became a firefighter on September 9, 1983, Class # 153. Mike proudly served in the U.S. Navy as an E-4 and was honorably discharged on August 27, 1983. Mike was awarded many commendations while serving the citizens of Philadelphia. He was a Philadelphia Sports fan but the most important aspect of Michael’s life was his family. Relatives, friends, members of Philadelphia Fire Department Local 22 and all first responders are invited to share in Mike’s Life Celebration Wednesday from 5:00- 9:00 PM and Thursday morning from 9:00 to 10:45 AM at John F. Givnish of Academy Rd. 10975 Academy Rd. Michael’s Life Celebration Service will be held at 12:00 Noon at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 2139 E. Cumberland St. Interment Hillside Cemetery, Roslyn, PA. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Mike’s memory to the Firefighters Widow Fund c/o Local 22, 415 N. 5th St. Phila, PA 19123 would be appreciated. To share your fondest memories of Mike visit www.lifecelebration.com.
The mayor of Philadelphia on Sunday ordered flags flown at half-staff and called for prayers for the family and colleagues of a veteran fire captain killed when a roof collapsed beneath him as he battled a blaze, the third city firefighter killed in the line of duty in a year.
Capt. Michael Goodwin, 53, plunged onto the second-floor roof of the three-story building in the Fabric Row section during Saturday night’s blaze. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Fellow firefighter Andrew Godlewski, 28, burned on his hands while trying to rescue Goodwin, was discharged Sunday from a hospital, officials said.
“We must never forget the grave risks that these heroic public servants take every day at a moment’s notice on behalf of us all,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement Sunday.
At an emotional news conference late Saturday, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers called Goodwin, a 29-year veteran, “a really good person.”
“He was the kind of guy who looked out for his folks,” he said. “A ladder man. A firefighter’s firefighter.”
Goodwin is survived by a wife, two grown children and three siblings, one of whom is a police officer, he said.
Police officers and fellow firefighters saluted Goodwin’s body, draped in an American flag, as it was carried to a hospital and, later, to a funeral home.
The loss came as the fire department prepared to mark a year since an April 9 blaze at a warehouse that killed Capt. Robert Neary, 59, and Daniel Sweeney, 25. They also died in a collapse, which came as they inspected an adjacent building.
“We have a department that is wounded,” Ayers said. “We have scars that are fresh, and indeed they have now been reopened.”
Nutter ordered flags flown at half-staff at all city buildings for the next 30 days in Goodwin’s honor, officials said.
At Goodwin’s fire station deep in south Philadelphia, bouquets were clustered on and around a wooden bench along with a large toy fire truck and ladder.
The American Red Cross of southeastern Pennsylvania said 17 residents were displaced by the blaze, and three of them needed financial help with hotels, food and clothing.
At the scene Sunday afternoon, a fire hose planted in the middle of the street sprayed a jet of water onto the remains of the building, which had collapsed into a pile that stretched over the sidewalk in between two other three-story row homes. Meals and counseling were being provided for grieving firefighters, the Red Cross said.
The blaze appeared to have started in a fabric store downstairs before spreading to upstairs apartments and a neighboring boutique, the store’s owner said. The proprietors of both stores told The Philadelphia Inquirer that everyone in both buildings at the time of the fire managed to escape.
The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately known, but Bruce Blumenthal, the owner of Jack B. Fabrics, said he believes it started in a wall and may have been electrical in nature. Blumenthal said he smelled smoke coming from the basement at around 5 p.m. and found a box of collars and cuffs on fire. He tried to put the flames out with an extinguisher to no avail, he said.
A fire burned a fabric shop, upstairs apartments and a neighboring boutique Saturday evening, causing a partial roof collapse that killed a firefighter and injured a colleague who was trying to rescue him, officials said.
Captain Michael Goodwin, 53, was killed in the line of duty, Amy Daly, a nursing supervisor at Jefferson University Hospitals, told The Associated Press. Goodwin was a 29-year veteran of the fire department. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says he was killed in a fall from the third floor roof to the second.
The second firefighter, Andrew Godlinski, 28, of Ladder 2, was hospitalized with burns. Officials say he was injured while trying to rescue Captain Goodwin. He is expected to survive.
