A week ago today a fire that started in a home undergoing renovation in New Orleans spread to another home being renovated next door. Before it was over embers spreading downwind ignited six more homes in Tremé in the area of North Robertson Street between between Esplanade Avenue and Kerlerec Street.
The video above by Lark Sowell, passed along to us by frequent New Orleans visitor Vito Maggiolo, begins before the arrival of the fire department. The first unit on the scene is the safety officer who was in the area and reported the fire.
The video below by Halen13420 shows some of the homes that were ignited by the blowing embers.
While we’ve been butting into the affairs of Detroit and showing you videos from around the country, my old friend and fire buff extraordinaire Vito Maggiolo reminds me I’ve been neglecting my first due. In other words, he’s asking how come I haven’t run any of his videos lately?
For a man who has reported and produced stories from war zones and other trouble spots around the world for CNN we certainly understand what a thrill it must be for Vito to have his work showcased on such a classy site like STATter911.com. But as much as I hate to admit it, Vito is correct. I did miss some good local stories.
The video above goes way back to October 4. Here’s Vito’s account for the website DCFD.com:
A worker dangling from his safety harness after a scaffold collapse was rescued by Tower 3 on Thursday afternoon, October 4th.
The incident took place around 3 PM in the 1400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue NW, on the side of the massive Department of Commerce building.
When firefighters arrived, they encountered a scaffold that had dropped on its left side, leaving the victim hanging in midair about three stories above ground.
Included in the high angle rescue assignment was the aerial tower. They raised their bucket, and after cutting off some interfering branches, reached the worker and hauled him to safety.
The man was brought to the ground and evaluated by EMS for any potential injuries.
The second video, above, is a more recent apartment fire in Northwest Washington. Also from DCFD.com:
An occupant hanging out an upper story window was retrieved by firefighters thru the interior of a burning Columbia Heights apartment building late Saturday afternoon, October 13th.
The blaze engulfed an 8th floor apartment at 2900 14th Street NW. As box alarm companies began an interior attack, a panicky female was seen at a window on side D of the building. Other firefighters in the street below encouraged her to remain in place, yelling that help was one the way. She was taken to safety a short time later.
The fire was controlled by a box and working fire dispatch assignment. Two civilians suffered smoke inhalation and were transported to the hospital.
The beautiful and very talented Mary Arnold, owner of Box Alarm Leather, visited Booth #743 at the Baltimore Convention Center on Thursday. Mary brought two things with her, her husband Andrew (not as beautiful and talented, but a great guy) and a surprise gift for the publisher of this rag you are reading. The present is in the picture above and the Arnolds are in the one below.
Apparently Mary must be familiar with someone who is a Keyboard Incident Commander (KIC) at STATter911.com. So, now that we have a shield for KICs we need to work on certification and continuing education. While at Firehouse Expo I was engaged in discussions with some of the top fire service educators in the nation about providing the courses. I don’t have a lot of details yet, but the one thing I am certain about from these talks is that whatever we come up with will involve sending me a lot of money. That’s something we like at STATter911.com.
If you are not aware, Box Alarm Leather specializes in handcrafted custom leather fire helmet shields and firefighter radio straps. Please check them out. An exceptional product from exceptional people. I still haven’t stopped chuckling over this.
Thursday’s NFFF 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb was, as always, a joy to witness. If you missed it, there was a lot of news coverage. You can read and watch those stories here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
One of the other high points for me at Firehouse Expo was the Chief’s Leadership Forum on Wednesday. Thanks to all of those who were at the session and helped further the discussion on handling bad news.
Documenting the booth’s visitors, as usual, was Mike Legeros of Legeros Fire Blog fame. Mike shows up each year just to take pictures of old broken down firefighters to go along with the many photos he has of old and broken down firehouses.
But Mike went for the younger crowd too with his visit to the MN8-Foxfire booth. Each time we stopped by, MN8-Foxfire President Zach Green begged me to take THE Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz back. But all the geezers at the Firegeezer booth said no. They were enjoying not having the disruptive environment of a teenager under foot as in previous years. The only way they would take Rhett back is with his guardian IronFiremen.com’s Willie Wines Jr. to provide adult supervision. Zach was not about to give up Willie. Willie is way too valuable to the MN8-Foxfire operation (read Fireboy’s somewhat fictional account of Expo).
