What's wrong with this picture? Click the video above to watch this street drama unfold.
No date on this Detroit house fire on Temple Street between Park Avenue and Woodward Avenue. (UPDATE – Dennis Walus was kind enough to track this down and confirmed the fire was on Saturday at 72 Temple Street.)
The description says there is a ”man trapped upstairs claiming people downstairs were shooting at him” and that the area was “soon swarming with police.”
As Engine 1 drops its lines in front of the structure, look who is kind enough to catch the plug for them. It took a little bit before the cop got the message that unless he has a pump built into that cruiser he better move it.
While we are on the subject of Detroit, STATter911.com reader and contributor Paul Bassett (who knows his way around both a crime scene and a fireground), recently posted the video below from his July visit. Paul’s still photos can be found here.
Pennsylvania apartment fire: This fire was reported at 1:45 Monday morning at the Willow Creek Apartments in Ephrata Township (Lancaster County). Two alarms were sounded. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries. It is a fairly new sprinklered building, but news reports indicate the fire began outside, on the balcony of a third floor apartment. Read more.
Update on Baltimore’s Jeffrey Novack: The Baltimore City firefighter continues to recover from many broken bones and serious burns following the April 7 fire at 3910 Liberty Heights Avenue. Jeffrey Novack’s home town paper in Pennsylvania talked with his firefighter/radio reporter dad Al, who provided a lot more details about his son’s condition. Here’s the story.
Ammo takes firefighter’s eye: That’s the latest on Ventura County, California Firefighter Paul Torres. You may recall he was hit on April 5 by exploding ammunition during a house fire. Read and watch the story.
Brain drain in Fairfax County: Darryl Louder is the latest assistant chief leaving the Fairfax County Fire Rescue Department for a chief’s job. Chief Louder is getting about as far away as he can get from us. He’s been picked to run the Contra Costa Fire District in California. Read more. By contrast, Assistant Chief Dave Rohr is staying about as close as he can get to his old office. It was announced earlier in the month Chief Rohr is walking across the street to take over as chief of the City of Fairfax Fire Department.
Video from substation fire: Click here and here for good video of a Pinellas County, Florida electrical substation burning last night and a foam truck moving in to put out the fire.
911 calls from Austin plane crash into IRS office: Austin police released the recordings of the calls about the fiery plane crash into the building housing the IRS on February 18. WUSA9.com’s Emily Cyr loaded them into our player (at the upper right of the blog). You can listen to the calls here, here, here, here, here, here and here. We also have the calls made about the fire at pilot Joe Stack’s home here, and here. Read more.
NIOSH wants Massachusetts to require seat belts for firefighters: One of the recommendations following the January, 2009 crash of Ladder 26 that killed Lt. Kevin Kelley. Read the report.
Also in Boston, Globe wants the pay raise slashed: Editorial writers at the Boston Globe are urging the City Council to reduce the 19-percent raise for firefighters over four-years cleared by an arbitration panel that also ordered mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Read the view from the paper.
Two go through the floor in Columbus, Ohio: We have the fireground audio from FireSceneAudio.com and video of yesterday morning’s fire that took the life of a woman and injured two firefighters. Click here.
Audio from Houston crash: You have likely seen the pictures of Houston Fire Department’s Engine 13 following Monday’s crash into the underside of a freeway overpass. Here’s the radio traffic.
Firefighter and son could face murder charges: Now that a 55-year-old man has died from an April 8 beating, a Philadelphia firefighter and his son are expected to be charged with murder. The pair are accused of attacking Mark Wallace and fleeing the scene after Wallace walked in front of their car. Here’s the story.
4th-alarm in Park Ridge, New Jersey: The fire destroyed the Krell Lighting and Electrical Supplies building at 70 Park Avenue on Friday night. STATter911.com reader Paul Bassett shot this video and has many photos here. FirefightingNews.com has more on the fire.
Read DC internal report into 2007 fire that left four firefighters injured: We have the 100-page report that takes a close up look at the October, 2007 fire on 4th Street, NE. Four firefighters were burned after being trapped on the second floor of an adjoining rowhouse. We also have the video put together by Chief Dennis Rubin giving a tour of the structures. There are links to the original fireground video by Vito Maggiolo and a few other extras. Click here for our coverage.
The fire chief and the council member – the latest: DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Dennis Rubin and Council member Phil Mendelson were face-to-face twice in just five days. As you can imagine, there wasn’t a lot the two men agreed on and in one of the hearings there were a few fireworks. Click here for the videos.
