Live coverage from WTXF-TV as its chopper is over the burning cab of a tanker truck at Old Lincoln Highway & Rt. 1 in Trevose, Pennsylvania (Bucks County). Normally we bring you citizen play-by-play, but this time it's from the "professionals". Sometimes I'm not sure there's much difference. Thanks to Greg Jakubowski for passing this along.
Thanks to Marquis Solomon for passing along this story of a ruptured natural gas line that ignited yesterday afternoon in Columbia, South Carolina as workers tried to deal with the line while firefighters stood by.
Wednesday afternoon, a crew working at the intersection of Sumter and Richland Streets ruptured a gas line. Hours later, an SCE&G crew was using a track hoe to repair the line when something caused the line to ignite.
In the video, you can see two employees quickly get away from the scene. Second later, Columbia firefighters begin dousing the area with water.
Video from firelensman of the Los Angeles Fire Department dealing with a fire early Wednesday morning at 14660 Arminta Street in Panorama City. Here’s some of the description with the video:
L.A. Firefighters first on scene had moderate smoke showing from the large 100 by 300 ft. one story commercial. As the fire quickly progressed with flames shooting through the roof, Firefighters went into defensive mode, knocking down the fire with wagon batteries, ladder pipes, portable monitors and numerous handlines. The building was a total loss, housing the companies National Displays and Arrow Chrome Plating. Hazardous Material crews remained on scene through the morning due to the chemicals involved.
More than four hours after the flames were extinguished, LAFD crews were summoned to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Bureau Headquarters, four-tenths of a mile northeast of the blaze, where eleven civilian and uniformed workers – who had not responded to the scene, expressed subjective respiratory irritation and general malaise.
One worker was taken to the hospital by colleagues prior to the Fire Department’s arrival. Following a comprehensive medical evaluation by LAFD Paramedics, nine of the remaining ten patients declined further medical treatment or transportation by Fire Department ambulance. One woman was taken by LAFD Paramedics to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. Her condition was not specified.
Just before 10:30 Aurora Firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 4634 South Norfolk Way. While responding, companies could see a black smoke column from several miles away. Police Officers arrived and reported a burn victim and explosions, prompting the closure of nearby streets and evacuation of nearby residences. Battalion 3 requested an additional Medic & Engine. First due Engine 6 reported a fully involved attached garage, with ammunition and acetylene reported inside a defensive strategy was used.
There is quite a bit of news coverage about the two days of hearings this week by the National Transportation Safety Board into the freight-train derailment and vinyl chloride release last November near Paulsboro, New Jersey. As you will see in the TV report above, NTSB members were very critical of the actions by police officers and firefighters at the scene. At the hearing, one member didn’t believe the fire chief’s response that “no one died” was an adequate standard for judging how well the incident was handled. Paulsboro’s police chief thinks the NTSB’s claim that firefighters and police officers may have done more harm than good was ”unfair and unwarranted” (watch that story here).
But it’s clear NTSB does not believe this is just a Paulsboro or New Jersey problem. The lead of one of the articles by Rebecca Forand at the South Jersey Times makes that point: ”Volunteer fire fighters and emergency response personnel being thrust into catastrophic events without adequate training or resources is a wide-spread problem that needs to addressed, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded on Wednesday.”
First responders who swarmed the site of a freight-train derailment near Paulsboro, N.J., last November were not trained to deal with toxic substances like the vinyl chloride the train was carrying and did not own protective suits, federal investigators were told Wednesday.
“There is not enough hours in the day to handle home, family items and volunteer time and to get this training,” Glenn Roemmich, coordinator of the Paulsboro Office of Emergency Management, told National Transportation Safety Board officials.
The Paulsboro Fire Department is a volunteer squad, as are 70 percent to 80 percent of the fire departments across the country, said Robert Royall, chairman of the Hazardous Material Committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and assistant chief of emergency operations for the squad in Harris County, Texas.
“Paulsboro’s fire department is trained similarly to other volunteer departments in the country,” Royall told the NTSB investigators. “Most are trained at the operational level and know where to call up when the technician level is needed.”
