Video above from Bill Bennett (BillBennettPhoto.com) of a fire Wednesday in an auto repair shop in Roosevelt, New York (Nassau County) that news accounts say burned for seven hours spreading to another business next door and damaging some houses. More video below from doowhopp.
The blaze began at Alfonso’s Auto Repair on Babylon Turnpike and the 20-plus vehicles inside the shop or outside hindered firefighters’ access, said James Hickman, division supervisor of investigations at the Nassau County fire marshal’s office.
Gas and oil in the shop fueled the flames, and the blaze spread next door to Defer Auto Body, Hickman said.
The heart of the fire was “apparently up in the hidden parts of the roof,” he said, “and the problem is getting in there because of all the vehicles.”
Tow trucks were called to clear out vehicles, he said, and about five hours after the first flames, firefighters tried to better control the blaze by knocking down the Alfonso building.
Arrival video from cableboy123 of a house fire in Freeport, New York (Nassau County). The description with the video says a truck caught fire in the driveway igniting a shed and the house. No firther information.
A surveillance video shows a group of teenagers who stole a plaque honoring a FDNY firefighter killed in the attacks of 9/11 from a community center on Long Island. The plaque has since been returned, but the focus now is on finding the teens.
The plaque honoring William Mahoney was removed, along with several flags, from the Connetquot Youth Association, overnight July 4, according to Mike Barbara, vp of the organization.
Surveillance video shows a group of teens lighting fireworks in a ballfield at the complex, then climbing on the roof and taking down the flags and plaque.
“They pried the plaque right off the rock,” Barbara said. “It’s terrible, for somebody that gave their life, you know, back on 9/11 and the place where his kids played and were brought up — for somebody to go and do that to somebody’s father is just sick, it’s not right.”
Barbara said after reports began to surface in the community about the vandalism, the plaque was thrown back over the center’s fence, wrapped in one of the flags.
The Bravo Network is responding to PIX 11′s questions about one of its reality shows by taking action. This comes after the family of a fallen hero says they felt disrespected by a recent episode that was filmed at the Jonathan Ielpi Memorial Park in Great Neck Plaza. Anger swept over Melissa Ielpi-Brengel while she was watching the Bravo reality tv show ‘Princesses: Long Island’, which follows six pampered Long Island women who live with their parents.
In Sunday’s episode, one of the so-called princesses who was doing a photo shoot to promote her product, incorporated a FDNY memorial and 9/11 statue from the Jonathan Ielpi Memorial Park.
The scene shows Amanda Bertoncini doing a photo shoot for her product (a piece of fabric that wraps around any sort of drink can or bottle) at the FDNY memorial where one of the models is hanging on the bronze statue of firefighter Jonathan Ielpi. You can hear the photographer tell the model, “Kiss the fireman, try to feed him the beer.” Then Bertoncini exclaims, “Yeah, feed him the beer! Then act scared.”
A fire ripped through a 16-unit apartment complex in Coram Sunday afternoon, leaving as many as 40 people homeless, officials said.
The fire at 24 El Camino Ct. was first reported at 1:27 p.m., Suffolk police said. Coram firefighters, joined by four other departments, battled the blaze, which was under control by 3:30 p.m., according to the Coram fire dispatcher.
The Greenlawn Fire Department responded to a house fire on Sinclair Drive and Manor Road, on Friday night, January 18, at about 10:40 p.m. Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy fire involving the garage and a vehicle parked in the driveway, which quickly spread into the attic and first floor of the one-story ranch home. Greenlawn firefighters stretched several handlines into the house and began an aggressive interior attack
As many of you know Actor Steve Buscemi was a firefighter with FDNY in the 1980s. Buscemi, currently the star of Boardwalk Empire (Mr. & Mrs. STATter911.com’s favorite show), has been helping firefighters and others after Hurricane Sandy. His most recent effort is recording this appeal for Friends of Firefighters that was uploaded yesterday to YouTube. Click here to learn how you can help.