Officials say Captain Goodwin belonged to Ladder 27. His comrades saluted as his body was carried out and taken to the hospital.
Engine-11 arrived on scene with smoke showing from the first floor of three story store front with apartments above. B/C-4 reported companies had trouble located the seat of the fire in the basement of fabric store. Placed all hands in service Deputy-1 requested the second alarm. Command ordered all companies out of the building and went in service with an exterior operations. Command requested the third alarm struck for heavy fire through out. Command requested a the collapse unit for a firefighter trapped after a collapse of the building.
The firefighter was recovered from the building and transported to the hospital with serious injuries. Another firefighter was burned in an attempt to rescue the trapped firefighter.
The firefighter was pronounced at the hospital. He had been the Captain of Ladder-27.
The collapse left the firefighter trapped inside the building on the street known as Fabric Row, officials said. Other firefighters saluted as his body was carried out on a stretcher and taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
The fatality came just short of a year since the last time Philadelphia firefighters died in the line of duty. A warehouse blaze in the Kensington section last April 11 killed Capt. Robert Neary, 59, and Daniel Sweeney, 25, both from Ladder 10, and injured two other firefighters.
“We have a department that is wounded,” Ayers said. “We have scars that are fresh, and indeed they have now been reopened.”
The first engine arrived four minutes after the fire call came in, Ayers said. One person inside the building at the time was taken out by firefighters, as they stretched hoses into the building and went to work.
It was 31 minutes after the initial call when the second alarm was struck. Ayers said the crews faced “faced heavy smoke, heavy fire,” adding that from the exterior you could see fabric throughout the store.
It was 6:21 p.m. when officials were informed that a member of the department was “down.” The report changed to one member “missing,” and a third alarm was struck by 6:30 p.m.
Ayers said they found out subsequently that the firefighter “had fallen from the third-floor roof to the second-floor roof.”
“Firefighters were trying to rescue him from the second-floor roof when that roof collapsed,” the fire commissioner went on to say.
“By God’s grace. Obviously I had someone watching over me that morning,” was how Dayton Fire Capt. Barry Cron described surviving the injury he suffered Tuesday while responding to an accident on U.S. 35.
Cron was on the scene where a vehicle overturned in the median. While police, firefighters and medics were on the scene, icy conditions caused more vehicles to crash. Cron was struck while checking on the occupants in one of the wrecked vehicles. The impact threw him almost 30 feet.
“I can’t believe it. it’s just unbelievable,” he said about seeing the accident that was captured in cruiser cam video. He said he had about a half second warning before he was hit, and was waiting for another car to hit him as was lying on the ground, unable to move.
A Dayton fire captain who survived a dramatic crash Tuesday on U.S. 35 said he had less than a second’s warning that he was about to be thrown through the air.
Captain Barry Cron said he was conscious the whole time and remembers a half second of tires skidding before he was tumbling. He landed on his back in the snow and immediately began to assess his own injuries.
When Cron’s ladder crew arrived on the scene just before 5:30 a.m. there were only a few cars that had slid off the icy roadway, he said. He was assessing a victim in one of the vehicles when another lost control and slammed into the pileup.
Cron told media Thursday he has three broken ribs and has a fracture in his leg and a lot of bumps and bruises.
Authorities say a central Illinois firefighter was killed and 5 of his colleagues injured when a tractor-trailer hit three emergency vehicles.
The emergency responders were working at the scene of a previous freeway accident at the time. The name of the dead firefighter from the village of Hudson hasn’t been released.
McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling says that at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, emergency responders were dispatched to a multiple-vehicle wreck on southbound Interstate 39 near Hudson.
An hour later, a southbound tractor-trailer hauling a load of automobiles lost control and hit 3 of the emergency vehicles belonging to the Hudson Community Fire Protection District and the Illinois State Police.
All of the injured were taken to a hospital in Normal.
McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling releases the following information concerning a motor vehicle fatality that occurred on the evening of Tuesday, March 5th 2013 in Hudson, IL. At approximately 2145 hours, MetCom received a 911 call in reference to a multiple vehicle incident on southbound I-39 near mile marker 6 in Hudson. Fire and police units were dispatched. Then at approximately 2245 hours, a southbound semi-tractor trailer carrying a load of automobiles lost control and struck three official first responder vehicles belonging to Hudson Community Fire Protection District (HCFPD) and the Illinois State Police (ISP). Six members of HCFPD were injured and transported to Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center in Normal. At 2238 hours on March 5th, a member of the Hudson Fire Department succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased by Emergency Department Staff.