Below is a complilation of Mike’s pictures from three days embedded with the Geezer Gang (which includes actual geezers and geezers in training). Missing from the booth this year was our friend FossilMedic Mike Ward who couldn’t join us because of business obligations. It just wasn’t the same without you Mike. Notice I didn’t say it was worse Mike. Just not the same.
The video above is a combination of a short clip taken shortly after the arrival of firefighters at 4869 Glenbrook Rd, NW this morning and later video from DC Fire & EMS Department videographer Vito Maggiolo. The fire was in a home of more than 7000 sqaure feet that last sold for more than $4 million.
The home is located a few streets away from a mansion owned by former school board president Peggy Cooper Cafritz that was destroyed in July 2009. The 2009 fire was plagued by serious water supply problems that brought a great deal of scrutiny to the fire department and WASA, DC’s water and sewer authority (read more about the 2009 fire here). There is no word of any water issues this morning.
Here’s what Vito wrote about the fire for DCFD.com:
Units were dispatched to 4869 Glenbrook Road shortly before 5:30AM, and arrived to find a very large, 2 1/2 story detached home with flames raging through the second floor, attic and through the roof.
A second alarm was requested almost immediately, and the fire was so well advanced that an interior attack was not feasible.
Firefighters worked to establish a sufficient water supply for a master stream assault, and the blaze was eventually fought from the outside with three ladder pipes, Tower 3, and large handlines.
A two-alarm fire in Northwest DC produced a column of smoke that could be seen from Crystal City early Friday morning.
Lon Walls, spokesman for DC Fire and EMS, says the blaze broke out in a house located at 4867 Glenbrook Road around 5:37 a.m. Firefighters arriving on scene found a fully-involved house fire with flames on both floors of the two-story home. A second alarm was called.
Right now there are no reports of injuries. It is unclear whether or not the home is occupied.
This is additional raw video from the two-alarm fire on Friday at 1337 Girard Street in Northwest Washington, the home of DC activists Dorothy Brizill and Gary Imhoff. It was shot by Vito Maggiolo for the DC Fire & EMS Department. Vito arrived a little later than the earlier video we posted, but he takes us a little closer to the action and captures the collapse at 4:50 on the clip.
Must see video: One of our sharp readers must have been reading my mind. Even before I posted this column they sent me the video above. It is from Daybreak, Utah where a home fireworks show set the shooter's home on fire and injured a man and boy watching the display. Listen to the conversations of the neighbors. Read more about the incident. While some of the fireworks the Utah man was using have been described as illegal, the state has a new law that allows citizens the freedom to use aerial rockets that shoot up to 150 feet in the air (and, of course, the state refused to adopt residential sprinklers). Click here & here for other videos from this celebration of freedom in Daybreak.
At the same time another story from Maine caught my attention. Governor Paul LePage signed a bill into law Friday that eases a lot of the state's restrictions on consumer fireworks. It wasn't in time for this year's July 4th celebrations, but it will be for the next one. (My home state of Virginia almost did the same thing last year.)
I have a much different view about all of this. They are just more examples of big money from home builders and the fireworks lobbies winning the day over common sense about safety. Somehow I must have slept through the part of history class where one of the truths our founding fathers saw as self-evident is that the voice of the person with the deepest pockets is the one that counts.
Sorry, but I don't see being able to set my neighbor's house on fire with a flying missile and maim a few children along the way as an important freedom. Or is it freedom to stifle the voice of that state's expert in the field. And I don't see freedom as allowing the construction of houses with no fire barrier or effective suppression system, built so close together that a fire in my neighbor's house will more than likely take out mine and maybe a few others.
Prince William County (VA) Fire Chief Kevin McGee pointed out to me earlier this century that our founding fathers learned the hard way about the benefits of home separation, fire prevention and materials that can resist fire. Now, 235 years later we forget those important history lessons at the very same time we have been gutting firefighting forces across this great land.
And there is no doubt, despite what some will see as my negativity on this issue (and a few other issues about freedom), it IS a great land that we are celebrating today. Please remember all of those who are and have fought for our freedoms. They deserve our support, respect and admiration.
May I humbly suggest that we just keep in mind what those freedoms are really about and that they are not suddenly unimportant because of the passion of the moment or because the highest bidder wants to move us in a different direction.
