(Thanks to reader Joe Chamberland for alerting us to this video.)
To give you an idea how stubborn this van fire in Vancouver, BC was on Monday, the image below was taken from the video by NepaliUnited above more than 15 minutes after firefighters began putting water and foam on the burning vehicle. Two men from the van were seriously burned and fled the scene after a collision with another vehicle sent the van into the wall and onto the home’s front yard. Police initially said the fire inside the van was being fueled by chemicals and that the vehicle was a rolling meth lab. A follow-up statement by police indicates there were no chemicals and this was not a meth lab. It turns out there were containers of gasoline inside the back of the van.
VPD spokesman Const. Brian Montague said two men aged 19 and 25, both residents of Coquitlam, eventually walked into Eagle Ridge Hospital with serious burns to their upper body, arms, hands, head and face.
Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the collision that happened around 3:15 p.m. when a white panel van crashed into a concrete wall at Oak Street near 53rd.
Montague said that it initially appeared that equipment or chemicals for a meth lab were in the van.
However, he said later that gasoline, not chemicals or a meth lab, were involved in the fire and explosions that destroyed the van.
Above is a second version of the close call video we showed you as the Crestline Elementary School in Vancouver, Washington burned on Sunday. It occurs at about :42 on Josh Fancher‘s video. He describes what happens simply as a roof collapse.
The fire was reported at 3:17 a.m. It burned for hours, with smoke continuing to billow and fire licking at spots around the building at midmorning.
One firefighter was hurt and sent to a local hospital, where he was treated and later released, said Kevin Stromberg, a fire department spokesman. The nature of the firefighter’s injury was not disclosed.
Interesting video from Noah Patraw of a three-alarm fire early this morning that destroyed Crestline Elementary School in Vancouver, Washington. As you will see in the brief clip, an explosion occurs that results in one firefighter either being knocked down or falling to the ground while trying to get away from the blast. One firefighter was injured during the fire but it isn’t clear if the explosion caused the injury.
While there were no details in any of the articles I have read about the fire, radio communications heard on the video refers to it as a backdraft, “Command from Truck 5, we’ve just had a big backdraft on the left side”.
This story from last June should have made my 2011 year end review and won a STATty for the biggest loser caught on video. We featured Dustin Anderson's confrontation with a Vancouver firefighter during the rioting that occurred after the Canucks were defeated in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Anderson was interviewed by CBC News after the video developed quite an audience and said:
"I went to him for help because I had been pepper sprayed. He told me to go home… He was trying to get in my face."
Anderson will now have the opportunity to tell his story to the judge after being charged with hitting the firefighter.
Dustin Anderson also told CBC News in June that he felt "horrible" and that he can't leave his home "because everybody recognizes me". The charges are bringing a new round of publicity for Anderson which may help everyone by keeping the man home bound again. Make sure you check out the Arrest Dustin Anderson Facebook group for more on this upstanding citizen.
Click here & here for previous coverage of this story
(Thanks to STATter911.com reader Jason Low for the update.)
Twenty-two-year-old Dustin Anderson says he hasn't been arrested yet, but that he plans to turn himself into police today. Anderson is the man we have been featuring on STATter911.com since last week who slugged a Vancouver firefighter and swung his bag at riot police after the Canucks were defeated in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
If you saw the video we posted last night of the guy slugging the firefighter in Vancouver after the Canucks loss (click here if you didn't) you will want to check out this video at 1:57. Thanks to reader Jason Low for finding it and bringing to our attention (BTW, Fire Cricket Rhett Fleitz has now twice called STATter911.com readers "trolls" but we will have more on that later).. It appears to be the same guy swinging his purse at police. Let's hope he wasn't separated at birth from his twin and there's only one of these jerks roaming the streets of Vancouver. Good catch Jason.
Same guy? Looks that way to me. At left is from his swing at a cop and the picture on the right comes from his attack on the firefighter.
Pollice described them as criminals and anarchists disguised as Canucks' fans. But whatever they were they caused a bit of damage Wednesday night after their team lost to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Most likely by now you have seen the burning police cars and other vehicles in stories from Vancouver. But have you seen the video above? After a confrontation around a fire truck a fan gets a shot in and connects with the jaw of a firefighter.
Vancouver firefighters say they were heckled and hit with debris as they tried to work during the riot.