“Today we lost a member of our Hudson family. We share in the sorrow felt by his loved ones, and we must not forget the valuable contributions be made to this community and the impact he has left on the Hudson Fire Department,” said Chief Dan Hite, Hudson Community Fire Protection District. “The Hudson Fire Department is a close-knit family, and the loss of one of our own affects us all. A tragedy of this type is felt by each and every member, but together we can make it through. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
We ask that at this time that all media please allow our Department and families time to grieve. Any questions specific to the Hudson Fire Department can be directed to Chief Dan Hite at 309-824-2226 or Capt. Shane Hill, HFD Public Affairs Officer at 309-310-3788.
An autopsy will be scheduled for Wednesday, March 6th. The identity of this firefighter will be released along with preliminary autopsy results later in the business day. Any questions regarding the death investigation may be directed to Coroner Beth Kimmerling.
An Accident Reconstructionist from the Illinois State Police has been assigned to the incident and is working with the Coroner’s Office and Hudson Fire Department on the circumstances surrounding this crash.
It is with a heavy heart and great sadness I have to report the passing of one of our members. He was struck by a semi last night while at a accident scene. We also had 5 others firefighter’s treated and released from a local hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, those injured and the rest of the department members as we move through this difficult time. Thank all of you for your kind words and keep all of us especially the family in your prayers. Respectfully, Dan Hite, Fire Chief
On it’s Facebook page the Owego Fire Department reports that Lt. Daniel Gavin has been released from the hospital. There was an afternoon briefing with more details about what occurred at the house fire in Chamberlain Road. Here is an excerpt from the latest article by Debbie Swartz at PressConnects.com:
Several teams had entered the burning home on Chamberlain Road late Monday before Capt. Matthew J. Porcari and Lt. Daniel G. Gavin took their turn.
But it was when they were in there that the home’s floor gave way — causing Porcari to fall several feet into the basement where he suffered fatal injuries. Gavin, who suffered from burns, fell partially through the floor but was able to pull himself free before going back in to save his partner, fire officials said today during a news conference.
Porcari, a captain with Owego Fire Co. 3, is survived by his wife, Christina, an 11-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son, Owego Deputy Chief Bob Williams said.
From Owego FD Facebook page: Captain Matthew Porcari, center, and Firefighter Daniel Gavin, far right, while in Long Island in November assisting with the Hurricane Sandy relief effort.
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the Owego Fire Department announces the Line of Duty Death of Captain Matthew Porcari while battling a house fire last night. Injured in the blaze was Firefighter Daniel Gavin, who was transported to a local hospital and then transferred to the burn unit at Upstate Medical in Syracuse NY. All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Porcari and Gavin families in this tragic time.
Owego Deputy Fire Chief Bob Williams said Owego firefighters Matthew Porcari and Daniel Gavin were in the building when the floor collapsed. Porcari died in the fire. Gavin was taken to Wilson Hospital with burns before being transferred to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
Video from 2011 that includes Capt. Porcari and Lt. Gavin.
The fire was reported just before 11 p.m. at 871 Chamberlain Rd. in Newark Valley, according to Tioga County emergency communications.
At 12:10 a.m., Newark Valley called for all available crews from Campville. Newark Valley, Berkshire, Maine and Owego fire departments were also on the scene. Union Center was called later in the morning.
At a news conference on Monday Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering recognized his officers involved in the Christmas Eve ambush that killed West Webster Firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka and wounded Firefighters Ted Scardino and Joe Hofstetter. The officers’ stories were also shared publicly and the chief talked about William Spengler Jr’s motive.
“After his mother died in October, he was extremely upset that money was donated to the West Webster Fire Department in her memory,” said Pickering, though he added that authorities may never know what triggered Spengler’s actions on Christmas Eve.
Spengler, armed with three guns and more than 400 rounds of ammunition, fired 58 shots in total. But once Reed returned fire, Spengler was left with three options, said Pickering: He could either be apprehended by police, die in a shootout, or take his own life.
