Friday, May 27, 2011

FDNY Christens and Commissions its Newest Fireboat: “Bravest”

The FDNY’s newest $2.4 million, 65’ fireboat was commissioned during a christening ceremony at the North Cove Marina in Manhattan. The Bravest was assigned to Marine 6 in Brooklyn, and is equipped with the latest in chemical, biological and Radiological equipment and “Bravest” is adorned on the side of the ship, built from pieces recovered from the World Trade Center site.
For more on this ship and event, click here.

Cleveland Firefighter’s Union Urges City to Accept S.A.F.E.R. Grant

The City of Cleveland has been awarded a $4.5 million FEMA grant (S.A.F.E.R.) to prevent the layoffs of 51 firefighters in the Cleveland Fire Department. Cleveland Firefighters, Local 93 rallied on the steps of City Hall in support of the grant urging elected officials to accept the S.A.F.E.R. award. For more on the S.A.F.E.R. grant click here. For more on Cleveland Firefighter’s Local 93’s support of the grant, click here.

Last of Five Burned D.C. Firefighters Released from Hospital

After two long months of hospitalization, Firefighter Chuck Ryan was welcomed home by four other firefighters who were burned fighting a fire in the Northeast section of D.C. Ryan was the most severely burned during the fire and received second and third degree burns over 30% of his body.

Firefighter Ryan was trapped in a roof collapse during the fire on April 8, 2011. Ryan is also a volunteer fire chief and when asked whether or not he would return to active duty, Ryan stated: Oh I'll be back - absolutely. 100%. There's no question. I will be back. I've made it back home. Now my mission is to make it back to work."

Click here to read more about Firefighter Ryan's release. Watch the video here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

FDNY Firefighters From Soon-to-be-Closed Station Rescue Man

From the Daily News:
Firefighters from a Brooklyn ladder company slated to close due to budget cuts rescued a man from his burning home Wednesday, officials said.

The 23-year-old man was trapped in a back room of the Bayview Ave. building in Coney Island when firefighters from Ladder 161 arrived about 6:30 a.m., officials said.

Lt. Edward Gonzalez and Firefighter Sean Connolly crawled through the flames to get to the 6-foot-2, 260-pound man.

Read the rest HERE.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Snake Causes Explosion, Fire at KY Substation

Typical snake:
Utility crews are still trying to restore power to hundreds of people, after an explosion, caused by a snake, rocked a power substation.

People living in the Hickory Lane area of Berea say they heard the explosion around 1 Wednesday morning.

When firefighters and electrical crews arrived on the scene, they found the substation engulfed in flames.


Officials with East Kentucky Power and Blue Grass Energy say a snake sparked all the trouble.

"The snake did get into the equipment," Nick Comer with East Kentucky Power/Blue Grass Energy, said. "It did apparently cause a short circuit and caused the fire."

Comer says the explosions followed because of certain equipment that contains oil.

Firefighters had to let the fire burn itself out because of the oil and electricity.

Read more HERE

Dad Leaves to Check on Kids in Joplin, MO; Son Dies in MI Fire

A tragedy, from the AP via the Detroit Free Press:
A 1-year-old boy whose father was out of town checking on the well-being of his other children in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., was killed Tuesday in a fire that destroyed the family’s mobile home in southwestern Michigan.

Firefighters were called to Leisure Estates in Holland Township at about 2 a.m. Trenton Harlen died of smoke inhalation and his 6-year-old sister Jasmine VanderHulst was hospitalized, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

Read the rest HERE. See a video about it HERE.

Coatesville (PA) Chief Resigns After Scathing Report on Incident in Which Firefighters Were Injured

The resignation the Coatesville, Chester County, fire chief monday came after a blistering independent report that chastised the department as ineptly led and dysfunctional.

The evaluation was sought by the city after a Sept. 10 apartment fire resulted in injuries to seven firefighters, some of whom required hospitalization. The Inquirer has obtained a copy of the report which has yet to be made public.

Kevin Johnson, who had headed the Coatesville Fire Department since 2006 - an era that included a 13-month string of 70 area arsons - submitted his resignation Monday morning from the part-time position, and it was unanimously accepted by City Council at its Monday night meeting.

Read more about it HERE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Detroit (MI) Firefighter Suffers Severe Smoke Inhalation

From the Detroit Free Press:
A Detroit firefighter is in intensive care after suffering severe smoke inhalation in a vacant school fire early today.

The firefighter from Engine Company 58 on the city's east side was hurt at about 3 a.m. at Macomb Elementary School, 12021 Evanston, according to a source within the Detroit Fire Department. He's being treated at Detroit Receiving Hospital and is expected to recover.

The fire broke out in a trailer set up behind the school to provide additional classroom space. The school, just west of Harper and East Outer Drive, was closed by the Detroit Public Schools, according to the district's Web site.

Read more HERE.

