Video from Frank Wesnoski (fwesnosk) from a house fire on Wednesday at 640 W. Rolling Road in Springfield Township, Pennsylvania (Delaware County).
From video description:
Pd arrived reporting 2nd floor fully involved. 44-9 requested a working fire dispatch, he arrived reporting fire through the roof and a hydrant right out front. 44-1 came right in and went in service with 2 2 ½ lines 56 put a blitzfire on the exposure which was already taking heat damage to the siding. Tower 44 put 2 elevated master streams in service and knocked the bulk of the fire. Crews then went interior with extensive overhaul and salvage.
Three people were routed from their beds by an early morning fire that caused significant damage to their Rolling Road home.
An unidentified jogger passing by 640 W. Rolling Road at about 4:45 a.m. on Wednesday saw flames coming from the roof of the two-story house. He banged on the front door of the home, alerting the two residents and their 5-year-old grandson to the fire. All three escaped without injury.
“Nobody should judge me on one incident,” is the message TribLive.com reporter Liz Zemba got in a phone conversation with Uniontown, Pennsylvania (Fayette County) Fire Chief Chuck Coldren yesterday, three days after his tirade against a citizen with a camera was posted to YouTube. The citizen is self-described activist Chris Shellhammer who, along with his mother, has been involved in protests at the courthouse and police station and regularly videos police activity.
Uniontown Mayor Ed Fike, who says the incident will be investigated, reiterated what he told other reporters, “For him to come unglued like that, somebody had to provoke him.” But according to reporter Zemba, who has seen additional raw video shot by Shellhammer, there is no indiction of anything leading up to the confrontation.
“I’ve devoted 40-plus years of public service to the city of Uniontown,” Coldren said. “I’ve always been totally professional. People who don’t know me have no right to judge me.”
“They were at a bomb scare, where people are in harm’s way, and you’re trying to keep people out of harm’s way,” Fike said. “It’s not like Chuck is a mean, degrading, terrible person, because he isn’t.”
“There are two sides to every story,” Fike said. “We have to look at the video and talk to Chuck to get to the real cause of it to determine whatever the reprimand will be, if anything.”
Some thoughts on how Uniontown is dealing with this incident. When a man dressed in civilian clothes, screams “leave” to a citizen standing in an area that is not blocked off and the citizen asks who he is, if your first answer is “I’m the fire chief, do you want to f#$*ing argue with me?”, you should be throwing in the towel immediately. Stop trying to defend the indefensible, making excuses and looking for ways to justify the chief’s response and his apparent threat to do bodily harm to the citizen. All you are doing now is stretching this story into multiple days of news coverage and making sure that even more people see how stupid your fire chief looks and how lame your excuses are.
There should have been an apology from day one. With the apology should be an explanation from the mayor and fire chief that Uniontown and it’s officials recognize the rights of citizens to take pictures along with an announcement that guidelines are in place to prevent this from happening again.
If these leaders have any sense, something similar to that will ultimately occur anyway. It almost always does. Why wait and destroy your credibility and image further? Swallow your pride, get over yourself and deal with it like reponsible leaders.
In addition, if you are the person promising an investigation, when you make a statement that “somebody had to provoke him” when there is no clear evidence in the public record to back up that point, you are letting everyone know that getting to the bottom of what happened may not be your real goal.
There was a lot to learn in the original video showing the chief going nuclear and there is a lot to learn from how Uniontown is handling the fallout.
We introduced you to Chuck Coldren Tuesday night. He is the career fire chief of Uniontown, Pennsylvania (Fayette County) making a little more than $56,000 per year. The chief, wearing a t-shirt and shorts, let Uniontown resident Chris Shellhammer have it on Monday at an emergency incident. Shellhammer’s video is now making news. Local newspapers and at least two Pittsburgh TV stations did the story yesterday trying to get to the bottom of the fire chief’s tirade.
It turns out Chief Coldren missed his latest turn on camera because he is on vacation and reporters could not reach him at his home or office. This left Mayor Ed Fike to answer for Uniontown. Upon seeing the video, Mayor Fiske described Chief Coldren as a low-key guy who had to have been provoked to act that way. Shellhammer claims there was no provocation. The mayor told reporters there will now be an investigation and if an apology is warranted he is sure the chief will have no problem doing that.
