Video from phillyfirenews of a house fire today on Reiffs Mill Road in Ambler Boro, Pennsylvania (Montgomery County). While the evacuation tones and airhorns are heard two separate times on the video, the audio appears to be the same evacuation from two different angles, even though the video shows some different action going on the second time your hear the evac tones (indicating the sound is dubbed pn one of them). J.D. Brooke reposted this video with the original audio at the 3:14 mark instead of the earlier evac order being dubbed in.
As for the evacuation, it appears not everyone came out. The conversation from firefighters questioning the water still being put on the attic fire from inside indicates that it was being applied via the first floor. There are also firefighters being told to go in and help someone out who was still inside. It’s unclear if this was related to the injured firefighters PhillyFireNews.com reports about below:
The fire extended into numerous void spaces on the second floor. Several firefighters were caught in a flash over on the second floor. Command evacuated the dwelling due to heavy fire conditions. Exterior lines were placed in to operations. Two Firefighter were transported to the hospital. One with burns to his ears, second with a laceration.
Freemansburg Engine 1212 arrived to find a 3 story row home with heavy fire blowing out of the 2nd floor windows. Two firefighters from Engine 1212 stretched a 1 3/4 line to the fire floor knocking the fire down within moments of arrival. Engine 6341 arrived along with Bethlehem Township fire Companies and assisted with throwing ladders and checking secondary occupancies for extension. All companies made quick work on this fire holding it to the fire floor with minor extension to the third floor.
It’s been a while since we’ve run something from our friend Paul Bassett (OLDIRONSIDESWAY)) in New Jersey. This time he does double duty with a helmet-cam rolling while he shoots pictures of the May 1 fire at 585 Hoboken Road in Carlstadt (Bergen County). The airhorns start sounding on this one at 4:43.
The blaze started in the basement of the three-story building at 585 Hoboken Road shortly after 8 a.m., fire officials said. The flames shot through the windows and up the exterior walls of the wood-frame structure, forcing smoke through the roof.
It took more than two hours for dozens of firefighters from Carlstadt and surrounding departments to bring the blaze under control. Assistant Chief Rob Popejoy of the Carlstadt Fire Department said the fire remained under investigation on Wednesday afternoon but did not appear suspicious. Peter Melchionne said authorities told him that the cause was likely electrical, and that the fire started in or near the laundry room.
Video above from JC Kriesher (jck5055) of FireandFilm.com from a fire just before midnight at 231 Pierce Street in Pottsville, Pennsylvania that left four children and two adults dead. Below is video from SpankMan2009.
The police department arrived on the scene and confirmed a fully involved single family dwelling. Police requested one of the truck companies come right down Pierce Street and set up. Engine 11 arrived and took the address and began to stretch lines. Ladder 21 came up Pierce Street while Ladder 51 came from the opposite direction. Engine 32 arrived and also began to stretch lines. P-5 arrived and assumed command of the incident requesting a second alarm be struck.
Policed relayed they received reports of multiple people unaccounted for in the house. Multiple EMS units from Pottsville and Schuylkill Haven ALS staged at different points around the scene.
Crews experienced water issues while trying to contain the blaze which let the fire burn rapidly. Foam was introduced to the lines off Engine 11 which also utilized the deck gun charged with foam.
The fire continued to tear through the building and lick up the side of the exposure on the “D” side of the building. Crews entered the exposure and also went to the roof to check for extension.
The bulk of the fire was knocked down within twenty minutes of the first arriving crews. The fire was put under control at 12:57 AM. Extensive overhaul was needed with crews remaining on scene throughout the morning.
The fire was reported at 12:40 p.m. Camas-Washougal Fire Chief Nick Swinhart said arriving firefighters used a defensive attack on the blaze — instead of trying to enter the burning house, they used hoses to spray water from the outside.
“We just dump a lot of water on it until we can get it out,” he said. “This fire just got too much of a head start on us.”
Using several hoses and a water cannon, firefighters sprayed the sides of the house, using a shield of water to protect neighboring residences. Houses next door stand about 10 feet away from the flame-engulfed residence.
“Sometimes it’s a helpless feeling for us too, but it’s all we can do,” Swinhart said.
It’s believed it started on a second or third floor balcony.
