Video from phillyfirenews of a house fire today on Reiffs Mill Road in Ambler Boro, Pennsylvania (Montgomery County). While the evacuation tones and airhorns are heard two separate times on the video, the audio appears to be the same evacuation from two different angles, even though the video shows some different action going on the second time your hear the evac tones (indicating the sound is dubbed pn one of them). J.D. Brooke reposted this video with the original audio at the 3:14 mark instead of the earlier evac order being dubbed in.
As for the evacuation, it appears not everyone came out. The conversation from firefighters questioning the water still being put on the attic fire from inside indicates that it was being applied via the first floor. There are also firefighters being told to go in and help someone out who was still inside. It’s unclear if this was related to the injured firefighters PhillyFireNews.com reports about below:
The fire extended into numerous void spaces on the second floor. Several firefighters were caught in a flash over on the second floor. Command evacuated the dwelling due to heavy fire conditions. Exterior lines were placed in to operations. Two Firefighter were transported to the hospital. One with burns to his ears, second with a laceration.
Above, WCIV-TV/ABC News 4 is providing live streaming of the funeral for Chief Tom Carr, former chief in Charleston, SC and Montgomery County, MD scheduled for 2:00 PM EDT. Chief Carr died last week at age 59.
Chief Carr was one of the most wonderful and unique fire chiefs I have had the pleasure of knowing. My condolences to all his family and friends.
A programming note for today. The funeral for Chief Tom Carr in Charleston, South Carolina is scheduled for 2:00 PM EDT. Through arrangements with Chief Carr’s family, the Charleston Fire Department, Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service and WCIV-TV, STATter911.com will carry live streaming of the service.
I am sad to report the death of Chief Tom Carr. The former chief of the Charleston Fire Department in South Carolina and the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service in Maryland passed away at 59-years-old Wednesday evening.
Having first met Tom Carr when he was a lieutenant in Montgomery County, I was quickly impressed with his intelligence and his manner in dealing with people.
Having the opportunity to cover him as a reporter when he was chief was a joy. From my perspective on the outside, Tom Carr was one of those rare individuals who could lead without having to stand in the spotlight to do so. The conversation was never about him and what he has done to lead his department. He didn’t sweat the petty and small things. He always saw the bigger picture and knew how to motivate others to see his vision. As one of his young officers in Charleston told me early last year, “When I’m on Tuesday, Chief Carr’s already on Friday.”
Tom Carr knew the real measure of a fire chief was not how many times he could be on TV, but how well he served his firefighters and how well they served the public.
A former leader of the Charleston Fire Department has passed away.
ABC News 4 has learned that former fire chief Thomas Carr died following a battle with MSA, a rapid form of Parkinson’s disease. He was 59 years old.
Chief Carr was hired as Charleston’s fire chief in 2008. He helped reshape and redefine the department following the 2007 Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine Charleston firefighters.
In 2010, Carr told his staff that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
In March of 2012, Carr retired from the department.
Mayor Joe Riley told ABC News 4 he had visited with the chief recently.
In a statement, Riley said, “Thomas Carr was a great man who left a profound legacy. His implementation of automatic aid in our region was transformative. He was an innovator in the fire service and made a great impact on our region.”
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.
Video posted yesterday by firebuff1111 of a fire on October 27 in Whitemarsh Township, PA (Montgomery County) that killed 71-year-old Barbara Conicello and left her husband James with burns. Investigators say the fire was sparked by a space heater. Lincoln Fire Company was first on the scene.
In the video above it appears that police officers are among those grabbing tools and performing ventilation and forceable entry. At 4:06 on the second video (below) the evacuation tone and airhorns are sounded.
The fire was first reported at 3:30 p.m. as multiple area fire companies responded. One neighbor told Patch that he was the first to call 9-1-1, rushing inside to do so after speaking with the husband, who was able to escape from the house. The neighbor said that the husband was refusing to go to the hospital before learning the condition of his wife, although it is unclear at what point he was actually transported from the scene.