Spengler chose the latter option, running about 200 or 300 feet west along a berm by Lake Ontario before heading towards the rocks and shooting himself.
“He never expected police to return fire,” said Pickering.
It was Webster Police Officer Mark Reed who arrived on scene before the first fire truck. Gunman William Spengler did not open fire until that fire truck arrived, and shortly after that Officer Reed returned fire with the assault rifle issued to him in his patrol car.
“He (Reed) saved I can’t tell you how many lives he probably saved because as they said this guy was prepared to keep shooting,” Sgt. Hall said of Reed’s actions. “(We) probably would’ve lost a lot more fireman and then the policemen responding to help the firemen, if we didn’t have the advantage that Mark Reed gave us. We probably would’ve lost some of ours. So he saved a lot of lives.”
Sgt. Kevin Hall, Webster Police Department, said, “You can only imagine the chaos there between the fire and you’re hearing shots, and there are fire personnel on the ground, the fire truck is crashed into the side of the road. It was just absolute chaos.”
When Sergeant Hall arrived to the scene on Lake Road Christmas Eve morning, his colleague, Mark Reed, was already there, shooting at William Spengler.
Sgt. Hall said, “You are surrounded by water. It’s very dark, very cold windy. There was a fireman down and I thought I had an opportunity that while Officer Reed and the suspect were engaged with each other I’d have an opportunity to sneak it and retrieve the fireman.”
That downed firefighter would end up being 19-year-old Tomasz Kaczowka. So Hall grabbed his ballistic shield from his car to try and help the firefighter.
Sgt. Hall said, “I thought that he was initially just laying on the ground kind of covering himself from the shots fired. So I thought when I ran up I would just pat him on the back and say lets get out of here an he’d get up and we’d run away. As soon as I put my hand on him I realized that it was gonna happen.”
Sgt. Hall said, “I realized that I couldn’t help him and I was in a very bad position to begin with and that’s when I retreated back to the vehicle and retrieved my weapon.”
Helmet-cam video from OneNineTruck as Rescue 19 from the Lansdowne Fire Company arrives at a December 30 house fire in Colwyn, Pennsylvania (Delaware County). As the firefighter walks up a firefighter who received an electric shock is brought out and an order comes to evacuate the home. A second firefighter suffered smoke inhalation.
This is the second fire video posted over the weekend from fire & EMS news & videos by clicking here & choosing “like”.
Dawn Nguyen, of Greece, faces a federal charge of knowingly making a false statement, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said. She also was charged with a state count of filing a falsified business record, State Police Senior Investigator James Sewell said.
Sewell said the charges are connected to the purchase of an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun that William Spengler had with him Monday when firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were gunned down. Three other people were wounded before the 62-year-old Spengler killed himself. He also had a .38-caliber revolver, but Nguyen is not connected to that gun, Sewell said.
Hochul said Nguyen bought the guns on June 6, 2010, on behalf of Spengler, who as a convicted felon was barred from possessing weapons.
Spengler was with Nguyen, a former Lake Road neighbor, when the weapons were purchased at the Gander Mountain sporting goods store in Henrietta on June 7, 2010, Hochul said. The rambling letter Spengler left behind, which Hochul described as a “suicide note,” informed authorities that the guns had come from the daughter of a neighbor.
Hochul and others at the afternoon news conference described Nguyen’s alleged actions as a “straw purchase,” in which one person intentionally and knowingly buys guns for another. Spengler could not legally own or purchase guns because of a felony conviction: he bludgeoned his grandmother to death in 1980.
The felony with which Nguyen is charged carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A press conference is scheduled for 4:00 PM EST today to discuss new developments in the case. News reports say a Greece, New York woman is now in custody as part of the investigation into how William Spengler Jr., a convicted felon, obtained the guns used to ambush West Webster firefighters.
Around 1:40 p.m., New York State Police, Webster Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives descended on the Alpine Road home, where Dawn Nguyen and her mother, Dawn Welsher, were staying.
Senior Investigator James Newell of the state police said Nguyen was charged with offering a false instrument for filing. He also said a federal charge is pending, though he did not specify.
“She purchased the weapons legally, and they were stolen,” Nguyen’s lawyer, Dave Palmiere, said Friday. He said Nguyen doesn’t recall whether she reported the guns stolen.