This is an unusual story from Volusia County, Florida where WESH-TV reporter Claire Metz had gone to the home of a 911 center employee to get the woman's side of the story in connection with her suspension over an error involving a fatal heart attack call. Metz says she went to Shauna Justice's door without a camera or microphone and was met by Justice holding a gun in her hand.
Metz had gone to the home of Shauna Justice to get her side of the story. Justice was suspended because her superiors said she was using her cellphone in September while her dispatch trainee took a call. As a result of that call, emergency responders ended up at the wrong address, and the victim suffered a heart attack and ultimately died.
Justice was arrested after the incident involving the WESH 2 News crew at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. She was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and held on $1,500 bond.
Justice opened the door with a gun in her hand, pointing it at Metz's head, cursing at her and telling her to leave her property, according to Metz.
"The gun was no more than a foot or two from my head, and Ms. Justice held it on me until I backed away to our truck," Metz said.
A backwards helmet and a door that slams shut after forcible entry at a fire are just some of the things our KICS (keyboard incident commanders) and others noticed after viewing a four-year-old house fire video that got new life when we posted it 11-days-ago. The video also became the focus of a column by Chief John Salka at Firehouse.com and posted on FirefighterCloseCalls.com (which is what alerted me to the video).
I know from what I’ve heard pretty consistently from our readers in recent years, the videos we post are used daily by chiefs and station officers across the country for training. That’s a very positive use of the great amount of fire videos that are posted on YouTube and elsewhere. But there is often a negative side to the videos when they show, as they often do, firefighters making mistakes on the fireground. Unfortunately those mistakes remain out there for all to see today, tomorrow and years from now.
That’s the case for the firefighters of the Blountstown Fire Department in Florida seen in the video. A four-year-old video is coming back to haunt them. Blountstown is a paid on-call department with a career chief, Ben Hall, in charge. Chief Hall contacted STATter911.com to point out his department learned a lot from mistakes made during that fire. Chief Hall says that there is also some information about the fire that you likely couldn’t tell from the video. I asked Chief Hall to write up his comments and they are posted below:
It seems that a bad day for our department has made its way to the top of the charts once again. I have heard of the recent forum post and comments, many of them becoming very toxic and felt the need to respond, simply to let you know that the issues highlighted in the comments have not been ignored. This fire was actually in the heat of the Florida summer in 2009, 4 years ago. Ambient air temp was over 100 degrees that day. Our department was called for automatic aid nearly 4 miles from our first alarm area. (In the video you’ll notice the green apparatus rolling in about 7 minutes into the call, that’s the primary department).
We found a mid-1970′s doublewide mobile home, common unfortunately for our area, in the state you see in the video. After a quick size up I noticed a fire underneath the mobile home and it was obvious it was a burn through in the floor of the fire room. That’s where you see me shoot water underneath the house. I could not in good conscience send my guys in a structure knowing something may ignite beneath their feet. We pulled a safety line around the back of the house and, as one firefighter was packing out, two more came off the truck ready to make entry. Yes, one of my 25 year veteran firefighters put his helmet on backwards and worked the first 3 minutes of the call that way. In his defense, he came straight from work and was in a hurry to get his gear on. If you think he hasn’t been picked on for being caught on camera with his hat on backwards, well, you know how firefighters can be. I’ll leave it at that. I do indeed admit he should’ve been in SCBA when attempting to force the door. And shortly thereafter he was.
Our guys actually forced the door rather quickly and then as they were turning to go down the steps to open the door, one of them bumped it shut and they had to start all over. That was bad. It looked just as bad as it was. The very next day a door of identical make and model was mounted in our training room was used over and over again until they could open it in their sleep. As my entry team went in they were on the floor, crawling, just after the door frame. It does indeed appear they went in high. But I’m positive they crawled in after getting in the door. They got about 10 feet in and could see the side A/D corner room was involved in fire and could also see there was a hole burned in the floor. Then the heat rapidly built up on them and, rather than suffer what appeared may be a flashover, they bailed out. They did as they were trained and followed a hoseline out. I can afford to replace hoses and nozzles, but not firefighters. After we knew they were out we started the PPV fan and I vented the window. No, I wasn’t in SCBA and I should’ve been. I take full responsibility for that one.