Lincoln Fire Company chief Jay Davis said the fire was already “extensive” by the time responders arrived at the scene. Firefighters tried to access the house on both floors from multiple directions, but were unable to locate a safe point of entry. On at least two occasions after the flames appeared to be out, small fires broke out just below the roof.
Police Chief Mike Beaty said in a statement that crews found Conicello’s husband, 70-year-old James Conicello, who had sustained burn injuries and was found in the rear of the home by police and firefighters. Beaty says “extensive fire was engulfing the entire structure” at the time.
Conicello was transported to Bryn Mawr Emergency for treatment. A spokeswoman reportedly stated that he was in fair condition.
Firefighters have rescued eight people trapped by a three-alarm fire at an apartment building in Burtonsville, fire officials said.
Montgomery County Fire officials say approximately 100 firefighters have responded to the 14000 block of Castle Boulevard near Silver Spring. The fire started just after 7:20 a.m. Friday.
Upon arrival, crews found heavy fire on the ground floor of the building, officials say. The fire had also spread to the upper floors, stranding several residents, who firefighters rescued using ladders.
Captain Oscar Garcia, spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, says fire crews were alerted to the blaze in the 14000 block of Castle Boulevard around 7:23 Friday morning. Firefighters arriving on scene found the apartment building fully involved. Captain Garcia confirms they have called for a second alarm.
Three, maybe four people had to be rescued from the upper floors of the apartment building, officials said.
It is believed that everyone got out of the building safely, officials said. Firefighters had to evacuated the structure after it got too dangerous for them to fight the fire, officials said.
They then performed an “exterior attack,” with hoses and ladders.
WRC-TV in Washington aired a story last night about a 911 call for trouble breathing in Montgomery County, Maryland where the call taker fell asleep. The News4 I-Team story by Tisha Thompson and Rick Yarborough says the dispatcher is a veteran uniformed firefighter who was in the 17th hour of a 24-hour shift on overtime and can be heard snoring on the recording of that 911 call (above).
“The employee was immediately removed from the floor by his supervisor that night and placed on administrative leave with pay pending the inquiry,” Montgomery County Assistant Fire Chief Scott Graham said.
The News4 I-Team found Montgomery County dispatchers work twice as long as other dispatchers in the D.C. area. In Fairfax County, dispatchers work 12.5-hour shifts. In Prince George’s County they work a 12-hour shift. The District has a 10-hour shift.
(IAFF Local 1664 Vice President Jeffrey) Buddle said while a 24-hour shift “may seem like a long shift to someone who’s not used to that schedule, it’s something that’s just normal for a firefighter to work.”
Both he and Graham say this is the first time someone has fallen asleep during a 24-hour shift.
No one was injured, Assistant Chief Scott Graham said. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at approximately 3:30 p.m.
“The homeowner was working on a piece of engine equipment in the basement when it fell over and landed on a can of brake cleaner,” Graham said in a statement. A water heater pilot light ignited the brake cleaner’s fumes, and the fire extended up the walls and into the first and second floors.
Some interesting developments in the news about plans to change the structure and authority of volunteer fire commissions in both Prince George's County and Montgomery County.
In PG, County Executive Rushern Baker, in hopes that a compromise can be worked out, pulled back emergency legislation yesterday that would radically change the Prince George's County Fire Commission. The original plan would have Baker appoint commission members who live in the county and add career firefighter and civilian members to the panel. Currently, the all-volunteer commission is elected by the volunteer departments. The latest version keeps those changes but the commission would maintain control of its budget.
“The fire chief has advised the county executive that due to the tremendous efforts of our volunteers … they should be given an additional opportunity to come to a consensus on this reorganization, ” Brad Frome, Baker’s deputy chief of staff, told the council Tuesday.
A new executive order that maintains the residency requirement and changes to the appointment process but does not revoke the commission's authority over the $12 million in budget funds, was to be introduced Tuesday afternoon, Frome said. That order would not go into effect until March 1, which the administration feels is ample time to reach a compromise and alter the legislation as needed.
