Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Sailors Injured in Ship Fire Near CA

CNN reports:
Ten sailors aboard a U.S. Navy vessel were injured Wednesday after a jet on the ship caught fire, officials said.

The incident occurred on USS John C. Stennis Wednesday afternoon in waters near southern California, the Navy said.


Four of the sailors were flown to the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and were in stable condition.

Read more HERE.

Charleston (SC) Sofa Super Store Fire Interim Memorial Planned to Honor Fallen Firefighters

Via the The (Charleston) Post and Courier:
As the four-year anniversary of the Sofa Super Store disaster approaches, the city is working to turn the site into a more fitting memorial for the nine Charleston firefighters who died there.

Long-term plans for a permanent memorial and Fire Department building where the Sofa Super Store once stood are unfunded and years away, but in the meantime Charleston will create a grass-covered, landscaped site with unique memorial markers for the nine, replacing what is now a parking lot and field where nine simple markers hold small flags.

The $45,000 cost for improving the memorial site will be a mix of city money and donated funds. Site work began this week.
Read more HERE.

Jacksonville (FL) Firefighter Injured Battling Lightning Fire

Lightning is believed to have ignited a fire at a remote residential property Wednesday afternoon in East Arlington that badly damaged a building and sent one firefighter to the hospital.

The fire started about 3 p.m. at a pool house adjacent to a home on a dirt road about a mile from the 13000 block of Mount Pleasant Road, Jacksonville fire department spokesman Tom Francis said.

According to Francis, the firefighter's injuries were minor. Read the full report HERE.

Off-Duty MA Firefighter Saves Family

An off-duty Newton firefighter was hailed a hero today after he rushed into a burning house, with no protective gear, raced up to the second floor and rescued a family of three.

Firefighter Nick McGrath entered the multi-family house at 16 Auburndale Ave. and broke down the family's door after a woman running out of the first floor told him that people were still inside, Newton Fire Chief Bruce Proia said tonight.


The husband, wife, and their young child were unaware that a fire was quickly beginning to rage, he said. McGrath made sure the three were safe, before he ran back inside to check the third floor of the three-decker for anyone else who might be inside.

Read more HERE.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

OH Fire Station a Potential Fire Hazard

From The Columbus Dispatch:
One Chillicothe firefighter has new job duties on each shift - walking around the firehouse to make sure the place isn't on fire.

Chillicothe Fire Station No.1, the only one staffed in the city following budget cuts, is officially considered a potential fire hazard.

The fire-detection and alarm system at the main station downtown on Water Street hasn't worked for at least a year, perhaps longer. And, the sprinkler system had not been inspected.

To avoid being ordered to vacate its only station, the department now must assign firefighters - who can perform no other duties - to a 24/7 "fire watch."

Read more HERE.

Boston (MA) Firefighters Describe Rescue of Public Transportation Worker

In this video, two Boston (MA) Fire Department workers talk about how they were able to rescue an MBTA worker who was trapped in a hollow concrete shaft. This second video has more details on the rescue.

More from the Boston Globe:
Boston firefighters this morning rescued a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority worker who had fallen into a narrow shaft inside the concrete structures that support the Charles Street/MGH Red Line Station in Boston.

“He kept saying, ‘I want out of here,’ ‘’ said one of the Boston firefighters from the department’s technical rescue team who helped the injured man from the bottom of the concrete shaft some 30 feet below the tracks.

Read MORE.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brooklyn (NY) Fire Kills Dad, 2 Daughters

According to the New York Post:
A suspicious fire tore through a Brooklyn brownstone yesterday -- killing a father and two of his young daughters -- and sent at least one person jumping from a window to escape the flames.

The blaze broke out shortly before 5:30 p.m. on a stairwell between the second and third floors of the home on Putnam Avenue in Bushwick, and engulfed the rest of the structure.

A law-enforcement source said the fire was sparked by a child playing with matches.

Firefighters searching the top floor found the bodies of a 62-year-old man and his 14-year-old daughter.

His 3-year-old daughter was still alive, but later died at Woodhull Hospital.

Read more HERE.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fuel Fire in Miami Airport Brings Delays, Cancellations

Florida Firefighters worked through the night to extinguish a Wednesday night fuel tank fire in the Miami airport that has caused disruptions for thousands of American Airlines passengers. Firefighters had the fire under control by early Thursday morning accordijng to reports from the Miami Herald:

"The fire, on the airport’s fuel farm on the southeast corner of the airport, near LeJeune Road, cut off at least 40 percent of the airport’s fuel supply, said airport spokesman Greg Chin.. Airport authorities are still investigating the cause.