Remember though, we’re a crew of 5, still on our own, not sure if any backup is coming and only 1,000 gallons of water (no hydrants in the area). I ordered the fan because I felt it would push the fire away from the unburned area once the window to the fire room was vented. It worked. Was it conventional? No. But it worked. Additionally, I should have been in SCBA and ventilated the window using a long pike pole rather than an axe. But often, the best tool is the one you have with you. One of my entry team members complains on video, of his neck getting too hot. It was indeed red and hot. He was in full PPE with SCBA and hood and still suffered a minor redness. We’ve since switched to a different brand hood and had no other issues. The firefighter working through the window, who after I’ve reviewed it today, should’ve been on a ladder (we’ve addressed that training since then as well) was not working against an inside crew. I’ve had that done to me and it wasn’t pleasant. Our entry crew was outside the structure and once we sent another crew in, the outside attack stopped.
Toward the end of the video you see the original first due department arrive and give our guys some relief. Like I said, it was hot. I do acknowledge that some things were done wrong, and the video makes it look much worse that it was, because it only paints a one dimensional picture.
Since this call we have trained extensively on forcible entry, PPE, SCBA use and several methods of ventilation. Like I said before, this was four years ago and we’ve grown quite a bit since then. I didn’t want you or your readers to think we as a department were ignoring the highlighted issues from this day.
If you’re wondering, as many do, what the cause & origin and damaged sustained was to this structure? A 14 year old occupant left the iron laying on his bedroom floor after ironing his clothes for school. He left the home shortly before 8:00 AM. We got this call during lunch. I don’t remember the exact time but I’m sure it was between 11:00 and noon. Our department, mistakes and all, contained the fire to the room of origin and some minor flame damage to an adjacent bathroom. There was a five foot hole in the doorway of the room of origin. No one was injured that day. Everyone went home.
I challenge any of these who are commenting on your story, or any of the other places this video has been posted (and there are several), to claim to have never made a mistake or had a bad day. Ours just got caught on camera for the world to critique. I take full responsibility for the actions that day. I’m the Fire Chief and that’s my job and I make no excuses for the mistakes.
TampaFireResQ posted this video with radio traffic from an August 11, 2000 fire at a large vacant building that, until earlier in the year, housed the Blue Ribbon Super Market fire in Ybor City. Here’s the description with the video:
This was the second major fire in Ybor City during the summer of 2000. Raw video by TFR Video 1, Chuck Sutnick.
Just after 4 p.m. Friday, architect Ken Kroger was on the phone to Austria, giving good news to the developer of a new Ybor City dance club. Building permits were clinched, he said, and they had closed on the $3.5-million renovation loan.
Power had been restored to the historic, brick building just half an hour earlier.
Then someone told him the building was on fire.
Sprinting two blocks from his office to the old Blue Ribbon Supermarket building on Seventh Avenue, Kroger saw the flames. He got developer Roland Penetsdorfer back on the phone.
“He thought it was a joke,” Kroger said. “They’re just in shock.”
A house fire in Jacksonville, Florida has a former firefighter quite concerned about the response from Jacksonville Fire and Rescue. He says the firefighters got there quickly but he was susprised there were only two of them.
NOTE: Early this morning the Orlando Sentinel reported “multiple deaths and injuries” from the fire and explosions with 10 people unaccounted for. Now it is reported that all are accounted for and there are at least eight employees of the plant injured with no deaths. The fire is now out. At 2:40 this morning residents around the plant were allowed to return home.
Just before 7 a.m., Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith told reporters on the scene that, “we don’t think there was any act of sabotage or anything like that.”
Instead, “It was probably a human or equipment error,” he said.
He said the plant takes old propane cylinders, cleans them, refurbishes them, fills them and sells them. They pack them up on palettes for shipping.
Officials overnight said that as of Monday, there were about 53,000 20-gallon propane tanks on site. The fire came from those canisters, most of which ignited in the blaze. Due to the intensity of the flames, Keith said, firefighters had to let it burn itself out to some degree.
The three bulk tanks on the property — which hold 90,000 gallons of propane each — did not ignite in the fire, he said.
We first showed the video below involving Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Captain Greg Smart on March 22, the day after the incident occurred. Since that time a lot of people have been wondering about the outcome of the department’s investigation into Captain Smart’s aggressive behavior toward videographer Taylor Hardy. According to WFOR-TV in Miami, Captain Smart received his disciplinary action a month ago but nobody bothered to let Hardy or the public know the outcome. WFOR-TV reports “the department did virtually nothing to Smart.”
