The video above has been making the rounds today from this week’s flooding in Colorado. Thanks to a number of STATter911.com readers for sending it my way. It reminds me of the video below from Melbourne, Austalia, below, that I showed you a while back.
We started to post this helmet-cam video by Erik Couse yesterday, but it had gone private. It is now back up and it shows Tuesday’s multi-alarm apartment building fire in Montgomery County, Maryland that left 10 people, three of them firefighters, with non-life threatening injuries. Here’s the description with the video:
Third due engine as the Rapid Intervention Company. 7 rescues by Battalion 1 units made via ground ladders upon our arrival.
The fire, which was caused by a malfunctioning electrical socket, sent 10 residents to the hospital with minor injuries. It started just before 3:45 Tuesday and took firefighters more than 2 1/2 hours to get under control.
More than 100 residents of the Forest Park Apartments building at Piney Branch Road near New Hampshire Avenue were displaced by the fire. Many residents had to be rescued from third and fourth floor apartments.
At the Long Branch Community Recreation Center, 12 people displaced by the blaze spent the night and met with county officials about their options. Financial and housing specialists were on hand to determine if any of the residents qualified for food stamps or medical assistance.
Several of the people displaced lost more than possessions; a handful of displaced residents at the recreation center lacked medical necessities including medicine and inhalers.
The fire did about $1.5 million in damage to the building and its contents.
Firefighters from all departments throughout Jackson County came to the rescue. Five workers from Bay City-based Dore and Associates Contracting Inc. were rescued from the fourth or fifth floors, and one was rescued from the 11th floor.
“Our primary focus was to get the people out,” said Matt Heins, Jackson’s director of Police and Fire Services. “(The contractors) are okay. The medical personnel on scene checked them out.”
Firefighters used a ladder truck to get to the five workers on the fourth or fifth floor, and helped them climb down. For the man trapped on the 11th floor, firefighters used a Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety ladder truck because it is much taller and reaches up seven or eight stories.
Heins said the man on the 11th floor was able to get down several stories to get into the bucket, and was lowered to safety.
Jackson Fire Chief Matthew Heins says the fire started in a pile of debris on the third or fourth floor of the building. What caused the fire is still under investigation.
The six demolition crewmen were working in the area of the fire when it started around 2 pm. The fire and smoke left the crewmen trapped with no way down.
“There was flames coming out of one of the windows and there was extensive smoke. Initially we were only told there were five, but a short time later we found the sixth person missing,” said Heins.
Firefighters were able to get all six workers out by a ladder. All six were able to get down the ladder on their own. They suffered minor smoke inhalation, but there were no injuries.
The fire consumed parts the 3rd and 4th floor, North-West corner. The size of the fire and building was too big for the Jackson Fire Department to handle alone. 6 other fire departments from around Jackson County also responded to the call.
This is helmet-cam video from Justin Hastings of a fire reported just before 11:00 AM on April 10 at 1442 Yosemite Street in Seaside, California (Monterey County). A little girl was rescued by a neighbor (seen in the video in the arms of a police officer) and her mother was rescued through a window by the first arriving firefighters. Both were taken by helicopter to a hospital in San Jose. Three others were hurt in the fire.
Seaside Deputy Police Chief Louis Lumpkin said two other people were taken to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for treatment of burns, and a fifth victim refused treatment at the scene. The fire broke out about 10:50 a.m. at the Del Monte Manor apartments.
Neighbor Alexis Hunter, who called herself a family friend, said she entered the burning apartment and found the child, whom she identified as 3-year-old Kaijah Collins, lying in a hallway just inside the front door. She scooped up the child in her arms and left the building.
The child’s mother, whom Hunter identified as 35-year-old Michelle Collins, was trapped in a second-floor bedroom, calling for help but refusing to exit through the upstairs window because she didn’t know where her daughter was, witnesses said.
Firefighters helped the woman out of the window and brought her down a ladder to safety.