In Montgomery County, County Executive Isiah Leggett appears to be not quite as passionate as Chief Richard Bowers about removing the commission's veto power over the chief's orders.
“I agree with the sentiment of trying to provide some level of conformity and some level of direct manning and control and having the chief far more supported than he is today,” said Leggett, who did not attend the public hearing. “There’s still a question that this bill might be able to do that.”
Leggett said he has heard of alternatives but declined to say what they are. Both Bowers and Marcine D. Goodloe, president of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association, say they remain firm on their stances. Bowers: chuck the veto entirely. Goodloe: keep it as it stands.
It is an interesting time in the neighboring counties of Montgomery and Prince George's in Maryland. Each county has bills readied that would significantly alter the relationship between the fire commission and the fire chief. Both proposals would shift power away from volunteers and to the career chief. This morning, The Washington Post's Victor Zapana has an article looking at the issues in each county.
On Tuesday, (Montgomery County) Council members Marc Elrich (D-At Large) and George L. Leventhal (D-At Large) will propose legislation that would take away the veto power of the commission, which has volunteer, union and civilian members.
The bill is the latest salvo in the struggle over how volunteers fit in local communities that were once once largely rural but now are mostly suburban and even becoming urban.
Montgomery County is not alone in grappling with the issue. Next door, Prince George’s County is considering changes, too.
On Tuesday, County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) will present the Prince George’s County Council with two bills to remake the county’s fire commission and strip it of supervisory and budgeting powers.
In both counties, the volunteers oppose the bills.
Charleston Fire Chief Tom Carr told his firefighters yesterday that illness will force him to step down from his post on March 1 of next year. Chief Carr took over the department in November, 2008 after retiring as chief of Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service in Maryland. He has helped the Charleston Fire Department recover after the staggering loss of nine firefighters at the Sofa Super Store fire of June 18, 2007.
Andy Paras and Glenn Smith, writing in The Post and Courier, say that Carr "transformed a struggling department into a modern firefighting force."
A visit early this year found Chief Carr with his usual sharp mind and a strong determination to continue to lead despite the toll the disease was taking on his body. Equally impressive was the amazing support the chief continued to receive from Charleston firefighters who have stood by him in this battle.
Carr, 57, briefed city firefighters on his decision during a morning assembly at the Charleston Maritime Center. He then released a statement explaining that his medical problems had taken a turn for the worse.
Carr said his neurologist recently found that he has a more serious condition known as multiple systems atrophy, which is among the more severe syndromes of Parkinson's. The condition progresses more rapidly and doesn't respond well to medication, he said.
Mayor Joe Riley has announced he will conduct a nationwide search for a new chief.
My most recent visit to the neurologist brought good and bad news that I need to share with you. Physically, my doctor said I looked better than I did 6 months earlier but he had life changing news.
As we've discussed previously, Parkinson's is difficult to diagnose and as it has been in my case. My initial diagnosis was tennis elbow and it wasn't until later that I was diagnosed with slow developing Parkinson's.
Parkinsonism is a group of neurological disorders or syndromes. Parkinson's is the most common and slowest developing. Unfortunately, my doctor now believes I have one of the more severe syndromes of Parkinsonism. The syndrome is known as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). MSA is a rapidly developing, debilitating condition that doesn't respond well to medication.
As a result of this change in my diagnosis and prognosis, I will be retiring on March 1, 2012. For the next six months we will continue to focus on moving the Department forward as a search for my replacement is conducted.
Recent rains in the Washington area have sent the Potomac River out of its banks. The two big stories so far are the rescue of a woman caught on video in Montgomery County, Maryland and the flooding of the Georgetown waterfront in DC.
Some businesses in the Washington Harbor area of the Georgetown waterfront were evacuated as a precaution about 10 a.m., said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the D.C. fire department. The department shut off gas and electric utilities between 8 and 9 a.m., as rising water flooded the basement and parking garage, submerging some parked cars.