What I find disturbing about all of this is not so much the issue of what discipline there was for Captain Smart. Instead it’s a lack of a clear message from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. In looking at all of the coverage then and now, no one has acknowledged that it is okay for the public to take pictures from a public place and it’s not okay for firefighters to interfere with that First Amendment right. And if that isn’t the case, shouldn’t the leadership at Miami-Dade Fire Rescue explain their interpretation of the? This lack of clarity with such a high profile video probably sends the wrong message to the public and to other firefighters.
The video report above describes in detail what the TV station discovered. Here are some excerpts:
… a close review of the report, written by Chief P.O. Albury, reveals efforts to cover up Smart’s actions.
Hardy filed a complaint that Smart was trying to prevent him from recording at the scene. Albury said that charge was “not sustained” because “at no time did Capt Smart state that the complainant couldn’t film.”
In other words, since Smart did not actually say the words “you can not videotape here” he was found innocent of the charge.
Albury’s report neglects the fact that there was another firefighter standing with Smart who explicitly told Hardy he wasn’t allowed to videotape. It also neglects that Smart told Hardy: “You are leaving right now, turn around and walk away. You are leaving right now.” Nor does it note that Smart attempted to block Hardy’s video with his chest.
Albury did sustain a complaint that Smart’s behavior was “unprofessional.” Albury wrote: “Capt Smart responded poorly when the bystander refused to back out of the safety perimeter.”
But Albury excused the behavior noting that Smart was under a great deal of stress. “I have coached Capt Smart reference this event,” Albury wrote. “He was under a great deal of stress on this call and acted in an aggressive nature when challenged by the bystander. I feel that he and I have come to an understanding as to the expected behavior when dealing with the public. Capt Smart agrees that he overreacted and caused embarrassment not only to himself but to the department. I feel that in the future he will have a different perspective as to how we need to act regardless of the severity of the call.”
Nowhere in the investigation by Albury does it address Smart’s use of the radio to demand police units respond on an emergency basis.
Three-years-ago Boca Raton (FL) Fire Chief Tom Wood contacted me about what was, at that point, a little discussed but potentially major issue facing fire and EMS across the country. Admittedly, my eyes glazed over a bit as Chief Wood explained the ins and outs of the new EPA mandated diesel emission standards. But my news instincts kicked in when the chief told me about his ambulances shutting down on major highways and limping back to quarters. That’s what brought about the guest column in April of 2010 titled The Regeneration Gap: A fire chief wrestles with front-line apparatus time-outs due to EPA diesel emission regulations.
The issue has not gone away, even though EPA made some modifications to the regulations that, on the surface, were supposed to help fire and EMS deal with the problem (though most say it really didn’t). Wednesday’s shut down of a DC Fire & EMS Department ambulance on I-295 while transporting a trauma code shooting victim to the hospital has the mainstream media’s attention on regeneration, for the moment. The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis linked to Chief Wood’s 2010 column online and reporter Peter Hermann interviewed him for an article in today’s paper.
In the DC case, the early word from union president Ed Smith, and shop head, Deputy Chief John Donnelly, is that the normal warnings didn’t happen with Ambulance 19. Here’s what Peter Hermann wrote:
A warning light is supposed to flash and give the driver enough time to complete an emergency run before taking a scheduled break. Donnelly said that didn’t happen Wednesday; instead, a more severe indicator came on warning of imminent failure.
“That is not supposed to happen,” the deputy chief said, noting that he was awaiting results of a diagnostic test to determine whether the breakdown was the result of a clogged filter or some other problem.
Chief Wood doesn’t know the details of the DC incident but he has made it his business to come up with solutions for his department, including doing forced regeneration on a schedule rather than being at the mercy of the rig. Here’s what he wrote in our comments section yesterday:
The article highlights an incident in Bracketville, Texas from February 15, 2012 in which the passenger of a truck fire died. “Diesel motor de-rating” slowed the fire apparatus response to the scene.
Regeneration can be performed on demand or “forced regeneration” by a qualified mechanic and the correct software. Our fleet has three different motor manufacturers and our shop has the software to “force regeneration” on our schedule, instead of at random. We schedule our fleet through the shop once a month for “forced regeneration”, one unit at a time. This also assures a complete 100% cleaning of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Under the random / ordinary method, many of our apparatus were regenerating every 4 days, obviously not completing the process. I recommend the “forced regeneration” as a best practice.