At its peak, about 60 firefighters were fighting the blaze that eventually destroyed one three-storey 36 suite apartment building.
Throughout the several hours fire crews fought the flames, gusting winds made the task difficult.
“Wind was probably our biggest enemy in this whole scenario,” Stony Plain Fire Chief Dan Badry said Thursday night. “It basically pushed the fire up the side of the wall and into the attic area.”
At the same time, firefighters had a difficult time reaching all parts of the burning building.
“They weren’t able to get into the east portion of the building, because of the heavy smoke that accumulated in that area,” Badry said. “But everybody on that side of the building has been evacuated, and made it out safely.”
More video from last night’s fire in a duplex on Wilkes Barre Street in Easton, Pennsylvania. This one is from Dan Clerico at NortheastBravest.com. Make sure you watch closely starting at around 2:00 as a firefighter tries to exit the roof.
Here’s some of what Dan wrote about the fire:
Two minutes into the video a Easton Firefighter fell off the main roof onto onto a 2nd roof after missing the ladder rungs. The firefighter appeared to be uninjured and continued to work. Firefighters were eventually forced to evacuate the building due to conditions quickly deteriorating conditions a loss of water pressure and dead hydrants.
Easton station 20 was dispatched at 19:53 hours for a reported house fire with possible entrapment at 1074 W. Wilkes-Barre Street. Arrival of the first due engine reported fire in the eaves of a 2.5-story duplex. A person that was in 1074 escaped the fire before the firefighters arrived.
Wilson Borough 24 was requested for R.I.T. at 20:05 hours. With fire rapidly extending, Wilson Ladder 24 was requested at 20:12.
Command also requested an Engine and Ladder from the City of Bethlehem. Bethlehem City was short an engine for the evening so they could only send Ladder 1..
Easton off-duty firefighters were called to the scene. Palmer Township sent apparatus to the city to cover city fire stations.
Wilson Ladder 24 was set-up for an elevated water stream on Wilkes-Barre. Wilson also had an engine in the rear alley with multiple lines stretched. Bethlehem Ladder 1 staged at Berwick and Packer. The supply line to the Wilson engine in the rear alley was delayed due to a dead hydrant on Berwick Street. Companies tied into another hydrant and eventually found a working hydrant.
Easton had two engines positioned in front of the duplex with multiple lines stretched. Command eventually had the evacuation tones sounded and all members were ordered out of the dwellings. The attack went defensive shortly after arrival.
Crews from the Dallas Fire Department responded to a home on the 400 block of SW Washington Street around 9 a.m. Thursday. The only occupant of the house had discovered the fire and tried to extinguish it but was unsuccessful. The resident left the building before firefighters arrived.
By the time fire units arrived the roof of the home had partially collapsed.
The home next door had a low clearance so firefighters evacuated its occupants, none of which suffered any injury. Two firefighters reportedly suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
Firefighters had just returned to their station in East Oakland from a call Tuesday night when they heard dozens of gunshots. A lieutenant remarked to a cadet that when they hear gunfire like that, it usually means they’ll be responding to an incident soon.
But seconds later, a bullet pierced a back window of Station 18 at 50th and Bancroft avenues, whizzed down the length of a hook-and-ladder truck – right where two firefighters had been standing – and exited through a front window before lodging in an apartment building across the street.
A firefighter ducked behind a front wheel of a fire engine. Two threw themselves under a desk in a nearby office, while a firefighter upstairs “could hear the bullet zinging, and that’s when she ducked,” said Battalion Chief Emon Usher.
“They dove underneath the fire engine, firefighters inside dove underneath the desk,” Battalion Chief Emon Usher said. “Upstairs they could hear the bullets zinging by.”
Bullets hit two window panes; one in the back garage door, and one in the front. They came from a murder in the 5000 block of Melrose Avenue. A 19-year-old was killed while attending a vigil just before 9 p.m.
“No firefighters were injured and the only thing that was damaged was the apparatus doors, so we were very fortunate last night,” Usher said.
ShotSpotter, the city’s gunfire-detection system, recorded at least 22 shots during the Tuesday night incident.
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.
An active duty female D.C. firefighter is breaking her silence to speak up for young female cadets who allege sexual harassment at the DC Fire and EMS Training Academy.
Fearing retaliation, the firefighter requested anonymity. She’s being referred to as “Susan” in this story.
