A Brazos County constable was killed in a shooting that injured others near the Texas A&M University campus Monday afternoon, according to a source with the county.
Police said the suspect, who was taken into custody, was firing shots from a house near the campus across from the football stadium Kyle Field. The identity and conditions of those injured are not yet known.
One of two officers shot during an incident on Fidelity Street in College Station has died, according to several sources.
At least five people were taken to the College Station Medical Center but it wasn’t known if all were gunshot victims.
The incident appears to have unfolded about 12:15 p.m. at a house in the historical district of the city close to George Bush Drive.
Texas police took a shooter into custody Monday after receiving reports of multiple injuries near the Texas A&M University campus, officials said.
The university issued an alert on its just before 12:30 p.m. warning of an active shooter near the campus football stadium, Kyle Field. The warning told residents and students to avoid the area, and was later updated with the shooter taken into custody.
College Station Police spokeswoman Rhonda Seaton told The Dallas Morning News that law enforcement officers are among “multiple injuries” at the scene, which she says is within a block or two of campus. Seaton says she does know the extent of the injuries. Multiple calls to Seaton’s cellphone from the Associated Press went straight to voicemail Monday afternoon. Text messages and emails also were left for the spokeswoman.
Texas A&M spokeswoman Sherylon Carroll could not confirm any injuries or details about the shooting, but said most students were not on campus Monday and the fall semester does not begin until August 27.
“It appeared to be fairly quiet,” Carroll said of campus. “It didn’t appear to be a lot of people out and about at that particular time.”
College Station is about 90 miles northwest of Houston. Texas A&M is home to more than 50,000 students, according to its website.
Above is a video from RycheG’s channel on TouTube of an apartment fire on July 12 in the Houston area. The air horns are sounded at 3:11 in the clip. Here is some of the description with the video:
All companies of the Community Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to an apartment fire at the Vinings of West Oaks, on Gray Ridge near Greencrest. The fire broke out in the Alief district, just west of Houston, around 11:15am Thursday July 12, 2012.
Residents in a west Harris County apartment complex had to get out of their apartments in a hurry, in the rain, after a fire broke out just before noon.
Firefighters say it looks like the fire started on the second floor and then moved up to the third floor and attic. They tell us all the rain made their jobs much harder. It took fire trucks much longer than usual to arrive at the scene and the wind made the fire spread faster.
Bob Nicks, president of the Austin Firefighters Association, said the firing marked the first time to his knowledge that a firefighter has been terminated for incompetence.
According to the article, the firefighter let go is Andrea Mote-Yale, who was fired Tuesday by Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr. The reporters cite paperwork they’ve obtained about the performance of Mote-Yale indicating the firefighter failed tests, did not take responsibility for her performance and that officers did not have faith in Mote-Yale’s abilities.
Previous deficiencies included being removed from calls due to poor fitness, becoming flustered and shutting down during incidents, improperly treating patients on three occasions, and requiring “constant supervision” despite her training, the memo said. Other firefighters refused to trade shifts with her due to safety concerns, the memo said.
“This is not a decision I made easily or without thoughtful consideration,” Kerr wrote. “But I simply cannot, and will not, put firefighters’ or citizens’ lives at risk.”
Nicks, the union president, was concerned that in this case Chief Kerr was using standards set for new firefighters and applying them to veterans without working with the union in setting a “reasonable incumbent standard”.
According to the information with the video this was from a fire yesterday handled by the Winnie Stowell VFD in Winnie, Texas with mutual aid from a half-dozen or so other departments. The description says the fire in an oil well storage tank was sparked by a lightning strike. No further information.
According to KGBT-TV, Art Rodriquez, the assistant city manager in San Benito, Texas, says a city fire captain showed up to work intoxicated on Saturday. You will note in the story below and above, the captain’s “work issued gun” was retrieved when he was his sent home and suspended. I could find no explanation on the town’s website about why fire captains carry guns (such as they do the job of both police officers and firefighters).
His credentials and work issued gun were immediately taken from him.
In a statement Rodriguez also said.
“As city managers, we obviously cannot control a person’s thoughts, but we do have a responsibility to the people of the city of san Benito and the programs we manage; inclusive to address behavior that affects the individual Employee(s) And the city.”
In Garland, Texas four firefighters received suspensions over the hazing of a rookie. According to news reports, the February incident was brought to the attention of management by the Garland Firefighters Association. The union issued a statement saying, “We’re pleased with the way the fire administration handled the investigation and the punishment”. Chief Raymond Knight, who called the incident embarrassing, says the suspensions of the firefighters were staggered to avoind incurring overtime.