Former FDNY firefighter Steve Buscemi has always kept close to his NYC roots, and when Hurricane Sandy hit it didn’t take him long to start helping out. He’s been spotted in Rockaway several times, helping friends and fellow firefighters there. Of course, he hasn’t the only celebrity to show up, but he is one of the only ones showing up consistently and doing hard work
Of course, there are many other efforts by the not so famous to help out the hundreds of firefighters whose homes have been destroyed or badly damaged. Here’s information from our friend Robb Ware about a fundraiser for New Jersey firefighters in Delaware County, PA on Saturday night (click here for the pdf):
Benefit Bonfire on Saturday, November 17th for NJ Firefighters and Families affected by Hurricane Sandy
Lenni Heights Fire Department, 312 Lenni Road, Lenni, PA 19052
Firefighters from Delaware County and the surrounding area have banded together to help their brother and sister firefighters affected by Hurricane Sandy earlier in November. Many of the NJ fire departments have lost their entire buildings including all gear, equipment, and fire trucks. Gear and equipment donations can be made at any time at Yeadon Fire Company, Green Ridge Fire Company, and Newtown Square Fire Company. A benefit bonfire is being held this Saturday, November 17th from 6pm to 9pm at Lenni Heights Fire Department, 312 Lenni Road, Lenni section of Middletown Township, PA. Everyone from the public is invited to attend the bonfire and requests are being made to the public to assist the NJ firefighters and their families on a personal level by donating gift cards, cash, checks, non-perishables, batteries, hand warmers, wool socks, winter gloves, and other related items. Paypal donations can be made to email@example.com. Wawa Markets have already been gracious enough to donate 2700 containers of juice to the fundraiser.
A Long Island firefighter who’s also one of the FDNY’s Bravest smashed a window of a burning Bellmore home with his bare hands and dragged an unconscious 93-year-old woman to safety yesterday.
“I broke the window with my bare hands — not recommended,’’ laughed volunteer firefighter John Curley, 43, who works full-time for the FDNY.
“The fire was in the room, on the far side, and I could see her on the floor about five feet away from the window,’’ said Curley, who cut his face on the glass and burned his fingers on the hot window.
Bellmore fire officials said that the elderly homeowner, who was rescued by a former department chief, was in critical condition after she was taken from the home.
Vincent Scaduto, the Bellmore department’s public information officer, said that the woman’s son managed to escape from the burning house. He and a neighbor placed a ladder on top of a file cabinet to try to reach his mother’s bedroom window because she was trapped inside. When the Bellmore F.D. arrived, ex-chief John Curley was able to get her out of the house. County officials said that Curley was taken to a local hospital for treatment of lacerations and burns.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has fired his $153,000-a-year emergency management director for diverting a crew to remove a tree from his Long Island home’s driveway after Superstorm Sandy hit, a state official said Wednesday.
Director of Emergency Management Steven Kuhr was fired after the governor was told that Kuhr called a Suffolk County crew to remove a fallen tree from his driveway, according to the official. Kuhr was working in Albany at the time last week, shortly after Sandy hit.
The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the personnel decision wasn’t announced. A spokesman for Cuomo declined to comment. The New York Times first reported the action (click here for New York Times story) .
Cuomo appointed Kuhr in October 2011 as executive deputy commissioner of the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
There was no answer at Kuhr’s office Wednesday night and a phone number listed in his name was not working.
The action comes as Cuomo has bitterly criticized utilities for what he said has been slow progress restoring power to customers from the Hudson Valley through Long Island. Most of the power has been restored to more than 2 million customers who lost electricity because of Sandy, though lights started flickering off again Wednesday night as a new storm raked the region.
Kuhr previously was president of Strategic Emergency Group, a consulting firm that had contracts with New York City, the state and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to the news release announcing his appointment. Kuhr had also worked for New York City for 20 years including with the fire department.