American Airlines spokesman Ed Martelle said the airline doesn’t yet know how long it will take for the flight schedule to return to normal.

“It’s kind of one of these cumulative things that’s going to bite us through today,” he said."

Read More HERE

Photo by Gregory Castillo

NJ Governor Christie: Regionalize Police, Fire in Camden County

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Gov. Christie endorsed a proposal to regionalize Camden County police and fire services Wednesday, assuring local officials at a closed-door meeting that he would help in what would likely be a trying process to dissolve existing departments.


Regionalization studies are under way around the state, but Camden County is pushing for a transition that could bring the beginnings of a countywide force in four to six weeks, Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said.

Read the full report HERE.

Major Fuel Fire at Miami (FL) International Airport

From FOX News:
A major fuel fire broke out at Miami International Airport late Wednesday night, with fire crews summoned from around the area to fight the flames.

The fire, on the east side of the airport, was graded a second alarm blaze, with smoke and flames visible from nearby roads.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Eric Baum says the fire was reported around 11 p.m. Wednesday and was brought under control around 1 a.m. Thursday. He says there were no injuries and investigators are now working to determine the fire's cause.

Read the full account HERE.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PA Apartment Fire Kills 5: Worst Since 1970

(AP Photo/Altoona Mirror, J.D. Cavrich)

Five people were killed as fire engulfed a second-floor apartment in Altoona, Pennsylvania early Tuesday. Reports indicate that 30 firefighters worked for one hour to bring the fire under control. One veteran firefighter said the fire was one of "the most tragic fire events in my career in the city" according to Associated Press reports:

"The worst fire in this central Pennsylvania city since the 1970s tore through a second-floor apartment and killed five people early Tuesday, spewing flames visible across the city, officials said. The victims died of smoke inhalation, Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross said. The red brick home was already engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived from a station about two blocks away about 6:45 a.m., said Deputy Fire Chief Tim Hileman. The cause is still under investigation."

Read More Here

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chemical Plant Fire in KY Kills 2

A fire and two explosions at a Louisville, KY chemical plant resulted in two deaths according to reports from WLKY in Kentucky:

"A second person died Tuesday after two explosions and a fire at a chemical plant Monday in Louisville's Rubbertown neighborhood. He has been identified as 56-year-old Jorge Medina. He resided on Jenlee Lane in Louisville...Fifty-nine-year-old Steven Nichols of Charlestown, Indiana died around 6:45 p.m. on March 21 at University Hospital, less than two hours after the first explosion ripped through the plant sometime after 5 p.m. No word yet on funeral arrangements for Nichols. Medina was one of three people who were taken to University Hospital, where he died from his injuries early Tuesday."

Read More HERE

Monday, March 21, 2011

MD Fire Injures 8 Firefighters

Reports from ABC 2 News indicate that two firefighters were burned and six others were sent to an area hospital due to high levels of gas found in their blood as a result of the fire early Sunday:

"Eight firefighters were injured battling a two-alarm fire at a mansion in Calvert County overnight."

ABC reports add, "According to Huntington Volunteer Fire Dept. President Gene Farrell, one of the firefighters is in serious condition at Washington Hospital Center with burns to his face and hands. Another firefighter was also burned, but is in stable condition at the same hospital."

Read More from ABC 2 News Here

Read More from the Washington Post Here

CT Firefighters, Police Search for Missing Girl

Firefighters and police continue to search for a partially deaf 12-year-old girl who has been missing since 8:00 a.m. Sunday according to reports from WTNH ABC 8 in New Haven.

Reports from WTNH state:

"State Police K-9s, Police, Fire, and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) have been out in the area actively searching. Nearby Temple Emanuel has been setup as their staging area. Officials tell News 8 that the FBI has now been called in."

Read More Here

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Explosion and Fire at Detroit (MI) Warehouse

From, a large blast at a warehouse in Detroit, Michigan:

A fire broke out overnight at Preferred Filter Recycling in Detroit.

The call went out early Saturday morning. Firefighters said they heard several explosions coming from the building. Fire crews had their hands full as heavy flames and smoke could be seen for miles.

The business recycles and processes metals. Firefighters have not been able to go inside the building because of concerns of exactly what chemicals are inside.

Read more HERE.

AZ Firefighters Injured in Explosion at House Fire

From, firefighters injured in Tempe:

Two firefighters were injured after a house fire causes an explosion Friday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. in Tempe.

According to a fire official. as firefighters were in front of the house getting their gear on a large explosion occurred on the east side of the home located near Baseline Road and Mill Avenue.

One firefighter suffered serious burns to his head, ear and hand and was rushed to a hospital burn unit.

