Video above provided to STATte911.com by Chief Richard Petrin of the Little Compton Fire Department shows what it looked like as the first firefighters arrived at Thursday’s fire in a century old abandoned mill on Carrington Avenue in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The fire eventually went to six-alarms. Below is radio traffic from the fire posted by Fireground New England.
At least 12 different fire departments responded to the building on Carrington Street around 5:20 p.m. Thursday.
According to fire officials, it took crews nearly three hours to get the inferno under control. However, Captain Philip Gould of the Lincoln Police Department said fire crews expect to be working well into Friday.
Dozens of people were evacuated from nearby businesses after the flames broke out, due to the intensity of the fire.
One firefighter was taken from the scene by ambulance after officials said he injured his back.
Video from Ryan Pickering (ryanpicktv) of a house fire around 2:15 this morning at 87 Greenville Avenue in Johnston, Rhode Island. Here is some of the description with the video:
Command assigned a code red on arrival and reported fire showing from the second story windows. The fire extended upward and eventually all firefighters operating on the third floor were evacuated and ordered to stay out of the collapse zone. A mutual aid ladder from Providence was also called in to assist with persistent smoke and flames still showing over an hour into the incident.
Video from Providence Fire Videos’ Matt Gregoire (sparkywfd) of a fire around noon on Sunday on South Main Street in Woonsocket, Rhode Island that injured two firefighters. Here’s some of what Matt wrote:
Engine 1 arrived with the front of the house fully involved extending into all 3 floors. A 2nd alarm was quickly struck followed by a 3rd alarm.
Crews knocked down the heavy fire on the 1st and 2nd floors and did an aggressive interior attack on the 3rd floor. It took over an hour to bring the fire under control.
Shortly after 6am on Tues January 22, 2013, a call reporting a house fire on Boulevard Avenue came into the Lincoln Fire Alarm office. Upon arrival, heavy fire was showing from the basement. One of the occupants, an elderly male reported to fire officials that his wife was still inside. Firefighters attempted to enter the house but due to heavy gas fed fire conditions, they were forced out of the building. The elderly woman was later found on the 1st floor.
Besides heavy fire conditions, firefighters were also hampered by frigid temperatures. It took almost 3 hours to bring the fire under control.
Homeowner Henry Barry, 90, made it out of the house but his wife, Jeannette Barry, did not survive the fire.
Henry Barry was in the basement when the fire broke out. His wife was in the bedroom on the first floor. “I went upstairs to try to get her, the fire was too much, I managed to get the door open to let some of the smoke out, but couldn’t get back in, I had cell phone and called 9-1-1,” he said.
The fire caused major damage to the room where it started, a service room at the extreme end of the church that’s used by altar boys to prepare for services. It also caused serious damage to the church’s slate roof. There was major water and smoke damage to the entire church.
A chandelier in the middle of the church crashed down to the floor. The stone building’s slate roof made it difficult for firefighters to cut holes in the roof to vent the fire and get at the blaze, according to Capt. Michael Morin, a fire marshal for the Woonsocket Fire Department.
Firefighter David Lashus has been on TV and in the papers in recent days but yesterday’s story will likely be the most memorable one of this week of news coverage. A TV camera was rolling as the fire chief, police chief and town lawyer in Johnston, Rhode Island showed up at Lashus’ home in an attempt to hold a disciplinary hearing over his employment status. The town officials were prepared to have the meeting in Lashus’ living room if needed.
David Lashus and his 21-year-old son were busted earlier in the week. Police say the son received a package of marijuana from California. According to investigators, this brought the discovery of 100 marijuana plants, lots of cash and guns inside the home. What really made headlines is that Firefighter Lashus has been off work for three years with pay due to an on the job back injury.
Officials talked to Lashus through his window. Someone else inside recorded the conversation with a cellphone as Lashus stood in the background.
Lashus is on home confinement, and town officials tell NBC 10 they’ve been trying to hold a disciplinary hearing with him to get his side of the story before they potentially take action on his job status.
They said Lashus refused their offer to hold the hearing at his house Friday evening and that he also refused a ride to Town Hall to have it there.
The mayor is expected to decide Monday on the job-related punishment for Lashus.