On previous July 4ths I have told you about my 1993 trip to New York to see FDNY in action. Two videos from that trip with fire buff extraordinaire Vito Maggiolo are on this page.
One of the videos (above) is of a most unusual experience, the crash of a blimp. Here's what I wrote about that in 2007 (don't you love it when an ego driven blogger quotes himself?):
Independence Day in 1993 was one of the stranger days of my life. I had gone with my friend Vito Maggiolo to New York to experience July 4th, usually the busiest day of the year for FDNY.
In the afternoon we were visiting one of Vito’s friends at Manhattan Fire Alarm in Central Park.
As we were sitting around chatting, the phones suddenly began ringing. We were hearing bits and pieces of only one side of the conversation. But the call takers were asking questions with surprised looks on their faces. We heard: “A what?”; “Where”?; “It’s deflating?”; “Over the Hudson?”.
Vito and I raced south and then to the west toward the Hudson River. We arrived just after the first firefighters and saw Pizza Hut’s Bigfoot Pizza Blimp draped over the side of an apartment building. We watched as the two injured crew members were brought down from the roof.
The other video (above) is more relevant to today's column. It gives you a glimpse of Brooklyn at a time when citizens with massive amounts of fireworks helped make Independence Day the busiest day of the year for FDNY.
Here is what I wrote four years ago about my 1993 experience:
It seemed as if fireworks were going off on every street. Barrels of fireworks burned in the middle of many blocks. Bottle rockets struck our car. M-80s exploded in trash can after trash can. The radio blared with reports of neighbor’s homes set on fire by fireworks along with numerous reports of injured people.
On one hand it felt as if I had been transported to a war zone. I’ll admit, being new to this, it was a little scary. At the same time, it reminded me of something very beautiful — one of my favorite movies, Barry Levinson’s “Avalon”.
The scene of Russian immigrant Sam Krichinsky arriving in Baltimore on July 4th is repeated throughout the film. As he walks under exploding fireworks all around him, this is the voice-over dialogue:
I came to America in 1914–by way of Philadelphia. That’s where I got off the boat. And then I came to Baltimore. It was the most beautiful place you ever seen in your life. There were lights everywhere! What lights they had! It was a celebration of lights! I thought they were for me, Sam, who was in America. Sam was in America! I know what holiday it was, but there were lights. And I walked under them. The sky exploded, people cheered, there were fireworks! What welcome it was, what a welcome!
A man taking pictures fell into the rain swollen Potomac River in Georgetown last night. DC Fire & EMS Department photographer Vito Maggiolo was on the scene and shot the video above as firefighters brought the man to safety. According to spokesman Pete Piringer, the man was uninjured and declined treatment.
Above is raw video from DC Fire & EMS Department videographer Vito Maggiolo taken during a fire yesterday afternoon at the Zeta Beta Tau house at George Washington University. Spokesman Pete Piringer wrote on Twitter early this morning that the fire at 605 21st Street, Northwest started in a bathroom ceiling on the top floor and was electrical in nature. Damage is estimated at $100,000.
Many of the students had already moved out, but the fire was discovered when a student moving in smelled smoke in the building.
Piringer says it took firefighters time to find where the fire was burning. They discovered the blaze in the walls and into the attic. No one was injured. Damage at the house is significant, making it uninhabitable.
Piringer says the fire appears to be accidental, but authorities are still investigating the cause.
Pete Piringer, spokesman for the D.C. fire and emergency medical services department, said the “significant fire” at 605 21st Street erupted within the upper walls of the townhouse, on the second and third floors and in the attic.
Firefighters inside the townhouse could not immediately detect where the fire was located, Piringer said, but noted heavy smoke.
He said a preliminary investigation led firefighters to believe there was “burning for a while, undetected in the walls.” It took 15 to 20 minutes for officers “to get a handle” because the fire “wasn’t outwardly visible,” Piringer said.
DC Firefighters and EMS personnel responded to an unusual call for help at a Northwest restaurant overnight.
Fire officials say rescue crews responded to Capital Pizza and Subs on 18th Street for a report of a man pinned. Officials say the victim became trapped by a large dough rolling machine when it fell on one of his legs.
Firefighters were able to extricate the man and EMS transported him to a local hospital for treatment.