Federal accident investigators believe local police and fire officials did more harm than good after a freight train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in Gloucester County, N.J. last year.
NTSB investigator Paul Stencil said local authorities failed to follow standard procedures requiring the use of breathing apparatuses for responders — even though monitors found unsafe concentrations of the chemical in the air.
“One hour and a half after the derailment, the hazardous materials team air monitoring data showed the first responders being exposed to vinyl chloride concentrations that significantly exceeded permissible or safe levels,” Stencil testified.
Fire officials also set up a command post 50 yards from where tank cars were leaking. Safety standards called for the post to be positioned in a safe area outside the hot zone.
Stencil said investigators found misinformation about the hazardousness of the chemical ran rampant following the derailment.
Paulsboro Police reported the chemical was non-toxic, even after fire officials learned vinyl chloride was highly flammable and could cause respiratory and nervous system issues, according to the NTSB.
Police also changed an initial evacuation order to a shelter-in-place order about a half hour after the accident based on the false information over the toxicity of the chemical.
“Despite public statements that the hazard had completely dissipated, air monitoring teams continued to detect a vinyl chloride throughout the morning of the accident,” Stencil said.
Evacuation orders were eventually reordered that evening and lasted for several days.
“First and foremost was making sure the residents of the town was safe,” Fire Chief Alfonso Giampola said, defending his shelter-in-place decision. “Knowing its (vinyl chloride’s) characteristics, we didn’t want anybody walking in it, driving in it. That’s why we went to a shelter-in-place.”
One major point of questioning focused on the fact that none of the first responders or train personnel wore any respiratory apparatus during the hours and days following the chemical release.
The volunteer fire department, prior to the incident, was not equipped with the devices, and those issued by the county had been deemed ineffective shortly after the accident.
Police Captain Vernon Marino testified that the four officers he had on duty did not have respiratory masks, and they had to walk through the fog of chemicals to evacuate individuals.
“It’s an eye-opener. A wake up call. Shame on us. We really didn’t prepare for that incident,” Giampola said. “This is a training exercise and we have to look at it that way. We’re little, small Paulsboro, but if this happens again somewhere else other than Paulsboro, I hope that chief learns from the things we did and he can do it better.”
“The issues that we have with evacuating large numbers of people, we would still have today,” Glenn Roemmich, emergency management coordinator for the Paulsboro Office of Emergency Management, told National Transportation Safety Board investigators Wednesday.
First responders also still lack protective equipment. That lack made them vulnerable to exposure to vinyl chloride during the Nov. 30 derailment. But that may be difficult to remedy. NTSB officials estimated that 25,000 to 30,000 rail cars containing hazardous materials pass through Paulsboro each year. And a respirator that protects against vinyl chloride might not protect against the vast number of other chemicals in transit.
“How many canisters can I afford to buy for how many chemicals that go through?” Paulsboro Fire Chief Alfonso G. Giampola said Tuesday, citing budgetary constraints.
“This is not a Paulsboro problem,” NTSB vice chairman Christopher A. Hart said at the conclusion of the hearing. “This is a national problem: of resources, of training. How do we address the situation?”
That was Paulsboro Police Chief Chris Wachter firing back at federal investigators after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) claimed that local officials may have done more harm than good when a train derailed in New Jersey last November. “Federal investigators are saying that; federal government at its best,” said Chief Wachter. “We did what we thought we had to do at the moment. It unfolded very quickly.”
The NTSB said that Paulsboro officials didn’t follow safety standards for handling a chemical spill, compounding first responders and the public’s exposure to the 23,000 gallons of vinyl chloride that leaked from the derailed freight train. “Once we realized what we had is when we started to make the other precautionary measures, sheltering in place, moving people in and out trying to lock everything down,” Wachter responded.
“No one should criticize them,” said Paulsboro resident Janice Callahan. “They did what they thought was best, but they didn’t have the correct information.” When asked who she blames, “It’s Conrail,” she said. Paulsboro residents defended local authorities and first responders, but the NTSB claims that they set up a command post too close to the spill hot zone. That first responders should have been wearing breathing apparatus and that local residents should have been evacuated, not told to stay indoors. “They weren’t here. They don’t know,” Wachter said. “They can say what they want to say. We know we did what was appropriate for the community.”