Despite my flippant headline this is actually an interesting video put out by the people who make the TIGNIS Fire Blanket. It shows a demo of the product at The Union Fire District Training Facility in Wakefield, Rhode Island. The company has made the blanket for five-years and promotes it as a way to put out a vehicle fire in a location that conventional fire equipment can’t reach, such as a parking garage.
In this demonstation, after the blanket was put in place a small explosion typical of today’s vehicle fires occurred. It created a small hole in the blanket but the fire still went out.
There has been a contentious relationship between firefighters and the Mayor of North Providence, Rhode Island, Charles Lombardi, for some time. Lombardi is himself a former firefighter. Yesterday WPRI-TV investigative reporter Tim White aired a 14-mont-old recording of Mayor Lombardi confronting Firefighter Thomas Guibealt because Lombardi says the firefighter insulted a member of the mayor’s family while off-duty in a bar. At the time Mayor Lombardi was dealing with a battle with the firefighters’ union over the closing of a fire station.
The recording was made last Spring at fire department headquarters at a meeting the mayor called that also included Chief Leonard Albanese and a battalion chief. The mayor told reporter White he was not aware someone was recording him but believes he acted appropriately:
The thorny constitutional principle of separation of church and state is rearing its head over a 1921 World War I monument featuring a prominent Christian cross on city property. Unlike the recent prayer banner controversy in Cranston, which was sued by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the threat of legal action in this case is coming from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national nonprofit organization halfway across the country.
On April 13, the Madison, Wisc.-based foundation sent Mayor Leo T. Fontaine a letter calling the display of the “Latin cross” on public property “unlawful” and demanding that the situation be rectified.
The monument, a cross, at the Woonsocket Fire Department Station 2 on Cumberland Hill Road, was originally erected in 1921 to honor William Jolicoeur, a member of the American Expeditionary Forces killed in France during World War I, according to The Woonsocket Call. Later, it was rededicated in honor of three brothers killed in World War II, Alexandre, Henri and Louis Gagne.
“No secular purpose, no matter how sincere, will detract from the overall message that the Latin cross stands for Christianity,” the FFRF’s staff attorney Rebecca Markert said in the letter.
Tom Poole, a disabled veteran, is one of many in Woonsocket trying to protect a cross that stands on top of a monument located in the parking lot of the city’s fire station on Cumberland Hill Road.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation wants the cross removed on the grounds that the monument violates the separation of church. The group also wants the Woonsocket Fire Department to remove “The Firefighter’s Prayer” and a picture of an angel from its website because it is a direct violation of the First Amendment and the Constitution.
I will admit that if a deputy fire chief in one of the fire departments in or around the Nation's Capital had dropped his or her drawers during a training session I likely would have done the story for the TV news operation where I worked. But I would have refused to call the story an "I-Team exclusive". With all of the ills in the world, a TV station putting its crack (sorry) investigative team on a mooning and running it as its lead story seems a bit overkill. Cut the hype, put things in perspective and tell the damn story.
There will be some who think the story shouldn't be done at all, that it happens and it's just firefighters being firefighters. The firefighters letting off steam because their next call could be their last excuse is not one that will serve anyone well these days (though it is still trotted out there). Especially when it's a high ranking fire official.
The moral of the story here is if you don't want the local I-Team up your Side Charlie, cover your exposures.
As for this story, it involves East Greenwich (Rhode Island) Fire District Deputy Chief Russell McGillivray who has been suspended with pay for two days after being accused of mooning one or more classmates at a state fire marshal's office training session.
"An incident did happen, but I don't think he was naked. I suspended McGillivray for two days with pay," East Greenwich Fire Chief Peter Henrikson said.
Col. Steven O'Donnell of the state police, who is also the state's public safety commissioner, released a statement.
"McGillivray is no longer allowed to train people at the fire marshal's classes. It is beyond comprehension how someone, a professional, could do that. The females in the class, at a minimum, were upset, but declined to file a formal complaint," O'Donnell said.
During the entire time I was considered young no one ever described me as a "quality young man" or a "solid young man" who is "a credit to his family". Maybe that's because I was never accused of being drunk, stealing a fire truck from my fire company and wrecking it.
I am guessing until 22-year-old Clayton Hardon III's July 19 arrest on those very charges there weren't people walking around saying, "Oh Clayton, he's such a quality, solid, young man who is a credit to his family". But now that the Dreadnaught Fire Company volunteer firefighter (or should there be a "former" in front of that?) has had his first court appearance, his lawyer, a former Rhode Island Speaker of the House, is saying just that about Hardon.
