Above is fireground audio from today’s jet crash in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Below is more early video showing forcible entry by police officers and firefighters as they perform searches in units adjacent to the fire.
We were on the road today, out of position, unable to post, when we got word from one of our former TV colleagues that an F/A-18D fighter jet crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Firegeezer.com and FirefighterNation.com have earlier coverage. On this page are various videos from YouTube, including pre-arrival video taken by those nearby.
Two Navy pilots ejected from a fighter jet Friday, sending the unmanned plane careening into a Virginia Beach apartment complex and tearing the roof off at least one building that was engulfed in flames, officials said.
Six people, including both pilots, were taken to hospitals, officials said. The Navy said both aviators on board the jet ejected before it crashed around noon and were being taken to hospitals for observation .
Bruce Nedelka, the Virginia Beach EMS division chief, said that witnesses saw fuel being dumped from the jet before it went down, and that fuel was found on buildings and vehicles in the area.
“By doing so, he mitigated what could have been an absolute massive, massive fireball and fire,” Nedelka said. “With all of that jet fuel dumped, it was much less than what it could have been.”
The crash happened in the Hampton Roads area, which has a large concentration of military bases, including Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world. Naval Air Station Oceana, where the F/A-18D that crashed was assigned, is located in Virginia Beach.
Three buildings were destroyed, and two more had significant damage, Virginia Beach fire department spokesman Tim Riley told WVEC-TV.
The fire had been put out, Nedelka said, and now crews were going through the buildings to search for anyone who may have been inside.
Battalion Chief Tim Riley checks in from Virginia Beach, Virginia on yesterday's gas leak and fire sparked by a construction crew:
Construction Crews Struck a 4 inch plastic natural gas line. The gas immediately caught line near the entrance to the US Naval Master Jet Base Oceana. The fire closed portions of Oceana Blvd down for 3 and ½ hours. Fire crews protected the construction excavator valued at $250,000 dollars. VBFD elected to let the fire burn for safety reason, the fire consumed all the natural gas. If the fire was extinguished natural gas would have accumulated in the area making for a potentially dangerous situation. The fire burned for 2/12 hours before Virginia Natural Gas could secured the 4 inch gas line. No injuries and the excavator remained idling during the entire call. It was pretty cool.
The Virginia Beach Fire Department's Ladder 11 ran an unusual call on Friday. They were sent to assist in the rescue of a 150 pound bear in a tree in a residential neighborhood. According to Martin Grube at Fire Rescue TV, the firefighters provided the means to reach the tranquilized animal and let the professionals run the rescue operation.
Watching the multiple stories below from WAVY-TV you will see the bear's visit to the oceanfront attracted a lot of attention and was carried on live TV. Read more here.
Fire Rescue TV’s Martin Grube got the inside shots of a Saturday morning rescue operation in Virginia Beach, Virginia. A former employee of Harold’s restaurant was found by the owner, Harold Owens, with his feet dangling from the exhaust hood over the stove. The place was a mess because the fire suppression system had gone off.
As we previously reported Virginia Beach firefighters found a 16-month-old child and a 73-year-old woman inside a burning home in the 4600 block of Jeanne St. around 2:00 Tuesday morning. Click above to listen to the fireground audio as the two victims were brought to safety. Yesterday the Virginian-Pilot reported the baby was in critical condition and the woman has been upgraded from critical to serious.
The Rube says naked firefighter investigation has broadened significantly: DC’s fire chief tells WTOP Radio’s Neal Augenstein that a firefighter is on enforced leave after an incident over the summer following a retirement party at Engine 11. That’s when the firefighter, off-duty at the time, was photographed cooking breakfast in the firehouse kitchen trying not to burn his sausage. Click here for the latest.
They may be playing your song, but it is not music to their ears: Firefighters in Williamsport, Maryland are the latest to get an earful about their house siren. It sits atop City Hall and neighbors aren’t too fond of it. The noise scares the quests at a nearby bed and breakfast (if I stayed there I would think it added to the charm of the town). The fire chief says despite technological advances it is still needed. Read more.
Firefighters describe close call: More from the large apartment building fire we showed you yesterday in Fargo, ND. The two firefighters separated after a collapse tell their story. Check it out.
Not sure the bar will be doing a thank you video: You may recall our recent posting of a nice video from a Clermont County, Ohio firm thanking the Union Township Fire Department for saving the company’s headquarters building after a fire broke out. I don’t think the department will be getting a similar reception from the owner of a township bar after a brawl between two biker clubs broke out. Police say in the middle of it, carrying a handgun, was a Union Township firefighter. Cincinnati.com reports that firefighter has had some recent department issues.
Fire in the hole: In this case the hole was one of the tubes of the Ft. McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore. A bus was burning in the middle of rush hour. Here’s the story.
More on Virginia Beach saves: Click here for the press release from Virginia Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Riley on the child and senior citizen pulled from a burning home early yesterday morning.
Thieves ransack firefighters’ lockers: It happened at a firehouse in Kansas City, Missouri while the firefighters were out. Click here.