According to records obtained by The Dallas Morning News, second-month firefighter Dalton Harris was sprayed with water hoses, chased down, duct taped, buckled to a backboard and laid on the floor under a water pipe discharging a strong stream of water on Feb. 25.
“Things got a little out of hand at the station and some discipline had to be handed down and we knew that,” said Paul Henley, association president. “We just wanted to make sure the discipline matched what they did.”
Henley said there are means within the rules to honor the tradition and build the team.
“I think he (Chief Knight) had to make a statement,” said Henley, who described the hazing investigation as lengthy and thorough. “It said it’s a new administration and we’re not going to do things the same way. He made a good statement.”
The city’s fire chief says several veteran firefighters at Station #3 chased down Dalton Harris, 20, while the group was washing the trucks on February 25.
Documents allege firefighters Scott Hunt, Oscar Lorenzo and Jeremy Sanford then duct taped the young firefighter to a backboard normally used for patients and held him under a pipe that “was turned on causing a strong stream of water to discharge over Firefighter Harris’ body.”
A supervisor, Capt. Randy Baker, who allegedly watched some of the incident and didn’t stop the group, was also disciplined. None of the firefighters returned News 8’s calls for comment.
Check this video at :24 of a Fort Worth, Texas firefighter following a storm on Wednesday. It’s self explanatory and something that has happened to all of us once or twice in our career. But why does someone have to catch it on video, post it to YouTube and then that idiot Statter share it with everyone?
Here is a video from a house fire in Frisco Texas, a suburb of Dallas.
Lightning strikes started four residential fires in Frisco and McKinney Wednesday morning as severe weather rolled through the area.
In Frisco, at 11:22 a.m. firefighters were called to the 5900 block of Aberdeen Place. That fire was controlled by 11:51 p.m. Investigators estimated damages at $350,000 for the structure, and $100,000 for the contents of the home.
Read the whole news story by WFAA by clicking HERE.
Let’s go back 59 years courtesy of the Austin Fire Museum. This film shows the men from old Fire Station 5 in East Austin. Besides giving us a view of station life in 1953, it also shows some of the first African American firefighters hired in Texas (see below). Stay beyond the closing credits of the film because there are a couple of outtakes.
Description of the film:
This film was created by Captain Victor Tiemann of Engine Company 5 at Old Fire Station 5 at 1005 Lydia St. in East Austin. In 1952 the City of Austin hired the first paid African American firefighters in Texas. They were initially stationed at Old Fire Station 5. Captain Tiemann had the crew demonstrate for the camera various activities in the day in the life of an Austin fire company in 1953. At the time of the filming the Austin Fire Department had a two platoon shift schedule and Captain Tiemann was in charge of the A-Shift. The driver was William (Bill) Walsh, and the firefighters of the crew were Willie Ray Davis, Marvin Douglas, and James Ritchardson.
The Austin Fire Department employed three black firefighters, the first blacks to be hired under Civil Service law in the state of Texas. The three were Willie Ray Davis, who retired as a Captain; Nathaniel H. Kindred, who died of a heart attack in 1977 while at a fire scene; and Roy D. Greene, who resigned.
City representative Steve Ortega was at the scene of the fire and told ABC-7 the burning building belonged to Gerald Rubin, CEO of Helen of Troy.
Firefighters said an official cause for the fire had not yet been determined, but Ortega said he believed the way the fire spread so quickly was due to neglect on the part of the building’s owner.
“This is what happens when we have property owners that don’t take care of their buildings,” said Ortega. “It’s infuriating as an El Pasoan seeing history go up in flames. This is one of the most historic buildings in downtown El Paso, it’s where John Wesley Hardin had his law office, it goes back to the late 1800′s.
In Harris County, Texas members of the Ponderosa Fire Department say they were turned away from a Dairy Queen. The owner calls it a misunderstanding over parking in their small lot between the fire crew and the owner of another DQ who was filling for him on Wednesday evening. The firefighters tell a different story.
Six members of the Ponderosa Fire Dept. made the three mile trip from their fire station in the 17000 block of Rolling Creek Dr. to the DQ in the 2000 block of FM 1960.
They wanted ice cream, but say the owner told them to leave because it was bad publicity for their fire truck to be parked in the front parking lot.
“We kind of were hurt in a way. We just wanted some ice cream. We’re firefighters. We try to do great for the community and here we are being asked to leave from a restaurant,” Dickerson told KHOU 11 News.