While Conrail wouldn’t comment, 24 local first responders have filed suit against the rail company since the spill. Claiming they suffer from headaches, breathing and neurological problems.
The video is from my squad in Taiwan, share to all firefighter.
Do Not Think You Are Always Lucky！ Today, we were dispatch to extinguish a rubbish fire. When we arrive to the accident place, we find that is JUST a little BIT flame about 1 meter square, and we think that won’t cause any danger. I was wrong.
(Although I had been knowing that it’s always something special to make the rubbish burning because the trash wasn’t spontaneous combustion. We should take all gear (include SCBA) to treat with this accident. But I didn’t follow the standard because I looked down on the ant flame! And then we met a explosion.)
In the beginning, We took a 1.5″ hoseline to the fireground, then we turn on the nozzle and apply water stream to the flame, the fire grow up suddenly. our squad got a little back to the flame when see the sense, then a few seconds later it make a BIG BOOM!
This is a good and alarming case, and I want to share this case to all firefighters to recognize that must taking serious attitude to face to the rubbish fire.
A massive explosion at a fireworks warehouse killed two workers Thursday, police said, leaving a huge plume of smoke blanketing an area west of Montreal.
A series of explosions spread from the charred building after the initial blast at B.E.M. Fireworks near Valleyfield, Quebec. Images from the scene showed a building near a major highway completely destroyed.
Provincial police said two bodies were found in the wreckage but they did not identify them.
Nearly two hours after the blast, fireworks could still be heard exploding at the scene of the fire that continued to burn out of control hours after the explosion, according to witnesses.
Local fire chief Stephane Massicotte said since the warehouse was filled with pyrotechnics it was difficult to battle the blaze.
“This caused a huge amount of flames and very intense heat,” Massicotte told reporters.
He said 150 firefighters were used to battle the flames, which were under control by early Thursday afternoon. Reporters on the ground also indicated that there were no fire hydrants in the vicinity.
“All of a sudden I heard, ‘boom, boom, bang,’” Mario Cramerstetter said from his office, which is just over a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from the site.
Cramerstetter said it looked like a small building caught fire first and then spread to a larger storage unit.
Police ordered the surrounding community of Coteau-du-Lac evacuated. A nearby highway was also closed in both directions.
Police also said low traces of metal materials were found in the surrounding area.
Video captured by a news helicopter showed fireworks igniting inside the remnants of the smoldering building.
According to its website, B.E.M. has been designing and manufacturing pyrotechnics and fireworks for 25 years.
This is video from ntvinh1602 of a fire today at 28 Tran Hung Dao in Hanoi, Vietam. According to the description, the service station is located across from the Central Military Hospital 108. Ten firefighters were hurt, including at least two who were seriously burned. Pictures here show one person with his clothes on fire. The fire spread from the service station lot to a nearby bar.
14h15, fire kept spreading out with huge blasts. 50 firefighters tried to control the fire, about 10 firetruck waited to reach the scene. A sedan car parking in the gas station and nearby beerhouse caught fire and destroyed completely. But no one died so far, only 3 gas station employees injured.
16h, firefighters shouted with joy when the fire under control temporarily, no black smoke rises. However, the fire hose and sprinkler continually bubbles to cool the tank.
16h15, the intense flames and fire burning harder than the beginning. At least two firefighters were taken to the hospital in very serious condition. The reason is when the fire was extinguished temporarily, enforcers decided to discharged gasoline from the tanker to prevent fires, then it met the hot heat and started to fire again!
According to Tuoi Tre’s on-the-scene-reporters, at least 10 firefighters sustained burn injuries while battling the fire and all of them have been taken to hospital for treatment.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear yet. 20 fire trucks and a large number of firefighters have been deployed to the scene.