I certainly understand and respect that our judicial system considers young Mr. Hardon innocent until proven guilty and it may just be a coincidence that Hardon was found by police near where the special hazards truck overturned, with neck and head injuries and had to appear in court in a neck brace. John Harwood may be a good lawyer who will do well for a client who, for all we know, may have uncharacteristically made a bad mistake in an otherwise blemish free life (but Mr. Harwood wouldn't even admit that scenario posed by a reporter because the facts of the case still need to be sorted out).
I am of the belief if you are going in front of the cameras during a news event you should have something to say. Don't waste everyone's time. It is great that Mr. Harwood took a moment to be nice to the reporters and gave them a sound bite or two. Maybe Mr. Harwood is trying to influence the potential jury pool that is out there in TV land or is just trying to work on repairing the young man's reputation. But I don't think most people want to hear another lawyer who can't say anything definitive about a case under questioning by reporters.
If you are going to cite attorney-client privilege and can't or won't answer the basic questions maybe it is the time to respectfully decline to do an interview (don't run, don't hide). Maybe it is better to talk when you can tell us that either your client was kidnapped in a fire truck and alcohol was poured down his throat and he was left by the kidnappers in the overturned rig on someone's front lawn (years ago that might have been a standard initiation at some departments I have been familiar with) or that he made a bad mistake, is truly sorry and will work to make this right. Then you are saying something.
Former Providence, Rhode Island Chief George Farrell will not be getting more than $15,000 for sick he earned over the last four years. The chief, who says he retired due to a battle with leukemia, will still get more than $27,000 for vacation days he didn't use. A spokesman for Mayor Angel Taveras said the vacation payment is required under state law but that the administration was ending a longstanding practice of paying for the unused sick leave unless it is approved by the City Council.
Farrell previously retired from the department in 2006 as fire marshal and was paid $74,516 for sick and vacation time not used. He was brought back as chief a year later by Mayor David Cicilline.
Previously Chief Farrell defended the practice saying it has been in place for three decades and was not a special deal for him. But the union has opposed to the payout for the former chief.
At about the same time IAFF Local 799 reached a tentative agreement with the Taveras administration that is expected to prevent firefighter layoffs. WPRI-TV reports the firefighters will give up a scheduled three percent pay raise, allow for reduced minimum staffing, pay more for health care, receive less paid vacation and change retirement benefits for new employees. Watch that story below.
Paul Doughty, president of the city firefighters union, said Monday the city government does not have to let Farrell cash out his unused time off because he's not covered by the union's collective-bargaining agreement. "We'd ask the Taveras administration to follow the law and deny payment," he said.
Farrell said the fire department's leadership should get paid for accrued sick and vacation days since rank-and-file firefighters do.
"I and all the other chiefs in the Providence Fire Department simply believe that the benefits that we were entitled to for 25 years or more while we were members of the union should not be stripped away solely based on a promotion which takes us out of the union," he said.
Doughty disagreed, arguing the higher pay top officials receive should be enough to compensate them. Farrell "wants the best of both worlds – the astronomical salary and all the union benefits," Doughty said.
I thought I had seen enough video from last night's fire at the Alice Mills in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, but as usual Matt Gregoire changed my mind. This is a bit earlier in the operation than we showed you before (though Corey Welch had some great shots). Matt, with Providence Fire Films and SNEFireNews.com, also has radio traffic to go with the pictures.
In the clip above you see and hear when some of the early arriving companies are ordered to pull back and the emphasis shifts to exposure coverage (including hosing down the fire trucks).
I've said this before, those who are want to make nice looking fire films that your audience will enjoy watching should check out the videos from Matt and Corey.
Above is Corey Welch's video from the fire first reported around 7:30 PM at the giant complex that once housed the Alice Mills Rubber Manufacturing Plant. Alice Mills was once the largest rubber goods factory in the world. The plant dates back to 1899. News reports indicate two firefighters were hospitalized for dehydration.
Fire Chief Gary Lataille said 10 to 15 departments from Rhode Island and Massachusetts were called in to help battle the seven-alarm blaze. While the fiire appeared to be small at first, according to Mayor Leo T. Fontaine, the fire quickly spread to engulf the 180,000-square-foot mill structure.