Owner Pooya Hejazi told the TV station the issue was traffic flow being blocked by the rig. Hejazi believes if he had been there the whole thing would have been handled differently. He is trying to make amends. After being contacted by KHOU-TV Hejazi called the Ponderosa chief, apologized and invited the firefighters back for a meal on him.
By the way, from what I see the DQ owner gets an A+ from STATter911.com in trying to turn around some bad publicity. Mr. Hejazi addressed the issue directly in the initial story and did not stretch it into multiple days. He took responsibility and did not put the blame on firefighters. When contacted by the TV station he immediately reached out to the Ponderosa Fire Department with an apology and an invitation to help change the firefighters’ image of his store. He also invited the reporter and camera crew into his operation showing some transparency and that he was not hiding anything. While it appears things could have been done better at DQ on Wednesday night, the handling of the situation on Thursday was damn near perfect and should provide a lesson to us all.
The video above is a compilation of clips from dashcams released by the Bastrop County, Texas sheriff showing deputies and firefighters reacting to the first reports of fire just before 2:30 PM on Sunday afternoon, September 4.
In the video you will see efforts to notify residents and try and put out the rapidly moving fire. Roads the deputies used to get into the area were suddenly cut off by the fast moving fire. This is the initial stage of a wildfire that killed two people, destroyed more than 1500 homes and spread over 34,000 acres.
I posted the video above on Friday morning. It's from a fire Thursday in Murphy, Texas. The camera was aboard Parker Fire Department's Truck 1. But very shortly after I posted it, the video vanished from YouTube. I hate when that happens. Parker Fire reposted it later in the day and so have I. There is also a shorter video from a different angle that was shot by a neighbor. You can find that video here.
Acting Chief Louis Bright announced that Dallas Fire-Rescue Lt. Todd Krodle, a 17-year-veteran died this afternoon after falling through the roof of an apartment building. Krodle, who was 41, left behind a wife and two children.
The three-alarm fire was at the Ridgecrest Apartments at 5606 Plum Grove Lane.
Fire department spokesman Jason Evans said Lt. Krodle had been working to ventilate the roof of the 42-year-old building by cutting a hole in it, a procedure that reduces the possibility of a dangerous backdraft.
Paramedics brought the injured man down from the second floor and rushed him to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"On behalf of the Dallas City Council and the entire City of Dallas workforce, we express our deepest sympathy to the family, friends and fellow firefighters of this courageous and dedicated firefighter," said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in a written statement issued Sunday night. "We must never lose sight that fire service is an extremely dangerous business and this brave man died doing the dangerous job he loved; protecting our citizens and our properties and making our neighborhoods safer for all of us."
The guy went up there, and he started shaking the roof to see if it was safe,” (neighbor Dezarae) Ferguson said. “Then all of a sudden he just went through and it was a big ol’ poof of smoke everywhere.”
Ferguson and another witness debated whether he had been in the unit 10 or 20 minutes before firefighters were able to carry him out on a stretcher, visibly burned.
“He was in there a long time” Ferguson said. “It was scary".
Above is earlier coverage of the story, before the information was released that there was no fire.
Three alarms were called to Williams Square at 5215 North O'Connor Boulevard in the Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas around 7:30 this morning when white "smoke" was spotted billowing from the top of a 26-story building.
News crews gathered as firefighters looked for the source of the fire. Three firefighters were hurt and were taken to the hospital. In the end there was no fire. Here are details from WFAA-TV:
Two of the firefighters were hospitalized after a hose popped off a standpipe and struck them. A third firefighter was also taken away in an ambulance for treatment. Their injuries were said to be not serious.
Irving Fire Department Assistant Chief R.W. Wilson confirmed that the 7:30 a.m. incident was not a fire. He said a "deluge system" designed to extinguish fires had been triggered by a malfunctioning sensor. The water then cascaded down on the fan blades of the building's air conditioning system, which spun the water into a cloud-like vapor seen rising from the top of the tower.
After long, hot day on top of a more than 750-foot communications tower in Burlington, Texas on Wednesday, Mike Howard was sick and couldn't get down. He found a platform at the 760 feet level where he went in and out of consciousness while rescuers devised a plan and came after him. But it was a rescue operation that took more than six hours.(In December, I ran a video from a helmet-cam from a guy working at the top of a more than 1700 foot tower asking the question who rescues this guy when he was in trouble. As if I didn't know.)
"I was cramping," he said. "I had to stop, but I had to keep pushing on through."