Firefighters in the Nation’s Capital were kept busy during the daylight hours yesterday with a number of fires. Two of them received some attention from the news media and the fire media. Let’s start with the second one at 1923 2nd Street, NW. It came in at 3:41 PM. According to DCFD.com Engine 6 went on the scene with heavy fire showing on side A of a two-story end of row house. A second-alarm was dispatched. Spokesman Pete Piringer says the fire apparently started in the basement and spread to the upper floors. Several firefighters received minor injuries.
The raw video below is from DC Fire & EMS Department photographer Vito Maggiolo.
The earlier fire was in the 5100 block of B Street in Southeast in the 11:00 hour. One firefighter suffered an injured ankle. The fireground audio from that fire is below, along with some news video.
DC Fire & EMS Department photographer Vito Maggiolo shot the video above during a fire at 1444 Rhode Island Avenue, NW. The fire was reported around 4:45 this afternoon and trapped some residents on the upper floors. Three civilians and two firefighters were hurt.
WUSA9.com’s Bruce Leshan reports the fire started on the 9th floor of the Windsor House. It trapped residents on the 10th floor who came to their windows signaling firefighters of their distress. Fire department spokesman Pete Piringer says firefighters brought residents to safety through the interior of the building and down ladders.
This is from an incident Saturday two blocks east of The White House. The video above is from someone staying in the W Hotel who began rolling before the arrival of the fire department as cops blocked off the 1400 block of F Street, NW.
Still frame from Vito Maggiolo video showing Treasury Department in the background.
Some of the fire video in the story below is from DC Fire & EMS photographer Vito Maggiolo who also sent along the still image.
Fire from an underground electrical transformer forced the evacuation of two hotels near the White House on Saturday night.
No injuries were reported. Pete Piringer of DC Fire and EMS said the fire, at 14th and F Streets, began at 7:45 p.m. and was under control in about an hour. Flames shot 20 to 30 feet high and dark smoke could be seen for miles, Piringer said.
The W hotel and historic Willard were evacuated. Several streets were closed and power was lost in the area.
The fire spread underground and shot through several manholes and grates in the area. More than 125 firefighters responded to the scene.
The mob mentality and a little explosion: Officials in Los Angeles are trying to identify some of the people in this video “celebrating” the victory by the Lakers Thursday night. If you haven’t seen or heard about this yet, these folks are taking part in the destruction of a taxicab. Isn’t that the standard way to show joy? But smashing in various parts of the vehicle wasn’t enough, so it was set on fire. Watch the little explosion coming from Side A of the cab at around 5:42 in the video. Lucky the cops had arrived or some of these brilliant people might have been standing in the way of the blast and that would have been a shame. The driver was pulled from the cab by the mob. He’s okay and has already received a $10,000 donation.
Picture from the New York Daily News.
Defaced image of President Obama at Bronx firehouse under investigation: The New York Daily News reports the defaced image of President Barack Obama has been placed on a tool box at a Bronx firehouse next to a picture of the Unabomber. Here’s an excerpt from the story-
An iconic picture of the President above the word “BELIEVE” appears to have been stenciled on a large toolbox visible inside Engine 45, Ladder 58 in East Tremont.
Right across Obama’s face is the word “HUSTLER” in big red letters.
And underneath the image, someone scrawled “Allah Akbar” – “God is great” in Arabic – in black ink.
An investigation was started after the newspaper brought the image to the attention of FDNY officials.
There are all kinds of reasons for arson, but have you heard this one?: A 19-year-old man is accused of setting a vacant house on fire in Stowe, Pennsylvania to lure a 21-year-old volunteer firefighter to the scene. The plan was to beat-up the firefighter (did they think he was coming alone?). The motive is a broken heart by a 15-year-old girl who the firefighter said he parted ways with after learning her age. Check it out.
Firefighter remained on the job while in jail for four months: An investigation is underway in Haverhill, Massachusetts over the somewhat secret New Hampshire jail sentence of Firefighter Kevin Thompson. His shifts were covered and the top brass apparently were in the dark about the incarceration. Thompson has put in his retirement papers, an effort the mayor is trying to fight. Read more.