Here’s the description with this video from MFD657:
Massapequa Fire Department battles fully involved house fire on East Hamilton Ave in East Massapequa. We battled this to prevent spread to the house on the right. In the end unfortunately they were both lost. Water level 5ft and rising. Hurricane Sandy.
Check out the pictures from LindenhurstPatch of a house fire in Suffolk County, New York this morning. Firefighters from Lindenhurst had to improvise a little to get water to the burning home on South 6th Street, even though there was plenty surrounding the structure.
Thanks to Lou Minutoli from FirstOnScenePhotos.com for sending the video and still pictures from this fire on Wednesday to STATter911.com. Here’s what Lou wrote about the fire:
On Wednesday April 11, the Uniondale Fire Department, Uniondale NY was alerted to the report of a building fire in the old Mitchell field housing complex in East Garden City.
Arriving units found a heavy fire condition in one of the new luxury apartments complexes currently under construction. Fed by a veritable lumber yard of wood frame and truss beams, the blaze quickly spiraled out of control.
Tower ladders were immediately set up and a defensive attack was initiated as collapse potential was extremely high.
Departments from adjoining communities were called to the scene but not before at least fifteen units had been totally destroyed.
One firefighter was transported to the hospital and there were no civilian injuries reported.
From the AP:
Police say a fire that destroyed an apartment complex under construction on Long Island was accidentally started by a worker.
Authorities say the blaze at the Avalon Garden City Complex in Garden City began at about 11 a.m. Wednesday. It was started by a worker soldering a pipe.
More than 100 firefighters responded to the blaze, which engulfed the entire complex on Mitchell Field.
One firefighter was treated and released from a hospital for a shoulder injury. No other injuries were reported.
It took only a week after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the right of the citizenry to shoot video of public officials working in public places for someone to decide that the law of the land doesn't apply in their jurisdiction. Interestingly, that jurisdiction is Suffolk County, New York, where a little more than a month earlier a veteran police sergeant decided he was editor in chief after chasing a freelance videographer from a crime scene and later arresting him for daring to point a camera in the direction of cops doing their jobs. Did I miss the footnote to the First Amendment that says "except on Long Island"?
Even more interesting is that the confrontation above was shot by Phil Datz (and posted on September 3), the same cameraman who the good sergeant arrested on July 29 (see the video below).
Mike and others report it is a Suffolk County EMS officer who grabbed the camera at a Haz-Mat scene in Bohemia, New York. Now, I know a lot of people will look at this one and say the cameraman, from WNBC-TV, is too close. The information with this video and posted elsewhere indicates no police or fire line was established until after this incident occurred.
Whether he is too close or, as the official says in the video, "I told you to stop", is really meaningless here. An EMS official grabbing a camera like that makes him and his agency look foolish and opens the organization up for all kinds of issues. You rarely win pulling a stunt like this.
Yes, for all you press haters, it looks good giving the nasty media what those scums deserve. But where in the job description does it say someone in fire or EMS has the right to decide what can be photographed or the right to grab a person or a camera to enforce their orders?
My advice is unless someone's life or safety is in imminent danger you might want to leave the enforcement to police. Though in Suffolk County we have discovered that some police officers have a lot to learn about this same issue.
The always thoughtful and thought provoking Bill Carey at BackstepFirefighter.com spotted the story above from Elmont, New York. It is about a mishap Tuesday night during training by the Elmont Fire Department's motorized drill team in preparation for a Labor Day weekend competition. The teams are an activity with a long tradition on Long Island. They have come under scrutiny in more recent years, including in the lengthy and controversial investigation Newsday did on the fire departments of Long Island in late 2005 (FirePIO.com looked at the drill team issue last year).
Bill asks questions about the relevance of the teams in today's tight budgets and the potential impact and fallout from the injuries to three firefighters. One firefighter is recovering from what was described as a serious head injury.
I have a couple other thoughts about this TV news story. First is that the leadership of the Elmont Fire Department apparently learned something about dealing with bad news after it's last turn in the spotlight on WNBC-TV in New York (click here). That was a story at the beginning of this year when a reporter wanted to know more about what appeared to be a Confederate flag inside the firehouse. The TV station reported that a fire commissioner threatened the reporter who was asking questions about the flag and there is also video of firefighters closing the bay door on the reporter.