As of 4:45pm today, firefighters were still working to put it out entirely. Around 15 mins later, more than 1000 people were deployed to extinguish the fire. Tuoi Tre reporters at the scene said they could feel the heat and the smell of gasoline hundreds of meters away from the fire scene.
Video above and immediately below by Billy McNeel (Billy McNeel) from this evening’s wind whipped building fire in Laurel, Maryland. Additional video below by Laurel PIO Pete Piringer (the headline of this story really should have been that Pete knows how to take video and upload to YouTube).
The fire was at the Laurel Oil and Heating Company. Just before 9:00 PM PGFD Chief Marc Bashoor tweeted the following:
On scene Laurel Fuel Co fire – no hazmat ACTUALLY involved. Under control
Firefighters battled a fire at the Laurel Fuel Oil and Heating Company on Wednesday evening that caused significant damage to the business. At around 7:00 pm firefighter/medics were alerted to a building fire at 101 Main Street. Fire/EMS units arrived on the scene to find a 2-story building with offices on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor with an attached 100 X 75 garage with fire showing from the garage.
A “Task Force” was sounded bringing additional firefighters, support vehicles and incident commanders to the scene.
It was quickly determined that the garage housed three home heating oil delivery trucks. First arriving firefighters attempted an initial interior attack on the fire and then evacuated the building to regroup. The bulk of the fire was knocked down from the exterior using master stream devices before returning to an interior attack. It required about 45 minutes for 75 firefighters to knock down the fire. Firefighter/Medics from Prince George’s, Montgomery, Howard and Anne Arundel Counties operated on the fire ground.
One firefighter sustained a shoulder injury while battling the fire. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
The cause of the fire is under investigation with a preliminary fire loss estimated at $750,000 for the building and it’s contents.
A large fire broke out in a garage at a Laurel oil and heating business Wednesday evening, forcing authorities to shut down parts of Route 1 in the city, officials said.
Firefighters responded to the Laurel Oil and Heating Company in the 100 block of Main Street about 7 p.m. and found heavy fire in a garage that houses fuel trucks, said Mark Brady, a Prince George’s County fire department spokesman.
The business was closed at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported.
From City of Laurel spokesman Pete Piringer (description with Pete’s YouTube clips above & below):
Just before 7p on Wednesday, March 6, units from the Laurel VFD and Laurel Rescue Squad were dispatched to 101 Main St for a building fire. Approx 100 firefighters from PG, Montgomery, Anne Arundel & Howard Counties responded. There were no injuries. The fire involved a garage area attached to the Laurel Heating & Fuel Company. Damage is significant.
Jeff Gray from WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Alabama had the camera rolling this morning when an explosion at a house fire on Highway 431 in New Hope knocked down three firefighters. Gray reports the firefighters were shaken but not injured.
Gloucester County’s alleged negligence in hazardous materials equipment maintenance is “completely unacceptable” and “not the first incident,” claim Washington Township firefighters who responded to the Paulsboro train derailment and chemical spill last month.
In a letter (below) signed by seven Hazmat-trained firefighters on the county’s hazardous material team, responders detailed the “lack of proper equipment” on board the county’s CBRNE-1 mobile unit on Nov. 30 when they were dispatched to the rail accident.
The derailment caused the spill of vinyl chloride, and the week-long evacuations of more than 200 Paulsboro households near the scene. The county’s Hazmat team — including the seven Hazmat-trained Washington Township firefighters, and one Deptford fireman — were among the first responders at the scene.
The firefighters from Washington Township are members of a hazmat team run by Gloucester County. The county is in charge of maintaining the equipment. But the township’s fire chief says several of the meters that monitor air quality didn’t work. The batteries were dead. And he says none of his guys had access to working canister respirators, to help them breathe clean air. Alarming, considering vinyl chloride can cause cancer. “We don’t know what’s going to happen five years from now,” Hoffman said. “Do we have firefighters in our organization who were exposed to this product unnecessarily? Who are going to be sick?”
So Sam Micklus wrote a letter to Gloucester County, saying he was pulling his nine firefighters out of the hazmat team, until things changed. “They really want to be part of this team,” Micklus said. “They’re trained for it, they’re enthusiastic about it. They just no longer trust the way the team’s managed and organized.”