A second firefighter suffered some kind of knee injury when the explosion occurred and was taken to the hospital.

Read the full report HERE.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Investigation Begins into Fire that Killed 2 Ontario (Canada) Firefighters

Via CTV, a investigation has begun into the fire that killed two firefighters yesterday:

The Ontario Fire Marshal is investigating a fire at a dollar store in Listowel, in southwestern Ontario, that claimed the lives of two volunteer firefighters.

The blaze broke out around 3:30 p.m. at the Dollar Stop in the town's centre. Listowel Volunteer Fire Department members Raymond Walter, 30, and Kenneth Rea, 56, were killed when they entered the fire-engulfed store to search for any shoppers left inside.

Read more and watch video HERE.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Camden to Rehire Firefighters

The City of Camden, NJ has announced that it will rehire firefighters and police officers. Firefighter and civilian safety just improved there, though there is still along way to go.

Read more about this important development here.

Firefighter Injured in NM Motor Home Fire

From the Albuquerque Express:

One firefighter suffered a minor injury while fighting an recreational vehicle fire near the intersection of Eubank Boulevard and Constitution Avenue.The first-alarm fire sparked around 6:45 a.m.


All four occupants were safety evacuated by the Albuquerque Fire Department with no injuries. Fire crews extinguished the fire within six minutes and prevented the blaze from spreading to a nearby home and a small apartment.

No word on the unidentified firefighter's condition. Read more HERE.

Fire in MN Closes Highway: Gas Line Rupture

Multiple fire crews respond to a building fire that started Thursday morning at 58th Street and Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis according to KMSP Fox 9 News. Reports indicate that a gas line ruptured causing the explosion and fire.

Read More Here

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Firefighter Rescued After Fall Through Floor in MO

Two firefighters suffered injuries in a Ferguson (MO) fire reported on at

One firefighter was dragged to safety by two others early Wednesday morning after he fell through the floor of a burning townhouse.

Ferguson Fire Chief Steven Rosenthal said the injured firefighter was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he is being treated for smoke inhalation. A second firefighter was treated for a back injury.

Read the full report HERE.

Firefighters Injured in RI, FL incidents

Two firefighters are injured at incidents in Rhode Island and Florida, both of which serve as reminders that fire itself is not the only danger firefighters face on the fireground.

Via Newport Patch:

Newport firefighters from all three stations spent the early morning hours battling a two-alarm fire at 21 Calvert St...

The first-floor male tenant was transported to Newport Hospital with second-degree burns to his hands, arms and face. He also suffered from smoke inhalation. A Newport firefighter was also transported to Newport Hospital complaining of chest pains.

And from the AP on

A St. Cloud firefighter is being treated for breathing difficulties and overexertion after battling an early morning house fire.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Fairfax County (VA) Fire Department is Faring While Firefighters Are Aiding Japan

From the local Patch affiliate in Vienna, Virginia, comes an update on how the Fairfax County (VA) FD is functioning with 72 of its members in Japan:

With 72 of their firefighters deployed to Japan as part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) search and rescue team, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has not had to cut back on service.

Monday, fire and rescue spokesman Dan Schmidt said the agency has the vacated shifts being filled by the remaining firefighters. The county is operating with a minimum number of firefighters on some apparatus.

Read it all HERE.

Firefighter Layoffs: St. Louis (MO) Fire Department to Lay Off 30 Firefighters

According to a report from
After nine months of stalemate in labor negotiations, the city will lay off 30 firefighters, the office of Mayor Francis Slay said late Monday, one of the few Fire Department layoffs in city history.

In addition, said chief of staff Jeff Rainford, the city will cut 24 more positions through attrition, bringing the cuts to nearly 10 percent of the department's 600 firefighters.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson vowed the layoffs would not impact public safety. "It's going to put a strain on us," he said. "It's my job to get through it."

Firefighters said they had heard the rumors but were surprised to hear the decision. Chris Molitor, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 73, said the news would be tough to take.

Read all about it HERE.

Bus Accident Kills 2, Injures 42 in NJ

A bus accident on the New Jersey Turnpike killed 2 people and injured many more. According to CNN:
A bus accident along the New Jersey Turnpike near East Brunswick killed two people and injured 42 others Monday night, state police said.

The 50-year-old bus driver was killed when he was ejected through the front window, according to Sgt. Stephen Jones. A second person died at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Brunswick. Five others are in the hospital's trauma unit.

Read more HERE. This latest fatal bus accident follows hard on the heels of deadly crashes in New York and Wisconsin.