“I saw the Mom just banging on the window and so I ran over there,” said Alexis Hunter, who lives in the complex.
Hunter said what came next was a burst of adrenaline.
“I touched the door knob to see is if it was hot,” said Hunter.
She looked inside and saw three-year-old Keasha laying on the ground, by now a maintenance man made his way up to the apartment and together they burst inside and pulled little Keasha out.
“I took her down the stairs and I kept talking to her, because I know the little girl since she was a baby, I was like Keasha, pay attention look at me, she was breathing,” said Hunter.
But Keasha was badly burned, and Keasha’s Mom was still inside. Hunter said people tried getting her out but the smoke was too thick, so they went around got a ladder and tried getting her out from the back window. That’s when first responders arrived and helped pull Keasha’s Mom out.
Early Frday morning Don Murtha III (murthad02) shot video of back-to-back two alarm fires in Buffalo, New York. During the first fire (above) on Timon Street, firefighter pulled out a mother and child. The mother died at the hospital. Here’s news coverage. Below is Don’s description:
Buffalo Firefighters responded early this morning at 0025 Hrs for a report of a structure fire on Timon St. Ladder 6 went on location reporting fire on the 1st floor with reports of 2 victims trapped inside. Rescue 1 reported an exposure involved & B-43 requested an additional 2 & 1 to the scene (E2, E31, L5). B-56 reported heavy fire on the 1st floor extending throughout, & requested the balance of the 2nd alarm to the scene. An additional 2 Engines (E36, E25) were also requested to the scene. B-56 reported 2 victims rescued by Rescue 1. One victim was pronounced at an area hospital.
Here’s Don’s description on the second fire (above). Note the evacuation order comes at 15:05:
Buffalo Firefighters responded early this morning at 0303 Hrs to investigate an odor of smoke on Forest Ave. Engine 19 went on location with smoke showing and requested the balance of the 1st alarm to the scene. B-44 reported heavy smoke from the rear of a 200×40 building and requested an additional 2 & 1 (E28, E36, L14) to the scene. B-56 reported heavy fire conditions on the 1st floor and requested the balance of the 2nd alarm to the scene. All crews were ordered out of the main fire building and defensive operations were used.
Above is the dispatch and fireground audio from the house fire around 4:00 this morning on Leslie Avenue in Glenarden, MD. Four people were pulled out in cardiac arrest. A man and two children died. A third child is in critical condition. A woman and another child had escaped before firefighters arrived. Click here for our earlier coverage.
Images above from 92nd Avenue by PGFD Chief Marc Bashoor.
While reporters and department officials gathered at the scene on Leslie Avenue this morning there was another house fire about a mile and a half away in the 3900 block of 92nd Avenue in Springdale. Pictures and video on this post are from that fire. Here is info from PGFD PIO Mark Brady:
At about 9:30 am, Thursday, February 21, a Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Police Officer happened upon a working house fire in the 3900 block of 92nd Avenue in Springdale.
Firefighters arrived to find a 1-story single family home, with exposure building on the rear side, Firefighters found fire showing and heavy smoke coming from the rear of the structure. Neighbors reported that a disabled occupant could still be in the house and firefighters were in the process of a search of the homes interior when conditions deteriorated rapidly and all personnel were evacuated from the structure. After a bulk of the fire was knocked down from the exterior, firefighters re-entered the structure to complete their primary search. The occupant was soon located safe and out side of the home.
Firefighters completed extinguishment in the primary house and the exposure with 45 minutes.
No injuries have been reported at this point and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The structure will be declared “unsafe” and the occupants displaced.
Leslie Av house fire. Sad day – adult male & 2 kids pronounced at hospitals, pulse restored 1 child-critical, 1 child, 1 adult female stable
Picture from PGFD Chief Marc Bashoor.
Press release from PGFD’s Mark Brady:
Firefighters were alerted to a house fire with occupants trapped at around 4:00 am, Thursday, February 21.