Lataille said that with the river bordering one side of the complex, and a huge parking lot bordering another, he determined early that the best strategy was to contain the fire so it would not spread to houses along River Street and to let it burn completely to the ground..
"By the looks of things, the fire is cooperating," he said, as crowds watched various walls come crashing down at various intervals. There were also at least two explosions.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island firefighters seen in the video above removing a man from inside this burning multi-family residence around 5:00 this afternoon. The location is the 600 block of Broadway Street. The man was pronounced dead at the hospital. Here's information from WLNE-TV:
Fire officials confirm to ABC6 News that one man has died as a result of the Broadway St. Fire. Fire crews had a hard time reaching the man due to the amount of smoke in the building. When firefighters reached the man, he was unconscious.
Corey Welch on the scene of a fire early this morning in Providence, Rhode Island. As I have mentioned before, for those looking for tips on how to shoot video of a fire (or anything else), watch Corey's work. You can find more of Corey's work at his website, here. Here are Corey's details on the fire:
Providence Firefighters were called out on a "Still/Box" of a reported structure fire in an occupied home around 4:30am on Friday, April 22nd. They arrived on O'Connnor St to find heavy fire showing from floor three of the three story wood frame structure. Command requested an additional ladder and engine to the scene before calling a second alarm as fire quickly spread through the home. Firefighters were only in the building for a short amount of time before everyone was called out of the structure for defensive operations. At that time, fire was visible from the second floor, third floor, and through the roof. Four ladder trucks were in operation as well as several hand lines. It took about an hour before the flames were knocked down. At least one tenant of the home was being treated on scene with unknown injuries. There was no word of any other injuries as of 5:30am.
It is interesting how two different news stories that came across my computer screen today show opposite conclusions on the same issue. One story is about the ruling of a judge in Rhode Island who found no connection between the safety of firefighters and the browning out of Woonsocket Fire Department's Ladder 1. The other is a study by the University of Georgia that discovered under-resourcing is among the four major causes of firefighter fatalities.
Superior Court Judge Bennett R. Gallo ruled that there was no public safety risk to firefighters or residents in Woonsocket as a result of the removal of Ladder Truck 1 and the reduction of the minimum amount of firefighters on duty from 26 to 23 on Wednesday afternoon.
"On the evidence presented,” said Gallo, “I’m unable to discern any measurable decrease in the firefighting capabilities of the Woonsocket Fire Department or any increase risk to the firefighters of Woonsocket or to the public regarding,” the removal of Ladder 1 and the reduction in manpower.
Daniel Kinder, the primary lawyer for the city, stated in his closing remarks that the experience of the past three months proved that safety was not a concern. He said that since the policy to remove Ladder 1 from service whenever less than 26 firefighters reported for duty was implemented on January 30, there has been no firefighter injuries, no change in firefighter response times, no harm to the public and no harm to any mutual aid firefighter.
In Georgia, what is being called a comprehensive UGA study, has revealed patterns in firefighter fatalities. According to a press release from UGA, "Researchers in the UGA College of Public Health found that cultural factors in the work environment that promote getting the job done as quickly as possible with whatever resources available lead to an increase in line-of-duty firefighter fatalities."
The four major causes identified in the study are "under-resourcing, inadequate preparation for adverse events during operations, incomplete adoption of incident command procedures and sub-optimal personnel readiness."
Here is what the release said about under-resourcing:
Many of the recommendations can be traced to a lack of finances, said (co-author David) DeJoy. Not only does under-resourcing affect the ability of a fire department to acquire innovative technology, it can lead to a shortage of personnel at a fire, compromising rapid intervention and the ability to maintain command and control functions during operations, he said.
The study is published in the May edition of of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. It examined data gathered from 189 NIOSH firefighter fatality investigations for five years beginning in 2004.
So who are you going to believe, the judge or the professor?
Fireground audio & video of mayday with firefighters trapped: Apparently there were only minor injuries after a collapse trapped four firefighters at a fire in a bar and upstairs apartments on Sunday morning in Leslie, Michigan. Click here for our coverage.