Katherine Siahaan, who works at Gelateria Dolce Vita and arrived about 7:30 a.m., said “We didn’t think it was going to be any trouble, but the water kept rising.” By 10 a.m., barstools and a cash register were floating around inside the shop.
Tony and Joe’s restaurant sustained the most damage, Piringer said. Most of the damage could have been avoided had the floodwall been in place, he said.
“We were quite surprised when we arrived on the scene and the floodwall wasn’t erected,” Piringer said. Around noon, with the help of a crane, the floodwall was raised.
A spokeswoman for the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department has told Gazette.net, "As of 0700 hours Sunday morning, we suffered the most devastating loss of leadership in the history of the department. Both our chief and our president have resigned, [and] the majority of our operating officers have resigned their positions as well."
This is the latest development in the battle between the leadership at Burtonsville and Montgomery County Chief Richard Bowers.
Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Chief Robert E. Ryan and four other senior volunteer officials resigned from their posts as Burtonsville volunteers Saturday while also requesting demotions from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service that oversees both career and volunteer firefighters countywide.
The move came in response to county fire and rescue service Chief Richard R. Bowers' Feb. 24 decision to transfer command of the Burtonsville station to career firefighters following complaints that the station's volunteers were mistreating their career counterparts, even urinating on the door handles of career firefighters' vehicles, said county fire and rescue spokesman Assistant Chief Scott Graham. Volunteer officials contested the complaints, saying those that were found to be substantive had been investigated and dealt with while also arguing that Bowers' action was illegal, said Burtonsville Volunteer Firefighter Department spokeswoman Tami Bulla.
Since Saturday, a steady number of volunteers have shown up to help the department staff its emergency response vehicles, according to both Graham and Bulla.
At least two command-level volunteers, a captain and a lieutenant, remain active with the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department, Bulla said, but the long-term future of volunteers at the station is uncertain.
In a move that some firefighters said is long overdue, Montgomery County took over operations at the Burtonsville Volunteer Fire Department in Montgomery County last week.
What’s allegedly taken place over the last year prompted this drastic step: Public urination, fornication, destruction of property and delays in responding to calls, according to the Montgomery County Fire Department spokesman Scott Graham.
Some firefighters at Station 15 said the situation has become so bad that no one wants to work at the station anymore.
The head of the Montgomery County Career Firefighters’ Association put it this way: “It’s a zoo and the animals have been running the zoo.”
Above is the story on the 2009 incident where a career firefighter was urinated on by a firehouse guest.
In a memo chief Richard Bowers sent out Thursday, anyone now entering the station must report to an on-duty career officer. They must also follow any orders that officers issues.
While leadership there has been put on notice, the volunteers can still carry out their duties. The department spokesman said citizens are still safe.
The man who leads the county’s volunteer fire fighters said this is retaliation for the volunteers’ activities working to oppose the county’s failed ambulance fee proposal.
Eric Bernard, of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, admits there was a volunteer who brought a guest who urinated in a bunk bed. But he said that was dealt with in 2009.
Melvyn Newman shakes the hands of the first responders at Fire Station 23.
He survived his first heart attack during the snow storm that trapped the area’s commuters in a massive gridlock, Jan. 26, 2011. Through the thunder snow, four first responders treated and transported Newman in a fire engine.
“They were very efficient, capable, and cool, fortunately, knew what they were doing,” says Newman who later choked up and says words cannot fully express his gratitude to his rescuers.
During snow fall, Newman felt tightness in his chest after shoveling his driveway around 7 p.m. His wife, Linda Singer, saw him lying down inside the house. She realized he was suffering from a heart attack and dialed 9-1-1.
“He was just totally white, no coloring at all, and he was shaking like a leaf,” says Linda Singer. She says after getting the busy tone a few times, she got through to a dispatcher. Four first responders arrived in a fire engine.
Lead paramedic Dwayne Dutrow says he was determined to get Newman to Suburban Hospital before his heart stopped.
The snow storm slowed down the rescue. The crew treated and transported Newman to the hospital in 18 minutes, according to Dutrow.