“I know they’re trying to reduce pollution emissions, but I don’t know if they contemplated all the dangers,” said Thomas R. Wood, the chief of fire rescue services in Boca Raton, Fla. “Fire doesn’t take a timeout to let firefighters regroup and regenerate.”
Last year, the EPA, facing criticism from fire chiefs and trade groups, allowed for exceptions so that emergency vehicles “would no longer face power disruptions.”
But Harold Boer, head of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturing Association, said the waiver does not fully exempt emergency vehicles and instead allows them to be retrofitted so there is more time between regeneration stops. Boer, who is also president of the fire truck builder Rosenbauer, said few cities request the work because it does not eliminate the problem. He said a request to the EPA for a blanket exemption for all emergency vehicles has been denied.
D.C. fire department officials are still probing the glitch, but they said the issue seems to be specific to a sequence of warning lights that ultimately notify the ambulance crew the engine will shut off imminently. And while it’s the first time city officials said a department ambulance has failed while in transport as a result of the emissions system, widespread problems have been reported nationally.
“What I want to do is see what the computer says about this problem, and then we can re-evaluate if we need to do anything,” Deputy Chief John Donnelly said, assessing the extent of the issue. “We’re going to look at the series of warning lights and the indicators. They should lead us back to the problem.”
When the D.C. fire department began buying these diesel engine ambulances a few years ago, officials knew they would have to manage them with a new emission control system that would automatically shut the engine down if it wasn’t allowed to what’s called “regenerate.”
It was a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency.
And until recently, the fire department said it had been able to handle the requirements without any significant incidents.
One of those incidents involved the same ambulance that broke down Wednesday.
“On May 22nd or 23rd, it was here in the shop,” said Deputy Chief John Donnelly of D.C. Fire and EMS. “It had a problem with the regeneration system. That problem was a lot different. The end result is the same – the engine gave a warning light. But it was different in some ways and we sent it to the dealer and got it back. It was repaired and it was running fine when we put it back in service.”
Donnelly says the drivers of the rigs and the people who manage them have to stay on top of the warning lights to make sure they don’t ever approach the shut down level.
“We don’t want to have any incidents like this, but we’ve shown we can manage it,” he said. “It’s tough. It takes a lot of coordination and effort and there are a number of people that work on it. The drivers have a role, the dispatchers have a role, the battalion chiefs and EMS supervisors have a role and everybody has been doing their job in managing this. I’m confident we can.”
Don’t run. Don’t hide. Words to live by when you are a public official who has to deal with bad news on your watch. It’s very rare you will make the situation better by forcing reporters to do an ambush interview and then running away from them on camera. And probably more important than all of this, is finding a way to deal directly with a citizen who believes they have been wronged by your agency, especially one who has lost a loved one.
The man in the picture is Collier County, Florida EMS Chief Walter Kopka. He is trying to get away from a TV reporter outside a public meeting. Kopka has been dealing with the fallout from a delayed ambulance response in December when Charles Minard’s son died. Minard wants some answers and doesn’t think he is getting them. WFTX-TV reporter Matt Grant has also been trying to get answers. On Wednesday they both confronted Kopka at a public meeting and it wasn’t their first time. Click here to see the results. They aren’t pretty.
The only bright spot comes near the end when Capt. Andrea Schultz with the East Naples Fire Rescue District decides to step in and do the right thing. We certainly don’t know all the ins and outs of this story other than what WFTX-TV is reporting. But we do know who looks responsive to Mr. Minard, the TV reporter and ultimately the public and who doesn’t.
We also know that this story has been going on for almost five months with report after report. In the story before this, Walter Kopka called police to get Minard and Grant removed from the property. Here are links to the previous coverage:
There are many factors that could be behind the manner in which Walter Kopka is responding to this incident. Kopka could be under orders by a boss or legal counsel not to talk. It could be he is fed up with the father and the reporter. It could be ego and pride. But when bad stuff happens, until you admit mistakes were made, apologize, explain those mistakes and how they will be corrected to both the victims and the public, it isn’t likely you or your organization will be able to finally look at the bad news in the rear view mirror.