Assistant Operations Chief Wade Pierlot tells us it was a situation his team isn't used to. Several firefighters were hurt; some were accosted and at one point even had to run to safety.
"The angry crowd is something we're not exposed to very often," says Pierlot. "(It is) certainly not a firefighter's way of being treated. It was new to many of us, a new experience for us. We also had rocks and bottles thrown at our trucks."
Pierlot adds getting to problem areas was hard because of crowds, but he thanks the many people who pushed garbage bin or dumpster fires away from buildings to prevent things from getting worse.
The website also posted an article on how police may use the large amount of video evidence available to prosecute rioters. Click here.
Three alarms in Vancouver, BC: A large $6 million home burned Friday at Angus and Granville.
Joint funeral set in San Francisco: Saint Mary’s Cathedral at 1111 Gough St. in San Francisco will be the site of a joint funeral for firefighter Anthony Valerio and Lt. Vincent Perez. Firefighter Valerio died Saturday following the fire Thursday that had taken the life of Lt. Perez. Services are tenatively scheduled for 12:30 PM. Firefighter Close Calls tells us that San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798 has established trust accounts at the San Francisco Fire Credit Union. Donations can be made to SFFCU, 3201 California St., San Francisco, CA 94118. Condolence messages can be sent to Fire Station 26, 80 Digby St., San Francisco, CA 94131. Click here, here & here for previous coverage.
Stratford, Connecticut's woes continue: Glenn Usdin's FireTruckBlog.com has an update on the fire department in Stratford trying to recover from January's wrecks on I-95 that took out two pumpers. Here's the latest.
Chiefs make more than governors: The Washington Examiner takes a look at what fire and police chiefs make in and around the Nation's Capital. Click here.
Seven years in Bret Tarver death: Christopher Benitez gets a seven-year sentence, minus 699 days already served, for negligent homicide in the 2001 Phoenix supermarket blaze where Firefighter Bret Tarver died. Here's more.
The controversy continues in Alameda, California: Alameda County disputes the Alameda Police Department's statement about a mutual aid request to assist in the water rescue that never happened. Here's that story. Some Alameda citizens have been adding their thoughts to our comments section as the discussion continues over an incident that has, as expected, become an enormous image problem for firefighters. Click here, here & here.
Remembering Mark Falkenhan & others: The Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial Foundation held its annual ceremony yesterday at the Maryland Emergency Services Memorial Park in Annapolis. Mark Falkenhan's name was added to the Wall of Honor. Falkenhan, a member of both Lutherville VFC and Middle River Rescue Company in Baltimore County, died during an apartment fire in January. Anne Arundel County Fire Department Chief John Robert Ray was the keynote speaker. Jim Brown from MIEMSS took the picture to the right.
Getting paid just for showing your face: A man who didn't call the fire department in Colorado Springs, Colorado is upset over a $700 bill he received after firefighters showed up at the scene of a car crash. Their services were not needed. Firegeezer has the story.
Amazing Grace & Mickey Mouse ears: A most unusual firefighter funeral in Concord, New Hampshire as those remembering Robert Bottcher donned Mickey Mouse ears in tribute. Here's the story.
Restaurant critics?: Two suspicious fires early this morning at fast food restaurants in the Toledo, Ohio area. Here are the details.
Busy morning on Detroit's East Side: One dwelling fire at Joseph Campeau and Ferry and then two more homes burn at 3475 Garland Street.
This is a four-alarm fire on Thursday that damaged or destroyed four homes near 28th Avenue and Kingsway Drive in Vancouver on Thursday. The Vancouver Sun reports this was the second fire at this address in less than a month. Here are excerpts from the article:
By the time firefighters arrived, the house was an "inferno" and had collapsed. The fire had also spread to the neighbouring houses to the east and west of the collapsed house.
(Battalion Chief Rod) MacDonald said fire crews could not enter the first house because it was destroyed, but went into the second house after reports there were people inside.
By that time, a third house had gone up in flames and a fourth also had caught fire.
"At one point, we thought it might spread to six houses," said MacDonald. "It was an intense fire."
The photographer is an early arrival on this detached garage in an alley in Vancouver, BC. What really caught my eye on this one begins at 1:55 on the video. Synchronized, but unsuccessful forcible entry on the second garage door. Sometimes even teamwork doesn’t get the job done.