The fire engine navigated its way around stranded cars and snow- covered roads.
“I tried to figure the best way to get there, stay away from hilly terrain and go as flat as possible,” says Lawrence Morton, the driver.
“It was unprecedented and the traffic conditions were terrible at best,” says Montgomery County Fire Chief Richard Bowers.
The physicians at Suburban hospital said he had ten or fifteen more minutes before he might not have survived the heart attack, according to Newman.
Fire Chief Bowers says Newman’s rescue is a shining example of the importance of the work done by four-person first responder teams.
Ignoring the rules saved the day: A Grafton, Vermont volunteer lieutenant and his chief have an honest discussion about how breaking a department rule saved the life of an elderly woman. Richard Thompson isn’t supposed to go directly to the scene of a fire when the call is dispatched. But he’s glad he did.
Tragedy in Baltimore: A picture was sent our way late yesterday showing the fire conditions on Homewood Avenue in East Baltimore yesterday morning. That’s where three children and three adults were killed. If you missed it, we also have fireground audio and news coverage of the two-alarm fire. Click here.
Video from Jersey City, New Jersey fire: The two-alarm fire was eight days ago in a vacant house. Ed Gray got his usual up close video. You can find it here.
New Jersey steroid story fallout: The Star Ledger investigation we told you about Sunday of a dead doctor’s former practice that prescribed anabolic steroids and HGH to hundreds of cops and firefighters continues with articles yesterday and today. Here’s Part 3 with links to the other stories. While looking into all of this, the reporters discovered a firefighter/patient of the practice who retired on disability from a New Jersey department and is now working in North Carolina. Here’s that story.
Paid administrative staff for volunteers cut following defeat of ambulance transport fee: In Maryland, the Montgomery County Council has agreed to cut 20 administrative positions for the county’s volunteer fire departments in an effort to reduce mid-year spending. Some see it as retaliation for volunteers leading the charge against an EMS transport fee County Executive Isiah Leggett and his staff say would have brought in 14 million much needed dollars. At the same time the council refused to eliminate 11 ambulances. Here’s more.
Where’s the fire?: Bill Carey at BackstepFirefighter.com knows the answer but reporters don’t. A fire in Prince George’s County last night near Fed Ex Field has the news media describing the location with the names of four different communities or towns. Two are municipalities whose borders are far from the scene of the fire. One problem, which I always ranted about when I was in the news business, is news people and PIOs using the post office address. For example, Capitol Heights, Maryland has a post office that covers a very large swath of PG County. But it’s a tiny town. Many years ago I would get regular calls from the mayor and former fire chief of Morningside, Maryland Gerald Glaubitz. Mayor Glaubitz, who I knew well, would give me on the line to give me a great deal of grief because my TV station referred to a violent crime as being in his little town near Andrews AFB when it was actually outside the borders. Read more about this issue, the fire, and watch an interview with the new PGFD chief, Marc Bashoor, at BackstepFirefighter.com.
U.K. firefighter admits siren caused elderly man to die: You may recall the story of the firefighter who blew a siren starting a stampede that killed a farmer. Now that firefighter admits he is to blame in a plea deal. Read more.
Husband & wife firefighters file suit against Cape Cod fire district: In Cotuit there is a rather complicated story involving a fire captain and his firefighter wife. They have filed suit claiming discrimination. Politics apparently plays a big role in this case. Take a look.
Geezer must have been nice: He’s got Santa hawking his Firegeezer mugs. A nice gift for all those old firefighters in your life. Check it out.
Fire chiefs take on road crews: In Missouri two local fire chiefs go after the state roads department claiming they aren’t doing enough to keep the highways clear during storms. State officials say otherwise.
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.
Fire yesterday in the 13300 block of Query Mill Road in Potomac, Maryland. Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service Captain Oscar Garcia says firefighters received the call at 5:21 PM and found fire on both floors of the home. This is an area of the county without fire hydrants. Two people who were home at the time escaped unharmed.