Both were bad moves for Elmont. They stretched a one day story into multiple days and the department didn't look good in the process. And for what purpose? They ended up getting rid of the flag anyway. As I have pointed out many times, if you have a defensible position, by all means defend it and don't run from it. If you can't defend it, correct the problem, address it with the media immediately and get it behind you.
This time it appears Elmont didn't run from Channel 4. They talked about the wreck, the injuries and gave a defense of their drill teams (though, if the department really believes in drill teams they need to say something stronger than it is tradition).
In the same story, the reporter and camera crew show up, apparently unannounced, at a similar drill team practice by the Hempstead Fire Department. Instead of using this as an opportunity to explain what they do and why they do it and the value for the fire department and the community the leadership sees in this activity, they basically run and hide. When they can't chase the TV crew away, they cancel the practice, pack up and go home.
I will let others pass judgment on whether this is a tradition that should still be a part of today's fire service. I am going to pass judgment and offer some unsolicited advice to the firefighters of Long Island from an image and public relations standpoint.
What I have to say isn't very complicated, but is often missed by those in a position of leadership when they are angry and defensive about those nasty reporters breathing down their necks. Here's my message to the firefighters of Long Island:
If this is an activity you strongly believe in and can justify, by all means you should get out there and defend it vigorously. Maybe even mount your own PR campaign explaining why this is important. Sure, you will still take some hits in news coverage and from your critics. But you look much, much worse when you run and hide from legitimate questions about your activities. If the leadership of a fire department or other public agency can't effectively articulate why they do what they do, maybe it's time to stop doing it and change course.
This may be a very disappointing "must see video" for many of you. No real action and it isn't a fire. But it is exactly what I needed to get me out of my funk after viewing the series of videos I posted Sunday of police officers around the country who have a funny interpretation of protecting and defending the Constitution.
The video posted to YouTube last November stars Badge #1093 of the Oceanside (CA) Police Department, Cpl. Matthew J. Lyons. I urge all of you to watch how Cpl. Lyons reacts to a man carrying a camera who records the entire interaction with the officer. Besides the camera in his left hand, the man, who only gives his name as Jeremy, has a gun on his side.
Listen to Cpl. Lyons' words and watch his actions. The officer is also a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Marines. He knows and respects Jeremy's right to not only carry an unconcealed, unloaded weapon, but to also carry and use a camera that is not concealed.
Now, compare this to what you saw from the Suffolk County (NY) Police Department sergeant (below) who arrested a credentialed news photographer on Friday. Or the officers you see in the other videos I posted on Sunday. If you were a police chief or commanding a squad of officers, would you want on your team cops who only uphold the part of the Constitution that fits their purposes or those who believe in the entire document?
Jeremy, who apparently gets stopped quite a bit with the gun on his belt walking around Oceanside, has recorded other transactions with police officers. They are posted on this YouTube channel. While the other cops aren't quite as charismatic as Cpl. Lyons, the best I can see tell is none of Oceanside's officers seems to get bent out of shape because a citizen has a camera in their face. My guess is that comes from good training.
Corporal Lyons you are my hero. You not only served our country as a Marine, you serve the citizens of Oceanside by keeping them safe and safeguarding their rights. Thank you Doug Walton for finding this one and sending it our way.
Commissioner Richard Dormer said in a statement Monday that there is an internal review of the incident and all officers will undergo media relations refresher training. The announcement came about an hour after the Press Club of Long Island, a local trade group, called for the charges to be dropped.
“I am working with the Suffolk County District Attorney to have the arrest nullified,” Dormer said. “The police department believes in keeping an open line of communication with the media and we will be reviewing the department’s policy concerning involvement with the news media.”