The video has prompted lots of discussion with hundreds of comments posted on STATter911.com and related Facebook pages and many other forums. Only a couple of people have come to the chief’s defense so far.
Uniontown resident Chris Shellhammer likes to know what’s going on in his neighborhood. So when he saw police and fire vehicles near his home on Monday, he walked over to see what he could see. He also started capturing video with his cellphone.
In the video, Uniontown Fire Chief Charles Coldren approaches Shellhammer in plain clothes and ask him to move back, which Shellhammer does. Shellhammer suggests the area should be taped off if the public is not allowed. That’s when the encounter escalates.
“You’re not going to tell me how to do my (expletive) job. Now, if you want to keep running your lip I’ll have you (expletive) arrested. You can record me all you want. I don’t give a flying (expletive),” Coldren says in the video.
It’s important to note, Shellhammer described himself and his family members as “community activists,” and they’ve become known in the community as a result. Shellhammer said he’s skeptical of authority and often joins protests at the Fayette County courthouse. However, in the Internet video, Shellhammer’s responses don’t seem to warrant Coldren’s responses and, at one point, Coldren appears to challenge Shellhammer to a fight.
“You want to put that down and take it to another level?” Coldren said in the video. “Let’s go.”
Action News went to Coldren’s Uniontown home looking for answers but he didn’t answer the door. An employee at the fire station said he is on vacation until next week. Channel 4 was first to show Uniontown Mayor Ed Fike the Internet video, which has now been viewed more than 5,000 times.
“You only hear one side of it, not that that makes either side right,” Fike said.
As you watch this, I will be the first to admit, other than what is evident on the video, I have no clue what kind of scene this was or what the person with the camera did or didn’t do to warrant the expletives coming from the man who says on the video he is the “fire chief”. What I do know is that, much like Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Captain Greg Smart’s infamous on camera tirade, this is probably not the best way for professionals who deal with public to handle with this situation. Even if you are right, you undermine your own authority and reputation with actions like this caught on camera.
The description with the video from ccspagan simply asks, “Is this how public officials should treat taxpayers?”
At 18:04 Lehigh County Fire Dispatch sent Engine 33 and Ladder 33 (Han-Le-Co) for an apartment building fire at 568 Cedar Hill Drive (Allendale Apartments). With multiple calls being received, Chief 33 (Yoder) special-called Stations 2 (Catasauqua), 15 (Hanover, Northampton County) and EMS 75 for a full response before arriving on location. They were dispatched at 18:10. Ladder 33 arrived on scene and the chief reported a working fire in a two-story apartment building with heavy fire on the top floor.
Firefighters stretched 3 lines and started an exterior attack. They were getting reports of a dog inside the fire apartment. Once firefighters gained entry and started to advance in via the stairwell to the second floor apartment, Catasauqua Firefighter Duke Hartranft found the dog un-responsive at the bottom of the stairwell. Moments later, the dog came through and was walking around.
Some other views of a fire in Yeadon, Pennsylvania (Delaware County) on Saturday courtesy of OneNineTruck of the Lansdowne Fire Company.
Here’s some of the description with the video:
Truck 19 arriving at a working fire in the Borough of Yeadon. The inside crew found fire on the first floor extending to the second floor where they then split up doing searches on all floors. The OVM and Driver/Operator threw ladders, forced entry, ventilated, secured utilities, and made their way to the roof.
A building in downtown Philadelphia has collapsed, crushing a nearby structure and killing one person. Authorities have rescued 13 people and are digging to see if anyone else remains trapped beneath the rubble.
“I was parked on 21st just heading to Market Street, next thing you know it felt like an earthquake,” said Bernie Ditomo, a truck driver with Belfi Brothers. “I said, ‘What the hell is going on?’ My truck is totaled. I am a little dusty and dirty, but I’m alright. I am one of the lucky ones.”
The collapse at 2140 Market Street happened around 10:40 a.m. when a four-story building came down on top of a two-story building, which housed a Salvation Army Thrift Store. Early reports from Philadelphia Police indicate that the collapse may have been the result of an industrial accident, as construction crews were working on the nearby structure.