What it looked like on arrival. Photo by Chief Larry Gaddis, Bethesda Fire Department.
Montgomery and Prince George’s County fire departments joined Park Police in an unusual rescue operation in the woods just off New Hampshire Avenue Thursday evening.
It started when Hedin Drive resident Sarah Lesher was walking her dogs Muppet and Ginger along a ridge in those woods at about 5 p.m. Muppet, the 15-year-old Belgian Shepherd whose hips have been described as a disaster area by her vet, took a bad step and tumbled 200 feet down a steep hill into a ravine.
Lesher had a friend call for help and then returned to the top of the hill.
“I slid down on my butt, never falling, and found her standing in a pool of water. I got her out of the water and got her onto a ledge and stood there and wedged her onto the ledge with my knee, and that’s where we stood while we waited,” she said.
Lesher was soon joined by a Park Police officer who helped her keep Muppet calm while about two dozen rescue workers fashioned a hauling system to pull the three back to safety.
“I was lashed into the basket and the dog was then loaded on top of me and the officer held the dog and the basket and we all got pulled up,” Lesher said.
“It took us about an hour and a half to get them safely out of the ravine,” said Captain Oscar Garcia of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Department.
“We took a lot of safety precautions in performing this task and, fortunately, again, nobody was injured,” Garcia said.
Muppet was carried through the woods and into her home by her rescuers.
A few minutes later, Muppet, Ginger, and Sarah were on Hedin Drive again, finishing their walk.
Ambulance fee defeated in Montgomery County, Maryland: In an extremely controversial campaign that pitted career versus volunteer, voters soundly rejected the idea of billing insurance companies for EMS service in Montgomery County. The vote was 135,000 to 116,000. Without the fee, county officials have warned of significant budget cuts for fire and EMS that could include the loss of 100 career firefighter positions. Read details.
Fire based EMS to remain in Sheboygan, Wisconsin: It was a narrow victory separated by 500 votes but a move to take EMS from the Sheboygan Fire Department and farm it out to the private sector was defeated. Chief Jeff Hermann sees this as a victory for the citizens. Read more.
Child born hours after mother escapes fire that killed two other children: A pregnant woman suffering from smoke inhalation gave birth shortly after escaping a fire in Norman, Oklahoma. The fire took the lives of two young children and injured others in the Larkins family. Here’s the story.
Video of a 1989 close call in Phoenix: Video and lessons learned in an old video from Phoenix showing the crew from Ladder 27 falling though the roof of a home with a lightweight truss roof. Here’s a look back.
No love here: As expected, the man accused of stealing a helmet from Boston’s Ladder 26 isn’t getting much sympathy from STATter911.com readers. If you haven’t seen it, here are the video and the comments.
Reasons to laugh: I offered an olive branch to my friend and mutual tormentor Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz yesterday and sang his praises for giving us a reason to laugh (other than at him) with a great video posted yesterday showing the cops view of fire and EMS on the scene of a highway crash. Click here if you haven’t seen it (it’s worth the time). The good will didn’t last long because Rhett’s good friend, and our fellow blogger, Willie Wines, went and ruined it all by having us once again laugh at Rhett Fleitz, the King of the fire/EMS blogs. Long live the king. If you are really bored, but need a really good laugh, click here.
A serious blog: While I am wasting your time with the foolishness above, over at Firegeezer.com they take their fire and EMS news seriously. Geezer and FossilMedic have a bunch of good postings, including the latest from the strike in London and an update on Roseville, California shopping mall fire and sprinkler controversy. Click here and scroll down.
Another community surprised by firefighter OT: In what as been a pattern in recent years, a news organization is doing a story how firefighters are making as much money as top city managers. This time it’s Long Beach, California where some firefighters and officers have doubled their salaries by working a lot of overtime. Here are the details.
Minneapolis concerns: Firefighters talk about past and future cuts and how it impacts fireground operations and safety for citizens and firefighters. The story is illustrated by a deadly fire in April. Here’s more.