On July 15 there was a lightning sparked fire in Middletown Township, Pennsylvania at the Harper’s Crossing apartments that left seven firefighters injured. Two of the firefighters were held overnight with burns. The injuries occurred during a roof collapse shortly after the order to evacuate was given. Above is the helmet-cam from a firefighter assigned to RIT. Below is part of the description with the video:
At 1:32 a priority to activate the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT). Our rescue was assigned RIT shortly after they went responding. Our crew knew that they were not on location yet so our officer called command and we assumed RIT responsibilities. At 1:43 the first mayday was called. There were 4 firefighters on the third floor when the roof collapsed. At 2:01 the two firefighters that called the mayday jumped over the 2nd floor railing onto a small over hang and were rescued by ground ladders. at 2:08 a second mayday is declared for the remaining two firefighters. After the location is given we went to go get them. As we climb the steps to the 2nd floor stairwell one of the two firefighters is on the ground and the other one can be seen around the 2:28 mark making his way through the flaming debris down the steps.
“Fire was developing in the attic area. Crews made an initial attack. When we saw they weren’t going to be able to handle the fire, we evacuated the building,” said (Langhorne-Middletown Fire Chief Frank) Farry.
“In the process of evacuating, there was a partial roof collapse. All the firefighters were able to get themselves out of the building, some through some unconventional means like jumping down an extra flight of stairs.”
The fire eventually went to four alarms as more than 100 firefighters from throughout Lower Bucks County, including Bensalem, Bristol, Falls, Middletown, Yardley-Makefield, Newtown, Northampton, Levittown, Lower Southampton and others, fought the blaze.
Interesting video from UK fire: Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service seemed to be making progress on Friday with a fire at a fish and chips shop amid some 16th century Tudor buildings in Dartmouth. Things soon got out of control and the BBC reports eight businesses and up to 15 flats were destroyed. Read more about the fire.
Nice pictures from Maryland apartment fire: HowardFire.net tipped us to a nice series of pictures by Jim Codespote from Monday’s early morning fire north of Laurel. Two people were rescued. Click here.
Click the image to read the story of two fire trucks colliding on the way to separate calls in Middletown, New York. The crash left at least three firefighters injured.
City officials made case that battalion chiefs aren’t needed: Following two hours of heated discussion the Fort Walton Beach, Florida City Council did not cut the fire department’s three battalion chief positions despite prompting to do so. According to Jeff Barker at the Daily News, “City staffers recommended cutting all three battalion chiefs, saying a driver/engineer could direct operations from the outside until a fire chief or deputy chief arrives on scene.” Read more.
Chief is the only one left: In Weston, West Virginia, in an effort to meet budget constraints, four of the five career firefighting positions have been eliminated. Check out the story.
Only two of seven firefighters showing up for work causes concern: In Endicott, New York the absence of five firefighters on one shift, leaving only two working, has people talking about what it all means. It comes at a time when the city got rid of 24-hour shifts popular with firefighters. Here’s the story.
Morganthau pulls out of FDNY discrimination case: Legendary former Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau has decided not to oversee the city’s efforts to improve the FDNY’s hiring of black and Hispanic firefighters, citing the city’s “resentment” of him. Morgenthau’s appointment by a U.S. District Court judge upset the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read the latest.
WW II bomb kills members of disposal team: In Goettingen, Germany three members of a bomb disposal unit were killed and others injured during efforts to handle a bomb that had been dropped by Allied aircraft. Read the article.
Detroit’s Ladder 13, hit by a train yesterday, was caught on video when it crashed last year: In July, Ladder 13 went out of control as it made a turn at Lawndale and Vernor. The video above is from a security camera that caught the collision. Click here for our coverage of that story.
Detroit commissioner blasts Ladder 13 driver & union blasts commissioner: If you checked with us at all yesterday afternoon and evening you have seen the pictures and video of the aftermath of Ladder 13′s collision with an Amtrak train. It isn’t just the executive fire commissioner and union president who have opinions about this one, we have received a few comments. Click here for our extensive coverage of the wreck.
The most bizarre fire story you are likely to see in some time: In the UK a fire engine crew member was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by negligence. His crime – he blew the lights and siren causing a stampede of Holstein Friesian cows that ran over Harold Lee, a 75-year-old farmer from Somerset. According to the Daily Mail, “Mr Lee’s son Andrew claimed the incident could have been avoided had the fire crew waited for just a few minutes as the cows were safely herded off the road.” Here’s the entire article.
Firegeezer Bill Schumm thinks this isn’t the United Kingdom’s only recent trip through the looking glass when it comes to the fire service. Check out Bill’s view.