And in Las Vegas, an internal review of previous case we told you about found that Officer Derek Colling violated several department policies, including using excessive force, when he subdued and arrested a man who was taking video from his own driveway of police responding to a burglary call. Here's the latest story and here is our previous coverage. The video from that incident is below.
The video above was posted to YouTube about an incident that occurred on Friday in Suffolk County, New York. It came with the following description:
This was the end of a police chase and the Sgt. doesn't want video coverage from a credentialed member of the press. The photog asks how far to move back but the sgt. says no you can't shoot it at all. Notice the road is open to traffic, there are people without a camera that are standing there and even some kids walk straight through the scene. The photog moves a block away and shoots from the next street over and that's when he's arrested and charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration….how can you obstruct from a block away.
LongIslandPress.com says the man behind the camera is Phil Datz, who works for Stringer News Service in New York:
Suffolk County police confirmed that Datz was arrested and said he was charged with obstruction of governmental administration. He was taken to the Fifth Precinct stationhouse in Patchogue where he was fingerprinted and had a mugshot taken. He was later released.
“We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the arrest” of Datz, a police spokesman said. Datz can be heard referring to the cop as a “Sergeant” but the name and rank of the arresting officer was not released.
Ryan said a police officer apologized to him at the precinct, but told him nothing could be done about the arrest because Datz had already been booked.
From experience in writing about this topic, I am sure there are some who will laugh and say the only mistake the police officer made is he didn't destroy the camera and video. I find humor in lots of things many others find inappropriate. But this doesn't make me laugh. To me, it is extremely chilling and very sad.
As many of you who read this electronic rag know, I am very biased when it comes to this issue. I make no apologies for being hard-core pro-First Amendment. And I am kind of fond of that whole Constitution thing.
I know some who disagree with my position will start telling me how awful the news media is (and some in the news media are awful, as recently shown by the News Corp. debacle which now has possible connections to 9-11 victims). And others will tell me I don't know what's not on this video that the terrible man with the camera did. So, let me be clear I am only basing my opinion on what I see in this raw video.
What the police officer had to say on the video and the actions he took are plenty enough for me to once again point out that leaving decisions of what is and isn't okay for the public to see in the hands of uniformed and armed agents of our government is quite a scary scenario for the future of our country. And those who think these actions by police are just fine and call yourselves supporters and protectors of our way of life really need to study a little history and look closely at the countries where government does control the news media. This is my preemptive strike telling you to stop making excuses for people in uniform who are only selectively supporting the Constitution they are sworn to protect.
Below, are some other stories in recent months that help fuel my worries. Each has its own set of circumstances. I am sure many of you who feel differently than I do can find excuses for the actions of the police that will support your own interpretation of our rights. But I have to tell you it's not how they taught it to me in school.
Above is a video from the May 12 arrest of Emily Good in Rochester, New York. This case has received national attention. Good, who is described in news reports as an activist, shot the video of police activity while standing on her front lawn. The District Attorney quickly dropped charges against Good. The union representing the police has a different view on this and believes the safety of officers is what's at stake here. They also say that officers involved in Good's arrest have been threatened (read and watch that story).
James Sheppard, Rochester's police chief, ordered investigations of this incident and one where police ticketed cars belonging to supporters of Good gathered at a meeting (video here). Chief Sheppard told the Democrat and Chronicle on July 5 that he is waiting for results of the investigations before determining if there was any misconduct by Officer Mario Masic, who arrested Good. Here's more of the chief's comments::
He said he thought the video showed that Masic acted professionally, and said the stop that precipitated Good's arrest — the activity partly filmed by Good — was an example of "proactive" policing.
Police said there were suspected gang members in the car. No one was arrested from the vehicle.
Sheppard said the incident does show the need to remind police officers that they shouldn't be concerned if someone videotapes them without interference.
Chief Sheppard is exactly right. A lot of this is about training. Not just for police, but for all first responders who now have to do their jobs with cameras shooting them from all angles. As I have mentioned before, some EMS providers are using cameras during training to make sure when they hit the streets they can do their jobs competently despite someone taking pictures. I have watched law enforcement train for decades on how to ignore taunts and other actions of protesters during large demonstrations. Wouldn't it be smart to the same with cameras?