Reporter takes a closer look at Virginia fire where woman died while talking to 911: Dan Telvock at the Free Lance – Star delves deeper into the February fire in Spotsylvania County where Sandy Hill died. This was the fire where the woman was on the phone for about 20 minutes with 911 as firefighters tried repeatedly to find her in the two-story Cape Cod. The fire itself was relatively small, confined to a hallway and closet on the first floor. Hill was on the second floor. The door leading to her room had no doorknob. Telvock’s article focuses on lack of ventilation, ladders not being raised to the second floor and thermal imaging cameras sitting in the rigs unused. An investigation into the fireground operations is ongoing. Here’s Dan’s follow-up story. Here is the previous coverage.
Not only do the firefighters get their jobs back, but the chief who fired them is sent packing: We told you last week about the two top union officials in Butler Township, Ohio who went to court to successfully get their jobs back after being fired in 2008. A judge believes they were fired for union activities and not for viewing inappropriate material on the job. Now comes word that the man who fired them is on his way out. News reports indicate Chief Robert Weiffenbach is on administrative leave as details are worked out on his separation from the department. Here’s the story.
Firefighters mistaken for terrorists: Firegeezer has the unusual story of a group of firefighters from Spain who were in France for a mountain climbing class. Somehow their pictures were flashed across both countries as being part of a terrorist group from Spain involved in the killing of a police officer. Sounds like this could be the makings of a movie script. Geezer tries to straighten it out.
Speaking of movies, Sam Statter is not going to be happy about this fire news: It looks like I am going to have to break the news to my 10-year-old son that Hogwarts Castle burned on Friday night. Pyrotechnics were being used on the London set of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows when things got a little out of hand. Read the details (at least dad is writing about something important for a change).
Firefighter who is county commissioner is accused of interfering when his business burns, but chief doesn’t believe discipline is needed: An interesting story from Grand Traverse County, Michigan. A captain/fire inspector wrote a strong letter to the chief saying Anthony Wheelock Jr. and his family got in the way of firefighters as the family business burned. This included claims relatives got up on the roof in an effort to prevent a vent hole from being cut. Wheelock clasims the letter ”is full of unsubstantiated allegations”. The fire chief says there is no need for discipline. Here’s the story.
Councilman told he can come onto the fireground, but police officer says otherwise: A member of the Phoenix City Council, who is also a former cop, is handcuffed and put onto the ground when his neighbor’s home caught fire. The fire department confirms a battalion chief told the councilman it was okay to be there, but that went against the wishes of the police officer. Check it out.
Two firefighters killed in North Carolina: FireNews.Net and Firefighter Close Calls have the story of Jeremy Bolick and Tommy Wright, two young Blowing Rock firefighters killed in a car crash.
Funeral arrangements in West Virginia: The funeral will be Wednesday for Glasgow Firefighter Donnie Adkins who died when the boat he was in capsized during flooding. Click here for the details.
Way too much coverage for a man who didn’t have enough: A TV station in Dallas went all out after a man paraded naked on a billboard near its studios and the fire department came to the rescue. It seemed a little much as they covered this one from every angle. For that matter, a fire service blog, whose standards are apparently no better than the National Enquirer, also went a little overboard with its coverage. But, then again, who am I to judge? It’s you who is still reading this junk. So, in case you missed it, here it is.
Firefighter celebrates anniversary of cheating death by posting video of the close call: This is an interesting seven-year-old video of a Colorado roof collapse that nearly clobbered a firefighter. Click here.
Firefighter charged as peeper in firehouse: Police say a St. Lucie County, Florida firefighter was caught in the act of spying on a paramedic intern who was taking a shower in the firehouse. Here is the latest and here is our initial coverage.
Two days ago we gave you some insight into the problems in Detroit, Michigan, its dilapidated firehouses and how money that was allocated to fix up the stations was squandered. Now, comes the NIOSH report on the death of Firefighter Walter Harris and its focus on other parts of the infrastructure of a very troubled city.
I happened to get up early on Saturday, November 15, 2008 and the first thing I saw on the computer was someone alerting me to a LODD in Detroit. Trying to get out as much information as I could get my hands on about Firefighter Walter Harris’ death, I have to say I was stopped in my tracks when I came across a then seven-month-old video on The Detroit News website. I think I realized it before the paper did that Walter Harris was featured in that story. What stuck me, besides the oversized personality of Harris that seemed to come right through the lens, was this quote which I originally posted that morning as a caption for the picture above:
“Breaks you heart. Breaks your heart. Breaks your heart. I am sure every guy here would say the same thing: breaks your heart. And all of these guys here man, do whatever they can for the people here in the city”. The words of Firefighter Walter Harris in an April, 2008 interview with The Detroit News on the decay, the vacant buildings and the state of the fire department.