Fairfax County still on standby for Chile: I spent some of yesterday afternoon watching the mobilization of Virginia Task Force 1 at the training academy for the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department. While the USAR team hasn’t been officially activated they were following USAID orders to get a 52 member team (with 4 search dogs) together and ready to deploy. Here’s the story. As of 8:00 this morning everyone is on 4-hour standby waiting for word from USAID. Here is a slide show from Fairfax County yesterday and here is the video (also in our player to the right). By the way my favorite image from yesterday was not captured by a camera. It was of a firefighter in uniform preparing his gear for deployment, talking on the cell phone and changing his toddler son’s diaper all at the same time. Now that’s multitasking. Also, here is some video from Califronia Task Force 2 doing the same drill.
Trying to explain brown-outs to the public: In Springfield, Illinois the local paper is trying to let the public know when the local fire station might be part of rotating closures. They are finding the answers a bit more complicated than expected. Check it out.
Comment number 15k: Yesterday morning we posted our 15,000th comment since starting STATter911 in May of 2007. It was from JasoninVA responding to a recent posting of a video from Gary, Indiana-
Good comment Chris. Now for those that want to pick this and every other video they see apart. Are you serious? Do you live in a dream world where every fireground goes perfect? It makes no difference whether you are from NOVA, DC, PG, Southern Va. or Western Md. We all have our own highlight reels and those that we wish we could go back to quarters and start again from the beginning. Sure, there were some questionable ops, but then again, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t taken a window or two (or 20) w/o PPE as the wagon driver because the truck was delayed or cut a roof without a roof ladder. This is not an attack on anyone but more of an observation. With the age of technology, you never know who is there and watching. Pictures and videos are on the internet before you can even get back in quarters. Before we get on a “holier than thou” kick, you may want to think about something. The next video on here may be you doing something that “The Book” says isn’t safe and then you will find yourself justifying / defending your actions.
If you go to that entry and scroll down to comments you will see one by me. I think I actually ask some thoughtful questions (I don’t have any of the answers, but I sure can ask questions) on this whole topic of people pointing out issues in the fireground videos we post. Click here to see it all.
Deaths and a large number of injuries are reported in an explosion at a power plant in Middletown, Connecticut. Most sources are saying about 100 injured, but WFSB-TV is citing sources saying as many as 250 people have been hurt.
Here are a variety of links and news reports from a story that is developing in Middletown, Connecticut.:
From the AP:
Police are reporting a gas explosion and fire at a power plant in Connecticut.
Several ambulances and fire trucks responded to the explosion on at the Kleen Energy Systems plant in Middletown on Sunday, and witnesses say black smoke was visible for miles.
No details were immediately available, but police advised people to avoid the area.
We’re hearing reports of an explosion of a gas line by the Kleen Energy plant on River Road. All of Middletown’s fire departments are working at the scene, and Durham, Middlefield, Portland and Cromwell fire departments have been called in to assist.
There are reports of numerous casualties.
Four ambulances and a Life Star helicopter have been called to the scene. Most of River Road has been blocked off. Flames were shooting out of a pipeline at one point, but the gas line has now been shut off.
The incident, which happened around 11:30 a.m., shook most homes in Middletown and as far as Portland.
Former Common Council member Earle Roberts called and left a message that about 11:15 an explosion nearly rocked his house off of it’s foundation on nearby Bow Lane. Roberts said that the force of the explosion nearly tore the roof from his house, and sent a cloud of brown debris into the air above the plant which is under construction, and was scheduled to come on line later this year.
I felt the explosion myself at my house on Pearl Street. It sounded as if something had fallen off of my roof, and onto my porch.
Raw video from scrapyard fire in Houston: This fire was reported around 10:45 AM on Sunday near the Houston Ship Channel. No injuries were reported.
Prince George’s County, Maryland staffing levels questioned on two, 3-alarm fires: Click here for a press release from IAFF Local 1619 describing multiple units that failed to respond or had only two firefighters on board as PGFD handled two, three-alarm, garden-apartment fires in as many days. Click here and here for coverage of the fires. We have requested a response from PGFD officials.
Arson spree leaves two dead in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fireground audio, video, pictures, and details: A dozen fires or attempted fires in 75 minutes with two people dead, but officials aren’t using the word arson. The fires are labeled as suspicious. We have the dramatic fireground audio as dispatchers, firefighters and police try to keep up with the fires early Sunday morning. Click here for our coverage.
Two fires are 30-hours and 1-block apart in Woonsocket, Rhode Island: We have video from both extra-alarm fires in vacant multi-family homes. Check it out.
Most popular stories contest: Figure out what were the five most popular stories on STATter911.com in 2009 and win a prize. Dave takes the winner to lunch. (“Oh yeah, he’s a prize”, Mrs. STATter911.com was heard saying.) Click here for the details.
Must see video of Saturday's water rescue in Middletown, Pennsylvania (Delaware County) of a mother and her 14-year-old daughter. Some of the rescuers were treated for hypothermia. Click the image for the video, pictures and details.