So what’s Gloucester County saying? No official would give Fox 29 an on camera interview. But the county released a statement this afternoon, saying officials are reviewing the matter. And they say despite the withdrawal by Washington Township, the county hazmat team remains adequately staffed in the event of another disaster.
This is apparently video shot a little earlier than the previous one we shared with you from Friday’s tanker crash and burn near Liberty Township, Pennsylvania (Tioga County). That video, posted here very early Sunday morning, and this video, were taken by Lonny Frost, who appears to shoot and report a fair amount of fire activity and other news in the region.
From remarks via Facebook on STATter911.com and with this video, Lonny Frost is not happy with some of the comments made by our KICs (keyboard incident commanders). Here’s what he wrote on Facebook:
I cannot believe people like all you putting down departments after viewing a 6 minute video clip that was taken some time after the tanker crash and fire. How rude to think all you are better qualified than anyone from Tioga County. Look into the facts of our county’s emergency workers, the hours, training and how many lives they have saved. Ignorance is all I am reading on this STAT911. A bunch of firemen sitting around bashing another before they even know what agency is already on scene and focusing on one firefighter, whom many of you believe is not doing his job correctly. Again that is your opinion. I dont mind comments or suggestions, but when did other firemen tear others apart? I thought there was a botherhood in firefighting. You are there to give advice, point out o ther possible solutions in future cases like the one you are negatively attacking. That fireman was never in any dange, to himself or others. Had anyone been in the “wrong” they would of been comfronted and removed. I have seen many of these companies save lives from situations others would not even enter. How aweful to have such ruthless and invaluable comments. Thanks for sharing your ignorance with your fellow self righteous critics.
For a while after this comment the video in question was made “private” on YouTube. As of this writing it’s back up.
With the posting of this latest video, Lonny Frost added these comments to the description on YouTube:
If you are going to write mean spirited comments about the volunteer fire departments, I will simply block you. If you want to post suggestions or polite informative statements or comments please do so. As a correspondent reporter these clips are posted to let local people see a glimspe of what occured. It is not for some of you to use to bash me or the firemen & women who volunteer to help those in our county.
Lonny Frost is far from alone in criticizing the comments that are posted on STATter911.com or even criticizing me for providing this forum. There are a lot of people who feel this way. I understand why they feel the way they do. I even respect such opinions and don’t take any criticism of the comments on this site, the site itself or of me personally. I try to learn from it all. And, by the way, if you look at what Lonny Frost is saying, even if you think he is greatly misguided, it’s hard not to note that his heart is in the right place by standing up for firefighters (that’s more than some people believe about the publisher of this rag).
I have dealt with people who are offended by the comments section since almost day one of STATter911.com more than five-years-ago. Some of the complaints came from my closest and oldest friends in the fire service. I listened to what they all had to say and made the decision to keep the comments and censor as little as possible. I continue to stand by that decision and amazingly my friends still stand by me. Not that it doesn’t cause me great pain at times when I see personal bashing and comments that are more vindictive than constructive. To me, the forum works best when there is an adult discussion of issues and tactics with the egos left at the door (I know … I’m a dreamer).
In this particular incident in Tioga County, the comments came in rather fast and furious. The overall theme was one questioning what many believe are serious safety issues with this operation. While some said it more nicely than others, the comments almost all were about the same concerns.
As regular readers know I leave all of the commenting about firegound tactics and safety issues to others. But I do have some general observations about all of this.
First of all, I believe it would be nicer and more civilized if we could just tell people directly our concerns in a more private way. But the cameras everywhere, digital nature of life in the 2000s seems to have changed that dynamic forever. It isn’t just the fire service. In almost everything today we all have to deal with the instant analysis of our actions, whether it’s because of something we innocently wrote on Facebook or the video our neighbor took of us walking around our backyard in our underwear.
The question I toss out to the crowd is this: Are you being more of a “brother” by not pointing out an important safety lapse in one of these videos so you won’t hurt that brother’s feelings or is brotherhood making your thoughts clear on an actions you see that could injure or kill your brother firefighters?