Volunteer Firefighters from Kentland Station 833 were the first to arrive at a brick 1-story with basement single family home in the 8600 block of Leslie Avenue in Glenarden. Conditions on arrival included fire and heavy smoke showing. Kentland and other arriving firefighters initiated a search of the burning home and removed 1 adult male and 3 children: 5, 8 and 10 year old females. All four were not breathing and had no pulse. Firefighters started CPR on the victims and all were quickly transported by paramedics to area hospitals. 2 other occupants, an adult female and an 8 year old child, had escaped the fire before the fire departments arrival and sustained less serious injuries and have been transported to area hospitals.
The fire was knocked down within 30 minutes. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
The adult male and two of the children were pronounced deceased a short time after arriving at the hospital despite the very best efforts of everyone involved. One child had a pulse restored and is in the process of being transported to a hospital that specializes in the care and treatment of children.
As additional information becomes available this site will be updated.
A 70-year-old grandmother has died of burns and two others — including an 8-year-old boy — remain hospitalized with critical burns from a house fire that happened Monday morning, a survivor said Tuesday.
Officials plan to transfer the youth, Demetris Gollett, to a specialized burn unit in Ohio, said his uncle, Antonio Andrews.
Andrews, Demetris and Barbara Ponders, 70, and Thomas Ponders, 72, were in the house, on north 25th Street, when a cigarette apparently ignited a couch and Thomas Ponders’ clothing, Andrews said.
Demetris wasn’t able to get out and was rescued by two firefighters about 8:30 a.m.
I’ve been following WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff’s reports for a number of years watching him try to hold three different fire commissioners and a mayor accountable for the dismal state of the Detroit Fire Department. His is an advocacy style of journalism that’s in your face. Very few TV reporters in the country are allowed to present stories in the manner LeDuff does.
One reason I like LeDuff’s reports is because they stand out from the blandness and cookie cutter reporting that plagues local TV news. His style is effective in getting attention to problems that might otherwise be ignored. Many of these problems have Charlie saying out loud what many viewers at home are saying, “How the hell can that be?”. And the reports usually show Charlie chasing down those who have some responsibility for it being that way.
The Detroit Fire Department memo we published on Saturday that prohibits firefighters from climbing aerial ladders unless there is an immediate life threat to civilians or firefighters is an example of that type of story. It’s outrageous. All of us are asking how can it be that no one has made sure an entire fleet of 19 ladder trucks has been getting annual and five year ladder inspections? This outrage should be a slam dunk for LeDuff who has been trying to get to the bottom of failures at the maintenance shop, including inspections, for more than a year.
But from what I can see, Charlie blew this one. The facts just don’t support the premise of Charlie’s report. I can’t tell if it’s a reading comprehension issue after he looked at last week’s memo from Chief Craig Dougherty or if it was because Charlie was trying too hard to sensationalize a story that really doesn’t need to be sensationalized.
Charlie LeDuff telling his viewers something that is blatantly false, that the Detroit Fire Department doesn’t have a ladder to get a person out if they became trapped in this top floor apartment. But does it matter that he’s wrong?
LeDuff spends much of this report talking to people about about how Detroit firefighters now can’t rescue anyone from upper floors. He shows various buildings where people will be out of luck. While one of those illustrations was a second or third floor apartment where most firefighters would throw a ground ladder anyway, Charlie is ignoring the fact the memo clearly states the aerial ladders can still be used for rescues. His report is very misleading and in some cases dead wrong.
Charlie could have worked his magic in so many other ways with a story like this. In ways that the facts support. He could have asked people whether they trust being brought down a ladder that the fire commissioner is telling firefighters not to climb unless absolutely necessary. He could have asked if operating master streams from these ladders puts people around the rigs in jeopardy. He could have asked, as the union president did, what else isn’t being inspected. And if he wanted to be more dramatic, the facts would probably justify asking citizens, “Would you rather take your chance with the fire or the ladder that might collapse underneath you?”