While were in Haverhill: Another Haverhill firefighter is suspended while an investigation is underway into what his role may have been in the ever-widening EMS scandal in Massachusetts. Jeffrey Given is one of 30 Haverhill firefighters who have lost their EMT certification as state officials probe allegations that required training never happened. Given’s EMT suspension is for two years, while the rest of the Haverhill firefighters face suspensions of nine-months or less. The Eagle-Tribune reports the city wants to know more about money changing hands to pay for recertification without the training. Click here.
A fire early yesterday morning in Harford County, Maryland. Click the image to learn more from the Joppa Magnolia VFC website. Photo by Craig Tontrup JMVFC
Cop suspended after arresting man who rushed his wife to the hospital: Interesting story from Chattanooga, Tennessee where a police officer is on administrative leave. The cop’s actions are being investigated after he confronted a man at a hospital emergency department. Eric Wright says he thought his wife Aline was having a stroke and knew he could get her to the hospital faster than an ambulance. The officer saw Wright bust three red lights. Read the details.
Deputy goes out with a bang: Firegeezer Bill Schumm has the story of the final shift for Deputy Chief James Coughlin of the Peabody Fire Department in Massachusetts. The multi-alarm fire was still burning when Chief Coughlin was relieved. Here’s the story.
It never ends in Flint: Another round of arsons kept firefighters busy over the weeked. Eight fires in 15 hours. Watch the story.
Ex-Raven fights fires in Howard County, Maryland: He’s the son of a 23-year veteran Phoenix firefighter, but Joe Maese only has a year on the job in Howard County. Before that he was a professional football player, having spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Read more.
Dale City VFD loses assistant chief to cancer: From Prince William County, Virginia comes word that Dalve City VFD Assistant Chief Carl Persing has died. From the department’s website-
Carl retired from the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department in 2007. He also served with distinction with the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Department, the Dumfries-Triangle Volunteer Fire Department, the Fort Belvoir Fire Department, the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Fire Department, the Silver Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and the United States Army.
Ten-years-ago in Boston: A five-alarm fire in Dorchester shot on November 2, 2000. This is another in a series of videos posted by Bill Harrigan, a retired freelance TV news photographer who worked the overnight hours covering Eastern Massachusetts from 1981-2007.
As I wrap up the TV career I have been conducting raids of the archive room at Channel 9 in an effort to get some of the old material on the web before I leave. This is a fire shot by the late Sheldon Levy in January, 1994. Sheldon was our overnight photographer and a member of the Rockville Volunteer Fire Department. His son David, a lawyer in Chicago and former firefighter, is a STATter911.com reader.
This fire was in the 2100 block of 14th Street, NW. Vito Maggiolo reminds me that the units had come from other fires with everything already wet and then freezing. Vito says members of Rescue Squad 2 were doing a primary search when they were forced to bail. All I remember is that it was a cold, cold winter.
Something else I found while cleaning out my desk, a February, 1993 picture of Sheldon Levy.
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.
Early video from Missouri house fire: Unless you are into POV response videos you might want to scroll forward to about three minutes. At that point you will see a firefighter and police using a nearby ladder to help someone from the second floor of a burning home in West Plains. The fire is labeled as suspicious.The West Plains Fire Department has more than 100 photos from this fire on Friday. Click here.
Your moment of Firehouse Zen: Make sure you read what Mick Mayers has to say about some recent stories of firefighters behaving badly, the report from the Cumberland Valley Volunter Firemen’s Association and what chiefs should be taking away from all of this. Here it is.
Geezer on home builders: Bill puts on his legal hat (he just plays a lawyer on the Internet) to warn home builders in Pennsylvania that they might want to be careful about the arguments they are making in court to try and stop residential sprinklers. Click here.
Man claims discrimination on treatment following crash in blizzard: Spotsylvania County, Virginia officals say they are investigating Tim Johnson’s complaint that he was virtually ignored at a crash scene during one of last month’s snow storms. Johnson, who is black, believes he didn’t receive the same care that people in another car did. Dan Telvock has the story at Fredericksburg.com.
Judge believes union president & vice president fired for union activities: A judge isn’t buying that Angela Rice and Richard Nihizer were breaking any rules when they watched videos with violence and explicit language on a computer inside the firehouse in Butler Township, Ohio. It’s a story we first reported in January of 2008. Apparently no porn was involved and rulings indicate the there were no good guidelines on exactly what was allowed and what wasn’t. The pair have again been ordered reinstated. Here’s the latest.