According to state police, Jeffrey D. Krout, 27, of Wellsboro, was traveling south in a fully loaded 2005 Peterbilt fuel tanker in the right lane, when he served across the left lane and onto the shoulder of the road.
The truck, which was carrying about 4,600 gallons of diesel fuel, then swerved back across both lanes of travel, left the roadway, traveled onto the right side berm and overturned.
Krout extricated himself from the vehicle just before it caught fire.
Krout reportedly sustained a minor leg injury and he refused medical treatment. Krout will reportedly be charged with careless driving and rollover violations of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.
PennDOT members were diligent in not allowing anyone near the scene of the crash, including members of the media. By the time a Wellsboro Gazette reporter could get near the scene, the truck and burnt wreckage were being towed away.
According to the information with the video this was from a fire yesterday handled by the Winnie Stowell VFD in Winnie, Texas with mutual aid from a half-dozen or so other departments. The description says the fire in an oil well storage tank was sparked by a lightning strike. No further information.
No one has been injured after flames gushed from a ruptured natural gas line near downtown Columbus.
Columbus Fire Department spokesman Matt Noblitt said that homeowner Harold Lockhart and another man were using a motorized auger to dig holes for a fence post Wednesday morning when the auger ruptured the line and the heat from the auger motor’s exhaust ignited the gas.
No one suffered serious injuries, but the house at 1024 Chestnut St. sustained an estimated $10,000 in damages from the heat of the fire, according to the Columbus Fire Department.
Fire department crews responded and worked to protect the house from the flames to prevent them from causing more damage, said Columbus Fire Chief Joel Thacker. Firefighters also controlled the flames until Vectren Corp. could shut off the gas and determine the source of the leak.
A full shift of firefighters fell ill with symptoms of chemical exposure after working a fire earlier in the day, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.
All eight from the station at 1342 Florida Ave. NE had to be relieved by other fire crews. Those who fell ill complained of respiratory problems, vomiting, dizziness and burning eyes.
They were taken to a clinic for observation and D.C. Fire and EMS declared it a hazmat incident.
The firefighters became ill after fighting an apartment fire at about 11 a.m. Wednesday in the 3700 block of Hayes St. NE, according to officials. They did not begin showing symptoms until evening. Sources told 9News Now the firefighters may have been affected to a home drug lab while fighting the fire Wednesday morning.
The firefighters work at Engine 10 in the 1300 block of Florida Avenue NE and complained of the symptoms when they were at the station about 8:30 p.m., said Battalion Chief Brian K. Lee, a spokesman.
It was not clear what may have caused the firefighters’ dizziness. But three sources with knowledge of the probe said authorities are investigating the possibility that drug-making chemicals were inside the apartment building during the fire.
This is from the afternoon of Sunday, April 29 in the Brooklyn neighborhood known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Video taken by neighbor Chris Frank. Thanks to Vito Maggiolo for alerting us to the video.
An FDNY spokesman tells us the fire was brought under control at 6:39 p.m., mostly using foam. A Con Ed spokesman confirms there were no injuries, and no customers were affected with outages as a result of the fire, which broke out around 5:15 p.m. Witnesses reported hearing an explosion, which the spokesman attributed to the sound of oil igniting. The cause remains under investigation.
The Jamestown Fire Department brought in all its firefighting equipment and personnel during the blaze, which destroyed the building and its contents and damaged an adjacent building.
“We had everything we have at the (fire) hall at the scene,” Fire Chief Jim Reuther said. “We had 35 firefighters respond to the fire.”
Brad Vining, CEO of Vining Oil, said the building’s contents included several 55-gallon barrels of oil, 600 to 700 truck tires and two tractors. He said the monetary loss could be easily more than $1 million.
A tanker exploded last Thursday evening in the Sawyer, Michigan area. Today Chikaming Township has released video of that explosion along with more details.