Two more firefighters joined him at the top. Their arms, hands and legs burned in pain while the wind blew their ropes sideways. Since they couldn't get to the stricken worker out onto the platform, they tossed him a bag of saline intended for an IV, which he drank.
They started their climb at about 8 p.m. and the rescue lasted nearly seven hours.
A crew of about 20 people conceived a plan to tie a rope to a harness and then use a pulley to lower him down through the middle of the tower — which began just after 1 a.m. Thursday.
Crews climbed the tower and found that Howard, while still lying on the platform, had removed his safety gear because he felt claustrophobic. Complicating the issue further was Howard's stature he was said to be at least 6 feet 5 inches tall.
By 2:30 a.m., they had successfully brought Howard back down to the ground. He was transported to Huguley Memorial Hospital in Burleson and is in stable condition.
Looking at the video above and numerous others from last night's concert by Rihanna at the American Airlines Center, a little talk between the Dallas Fire Department and arena officials about evacuation procedures i probably in order. Something caught fire in a light grid area above the stage (one news account has it as a light and wiring and another quoes a fire captain saying a chair was burning). Concert goers say the fire broke out after on-stage pyrotechnics (this video shows some of the fireworks).
Whatever the source and the material burning it is clear that they had a bit of fire burning overhead with not a small amount of embers dropping below and smoke starting to billow through the arena. Guess who they made sure got out of there right away? Here's how WDFW-TV describes it:
Rihanna, dressed in a floor-length, canary-colored gown with bejeweled black and white neckline, quickly exited the stage. The light was fully on fire at that point.
Rihanna "ran off the stage," according to Elizabeth Teller, who attended the event.
Guess whose safety, based on the videos I have seen, was not a priority during this fire? Listening to and watching the video above the first announcement to leave comes almost five minutes after that video began rolling and after someone had used a fire extinguisher on the fire.
The video immediately below begins just as the last chord of what turned out to be the final song of the night was played. It has a much closer view of the activity and flaming debris that was falling. And below that are more angles including an on scene report from a citizen journalist.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A Texas Rangers fan died after falling about 20 feet onto concrete reaching out for a baseball tossed his way by All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton during a game.
Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter from Brownwood, died at a hospital Thursday night, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said.
Stone was a lieutenant and had been with the Brownwood Fire Department nearly 18 years, said City Manager Bobby Rountree. Brownwood is about 150 miles southwest of Arlington.
Stone was at the game with his young son, who watched as his dad tumbled over the outfield railing after catching the ball.
Arlington Fire Department officials said Stone, who witnesses said was conscious after the fall, "went into full arrest" while being transported by ambulance. He was pronounced dead at a Fort Worth hospital less than an hour after he fell.
"We had a very tragic accident tonight and one of our fans lost their life reaching over the rail trying to get a ball," team president Nolan Ryan said somberly after the Rangers' 6-0 victory over Oakland. "As an organization, and as our team members and our staff, we're very heavy-hearted about this, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."
Ronnie Hargis was sitting next to Stone in the first row of seats in left field. The men had been talking before the accident. Hargis reached out to try to grab Stone, who fell headfirst through a gap of several feet that is between the seats and the 14-foot-high outfield wall.
"He went straight down. I tried to grab him, but I couldn't," Hargis said. "I tried to slow him down a little bit."
The area where Stone landed was out of sight from the field.
It is the second fatal fall at a major league stadium this season. In May, a 27-year-old man died after he fell about 20 feet and struck his head on concrete during a Colorado Rockies game. Witnesses told police that the man had been trying to slide down a staircase railing at Coors Field and lost his balance during a game against Arizona.
There was an audible gasp in the stands at Rangers Ballpark when Stone tumbled over the rail, eerily similar to an accident there almost exactly a year earlier. Another firefighter fell about 30 feet from the second-deck of seats down the right-field line while trying to catch a foul ball on July 6, 2010.
Tyler Morris, a firefighter from the Lake Cities Fire Department near Dallas, sustained a fractured skull and sprained ankle last year when he dropped onto seats where other fans were sitting.
The latest accident happened in the second inning after Oakland's Conor Jackson hit a foul ball that ricocheted into left field. Hamilton, the reigning AL MVP elected by fans to start his fourth consecutive All-Star game next week, retrieved the ball and tossed it into the stands as players routinely do.
Safawna Dunn, who was sitting nearby, said Stone was calling for Hamilton to throw him the ball. Dunn said the victim was conscious when he was taken away on a stretcher.
Ryan described Hamilton as being "very distraught over this, as the entire team is."
The Rangers' clubhouse was closed to reporters after the game.