Monday, March 14, 2011

3 KY Firefighters Injured in House Fire

One firefighter suffered serious injuries when he became trapped at a house fire in the Shelby Park neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky. More from the Courier-Journal:
Three firefighters were taken Monday morning to University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries they sustained while battling a house fire in the 600 block of Camp Street.

One suffered “serious” injuries when he was trapped after the structure collapsed, said Capt. Sal Melendez, spokesman for Louisville Fire & Rescue.

A second firefighter suffered neck injuries from falling debris and a third received face and neck burns, Melendez said.

Read it all HERE. Read more on structural collapse at residential fires HERE.

Firefighters Rescue Occupants Trapped in Elizabeth (NJ) Apartment Fire

From an NBC report:
A raging four-alarm fire tore through an Elizabeth, New Jersey apartment building early Monday morning, briefly trapping people until firefighters rescued them.

One resident suffered burns on his legs and a firefighter was burned on his back and shoulder in the blaze that erupted around 4 a.m. on Garden Street near the corner of Grier Avenue

Read more HERE.

Lincoln (NE) Firefighter Shocked During Firefighting Operations

An unidentified firefighter was injured during a fire at a duplex in Lincoln, Nebraska, according to the AP:

A Lincoln firefighter was shocked while fighting a blaze at a duplex.


Fire officials say a firefighter struck electrical cords with a tool while attempting to bring down a ceiling tile.

Read the rest of the report HERE. For more on electrical service hazards for firefighters, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NY Bus Crash: Driver Story Questioned

Accounts of the fatal bus crash in New York have changed since the news of the tragedy was originally released on Saturday morning.

Today it has been reported that 14 passengers were killed as a result of the accident according to the New York Post:

"A crowded bus cruising back to Chinatown from Connecticut's Mohegan Sun casino early yesterday was split in half in a horrifying accident on I-95 in The Bronx..."

Further coverage of the story indicates that authorities now question the driver’s account of the incident:

"World Wide Tours driver Ophadell Williams claimed that a tractor-trailer clipped the bus while changing lanes at about 5:30 a.m. and fled the scene. But police sources, saying there was no damage evidence on the bus of any collision, were questioning Williams' account."

Read More

Photo and Video provided by The New York Post

Bus Accident in WI: 1 Dead, 4 Injured

Another Tour Bus and Semi Truck Collide

A semi truck and tour bus collided in the town of Herman, Wisconsin at approximately 7 p.m. on Saturday evening causing the bus to flip twice, according to a report from WTMJ Radio and WISN News. This marks the second reported accident involving a tour bus and truck in the past 24 hours.

Read more HERE.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Video: Nuclear Plant Explodes in Japan

Today's explosion at a nuclear power plant in Japan which was damaged during Friday's earthquake has raised some concerns to the safety of the region. One Report outlines the incident:

CNN Reports, "An explosion at an earthquake-damaged nuclear plant was not caused by damage to the nuclear reactor but by a pumping system that failed as crews tried to bring the reactor's temperature down, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Saturday.

The next step for workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant will be to flood the reactor containment structure with sea water to bring the reactor's temperature down to safe levels, he said. The effort is expected to take two days."

Read More HERE

Friday, March 11, 2011

L.A. County fire search and rescue team headed toassist after Japan tsunami

United States USAR Teams are beginning to deploy to assist in Japan where already more than 1,000 are feared dead after an earthquake and tsunami impacted the region.

"The 74-member team -– along with about 74 tons of equipment, including swift-water rescue gear and six search dogs –- is expected to arrive in Japan early Sunday, said fire Capt. Ed Lozano."

Read the complete story here.

Sacramento Metro (CA) Fire Chief Resigns


The Sacramento Metro Fire District Chief Bill Sponable said Friday morning he is resigning in response to strained relations in the fire district.

Read more HERE.

3 San Antonio Firefighters Suspended After Apparatus Wreck

This article from The Houston Chronicle describes how one chief is sending a message to his department regarding safe traveling speeds and seat belt use.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio's fire chief has suspended three firefighters for traveling too fast and not buckling up while racing to a fire.

The firefighters were involved in a wreck last year that injured one of the four men on a ladder truck and destroyed the $600,000 vehicle.

Read the entire story at: The Houston Chronicle

Also, read : Amazing we still have to have this conversation and join the discussion about seat belt use at the Fire Engineering Community.

Tsunami Watch: Live stream of waves off the CA coast

Watch multiple views of the waves off the California coast in the wake of the tsunami caused by the huge earthquake in Japan.

Video from Sendai (Japan) Petrochemical Explosion after Quake

On Youtube there's some video of the fire at a petrochemical plant in Sendai, Japan, after a major earthquake struck that country.