The incident occurred at a truck stop where the driver had stopped for dinner. News reports indicate the rig was carrying a mixture of sodium hydroxide and water from Illinois to Canada. After dinner the driver noticed vapors coming from the tank.
After police and firefighters arrived and the building was evacuated the tanker exploded. One firefighter suffered minor chemical burns to the face.
The tanker was aluminum. (Chikaming Township Fire Chief Mike) Davidson said he cannot say whether that was a safe container to be transporting the substance, but said the matter is under investigation.
He did explain how the tanker exploded, stating that the problem started with a compromised weld joint, and got worse from there. "The tank was not properly venting itself, and it built up pressure inside of the tank to the point where the leak did expand itself and started to hiss and with all the pressure it built up, it finally exploded," Davidson said.
For the second time in a week, Buffalo firefighters were called out to battle a multiple alarm industrial fire.
Flames broke out on Dorothy Street in the city's Clinton/Bailey neighborhood around 7:30 and was called under control around 9:30.
This was the second fire this year at Goldman Titanium. The first was back in April. Fire officials say titanium burns very hot and very slow so crews are expected to remain on the scene for most of the day.
2 On Your Side's Mary Friona was told the department had used up all of its foam on last week's fire at Niagara Lubricant and needed to call a local vendor to bring some to the fire scene.
Foam trucks from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station were called in to assist.
Over 100 firefighters are on the scene and continue to be rotated in and out of the area. One was taken to the hospital for a knee injury.
Nearby residents have not been asked to evacuate, however, they have been advised to keep their windows closed as thick, black smoke continues to billow through the area.
According to the Niagara Lubricant's web site, the company manufactures and packages lubricating oils, greases, industrial oils and tire care products.
Chandler Street has been closed to traffic and National Grid was on scene this morning to cut power to the immediate area.
As a precautionary measure, Buffalo Schools have diverted students from the Extended Learning Opportunity Program at School #94 to Riverside High School. At the end of the day, walkers will be taken by bus back to School #94 to head home. Students who normally take the bus will be transported home from Riverside.Parents with questions or concerns can call Riverside at 816-4360.
Several explosions could be heard at the scene, and the smoke could be seen from miles away. Fire crews were ordered out of the building around 6:15 a.m. after they learned the building housed several propane tanks.
Niagara Lubricant has about 35 employees. Leon Smith, one of the company's owners, says five generations of his family have worked there since its founding in 1923, and its products are distributed worldwide. The business is insured.
He said the fire department had given him no indication of the fire's cause.
Witnesses say the heat is intense, and trucks in a nearby parking lot exploded as a result. Other callers to FOX 26 News report having heard explosions.
FOX 26 News briefly spoke with Enterprise Products company spokesman Rick Rainey, who said there are no reports of any injuries at this time.
“We store natural gas liquids at the plant, which comes out when natural gas is produced out of the ground,” said Rainey. “I am getting an operations report very shortly. All I can confirm is that we have a fire at the West Storage Facility at the Mont Belvieu plant. I’ve not heard of any injuries. We are still trying to confirm all of this. We are a part of Mont Belvieu mutual aid, and we have trained firefighters at all facilities who help fight the fire. In addition to the local firefighters, we have plant workers in the mutual aid network trained.”
FOX 26 Chief Meteorologist Dr. Jim Siebert says winds in Mont Belvieu are moving at 14 miles per hour out of the southeast, pushing smoke from the fire over Crosby.
According to its website, Enterprise Products operates 49,100 miles of natural gas, NGL crude oil, refined products and petrochemical pipelines around the world. Its company headquarters are located in downtown Houston.
The New York Daily News says as many as a dozen firefighters were injured in the fire that started Monday night and burned well into Tuesday morning at a Jamaica, Queens ironworks business. Earlier it was reported seven firefighters were hurt. The most seriously injured firefighter suffered second-degree burns to his head and face. The eight-alarm fire was at 95-20 150th Street and began around 6:00 PM. Here are excerpts from the Daily News article:
“The flames were shooting 50 to 60 feet in the air. There were two or three explosions,” said Alan Grossman, who owns a business next door to the burned warehouse.