The brilliant Firegeezer: Bill has started a category for the stories we have all done illustrating why there will always be ”job security” for fire and EMS (why didn’t I think of doing that?). The most recent entry is a motorcycle powered merry-go-round. As you will see it is a brilliant group of guys who invented this. Maybe even more fascinating is the airbag demonstration with a man sitting on the bag as it inflates that he posted in August. As Joe Flaherty and John Candy on SCTV famously said in their roles as Big Jim McBob and Billy Sol Hurok, “He blow’d up real good”. See for yourself.
A fire yesterday that destroyed three single family homes in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Here’s the description sent to STATter911.com from Battaltion Chief Tim Riley:
Virginia Beach Fire Department responded for a single family house fire at 5208 Bathley Rd. Upon arrival of the first engine, heavy fire was showing from 3 separate homes. A second alarm was transmitted immediately. Fire was under control in 70 minutes. Three homes were totally destroyed. Four family pets died in the fire (2 dogs and 2 cats). Investigators are currently on scene to determine the cause of the fire. One firefighter suffered a minor hand injuries. The heat index was 105, Virginia Beach Fire Department received mutual aid from the City of Chesapeake Fire Department who send their new Rehab Apparatus.
Lieutenant Winters, a seven-year-old Belgian Malinois/Shepherd died Friday after being injured during a training exercise in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Win was a part of Virginia Task Force 2. Win had been deployed five times by FEMA, including during Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti.
In a press release today, Virginia Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Riley explained how the dog was injured:
He entered through a small opening of the rubble pile, where the victim was located, when the accident occurred. A piece of concrete reinforcing wire punctured his chest cavity causing internal bleeding. Although Win was injured, he finished his search, located the victim, and laid at her side. The canine handler immediately sensed a problem and Win was quickly transported to Bay-Beach Veterinary Hospital where Team Doctor/Veterinarian Mark Honaker was unable to save Win. He died shortly after arriving at the animal hospital. Win died doing what he was trained and loved to do, performing his job to the very end.
Must see video of water rescue: Pretty dramatic video from Contra Costa County, California as a CHP chopper crew and a fire district rescue swimmer team up to pull a woman from a rain swollen canal. We have also added an interview with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Engineer Dave Manzeck, who made the rescue. Check it out.
Man found dead on top floor at 7-alarm fire in Manhattan: Last night firefighters were able to get to a top floor on one of the three buildings on Grand Street that burned Sunday night into Monday morning. There, they found the body of an 87-year-old man. Click here for an interview with FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano. The New York Times reports there is a history of neglect, including code violations, in these buildings. Click here for that story. In case you missed our coverage of the fire, including video of the early rescues and fireground audio, click here.
Let’s hear it for Virginia Beach’s Amy Mack: I was supposed to get to this story last week, but never got my act together. I am glad WVEC-TV caught up with Virginia Beach Firefighter Amy Mack. She was on vacation with her two children in Marco Island, Florida last week when the kids were able to see mom in action. Firefighter Mack saved the life of an elderly woman who had collapsed face down in the water. Here’s the story.
Loudoun fire chief heading south: Chief Joseph Pozzo has been picked to run the Volusia County Fire Service in Florida. Read more.
Early video from Loudoun County house fire: One house was destroyed in a fire Sunday afternoon in Leesburg. Here’s the video.
SAFER won’t make things safer in Flint until summer: The latest estimate of when Flint will be able to bring back firefighters who were victim of budget cuts is this summer. The re-hiring is coming under a SAFER grant for the troubled city. Read the latest.
Sit up, sit up, sit up, sit up you’re rocking the boat: Sorry for the dated Broadway reference, but sit ups have become a big issue in the fitness standard for firefighters in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Read more.
Exploding paint cans during overhaul spray firefighters: Spray paint cans that didn’t explode during an apartment fire waited to burst when firefighters were mopping up in Oakland, California. Two were briefly hospitalized when they were hit in the eyes as things went flying. Here’s the story.
And another firefighter is charged with arson: As we pointed out yesterday, it has been a bad couple of weeks with another rash of accused firefighter/arsonists making the news. Pennsylvania has been particularly hard hit, with reports today of another arrest. This time the accused is a volunteer firefighter charged with setting fire to the restaurant where he worked as a dishwasher. Here’s the story from Nicholson, PA.
Union and chief fight over QRVs: The purchase of quick response vehicles for medical calls, now approved by the City Council, has become an issue in Billings, Montana. Click here for the story.
Inquest in fatal fire truck crash: A firefighter in Sheffield, England is having to answer for responding through a red light at 29 mph and crashing into a car, leaving a woman dead and her daughter injured. This crash was caught on video. Here is the latest.
Dangerous Dan Dawson the rookie firefighter: A rookin in Bramtpon, Ontario is also the star forward of the Boston Blazers of the National Lacrosse League. Here’s his story.
Click the image for a series of pictures taken by Angelo Speach
A fire this morning damaged a second floor apartment and an art store downstairs in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The building is along the oceanfront at 305 16th Street. Battalion Chief Tim Riley, who handles media relations for the Virginia Beach Fire Department, says the call came in at 9:20 AM with the first units arriving on the scene at 9:24.
According to Chief Riley, the fire was handled with the first alarm assignment of 3 engines, 2 trucks and a heavy rescue, along with a RIT engine. It was brought under control within 20-minutes.There were no injuries. Riley says the fire started in a second floor front bedroom and is believed to be accidental.