The question I have is for you. Does LeDuff’s handling of the facts of this story really matter? Does it undermine his credibity? Or does all that matters here, is the watchdog of the people once again showed that the city’s leaders screwed up, again, which they most certainly did?
I like to think that getting it right is important. That was important for me as a reporter. I also believe if you are going to put it all out there the way LeDuff does you better have it right. But my gut tells me I’m probably wrong. That, in the end, I will be the only one bringing this up, and most people will just say right on, Charlie.
UPDATE: At the bottom of the post are two additional videos taken later in the operation showing master streams being used to knock down the fire. Also, prior to the master streams, at about the :08 mark in the first video a line going to the building bursts and firefighters have to wrestle with it. And the last video on the page is from a different vantage point in the high rise across the street and starts just before the arrival of the first ladder truck.
EARLIER: Above is video from Hayley Monte via WMAQ-TV at a fire this morning where a man and woman were rescued from the top floor of an apartment building in Chicago’s Buena Park neighborhood. Immediately below is some of the radio traffic from the fire via Radioman911.com. Below that is more video of the rescues and the fireground via ThePointandShootist.
The two were brought down a ladder at 736 W. Buena Avenue, according to the Fire Department. The woman was taken in fair to serious condition to Weiss Memorial Hospital. The man refused treatment at the scene.
A firefighter was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center to be checked as a precaution, officials said.
This is from a fire that apparently occurred on Friday at a club called Unique in Sopot, Poland. According to the description, passersby helped rescue a father and daughter before firefighters arrived. You see them being brought down from the second floor. Below is the arrival of firefighters.
At least 50 homes have been destroyed in the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens, where firefighters battled a six-alarm fire early Tuesday. Fire officials say the fire was reported at about 11 p.m. Monday and is located in a flooded Zone A area. City officials say it appears most of the area was evacuated prior to the fire and no serious injuries have been reported.
No one was reported injured by the fire at the Susan B. Anthony Apartments, a converted city elementary school at 127 First Street. The blaze, reported about 10:25 a.m. and declared under control 35 minutes later, drew a dozen Rochester Fire Department units and 55 fire personnel.
When the first firefighters arrived to see flames in third-floor windows, they raced upstairs and heard a number of people still inside apartments yelling for help, interim Chief Salvatore “Sam” Mitrano said.
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.
This is raw video showing firefighters bringing a 78-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man out of a home this afternoon in Park Forest, Illinois. CPR was started, but both were pronounced dead at the hospital.
Park Forest Fire Department crews responded to the fire in the 0 to 100 block of Ash Street earlier Tuesday, and two people were killed in the blaze, a firefighter said. He declined to provide further details.
The Park Forest Fire Department, paramedics and police responded to a structure fire in the first block of Ash Street on July 10. With smoke still billowing from an upstairs bedroom, fire personnel rescued two smoke-charred, apparently non-responsive individuals from the co-op unit. Fire personnel immediately began chest compressions on the individuals, subsequently transporting them to St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights.
One of several juveniles who witnessed the fire reported hearing a “giant boom.”
FireDispatch.com has posted a little more than four minutes of early radio traffic from Monday’s fire at the Stag Hotel in Watsonville, Califronia that left 17 people injured. There is above for the audio and some new video shot at ground level during the early stages of the fire. Also above is a link to TV coverage that includes some of the triage and treatment of victims from the fire.
This is as dramatic a video as we’ve seen in some time. It is best viewed in full screen and at the 480p quality (the star at the bottom right group of controls).
The fire broke out around 5:45 PM at the Stag Hotel in Watsonville, California. The hotel is at 117 West Beach Street. The injuries, according to news reports, include burns, smoke inhalation and fractures.
