Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am always thankful and appreciative of the support you have shown STATter911.com through the years. The firefighters who read this site are the best and bravest firefighters in the world. Those who don’t are a bunch of cowards who would be scared to death to set foot in a burning building.
Pretty harsh, huh? Pandering to my audience, aren’t I?
Of course, I didn’t mean any of that other than sending along my best wishes and sincerely thanking you for your support. I would really have no way of knowing if those who read STATter911.com are the best and the bravest (though I do suspect they are the smartest).
It’s just my way of showing how inane the comments are that St. Louis aldermanic President Lewis Reed made in his efforts to seal the support of IAFF Local 73 firefighters in his run for mayor. Reed said the following at a neighborhood meeting Monday that was also attended by the local’s incoming president:
“And the firemen, the firemen in the county don’t really fight fires. They get a call and watch the building burn. Now they make sure nothing else catches fire, but they don’t go in the building.”
I have no clue about how good city firefighters are versus county firefighters in the St. Louis area. But I do know it’s one thing to highly praise a group of people as you lobby for their support and a very different thing to trash another group of people in making your point.
Reed probably didn’t need to go this far, considering the incumbent mayor he is running against, Francis G. Slay, has been at odds with the firefighters over pension issues and news reports indicate Local 73 has invested in Reed’s campaign.
This is from a fire overnight at an Afghan Market in the 3700 block of South Grand Boulevard in St. Louis. At 1:34 in the video above you will hear the switch from offensive to defensive operations and the call for a second alarm.
Flames and smoke have virtually destroyed a south St. Louis business. It was a fire that went to three alarms and required the efforts of nearly two dozen firefighters overnight.
The first bell was sounded around 12:30 a.m. at the Afghan Market in the 3700 block of South Grand Boulevard near Chippewa.
Fire officials arrived to a structure heavily involved in fire and began an immediate knockdown of the growing flames. Buildings to the north and south of the burning structure were slightly affected by the intense heat, but were otherwise undamaged.
A cause for the blaze has not been pinpointed in the ongoing investigation.
Fire damage to the Afghan Market is extensive with the contents appearing to be a total loss. The business was a multi-faceted operation selling a variety of groceries and baked goods.
Officials say the roof of the single story structure collapsed onto the interior of the store and a rear wall of the building also collapsed.
A fire department official say 15 different pieces of fire apparatus were deployed to the fire scene. There have been no reports of injuries to any firefighters or civilians at the fire scene.
Above is earlier video and some fireground audio from the chemical plant fire we told you about in Quick Takes that occurred this morning in South St. Louis. Three firefighters received minor injuries.
Investigators are trying to determine what started a five-alarm fire in St. Louis that shut down a portion of Interstate 44 and forced hundreds of nearby residents to evacuate.
The fire happened at Chemisphere Corp. around 2:30 a.m. in an industrial area of the 2100 block of Clifton. Storage tanks were damaged, but only about 15 percent of the facility was affected.
About 500 residents living within a three block radius were evacuated. Police went door to door in the middle of the night and requested that they leave. Many went to nearby parking lots in their pajamas and waited for the all clear.
They were allowed to return around 6:45 a.m.
Air quality was not a concern during the fire.
St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said three firefighter was injured at the scene. They were transported to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries. They were released a few hours later.
The fire forced a four-mile stretch of Interstate 44 to close between Kings Highway and Jamieson. The eastbound lanes reopened at times and then were closed again around 6:45 a.m. The westbound lanes reopened about two hours later.
DC Fire & EMS crew under review after toddler dies: Several first responders with the DC Fire & EMS Department have been removed from contact with patients while the care they provided to a 2-year-old girl is reviewed. The investigation centers on exactly why the girl was not taken to the hospital during the first call for trouble breathing on February 10th. Nine hours later the child was transported after a second call to 911. She died the next day. This occurred during one of the major snowstorms that hit Washington. Surae Chinn has our story. Read and watch it here.
Firefighter accused of setting his home on fire twice in an effort to get his wife pregnant: I know that is a bizarre headline, but this is a bizarre story. Investigators in Bennington, Vermont say Capt. Ralph Brown Jr. needed money to pay for surgery so his wife could have a baby and decided insurance money was the way to finance the operation. The home caught fire twice. Now Brown, the wife, and another man are facing charges. Read more.
Three dead in 3-alarm Baltimore fire: The fire was reported around 2:00 AM in the 3500 block of Woodbrook Avenue. Two people escaped the home uninjured. Watch the video. Click here for details.
New Jersey firefighter’s decision to quit IAFF brings in the comments: Cherry Hill, New Jersey firefighter Michael Schaffer’s decision to quit the IAFF, rather than face charges over his activities as a volunteer, has people talking in our comments section (Schaffer himself joins in). The response was not unexpected. The only question was how long it would take before it got nasty and personal. Not long. Click here for the story and the comments.
Home of DC/Calvert County firefighter burns: Officials with the DC Fire & EMS Department confirm the home of one of its firefighters was destroyed in a two-alarm fire in Calvert County yesterday afternoon. The fire was at the home of Paul O'Conner in Bayview Hills. The Huntingtown VFD reports O'Conner, who is a member, used his radio to report the fire. Click the image for more details from TheBayNet.com and a series of pictures by Dennis Hook. The Maryland State Fire Marshal's office says the fire was started by a space heater used to dry materials in a shed under a wooden deck.
Another I-Team discovers firefighters make overtime: Contract negotiating time when money is very tight and suddenly everyone realizes the fire department is way over its overtime budget. This has happened in jurisdiction after jurisdiction across the country since the economy went south. We have run a bunch of stories that fit the pattern. The script goes like this. Political leaders say the OT is busting their budgets and often someone leaks the details to a newspaper or TV station. The news media runs the story showing how firefighters are all the top money makers in town. Someone claims there is something fishy going on. The IAFF points out if you hire firefighters and fill all the vacant positions you can then spend less on overtime. Then there is usually the call to lower minimum staffing requirements. Some of that is now going on in Clark County, Nevada. Check it out.
Scrambling to safety: Video from Chile as rescuers rush out of a building because of an aftershock. Check it out.
Former firefighter sentenced for 48 false calls: Caryn Sodaro will get a few more weeks in jail and have to pay $11,000 for her series of false suicide and other EMS calls. Officials say she called them in and then listened to the responses on the radio provided to her by the fire company where she volunteered in Weld County, Colorado. Here are the details.
This call at 10th & Howard in St. Louis came in around 2:00 this morning. Firefighters found heavy fire in the long-abandoned two-story warehouse. The structure was deemed too unstable for interior operations. There were no injuries.
Some St. Louis firefighters barely escaped injury after getting caught in the middle of a shooting Wednesday night in North St. Louis City.
A shooting broke out around 10:30 p.m. very close to engine house 26 in the 4200 block of Margeretta. Firefighters were on their way to their firehouse when bullets went flying.
A spokesman for the fire department said firemen were bringing a pumper truck back to the firehouse from a repair shop. As they got close to the firehouse, they heard a loud noise.
When they looked up the street, they noticed a person with a gun firing shots at a man and woman. At least one bullet is believed to have ricocheted and hit the firefighter’s pumper truck.
“They were directly in the line of fire and the noise they heard was the bullet grazing off the pumper so they immediately backed out,” said spokesman Bob Keuss.
Firefighters involved in the shooting were not injured but police say the male victim was shot in the leg, the female shot in the back. Both were taken to the hospital where they were listed in stable condition. As of Thursday night, police were still looking for the shooter.