“This is a delicate and dangerous operation,” Mayor Michael Nutter said of the rescue and recovery effort during a press conference from the scene. “We did not know and do not know how many people were actually in that store when the wall collapsed.”
After the initial rescues, crews were communicating with two people who remained trapped in the debris and were working to remove them. At one point, rescuers asked media outlets to pull back their helicopters to allow them to better detect sounds from beneath the rubble.
Two buildings collapsed in a busy commercial strip of Center City Philadelphia this morning leaving at least 13 people injured and two reported killed.
What appeared to be a body bag was pulled from the destroyed Salvation Army store at 22nd and Market streets and a priest was at the scene shortly before 2 p.m.. An Inquirer reporter at the scene said a law enforcement source has confirmed two dead, but officials have not confirmed either fatality.
Officials at a 2:30 p.m. press conference said a search-and-rescue operation will remain active for at least the next 12 to 24 hours and the exact number of people who were inside the thift store when it was destroyed remains unknown. As of 4 p.m., officials gave no update on whether anyone remained trapped. Cadaver dogs were at the scene in the afternoon to aid in the search.
On 6-1-13, Engine 24 made the response with 5 personnel to assist the Yeadon Fire Company on a working house fire, 400 Block of Orchard Ave. Engine 24 arrived to find a 2 story twin, 15X30, smoke showing 1st and 2nd floor, B and C side. Engine 24 stretched two attack lines and found a kitchen well involved and extending.
None of the residents were injured, but one firefighter suffered an injured shoulder when he slipped on a wet floor, Allentown fire Chief Robert Scheirer said.
Eddie Johnson Sr. said he questioned why firefighters didn’t put water on the flames immediately, and considered getting his garden hose.
“They took their time, man,” Johnson said.
Allentown fire Capt. John Christopher said the fire appears to have started at the rear of the first floor of the home at 11081/2 N. Catasauqua Ave. When firefighters arrived, the fire was inside the walls and ceiling of the home and had to be exposed before it could be doused.
Although the fire department transmitted a second alarm at 3:12 a.m. and a third alarm at 3:25 a.m. to summon more firefighters, the flames rapidly spread through the common loft of the homes.
At Booth E 204 you can get both a book that says less than flattering things about Dave Statter and an autograph by a Playboy Playmate. Life doesn’t get much better than that. Do stop by and talk fire trucks with Glenn, “DC Fire” with Dennis and whatever your heart desires with Stephanie.
I’m in Harrisburg, PA looking to spend much of today walking around Fire Expo. Three places I know I will be stopping by for a while are the booths of our main site sponsors, Command Fire Apparatus, MN8-Foxfire and Fire Cam. These are the folks who make STATter911.com possible. Please thank them for that and check out what they have to offer.
Glenn Usdin’s Command Fire Apparatus is in the main hall (E) in Booth 204. Glenn is Pennsylvania’s largest used fire apparatus dealer. In addition, Glenn has two special guests. You will have your choice of Dennis Rubin signing his book “DC Fire” or Playboy Playmate Stephanie Larimore signing the 2014 Command Fire Apparatus calendar. Hmmm. Tough choice. Which will it be?
If it will help you make your decision (if you can only have one), I should tell you I am not in the calendar (I can hear the sighs of relief), but I did make the book (though not by name). If she has one, I think I would much rather be mentioned in Stephanie’s book, because you won’t find that The Rube had anything good to say about me. But that’s okay. My ego is such I don’t mind selling a book that blasts me. For the past few weeks I’ve been meaning to provide a bit of an online companion to “DC Fire”. But setting the record straight about my role in chronicling the Rubin administration just hasn’t been a priority. I will get to it though and promise to make it compelling and truthful or double your money back. I will even throw in a free subscription to FireCritic.com. Seriously, get by Booth E 204.
MN8-Foxfire is at Booth NE 637 A,B. Let Zach Green’s illuminating products light up your life. Captain Willie Wines Jr. of IronFiremen.com fame, who usually does say nice things about me, will also be there. At every convention the MN8-Foxfire booth is hopping and it will Saturday and Sunday.
Rob Schield’s Fire Cam is at EH 2024. Rob’s fire and police helmet and dash cameras are top notch. Besides the great picture quality, they are extremely durable. I’ve put them to use on video shoots and have been very happy with the results.
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.