I am sorry to say I can no longer find that video on the paper’s website or elsewhere. It gave very good insight into what the firefighters of Detroit face and how, as firefighters tend to do, they make it work despite unbelievable problems and neglect. A regular STATter911.com reader, Paul Bassett, recently put together a video of images from Detroit that focuses on the firefighters and the crumbling city.
It was one of those vacant buildings that Walt Harris talked about that took the 38-year-old firefighter’s life. With the NIOSH report. we go from the emotional and anecdotal to the clinical view of why Harris died. Click the link to read the whole report. Below, are conclusions published by NIOSH:
ensure that the incident commander conducts a risk-versus-gain analysis prior to committingto interior operations in vacant/abandoned structures and continues the assessment throughout the operations
ensure SOPs are developed for fighting fires in vacant/abandoned buildings
ensure that the incident commander maintains close accountability for all personnel operating on the fireground
ensure that a separate incident safety officer, independent from the incident commander, is appointed at each structure fire
ensure that a respiratory protection program is in place to provide for the selection, care, maintenance, and use of respiratory protection equipment, including PASS devices.
be aware of programs that provide assistance in obtaining alternative funding, such as grant funding, to replace or purchase fire equipment that can support critical fire department operations.
Additionally, municipalities and local authorities having jurisdiction should:
develop strategies for the prevention of and the remediation of vacant/abandoned structures and for arson prevention.
Although there is no evidence that the following recommendations could have prevented this fatality, NIOSH investigators recommend that fire departments:
ensure that an EMS unit is on scene and available for fire fighter emergency care at working structure fires
develop inspection criteria to ensure that all protective ensembles meet the requirements of NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting
One we missed: This three-alarm house fire is from Belleville, New Jersey way back in 2009. December 28 to be exact. Paul Bassett sends it along. Paul writes this about the fire at 98 Division- “Fire was in a 2 1/2 story wood frame and appeared to start in the basement and race up the walls into the attic. Belleville was assisted on scene by Nutley, North Arlington, Bloomfield, Montclair and Kearny”. Paul’s still photos from the fire can be found here.
Click here to listen to the emergency radio traffic from the dumpster explosion that killed Firefighter Steven Koeser.
Emergency radio traffic from fatal dumpster explosion in Wisconsin: We have radio traffic from both the fire department and the sheriff’s department as they dealt with the dumpster fire on December 29 that killed St. Anna Firefighter Steven Koeser. Click here for our coverage.
Arbitrator rules for veteran captain after a near collision between a train & fire truck: This is a really interesting story from Billings, Montana. In November of 2008 a fire truck from Station 2 was responding on an EMS run. It was stopped at the railroad tracks to let a train pass. Once the train went by, the rig went around the gates only to find a coal train bearing down on them on the other track. It was apparently a close call, but there was no collision. Captain Ron Martin didn’t report the incident, but the railroad did. After having an assistant chief look into the matter, Chief Paul Dextras put a letter of reprimand into the captain’s file. Captain Martin and IAFF Local 521 fought the disciplinary action and won. The arbitrator sided cited a lack of fairness in how the investigation was handled. Read the details in the Billings Gazette.
You know something is wrong with the contest if this blog got nominated: The FireCritic.com Fire/EMS Blog of the Year 2009 contest showed just how low they could go. STATter911.com has been picked as one of the ten finalists. I am much like Groucho Marx and not sure I want to be a part of something that would have me. My money is still on Firegeezer. But the voting is now underway and lasts until January 12. Click here to vote.
Fire department radio traffic from Illinois plane crash: Fire crews had a tough time immediately finding the crash of a small cargo jet in Wheeling, Illinois. As more information came in, they found the wreckage in the Des Plaines River. Both crew members were dead. Click here for our coverage.
Boston firefighters catch burglar in the act at firehouse: On Monday night Boston firefighters had just returned from a fire to the quarters of Engine 42/ Rescue 2 in Roxbury when they found a visitor inside the firehouse. The man was not an invited guest and had a bag with property belonging to the firefighters. He didn’t get far and at last word was in jail. Read more. Thanks to our New England Bureau Chief Jimmy Daly for the tip.
Looking closely at the roof: In Modesto, California, where Engineer Jim Adams remains in a medically induced coma due to burns over 40% of his body, investigators were back at the scene yesterday of the New Year’s Night house fire. They are trying to figure out why the roof of the home collapsed so quickly sending Adams and Firefighter Jim Clevenger into the fire below. Here is the latest.