Check 1:05 in this video: Newsworking.org shot this video around 1:30 Monday morning at 1533 Turner Street in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At 1:05 you will see a third floor room light off as a firefighter is inside near the door to the balcony.
A badly dressed firefighter impersonator is arrested at the scene of that vacant furniture factory in New York: The fire we told you about over the weekend in Salamanca, New York is being called the largest fire in the history of Cattaraugus County (click here for video). A police investigator who discovered the fire says five juveniles are about to be arrested and charged with arson. Besides dealing with arsonists Sgt. Ben Whitmore arrested a man decked out in stolen fire gear at the scene of the fire. Here are details from Rich Place at OleanTimesHerald.com:
Bradley M. Thomas, 30, of Olean was allegedly walking near fire trucks on Rochester Street at approximately 9:52 p.m. wearing blue jeans, an upside-down air pack, a firefighter’s helmet belonging to the Kill Buck Volunteer Fire Department and a firefighter’s jacket belonging to the Salamanca Fire Department, according to Salamanca Police Sgt. Benjamin Whitmore.
When questioned about the gear, police say Thomas claimed to be with the Machias Fire Department, which had been on standby, but not dispatched to the scene.
UPDATE – DC firefighter goes back to work in Flint: Flint, Michigan firefighters who had been let go to help balance the budget are returning to the job this week. We are told among them is DC Fire & EMS Department Probationary Firefighter - Paramedic Rob Green, who went home to Flint. The first of the 34 firefighters returned yesterday. Twenty-one are from the lay-offs that occurred in March. Others were cut as far back as 2007. Read and watch the story.
Also in Flint, the City Council has sent the appointment to chief of retired Assistant Chief John Linker back to the mayor’s office. The council doesn’t believe now is the time to hire a new chief and take on the expense that goes with it. Here’s that story.
“We’ve had someone call 911 to say ‘My rectum hurts.’”: Vancouver, Washington Chief Don Bivins with an example of one of the many calls he describes as non-emergency that his department has sent a fire truck to in the past. Chief Bivins wants to stop dispatching Vancouver Fire Department firefighters and paramedics to the lowest-priority medical calls to improve response times. Those calls would still be handled by a private ambulance service. According to the Columbian’s Andrea Damewood, “Examples of non-emergency calls include hip, leg and arm fractures; emergency reactions where someone is not having difficulty breathing; and possible miscarriages in women who are 20 weeks pregnant or less.” Union President Mark Johnston says the plan “doesn’t save any money and people are going to be harmed”. Here’s the article.
Pittsburgh public safety director grilled about city’s snow response: You may recall the strong words from Michael Huss after an ambulance crew didn’t hike in the snow to a dying man’s home. A Pittsburgh City Council task force has been looking into the city’s snow response and ended up issuing a subpoena to Huss after a councilwoman says Huss declined to answer seven invitations to appear. Huss believes the task force is too political and not productive. One question Huss was asked is why he left town to celebrate the mayor’s birthday when there was a major snowstorm bearing down on the city. Read more here. Watch the story.
Man too embarrassed to call for help or take his pants off: Both things would have expedited the rescue of a man stuck in silt along a river in China. Firefighters believe pride added seven hours to the man’s ordeal. Read the story.
House fire in Arlington Heights, Illinois: The Arlington Cardinal reports this started as a fire in the crawlspace around 7:30 PM last night. As fire shot through the roof an evacuation order was given. Above is Part 2 of the video. Part 1 is here.
As usual, there have been stories all week of firefighters doing their best to make sure the holiday is still special for those less fortunate. And in many instances they try to even salvage the day for those who lost a home due to fire.
Such was the case yesterday afternoon following a house fire on Carter Lane in Woodbridge, Virginia. The Prince William County Public Safety Communication Center put the call out to county fire stations to see if there were any late arriving toys from the annual Toys for Tots collection at local firehouses that could be gathered for the three young girls who live in the damaged home. As O.W.L. VFD Assistant Chief Jim McAllister and Battalion Chief Lance McClintock wrote in emails that Santa forwarded to STATter911.com (where we always want to know whose naughty and nice) everyone came through, showing a great cooperation between career, volunteer and 911 crews.