Freemansburg Engine 1212 arrived to find a 3 story row home with heavy fire blowing out of the 2nd floor windows. Two firefighters from Engine 1212 stretched a 1 3/4 line to the fire floor knocking the fire down within moments of arrival. Engine 6341 arrived along with Bethlehem Township fire Companies and assisted with throwing ladders and checking secondary occupancies for extension. All companies made quick work on this fire holding it to the fire floor with minor extension to the third floor.
Video above from JC Kriesher (jck5055) of FireandFilm.com from a fire just before midnight at 231 Pierce Street in Pottsville, Pennsylvania that left four children and two adults dead. Below is video from SpankMan2009.
The police department arrived on the scene and confirmed a fully involved single family dwelling. Police requested one of the truck companies come right down Pierce Street and set up. Engine 11 arrived and took the address and began to stretch lines. Ladder 21 came up Pierce Street while Ladder 51 came from the opposite direction. Engine 32 arrived and also began to stretch lines. P-5 arrived and assumed command of the incident requesting a second alarm be struck.
Policed relayed they received reports of multiple people unaccounted for in the house. Multiple EMS units from Pottsville and Schuylkill Haven ALS staged at different points around the scene.
Crews experienced water issues while trying to contain the blaze which let the fire burn rapidly. Foam was introduced to the lines off Engine 11 which also utilized the deck gun charged with foam.
The fire continued to tear through the building and lick up the side of the exposure on the “D” side of the building. Crews entered the exposure and also went to the roof to check for extension.
The bulk of the fire was knocked down within twenty minutes of the first arriving crews. The fire was put under control at 12:57 AM. Extensive overhaul was needed with crews remaining on scene throughout the morning.
More video from last night’s fire in a duplex on Wilkes Barre Street in Easton, Pennsylvania. This one is from Dan Clerico at NortheastBravest.com. Make sure you watch closely starting at around 2:00 as a firefighter tries to exit the roof.
Here’s some of what Dan wrote about the fire:
Two minutes into the video a Easton Firefighter fell off the main roof onto onto a 2nd roof after missing the ladder rungs. The firefighter appeared to be uninjured and continued to work. Firefighters were eventually forced to evacuate the building due to conditions quickly deteriorating conditions a loss of water pressure and dead hydrants.
Easton station 20 was dispatched at 19:53 hours for a reported house fire with possible entrapment at 1074 W. Wilkes-Barre Street. Arrival of the first due engine reported fire in the eaves of a 2.5-story duplex. A person that was in 1074 escaped the fire before the firefighters arrived.
Wilson Borough 24 was requested for R.I.T. at 20:05 hours. With fire rapidly extending, Wilson Ladder 24 was requested at 20:12.
Command also requested an Engine and Ladder from the City of Bethlehem. Bethlehem City was short an engine for the evening so they could only send Ladder 1..
Easton off-duty firefighters were called to the scene. Palmer Township sent apparatus to the city to cover city fire stations.
Wilson Ladder 24 was set-up for an elevated water stream on Wilkes-Barre. Wilson also had an engine in the rear alley with multiple lines stretched. Bethlehem Ladder 1 staged at Berwick and Packer. The supply line to the Wilson engine in the rear alley was delayed due to a dead hydrant on Berwick Street. Companies tied into another hydrant and eventually found a working hydrant.
Easton had two engines positioned in front of the duplex with multiple lines stretched. Command eventually had the evacuation tones sounded and all members were ordered out of the dwellings. The attack went defensive shortly after arrival.
Helmet-cam video from OneNineTruck (Landsdowne Fire Company) of the three-alarm fire on April 13 in Darby, Pennsylvania (Delaware County) that we covered when it occurred. Here’s some of the description with the video:
After being on scene performing Rapid Intervention for a few minutes forcing doors and cutting garage roll ups, the crew was replaced for RIT duties and were then asked to go to the roof and ventilate. The crew broke into two groups and quickly and aggressively trench cut the roof from alpha side to Charlie side.
Hazleton Fire Department said most of the apartment building on East Chapel street was consumed by flames. Firefighters did what they could to save the place, but officials said that was impossible. Now investigators believe it was deliberately set.
It broke out around 6:30 a.m. Thursday in the 100 block of East Chapel Street, according to firefighters.