Fireground audio of 3-alarm Oregon fire with water supply problems: Click here for the radio traffic from FireSceneAudio.com of the fire in a large vacant early 1900s building at the Fairview Training Center in Salem. Read more.
Report faults firefighters for not following procedures during fatal fire: Four members of the DeKalb County Fire Department, including two captains and a battalion chief remain suspended with pay after a report puts a lot of the blame on their shoulders for failing to find the burning home of a woman who called 911 early Sunday. They did return about five hours later to find the house destroyed and the woman dead. Read the report and more details.
Woman hit by hose falls off fire engine: You had probably seen the earlier story on this one from Cambridge, Massachusetts. A loyal reader and Firegeezer alert us to the update that an 82-year-old woman died when she was hit by hose that fell off the rig as the crew was responding. Click here.
Ambulance with a very bad reputation lives up to its past and burns: The ambulance that helped push New Jersey lawmakers to widen the states “Lemon Law” to include emergency vehicles self destructed yesterday and few are surprised. Click for pictures, video and the to read the story.
Mayor and fire department director finally talking in Memphis: With the TV station into its second week of stories on hiring practices at the Memphis Fire Department, city officials are now answering some questions about the arrest of 80 firefighters over the last five year. Click for the mayor and here for Director Alivin Benson.
Fire department takes $128,000 loss on new fire engine that was just too big: Pennsylvania’s Lawrence Park Fire Department (Erie County) sold its new, 37.9-foot-long Pierce Dash Pumper just 17-months after getting the $510,000 rig. They found Engine 284 too big for the township’s alleys. And the sale has caused some controversy. Read the story.
Omaha heating up again: Loyal reader Ron Young points us to some stories out of Omaha where there has been controversy over a proposed new fire boat and other items being purchased from a special fund. Click here for that one (and an earlier article here).
The news never stops in Bourne, Massachusetts: Just when we thought things might calm down after the resignation of Lt. Kelli Weeks, there is even more controversy in the Bourne Fire Department. The acting chief now has some allegations against him. Click here for that story. Also, the firefighters’ union has some harsh words for how the town selectmen handled the Weeks affair. Check it out.
Another blue light special: In Des Moines police say a Grand Junction volunteer firefighter apparently wants to also be a volunteer police officer. The cops say 29-year-old Richard Collogan was pulling people over with his blue light. Read the details.
It is not the CNN employee I expected to do this: If there was ever someone from CNN who I could easily see an old firehouse in New York to live in, it would be my friend, and fire buff extraordinaire, Vito Maggiolo. But the story at HuffingtonPost.com isn’t about Vito. It’s about Anderson Cooper paying $4.3 million for such a privilege. Click here for the story and pictures.
Video above shot by DC Fire & EMS Department photographer Vito Maggiolo.
Our friends at DCFD.com have pictures from Elliott Goodman of Sunday’s fire on 11th Street, NW. Below is the write up with the photos:
DC Firefighters battled a very stuborn blaze in this apartment building at 2905 11th St. N.W. Sunday afternoon. Upon arrival, smoke was showing from the entire roof line as the fire had worked its way into the walls and up into the roof. A Second Alarm was called for and a tremendous amount of truck work was required pulling ceilings and opening up the walls. The fire was placed under control in about 45 minutes.
Raw video from deadly basement fire in DC: DC Fire & EMS Department photographer Vito Maggiolo was on the scene Monday night at 9th and Kennedy, NW as firefighters attacked a fire in the basement of a boarded up home and found a victim. Attempts to revive the woman were not successful.
Must see video of extrication by neighbors: One of our regular readers points us to this story from Ft. Lauderdale where a man was purposely run over by the driver of a car. Neighbors jumped in and not only held the driver for police, they joined an arriving cop in lifting the car off of the victim. Click here to see the story.
A timely call in Richmond: Also from VAFireNews.com, the story of a house fire as snow was falling late Friday night in Richmond. According to Lt. Shawn Jones, the department’s PIO, crews were ordered out of the home about 60 seconds before there was a partial collapse of the roof. Click here for details.