The man who took the video of being confronted by a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue captain at a helicopter landing for a stabbing victim told WFOR-TV yesterday “photography is not a crime”. We received a large number of comments about the video after posting it Friday morning. The large majority are critical of the captain for confronting Taylor Hardy and the manner in which he did so.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue says it is reviewing the situation. The initial statement of the department does not address that Hardy was initially ordered to shut down his camera to protect the patient’s privacy. Instead it focuses on the same scene safety issue that the captain voiced rather aggressively with Hardy. Many writing in thought the bigger safety issues was potential contamination from the bloody gloves worn by the captain.
A criminal defense attorney points out to the TV station that Hardy could have easily been arrested for obstruction for failing to follow the captain’s orders. One interesting point is that despite the captain calling on the radio urgently requesting police numerous times for a “combative bystander” Hardy wrote on his YouTube page that no police ever came.
Yesterday, during my presentation at Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute’s Staff and Command course, there was a lively discussion (it was a very lively and enjoyable group) about the issues you will see raised in the video above. We were discussing the fact that it is somewhat of a rarity to be at a scene these days where no one is recording your actions. The issue of scene safety versus censorship came up and about the same time it was playing out live in Florida.
This involves a fly out, a videographer (MiamiImpulse) and firefighters from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. At 3:24 into the video a firefighter and captain cross the street. The firefighter makes the cut sign with his hand across his neck asking, “Can you not videotape that please?”. MiamiImpulse replies “Why?”. The firefighter says “This is personal information.” At the same time the captain approaches, telling the guy he is leaving. As the captain makes his first request for police and tells the man to turn around and walk away, the firefighter says he is not allowed to videotape this and repeats that it is personal information. Following that, the captain shifts gears and makes it a case of scene safety. The videographer notes in text that cars were driving between him and the helicopter. He refuses to leave.
What we don’t know, of course, is if anything happened before MiamiImpulse began rolling video. It appears that this is unedited video from a camera and a smart phone.
So, is this Miami-Dade Fire Rescue policy? Is this the crew’s policy? Who is right and who is wrong? Is this really a scene safety issue or is it being used to keep the man from shooting what the firefighters don’t want him to see?
My suggestion to all reading this is that you figure this issue out before a confrontation with the public. Are you clear on the legal issues? Do you know your department’s policy? Do you understand the rights of the citizens with the camera and what they can and can’t do? Do you let your personal view of what’s proper and not proper impact your decision making?
You will only be running into more and more instances where people are shooting video of you in action. Make sure you are standing on firm ground when and if you interfere with someone taking pictures. Otherwise, it can get very ugly.
Just after midnight Firefighters were called to a late night house fire. Initial crews were met with heat & flames pushing through the roof. As the first arriving Eng. Co. made the stretch, Ladder crews made a primary search & began exposing the fire by pulling ceiling. The video picks up with 2nd arriving Ladder Co. assisting command and reporting to the rear of the structure.
This fire occurred eight days ago at an apartment building under construction in Jacksonville, Florida. This video capture a pretty sizable explosion from one of the propane tanks on the roof. You can see the tank venting pretty clearly at around 7:40 and the blast occurs about 10 seconds later.
The State Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of a fire that consumed the rooftop of an apartment complex under construction at St. Johns Town Center on Tuesday.
Hundreds of nearby shoppers watched as the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department searched for workers who they believed were trapped in the five-story building.
More than 60 firefighters began battling the fire just before 4 p.m. and Action News was told it was under control within 15 minutes.
JFRD spokesman Tom Francis says the early investigation leads to propane tanks as the cause of those blasts. The tanks are part of construction equipment used to heat foam to build a rooftop deck. That equipment was likely used earlier in the day.
Although the timeline still not clear to investigators, they tell Action News that work on the roof wrapped at 3:30, so workers were already on their way home and no injuries were reported.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following this story. Flagler Beach, Florida City Manager Bruce Martin on Friday fired Chief Martin Roberts, Assistant Chief Shane Wood and firefighter Jacob Bissonnette. The three had been put on paid leave in January. Two volunteers were also separated from the fire department, Shane Wood’s father Steven and Barbara Haspiel. They all had been accused of drinking in the fire station in December with some of them responding on a call.
A sixth firefighter, Robert Pace, is accused of falsifying time sheets. Pace has been the interim fire chief during the investigation. Pace now faces the possibility of a suspension.