According to city officials, the building has been empty since September of last year.
Above and below is more video from the three-alarm fire Saturday morning at a market in Darby, Pennsylvania. These clips are from Frank Wesnoski (fwesnosk). At 12:58 in the video above you will see the utility lines start to sway and get a glimpse on the right of the picture of a partial wall collapse in the rear of the market. Moments later there is an evacuation ordered for the exposure building. Here is some of the description with the video:
Crews arrived to find fire showing from the front of a 100 X 200 1 story commercial structure. The building was a market and had 3 full size billboards on the roof. Due to the heavy fire involvement and collapse concerns the attack went defensive and a 2nd alarm was quickly struck. Crews did a trench cut of the roof of the D exposure a cleaners. Houses across the alley on the C side were evacuated. Crews operated multiple elevated master streams, deck guns, portable monitors and hand lines.
About 75 firefighters from 10 companies prevented the fire from spreading to a much larger barn on the property and a neighboring woodworking business.
“When we got there, fire was through the roof on a 20-by-40 barn,” (Martindale Fire Chief Anthony) Groff said. “Exposure control was a major concern. There were exposures on both sides.”
A large barn containing horses, livestock, hay and straw is right next to the burned barn, Groff said. And the Newswanger Wood Specialties building at 313 Gristmill Road is only about 10 feet from the burned barn.
Video from KPaul77 aboard Truck 3-1 from the Richland Fire Department at a house fire on Tuesday afternoon at 105 11th Street in Windber, Pennsylvania (Somerset County). Here’s the description with the video:
Truck 3-1 officer Sgt. Kyle Paul. 2nd due truck and 3rd arriving unit. Truck crew was originally assigned to open up and search for stairs leading to division 2. Due to lack of water supply crews were evacuated out until a water source was established. Truck crew entered a second time and vented division 2.
“The fire was already ahead of us, which made it very hot inside; which made it more difficult for crews. So, we had to have a lot of back lines to back the other guys up,” Windber Fire Chief Aaron Cicon said.
Two firefighters were sent to the hospital for heat exhaustion and dehydration as a result of being on the roof.
“Everybody’s not used to the heat again. People went down pretty fast. It took two alarms to get enough guys here to cover, and because of where we’re at here, people aren’t too close so we had to pull from pretty far distances,” Cicon said.
The chief called the fire fast-moving and told 6News it started in the kitchen.
Video from Deputy Chief Shawn Jones (DEPUTYCHIEFJONES) of the Hazleton Fire Department from a fire in an abandoned apartment building on East Chapel Street in Hazleton, Pennsylvania this morning. Thanks to Jonathan E Sonntag for alerting STATter911.com to the video.
”My son screamed the house is on fire. I thought it was our house. We had to leave the house, we were covered in smoke, you could see the flames from about a mile away down the street,” says a Hazleton resident.
This Hazleton resident was told to evacuate her home early Thursday morning after a condemned building nearby caught fire. She declined to go on camera, as she stood outside still in her pajamas. Her son, however, said he noticed the flames as he was getting ready for school.
The fire started here at this condemned apartment building along East Chapel Street in Hazleton around 6:30 Thursday morning. First responders captured video of the fierce flames that were shooting from the back side of the building.
Interesting video from Brian Bastinelli showing the view from near the command post and radio traffic during a fire Monday in York Township, Pennsylvania.
Here is some of what Brian wrote about the fire:
Shortly before 5:30 on 8APR13 units from Yoe Fire, Dallastown Fire and York Township Fire were alerted for a house fire on Camp Betty Washington Road in York Township.
The call was quickly upgraded to a second alarm due to multiple reports of a well involved fire.
Truck 19 arrived and held the fire on the interior in check with multiple water cans until the lines were in place. Engine 35-2 arrived, established water supply and stretched two lines. Rescue 36 arrived and stretched an additional line.
Yoe Fire Co. Lt. Tim Stem said the blaze – at 1745 Camp Betty Washington Road – had “a pretty good start” when crews arrived at the scene just before 5:30 p.m.
Stem said the fire began at the back of the house and spread upward, leaving approximately $90,000 in damage, and a home uninhabitable for its residents, a couple and their two children. There was nothing suspicious, he said, but the family would be displaced by the blaze.