FDIC roundup: Click here for a variety of scenes from Indianapolis. They include the piper's version of the mile-high club (trust me, it's clean), some mustache envy and Dave with a CHiP on his shoulder (or at least in the seat next to him). I should have a couple of more videos from NFFF events (9-11 Memorial Stair Climb and Stop, Drop, Rock 'n' Roll) that I will be posted today and tomorrow.
Putting the wet high voltage stuff on the red stuff: Scientists think using water may be old school when it comes to fighting fires. The generator on the rig may be more important than the pump. You may find this shocking but they are looking at the use of flame snuffing bolts of electricity as an extinguishing agent. Here's the story.
Union won't pull controversial ad: Despite a Republican state senator calling it “tasteless” and “appalling”, the IAFF in Oklahoma won't stop showing an ad that asks citizens to oppose a bill that would change how contract disputes are handled for firefighters and police. The controversy is over using an image of the bombed Murrah Federal building. Read more.
The Russians Are Coming, the Russians are Coming: Something about Firegeezer's story of a fire in a former Russian submarine in Providence, Rhode Island makes me think of the 1966 movie starring Carl Reiner and Alan Arkin. Click here for Bill's version.
Consultant's report due on problems at Haverhill Fire Department: Accusations of sick leave abuse and the Massachusetts EMS training scandal are some of the issues the Haverhill Fire Department has been facing. An outside analysis of the department was ordered by the city. A draft report should be ready by the end of the week. Here's more.
Two-alarm house fire at home of cop just five-days from retirement: Paul Bassett on the scene of Friday's fire at 205 Adriana Street in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. The fire was at the home of a Garfield, New Jersey police officer. Craig Roselli is scheduled to retire from the force this week. Read more about the fire.
Two videos from Friday’s fire on Iroquois Road in Cumberland, Rhode Island that left two firefighters injured after a ceiling fell on top of them. The video above is from Matthew Gregoire of ProvidenceFireVideos.com. There is more on the fire at SNEFireNews.com, the new site from Matt and Corey Welch.
Matthew Gregoire of ProvidenceFireVideos.com and Corey Welch of CoreyWelchVideo.com both braved the single digit temperatures for this morning’s three-alarm fire in a multi-family home in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The fire left five families homeless. Matt’s video is above and Corey’s below.
Here is some of what Matt wrote in his description on YouTube.com:
Shortly after 1:30 am on Friday March 4, 2011, calls came into the fire alarm office reporting a house fire on Hedley Ave. While companies were already tied up at a small fire a few blocks away, they released 1 company and they arrived to find the rear porch fully involved extending inside in this occupied multi family.
Early video from last week’s fire in Girardville, Pennsylvania: Firegeezer did a good job of covering Wednesday night’s fire that ran part of the block and resulted in a close call for a firefighter. Since then Coal Region Fire uploaded this video that gives you an early view of the fire and its progression. And you will find a whole bunch of pictures from the fire here.
Knowing more than the computer: If you haven’t had a chance yet to listen to the 911 call from the Nation’s Capital that WTOP/WJLA reporter Mark Segraves uncovered, you will want to do so. The director of the 911 center says the 14-minute delay in figuring out a location of a deadly incdent on a major roadway, described very well by a citizen, was a glitch in the system. I’m not buying that, and judging by the comments, few of you are. Click here for our coverage.
Glenn looks at lessons learned from the controversy over a blown engine at a Maryland pump test: The Deale VFD and the Anne Arundel County Fire Department aren’t seeing eye to eye after a 1991 pumper ended up needing a new engine. FireTruckBlog.com‘s Glenn Usdin has some interesting insight on this one and some practical advice. Click here.
Firefighter’s first fire is at a home he owns: What are the odds? Raul Thaper is a new firefighter in Greenville, North Carolina. His first fire was on Friday. That fire was in a home that Thapar owns and rents to someone else. Here’s the story.
Fractured spine for Sacramento FD captain: It was a fall from a roof at a house fire over the weekend that has put Captain Gene Dibble in the hospital. Officials say there is no paralysis but the captain is in a lot of pain. Here’ more.
Playing with fire: While I was in New York with the family in December we saw and thoroughly enjoyed the Flying Karamazov Brothers. It’s a comedy juggling act with enough stupid puns to keep me happy for weeks. In today’s City Room blog from The New York Times there is an interesting look at the Flying Karamazov Brothers putting their talents to good use with the FDNY in an unusual fire safety message. Check it out.