Who ya gonna call? Sal, of course: Credentials aside for a moment, Cara Buckley of The New York Times believes the name alone may have been reason enough for Chief Sal Cassano to be appointed FDNY’s new commissioner. Check out her reasoning.
A big issue for the new commissioner: Watch the story of a lawsuit from a man burned trying to do the job of firefighters by attempting to rescue his neighbors in Queens from a burning home. The suit says the fire department was delayed because of an error involving the Unified Call Taker system.
Former battalion chief loses sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit: A jury ruled in favor of the Kanas City (MO) Fire Department in a lawsuit by Kathleen Kline, a former battalion chief. Read details.
Two-alarm commercial fire in Cambridge, Massachusetts: This fire was Saturday at 241 Monsignor O’Brien Highway. Fire in a Meineke Car Care Center. The same building was the scene of an arson in 2006 when it was the Boston Tropical Fish and Reptile pet store. The store’s manager and two others went to prison in a fire that killed dozens of animals. This time a cat was saved. Read more.
NOTE: It was a very busy weekend in the fire news business and we are getting a late start. Below is just a recap of our stories since Friday. More to come.
A Bill McNeel picture from the fire last night in University Park that injured eight firefighters.
Eight firefighters hurt in Prince George’s County, MD: : The evac tones were sounded at two different points in the battle to bring a University Park house fire under control. All firefighter injuries are reported to be minor. We have raw video from Tom Yeatman and lots of pictures.
Video by Vito Maggiolo from two more local fires: Vito was out with his camera early Saturday morning to capture a three-alarm fire at a former movie house in Takoma Park, Maryland. The building was most recently a clothing and shoe store. Click here for that video.
Firefighters in hot water over picture taking: One firefighter posing for another in front of a Winnipeg house fire was caught on camera by a news photographer. Now the firefighters are in trouble. Click here.
Philly firefighter accused of setting ladder truck on fire: The firefighter is accused of not listening to his lieutenant about setting papers on fire and then starting a blaze inside Ladder 2. Read the details.
More to the story on Chief Dennis Rubin’s lawsuit deposition: You may have seen our unusual story last week where DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Dennis Rubin describes in detail what he claims was an expletive filled tirade by the former lawyer for the department. That attorney, Theresa Cusick is suing after Rubin got rid of her. Cusick claims there was no tirade but instead she was moved after trying to alert the chief to a cover-up of cheating. Cusick herself has been on the other side of a complaint about a wrongful termination and news reports at the time indicate she didn’t like it one bit. Here’s that story.
Raw video above from DC Fire & EMS Department photographer Vito Maggiolo.
Just after 1:30 this morning DC Fire and EMS Department crews responded to 1361 Oak Street, NW. The house was under renovation. It is described as a middle of the row two and a half story home.
Two-alarms were sounded bringing about 90-firefighters to the scene. One of the firefighters was hurt. No details, other than the firefighter was taking to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Firefighters report a wall collpased during the operation.
The raw video above is courtesy of Vito Maggiolo. Thank you Vito.
An early morning fire destroyed the building that used to house the Allen Theater in Takoma Park, Maryland. Until the fire. the old movie house was the home of Gussini, a clothing and shoe store at 6822 New Hampshire Avenue.
Picture by Bill McNeel. Click the image for more of Bill's photos.
The fire was reported at 2:28 Saturday morning. It quickly went to three alarms. More than 120 firefighters from Prince George’s County and Montgomery County worked to put out the flames.
The building is a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
According to the website Cinema Treasures, the Allen Theater opened in 1951 with a stage show, an orchestra and the movie “At War With the Army” starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. It closed in 1990, when it was converted to retail stores.
From the book Maryland's Motion Picture Theaters. Click the image for more history of the state's movie houses.
The Allen Theater in more modern times. Click the image for the Google Maps Street View.
A building apparently housing a clothing and shoe store, was destroyed by fire on New Hampshire Avenue overnight. That same building was, for the first 40-years of its life, Takoma Park, Maryland’s Allen Theater.
Not a lot of details on this one yet. What is known from a variety of sources is the call originated on the Prince George’s County side of the 6700 or 6800 block of New Hampshire Avenue. Reports are that is was later determined the fire is actually in Takoma Park at 6822 New Hampshire.
Second and third alarms were sounded and there were reports of wall collapses. We hope to have more later.