Rangers starter Derek Holland, who pitched a four-hit shutout, turned and glanced briefly at people looking down where Stone had land behind the outfield wall that supports a video board for replays and scores. Catcher Mike Napoli had motioned toward the outfield and Jackson looked that way as well before play resumed.
Between innings, Rangers manager Ron Washington spoke briefly with one of the umpires. Texas designated hitter Michael Young could be seen talking to A's catcher Kurt Suzuki and pointing toward where last year's fall happened.
"We knew about it, we didn't know exactly what happened," Washington said. "It's sad, it's very sad."
Oakland reliever Brad Ziegler was in the visitor's bullpen in left-center field, which can be accessed through the area where Stone fell.
Ziegler was in tears after the game when he found out about the death. The pitcher said when Stone was put on a stretcher, he told people tending to him that his son was "up there by himself" and asked them to check on the boy.
"He had his arms swinging. He talked and was conscious. We assumed he was OK," Ziegler said. "But when you find out he's not, it's just tough."
Former President George W. Bush, who used to be the team's managing general partner and often attends games, was sitting in the front row with Ryan near the Texas dugout when the accident happened. Ryan left moments later while Bush remained in the seats.
Ryan said Bush was aware of what was happening.
"It's just devastating. I don't even know what to say. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It filtered into our dugout. … I made a little announcement to the team after the game. Certainly baseball is not very important in light of something like that."
After Morris was hurt last year, he called the incident a "100 percent, total accident that could have happened to anybody." He said he didn't blame the Rangers or the ballpark.
In 1994, a Plano woman posing for a picture after the Rangers' first game in the stadium sustained multiple injuries after she fell about 35 feet.
Ryan wasn't prepared to talk about what changes, if any, might be made at the stadium.
"Tonight, we're not prepared to speak about anything further than the accident and the tragedy," Ryan said. "That's where I'm going to leave it."
It sounds like the Pasadena (Texas) Fire Department brass made all of the right moves three years ago when they were made aware that nude photos were on the Internet that had been taken inside the firehouse. Posing next to a fire engine with just a fire coat barely covering her body, was the wife of a volunteer firefighter. Her husband had taken the pictures inside the station. The department parted ways with the volunteer and the chief thought the offending pictures had been removed from the Internet.
But the pictures caught the eye of quite a few on the Internet. All you have to do is put the phrase "Nude chick at Pasadena fire station" in Google and you will find many sites showing off the wares of the firefighter's wife with the Pasadena FD logo on the fire truck about chest high (something tells me most people won't notice the logo first).
Now, three years later, someone in South Africa sent them to Houston TV station KPRC. This brought reporter Amy Davis to Chief Lanny Armstrong's door. From what I can see the chief handled the interview exactly how it should be handled, directly and honestly. But it has to be frustrating for Chief Armstrong and others in the department knowing these pictures aren't going to disappear. Just as Anthony Weiner learned a few weeks ago, even something that was on the web for a hot minute before being deleted can come back to haunt you in a very big way.
As I have been saying for a while, there's a whole generation who have grown up in the digital age with the belief that everything that happens in life needs to be on the Internet. But that doesn't always mesh well with what happens in fire and EMS. It is important for fire chiefs and others to not only to set a digital policy, but to have discussions and training on ethics and social media.
Obviously in this case, even without the Internet, there were some pretty clear ethical lapses that you would hope a fire chief wouldn't have to go over with a new member or recruit. I am sure many fire chiefs reading this are adding this line to the personnel manual and/or department rules: No nude pictures of the wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, friends or strangers are to be taken on fire department property. And you would think that is one you wouldn't have to spell out. But as they say, you can't fix stupid.
We have followed the story of Darin Unruh since the night he was burned in November 2008. The Houston fire captain was in cardiac arrest for six minutes after being pulled from the fire in northeast Houston. His mask had come off while fighting the fire, critically burning his face and neck. It may have been as long as five minutes before fellow firefighters found Unruh. It wasn't clear that Unruh was going to survive. Among other medical problems, Darrin Unruh's eyelids had to be rebuilt and he was given a cornea transplant in his left eye. Despite all of that, Captain Darin Unruh is back riding a fire truck in Houston. Watch this remarkable story.
Austin fire officials will again administer oral exams to more than 2,500 prospective firefighters amid concerns that confidential test questions were leaked to give some applicants an unfair advantage.
Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr and other top city officials received a letter from an anonymous author this week who claimed that test questions for an oral exam had been passed among applicants. The writer included a copy of the official test questions and grading criteria.