In the video it appears police and civilians are making some of the initial rescues using a ladder on Side A. Firefighters arrive, stretch a line and assist with getting others out. It appears that a police officer picks up the first line hitting the fire on the ground floor. Others are brought down a ladder on Side D.
The Stag Hotel is described as transitional housing for those receiving substance abuse treatment and those leaving incarceration.
Firefighters from the station a block away on Second Street responded quickly, Rickman said. Fire Chief Mark Bisbee said they immediately went to work rescuing residents and doused the flames in 8-10 minutes.
Rickman said the hotel has 50 rooms – three apartments in two buildings. He said about 45 men lived there. The fire was in the larger front building.
The building, constructed in 1927, had no sprinklers. The residents are a mix, some disabled, some struggling with substance abuse or in recovery, some on parole. All are men with little income.
Above and below are four of the many videos taken on Friday afternoon of a fire inside a 53-unit apartment building at 1305 Second Street at Arizona Avenue in Downtown Santa Monica. A number of explosions can be heard on the videos. According to news reports, the blasts possibly came from oxygen tanks in the burning apartment.
There was a significant life-safety hazard with many elderly living there. As you will see on the videos, a number of residents needed assistance in exiting, including one woman who dropped down from a fire escape into the arms of people who ran up to help. Three people were treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries. The fire was contained to the apartment where it started.
The firefighter’s union local 22 claims since last July, all 6 rank and file firefighters who suffered facial or neck burns were shipped off to other departments. They say it's punishment to discourage other firefighters from reporting dangerous injuries.
Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayres was not available to go on camera for this story but tells over the phone the department does not have a policy to transfer injured firefighters. He also tells us firefighters can request a transfer back to their original station.
From KYW-TV, firefighters are upset over a Philadelphia Fire Department policy about being burned on the job. The union says heroes are being punished instead of praised. The fire commissioner says it's about safety.
Three children were saved from a fire in the East Bay (on Tuesday morning) and one had to be dropped from the second floor to escape the flames. The dramatic rescue was captured on a helmet camera worn by a firefighter. A mother lifted her child over a second-story railing and into the hands of a waiting firefighter.
Frightened and panicked neighbors could be heard screaming, calling out for firefighters to save the children trapped inside a burning apartment in the Ashland area, just outside San Leandro.
The link above has audio from a fire just before 6:00 this morning at 1618 N. 20th Street in North Philadelphia. You will hear the evacuation ordered at 5:28 in the audio, followed by the call for additional medic units for injured firefighters.
According to Philadelphia Fire Deputy Chief Michael Wahl, the call for the house fire came in at 5:58 a.m. at 1618 North 20th Street. Upon arrival initial reports were of heavy smoke and a couple trapped inside.
Upon entering the home, firefighters rescued two people while two others escaped on their own. Three women and one child were taken to Hahnemann hospital for treatment and were in stable condition.
Three firefighters were injured while rescuing the trapped victims. One member with first and second degree burns to his arms. Two other firefighters were transported with minor injuries. Four civilians were also transported with smoke inhalation.
From the AP:
Fire officials say a blaze in a north Philadelphia row home injured seven people, including three firefighters, one critically.
Authorities say the fire in the three-story building was reported just before 6 a.m. Sunday. Arriving crews have reported heavy black smoke pouring from the third floor. Firefighters battled the flames for about an hour.
One firefighter has been taken to a hospital burn unit in critical but stable condition. Two other firefighters are reported to be in stable condition.
Firefighters helped two people from the building while two others escaped on their own. All four had minor injuries that were treated at a hospital.
Firefighters rescued residents who were stranded on the upper floors of a burning apartment building in Winnipeg early Saturday, finishing their rescues with only moments to spare before the entire structure was fully-engulfed.
"There were people hanging out windows when we showed up," said Bill Clark, the fire department's deputy chief of operations.
Fire crews had to use ladders to save several people from the Sherbrook Street building, located between Sargent and Ellice Avenues. Some tenants were forced to escape from their windows.