Check the FE archives for a report on the response to the major Thailand tsunami of 2004 as well as an article on the dangers of responding to tsunamis for firefighters by Larry Collins of the Los Angeles County (CA) Fire Department.

Fire strikes Victorian-era resort Ocean Grove (NJ)

From the Asbury Park Press, a large fire has struck the small, quaint Jersey Shore resort town of Ocean Grove, New Jersey:

A large early-morning fire destroyed three Surf Avenue structures today, including one that appeared to be a vacant hotel, an eyewitness said. No injuries have been reported.

The fire broke out around 5:15 a.m., and by 7:45 a.m. appeared to be largely under control with no more visible flames. The three dozen firefighters on scene were wetting down one of the houses and picking into it from the roof while steam smoldered off it.

Read more about it HERE. The small municipality, which is comprised mostly of very old wood structures situated closely together, was previously struck by a major fire that destroyed several large buildings, including the historic Manchester Inn, in 2010.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Pennsylvania Farm House Fire: How did this happen?

Authorities suspect that a propane heater in the kitchen could have been the cause of this fire according to numerous news reports including video profiles from ABC News:

Other Reports per NBC's

Trooper Tom Pinkerton with the Pennsylvania State Police said that the
mother was out milking cows when the surviving child, a 3-year-old, alerted her
that there was smoke in the farmhouse.

Pennsylvania State Police say Janelle Clouse then ran to her home from the
barn, and found it engulfed in flames.

She reportedly tried to get inside the house where her other seven children
were, but couldn't.

After a failed attempt to get help at a neighbor's, Clouse finally got a hold
of someone at a nearby home and called 911.

Read More Here

St. Louis (MO) Firefighter's Widow Gets $40M

A report from Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Magazine> discusses a ruling that awarded $40M to a St. Louis (MO) firefighter's widow.
A jury in St. Louis awarded Angela Martin and her children $27 million in a judgment against the company that manufactured her husband's defective fire safety equipment...

Read the rest HERE.

PA Fire Department to Propose New $15.8M Equipment Replacement Policy

A new report on firefighter equipment and safety from out of Pennsylvania:
The Lower Merion Township Fire Department plans to ask the Board of Commissioners to adopt a new 20-year $15.8-million fire apparatus replacement policy for its six volunteer companies in the coming April cycle. The previous equipment replacement policy expired in late 2010.

The policy, outlined by township Fire Chief Charles McGarvey at the board's March 2 meeting, establishes a time-line for the purchase of three new pieces of equipment for each of the township's six companies by 2030. The final cost, adjusted for five percent annual inflation, would be paid for with monies from the township's Capital Projects Fund created through the sale of general obligation bonds.


McGarvey added that new equipment doesn't only maximize the ability of the volunteer force to do their job, but helps recruitment and retention for the individual companies. The scarcity of firemen is a problem in municipalities across the state.

Read the whole thing HERE.

MI Firefighter Falls Through Floor

A report from describes how a veteran Southfield (MI) firefighter continued operating even after falling through a floor into the basement of a burning home.
A veteran Southfield firefighter continued to battle a blaze despite falling into the basement of Lathrup Village home Thursday morning.

FOX 2's Al Allen reports that Curtis Nelson walked into the home on the 18500 block of Glenwood and fell nearly 10 feet from the first floor and into the basement. Nelson, didn't sustain any major injuries and continued to battle the blaze before being pulled up.

Read the full report and see video HERE.

100 Years of Service

The African American Firefighter Museum

The Huffington Post tells a story of a Los Angeles museum that stands as the only tribute to African American Firefighters in the United States:

"The museum preserves and shares the great accomplishments of African American firefighters throughout the decades. It opened on December 13, 1997 to acknowledge and praise the service of the
first 100 years of service by African American Firefighters...

...The lives and impact of African American firefighters
throughout time is shown so gracefully along the walls and within the atmosphere of the museum."

Report: FDNY Engine Involved in Crash Ran a Red Light

According to a recent report on CBS news, a fire apparatus involved in a fatal collision on Staten Island ran a red light:
A fire engine involved in a fatal collision with a van ran a red light, violating state law while on an emergency run, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The accident happened at around noon Wednesday at the intersection of Richmond Road and Burgher Avenue in Dongan Hills.

The FDNY truck from Ladder 81 was heading to a car fire on the Staten Island Expressway, with its siren on moments before the crash.

The van then made a left from Burgher onto Richmond, witness Ali Alsaede said. The fire truck then crashed into the van’s rear driver door.

Read more HERE.