Nearly 500 firefighters had a hand in fighting the eight-alarm blaze. Roughly 60 firefighters are called in for each alarm.
The warehouse, which stores materials for an unidentified company in the metal business, is deep and long. The dimensions allowed the fire to spread, causing portions of the roof to collapse.
That forced firefighters to change their tactics on the fly, resulting in the need to call in more manpower, FDNY Division 11 Deputy Chief Vinny Mandala said at the scene.
“They initially started with an interior attack, and then after they had some structural issues, they pulled everybody out,” Mandala said. “It will remain an exterior attack for the remainder.”
He (Grossman) said firefighters put so much water on the fire that a loading bay alongside the warehouse filled with about 5 feet of water.
At one point, a firefighter fell into the water-filled bay, but emerged unharmed, Grossman said.
A fascinating video: A delivery man spotted a small apartment fire yesterday in Racine, Wisconsin. Being a good citizen he went inside and started alerting neighbors by banging on doors. Good for him. But as we know, it isn’t just good enough to do that in the modern times we live in. The incident would not have officially occurred if there wasn’t video of the man’s actions. Thankfully that video exists. It is courtesy of the same delivery man. He provides narration, and a couple shots of himself in action. He who is soon joined by a police officer who beats the fire department to the scene. Long ago I predicted, that with all of the cameras and the need to shoot everything, we would soon have a rescue where both the rescuer and rescuee were taking video. We are not there yet. But I think we have officially taken a step closer to reaching my goal.
Strut alert: If you missed it, with the help of Firefighter Close Calls, we have posted raw dashcam video of a vehicle fire this summer in Austin, Texas. It shows a number of small explosions, including struts becoming flying missiles. Click here for the video.
I don’t like Dave Slater: Who can blame him? But that’s one of the many comments sent in about my position on the video of the trooper from Connecticut’s confrontation with a news photographer. I am clearly in a losing battle, but I am going down fighting as I almost single-handedly try to be the protector of our Constitution and way of life. And when I say losing, I’m losing big time. The vast majority of the people writing in think whether a citizen or the press can roll video at an emergency scene is not (or should not be) protected under our First Amendment, but instead is a decision we have handed over to the government in the form of first responders. That scares me for so many reasons. But I answer each one who writes in with a variety of arguments about why that’s not a good idea. I also point out that even though you may believe that’s how it works, the law of the land as determined by the people who formed our government, says otherwise. Maybe what amazes me more is that a news photographer, who is standing with the public and not up close to the working first responders at a fatal crash, is made out to the devil. All you see on his raw, unedited video is a burning car, with the body already gone. Many of the writers indicate the press should not roll video at any scene where someone has died. I know I am an insensitive, biased, former reporter jerk for thinking that our freedoms in this country overrides what offends people. There’s a lot more to what many think are really stupid arguments by me. Read it for youself.
Firefighter in two states and suspected arsonist in both: Both Pennsylvania and West Virginia authorities have neen investigating a volunteer firefighter for possibly setting fires. Charges have already been brought in Pennsylvania. Read the details.
Montgomery County, Maryland firefighter breaks leg while hitting hydrant: The Washington Post reports the lay-out man during an electrical fire in Silver Spring found his leg wrapped in the hose. Here’s a few details.
More fire videos for you: Dayton, Kentucky found five frozen hydrants as firefighter tried to handle two homes burning. Click here. Helmet-cam video from West Plains, Missouri. Click here. Hackensack, New Jersey two-alarm house fire. Click here.
Republican filibuster blocks 9-11 health bill: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls it “a devastating indictment of Washington politics, a tragic example of partisan politics trumping patriotism.” Senate republicans blocked the 9-11 health bill in its first key senate vote by “sticking to a party pledge to block anything until the tax deal extending the Bush-era cuts for the wealthy passes”. Here are the details from the New York Daily news.
Tombstone volunteer jumps into action as his own home burns: An interesting story from Arizona about a disabled volunteer firefighter and a fire that destroyed his apartment & his pickup truck. But he went to work trying to keep the fire from spreading. Here it is.