Firefighters rushed into the building in what officials are calling a spectacular rescue effort. "We were able to search the building in really bad conditions," said Bill Clark of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
Since our first year of publishing STATter911.com we have had a variety of postings about cameras at the scene of emergency incidents. With it has been an ongoing conversation with you, our readers, about the ethics, rights and responsibilities of the press, public, victims, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics and police officers.
That conversation was bumped to a new level a year ago this month with the video above of a trooper with the Connecticut State Police screaming at a freelance news photographer shooting a fatal car fire from behind a guard rail on I-95. There were 165 comments, many of them from me, as we went back and forth over the actions of the trooper and the man behind the camera. (Click here and scroll down for the comments.)
Many of you, like the trooper, thought the cameraman was a ghoul and I was equally evil for defending him. I asked a lot of questions from those who took the trooper's side and blasted the videographer and me.
I tried to understand what was so offensive about the video. As you look at the raw footage above, the only thing you see is a burning car. As I have asked from the start, since when is shooting a car fire that shuts down a highway taboo?
In fact, maybe something is wrong with me (many of you have said as much), but the only thing I found offensive were the actions of the trooper. Not only was the trooper rude and insensitive to someone doing their job, he overstepped his bounds, acting as an editor or censor of what the public is allowed to see. Many of you made excuses for the trooper and I agreed it is just possible he was having a bad day. As for the videographer, despite all the name calling by our readers, no one pointed to any evidence that he didn't do his job professionally and treat the trooper with respect.
Taking in all of the comments and studying them closely, I came to my own conclusion of what was actually fueling the outrage. Despite what many wrote, this was not about being sensitive to the victim and her family. Though I do think that some of you sincerely believe in your hearts that was the case. I contended then and am even more convinced now (based on what I am about to show you) that most of those defending the trooper are willing to let a uniformed agent of our government decide what's appropriate for us to see, First Amendment be damned, because of a hatred of, or bias against, the press.
I have known for a long time how despised the news media is, but reading the reaction to this video actually made me fear a bit for the future of our country. Even if I strongly disagreed with the actions of the photographer, I wouldn't want the police or any other government agency to be the decider of what we can see in a public place.
Besides the First Amendment issue, I also believe that there is a natural tendency for people to side with the authority figure. He's a cop, so he must be right. I get that, but again respectfully disagree that our government is always right.
So, why am I bringing this up now?
Take a look at the videos below. All have been posted on STATter911.com since October and were widely viewed, prompting many comments. Each one involves fire fatalities or critical injuries. Two videos show firefighters rescuing small children from burning homes. One clip is of a man being pulled from his burning home. Another has scenes of a man who later died collapsed outside a burning hotel. There is one showing firefighters attacking a fire with three bodies still inside. And there is also a video that shows efforts to recover a firefighter who died in the line of duty.
To me, each of these videos is a hell of a lot more graphic than what was shown in the Connecticut car fire video. All of the videos, except two, show victims in cardiac or respiratory arrest being treated by fire and EMS.
Despite the many comments posted with each of the videos, there is no one complaining that these photographers, like the one in Connecticut, are ghouls. We have no one screaming about victims' rights or HIPAA violations. And no one is telling me what a bad man I am for running these videos. Why is that? How can that be?
How can shooting a car fire bring such outrage while showing actual fire victims or being up close and personal at a fatal fire not even bring a squeak?
I believe the answer is pretty simple. In these videos there was no authority figure on the scene, like the police officer in Connecticut, overstepping his or her bounds and fueling the fire and passion against the photographers.
What I attempt to do with every conflict I see or am involved in, is to boil down what it's really about. Despite all of the claims last year of protecting the victim (which I believe those in public safety can do without trampling on our freedoms), I am left with the conclusion that, without someone yelling at a photographer, or reminding us of our hatred of the press, we generally just sit back and watch these videos without a great deal of disgust, anger and outrage. Am I wrong?