A story by Jack Minor in Colorado's Greeley Gazette looks at the attempt by some since 9-11 to declare photography illegal. It has some interesting comments by Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner who confirms that his city does not have any law prohibiting taping of police officers (by the way, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Protective Service, the FBI, the U.S. Capitol Police and most every other law enforcement agencies in the Washington, DC area confirmed the same for me when I was a TV reporter working on a number of stories about this post 9-11 issue) :
Garner said he was amazed at how a lawful act such as videotaping could be considered illegal. Garner went on to say that he tells young officers to, "Do your job so that if you were being taped and the tape was shown to your loved ones you would never be ashamed."
Great words to live by for all of us in the digital video age.
When you look at the story above from June 19, I think you will understand why the DC police officer in the July 3 Georgetown incident believes citizens have no right to go about their business unmolested when they are taking pictures of cops in action on a public street. Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Diane Groomes explains why it is okay for officers to confiscate your camera when you shoot an arrest scene. It leaves you wondering if the department will start taking the cameras of all news photographers who show up where people are being cuffed and stuffed. If not, what's the difference? And who is the press these days anyway? (For the record, as puzzled as I am about her comments, I have a great deal of respect for Chief Groomes and her treatment of the press based on my experience as a reporter in Washington.)
The video above is also from your Nation's Capital. This time the scene is not on a public street, but inside a public meeting of the DC Taxicab Commission. The officers are with the United States Park Police. In fact, the meeting is at a U.S. Park Police facility. Is it only me who finds it ironic that the people who seem the most outraged by the arrest of the reporter are taxi drivers who are immigrants from countries where the press and the citizenry don't have the freedoms that this country guarantees? Reporter Tom Sherwood wrote about this June 22 case here and has more to say here.
Now, before any of you make decisions about what my politics are are or start believing I don't support law enforcement or possibly mom, apple pie and the flag, watch the interview below with the reporter who took the video above. He was also arrested by U.S. Park Police. Notice who is doing the interview and completely supports the reporter's actions and thinks police were wrong. Judge Andrew P. Napolitano is the senior judicial analyst for the Fox News Channel. He also hosts the show Freedom Watch on the Fox Business Network where this interview took place.
In my business I teach people the importance of a clear and consistent message. We are told the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department on Long Island has these four simple words in front of each of its five firehouses. I think we hear this one loud and clear.
Below, a more somber look at what the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden means. CBS News' Jim Axelrod visited with the firefighters at FDNY's Engine 54 and Ladder 4 today.
This is the radio traffic from last night’s shooting scene in Bellmore, New York posted by firefighterdispatch on YouTube. It combines police and fire/EMS transmissions and is not in real time (pauses between transmissions are omitted). A 20-year-old firefighter has non-life threatening wounds after the person in the crash opened fire on arriving first responders. Police shot and killed the gunman.
A firefighter was shot in the back Tuesday night on Long Island while responding aboard an ambulance to a vehicle collision. It happened around 10:00 PM on Bellmore Avenue at Claxton Avenue in Bellmore. Police returned fire striking and killing the gunman. The firefighter is reported to have non-life threatening injuries.
A car apparently lost control and struck a light pole.A Bellmore Fire Department ambulance responded, and the firefighter EMT’s approached the vehicle to see if the driver needed help, and he opened fire on them.
Officials say the 20-year-old Bellmore firefighter was transported to Nassau University Medical Center where he underwent surgery Tuesday night.Witnesses say that the shooter fired 15 to 16 shots, striking at least one person.
Once they arrived at the accident scene, the driver who crashed the car into a light pole, began to shoot at first responders, sources told NBCNewYork.com.Nassau Police shot at the driver and struck him at least once, according to sources. As many as ten shots may have been fired during this incident. A first responder was shot and two officers may have suffered injuries unrelated to the shooting.