The investigation into the incident discovered there was basically a civil war inside the department between those loyal to Chief Roberts and those who weren’t.
Roberts, Haspiel and Steven Wood are accused of drinking during the fire department’s Christmas party Dec. 14 and then responding to a call. Shane Wood and Bissonnette are accused of drinking at the fire station after their shift ended Dec. 25.
Six members of the fire department were accused of wrongdoing and that “signifies to me a lack of organization control and leadership within the Fire Department,” Campbell wrote in a letter to Roberts notifying him of his termination. He also wrote that it’s “exceedingly disappointing and discouraging that you did not advise me of any of these issues and complaints until after the investigation into your own actions was begun.”
Dennis Bayer, a Flagler Beach attorney, said his clients, Bissonnette and Shane Wood, have “unblemished records” and plan to appeal their firings.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Bayer said about his clients’ firing. “I think this whole thing’s been a sham investigation from the beginning.”
Three Polk County Fire Rescue employees were fired and another was suspended without pay as a result of an investigation into their alleged inappropriate behavior.
Polk County officials say their investigation, which began in January, confirmed allegations Michael Choate, Trampas Fletcher, Shellie Krauklis and Michael Tomlinson had engaged in sexual misconduct while on duty and on county property.
Investigators say they also found sufficient evidence Choate, a deputy chief, sent and received inappropriate text messages on his county-issued cell phone
In a five-page report released by the fire department, officials say medical supervisor Shellie Krauklis engaged in sex acts with medical supervisor Michael Tomlinson and battalion chief Trampas Fletcher, and she also exchanged inappropriate text messages with deputy chief Michael Choate.
The report says Krauklis engaged in sex acts multiple times with Tomlinson and Fletcher while on duty, though their separate accounts differ on how often and to what extent.
The report says Krauklis admitted to as many as 15 encounters with Fletcher, who conceded he engaged in sex acts while on duty.
This is helmet-cam video from High Def Helmet of a fire on Monday afternoon in the 4500 block of Perry Street in Jacksonville, Florida. According to news reports, the fire began on the front porch of one home and spread to a house next door. Neighbors complained to reporters about water supply issues they believe allowed the fire to spread, something Jacksonville Fire Rescue denies.
I know there are some very good things going on in the fire service in Florida, but that’s being overshadowed right now by some rather ugly news published online yesterday about two beach departments 300 miles apart. Reading the outrageous nature of charges leveled in the two separate reports you almost have to wonder if there is something in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean that’s causing this.
The other story is a follow-up to the one we told you about a month ago at the Flagler Beach Fire Department. You may recall Fire Chief Martin Roberts, an assistant chief, captain and firefighter have been on suspension after allegations they had been drinking moonshine and beer in the firehouse and some of them had responded on a fire call. The incidents occurred in December.
The investigation sustains allegations that the firefighters and the chief drank on the job.
But more critically for the department and the city as a whole, the investigative report reveals a severely dysfunctional fire department: it is divided by two cliques that appear to be at war with each other and causing “a high degree of intra-departmental discord.”
The investigation also and incidentally reveals that a Flagler County Sheriff’s lieutenant, Greg Weston, had cooked a home-made, 100-proof alcoholic brew similar to, but not quite, moonshine, and sold it to to Jacob Bissonnette, one of Flagler Beach’s firefighters, in the station’s parking lot.
The investigation, conducted by Daniel Langley of Fishback Dominick, a Winter Park law firm, and concluded on Jan. 31, centers on Roberts, Assistant Chief Shane Wood, Captain Steve Wood (Shane’s father), and Jacob Bissonnette. It finds that all four broke the city’s zero-tolerance policy on drinking. Roberts and Steve Wood did so, according to the findings, by drinking at a party then responding to a fire, and driving city-owned equipment, including a tower truck in Wood’s case. Roberts also violated a city ordinance by authorizing Wood to respond to the fire. Bissonnette and Shane Wood were found in violation for having possessed alcohol at the fire station, “on city compensated time,” and drinking there. All four were found to conduct themselves in a way “unbecoming” of their position.
No people were inside, but a gerbil named Sniffles was rescued by a firefighter and given to the family.
This fire began when a teenage boy was cooking chicken and fries and the grease caught fire on the stove. The kitchen quickly filled with smoke, setting off the smoke detectors, and he could not extinguish the fire, fire officials said.