She says when she joined a recruit class a few years ago, it came with a warning from a female academy employee about some of the male instructors.
“She just said, ‘be careful, because a lot of them, they don’t know their boundaries,” she says.
Almost immediately, Susan says, the sexual harassment began. One instructor commented, “guess who wore the wrong bra today,” she says.
After a tough day of training, Susan says that same instructor got her alone. She says his hand moved from her shoulder slowly down to the top of her backside.
“And then as the hand like went lower to like you know here, I was just like, ‘Um, yeah please don’t ever touch me. Like, that’s hugely inappropriate,’” she says.
Fearing for her job, Susan kept quiet until she saw ABC7′s recent investigation centering on two young female cadets, fresh out of high school, who accused two instructors of sexual harassment. She says those cadets came to her for advice and told her what the instructors said.
“You know, they’re babies. And, so for them to speak to them like that and you know, just make any sort of sexual comments toward them is just disgusting,” she says.
The fire department has reassigned the two instructors to positions outside of the academy and launched an internal investigation.
But when ABC7 approached D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe in February, he insisted the alleged harassment was “not” sexual in nature.
“What we believe happened was more some inappropriate language and touching, not of a sexual nature, but the matter made the youngladies uncomfortable,” Ellerbe says.
But one male firefighter says he also felt compelled to speak out, saying he’s aware of cases in which superiors intimidated female firefighters into not filing complaints.
“And I know of two issues uh, first hand, um where issues of sexual harassment or harassment towards women have been basically brushed under the table,” said the male firefighter who declined to be identified.
A fire department spokesperson declined comment about the status of the latest alleged harassment investigation. He did say the department provided additional training for staff to address concerns regarding inappropriate conduct toward colleagues. And a female instructor has been placed at the academy to train cadets as well.
Video from firewolfranger of a house fire on Saturday. While it doesn’t say in the description I believe this is Ada Fire-Rescue Department in Kent County, Michigan. The word to evacuate the house comes around 1:30.
Watching these clips from a Toronto car fire I get the impression this is an audition video and this duo is trying out to be the 2013 version of Bob and Doug McKenzie, originally played by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis in SCTV’s “Great White North” from the 1980s. These guys are quite critical of everyone and everything, from response time to people who dare pull between to their camera and the fire. But their language goes a little beyond calling everyone “hosers”.
The title of the video is “Toronto fire fail!” with the description, “Waste of tax dollars! Cant even put out a little car fire”. They get particularly nasty in Part Two (below) as firefighters struggle with gasoline leaking and reigniting under the car. Another great moment in citizen commentary from the digital age.
Firefighters were called around 6:40 p.m. to a building in the 2700 block of Sisson Street in the Remington area. Fire officials said the building housed several automotive businesses, including a body shop and 22 apartments on an upper floor.
Fire officials said careless smoking caused the fire, which caused about $1.3 million in damage.
Meanwhile, dozens of people living in the 22 adjacent apartments were evacuated. Rosemary Fitzsimmons could only watch and wonder if her place would go up in flames.
Two fires in the same house in East St. Louis, IL. The fires were about a year apart. The first fire features two probies. The video is from bobbybushae, our sponsor FireVideo.net’s YouTube channel. We have a video player in the right hand column of this site featuring these videos. Below is the description with the video:
This is a 2 part video. The 1st part is of an occupied 1 story house fire with smoke showing / fire venting from rear bedroom. We had 2 probationary firefighters with us that day and WOW was that fun. Pass devices going off and getting blasted in the face with an open nozzle was fun. But we ALL have to learn at the beginning! The probies made a quick stop and all was good. Until 1 year later the same house came in and it was going a little better this time, especially thru the attic. We were going to make the same push thru the front but the heat conditions were deteriorating by the second and being it was a vacant house now with fire thru the roof in some spots, we knocked it down from the outside and then went in. No one was injured but this was our 4th structure fire within our 24 hr shift….we were beat. The cameras used were the Fire Cam MINI HD and the Fire Cam 1080 Fire Helmet Cameras from www.firevideo.net
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?
Thanks to our mutual friend Mike Brooks for passing along this really wonderful story about Firefighter Tad Landau, DeKalb County (GA) Fire Station #1. Please take a break from our usual fire porn to watch this.