Trenton (NJ) Violated Grant Terms in Putting City Fire Director on Payroll Early

The city violated the terms of a $27.1 million transitional aid grant from the state Department of Community Affairs by putting Trenton Fire Department Director Qareeb Bashir on the payroll before the agency signed off on his hiring, a move that could jeopardize future aid applications, DCA officials said yesterday.

Bashir was approved by the DCA for a year-long probationary term as fire director on April 19, but he had been started working with the fire department March 28 with the understanding he would be unpaid while under DCA review. Documents obtained through open public records requests by Rob Chilson, who authors the blog Trenton United, showed Bashir worked 140 hours prior to April 9, received $8,106 in pay.

Read more HERE.

LAFD Firefighter Burned During Fire Response

From the LAFD News blog:
On Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM, 16 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 8 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 1 Rehab Unit, 1 Hazardous Materials Team, 1 LAFD Helicopter, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 3 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 118 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel under the direction of Assistant Chief Daryl Arbuthnott, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 9654 Cozycroft Avenue in Chatsworth.

Firefighters arrived quickly to find fire through the roof above a pair of centrally located units within a one-story eight-unit 160' x 300' industrial building.

Forcing entry through rolling steel doors of a wholesale gift firm that occupied the two involved units, scores of firefighters worked in unison to swiftly salvage key business records and computer equipment from the office, as their colleagues nearby held advancing flames at bay.

The offensive attack on the fire, accompanied by strategic vertical ventilation, continued unabated for more than 20 minutes, until the roof became untenable and portions of the structure began to give way.

One firefighter suffered second-degree burns during operations. Read the entire account of the incident HERE.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Off-Duty LA Firefighters Rescue Children from Lake

From, a story about a Mother's Day resuce in Pollock, Louisiana:
Ryan Davies heard a call for help and jumped into Stuart Lake to rescue a child.

To his surprise, the Alexandria firefighter found there were two other children in the water who needed help as well.

Davies, Ball Assistant Fire Chief Lee Hickman and Ball firefighter Don Kerry -- all off-duty while visiting the lake near Pollock on Mother's Day -- teamed up to save three "special-needs" boys from drowning.

The three boys were from Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries Inc., Pineville. One child was 6, and another was 14. The firefighters didn't know the age of the third child.

Read more HERE.

Three Killed in NC Mobile Home Fire

Investigators say three people died in an early morning mobile home fire Sunday in western Lincoln County.

It happened on Betterbrook Lane. An 18-year-old man in the home survived by jumping through a window to safety. Investigators say he ran to a neighbor's home to call 911.

Firefighters say the home was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. Deputy Michael Luckadoo tried to get through the back door, but said he was pushed back by the flames.

Read more HERE.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Two Children Saved from IL Apartment Fire

From the Naperville Sun:
Two pre-teenage girls escaped injury Thursday morning after being rescued from a bedroom of their burning apartment in Woodridge.

Two fire medics from the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District picked up the children and carried them to safety during the blaze at the three-story Lincoln at Seven Bridges apartment complex at 6685 Double Eagle Drive, according to Bureau Chief Jim French.

Neither the girls – both under the age of 10 – nor the fire medics were injured during the blaze, although a male firefighter-paramedic suffered a minor cut, French said. The firefighter-paramedic was treated at the scene, he said.

Read more HERE.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Woman Killed, 2 Injured in Tulsa (OK) Warehouse Fire

A firefighter was also treated at the scene of this incident for heat exhaustion, according to the Tulsa World:
A woman was killed in a warehouse fire that sent two other people to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation Tuesday night.

Tulsa Fire Department spokesman Tim Smallwood said the woman was found on the ground outside the building, which is on Trenton Avenue just north of Interstate 244, and that medics administered CPR before they took her to a hospital.

EMSA public information officer Chris Stevens said the woman was in critical condition when she was taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Medical Center. Smallwood said she was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The two other people went to a hospital on their own and told a fire investigator there that they had been in a vehicle outside the warehouse and got blocked in by firetrucks.

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

1 Killed in Fire, Explosion at TN Ammo Shop

A report from News Channel 5:
One person was killed in a fire and explosion at an ammunitions store in South Nashville [TN]. A second person was injured.

The fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. Monday at Well Done Bullets at 4813 Nolensville Pike.

Engineers were called out to determine if the building is structurally sound enough for fire crews to get back in the building to search for another possible victim.

Fire officials said there was some sort of explosion, and when they arrived on the scene the bottom corner of the building was full of flames.

Read more and see video HERE.

Houston (TX) Fire Department Strives to Avoid Firefighter Layoffs

From KTRK, Houston layoffs could come as early as today:

Houston Mayor Annise Parker is discussing ongoing negotiations between the city and the firefighters union as they try to prevent layoffs of classified employees. Close to 700 civilian workers were laid off last week.

Mayor Parker says she doesn't want to add classified firefighters to the list of city layoffs. She says she's prepared to say she won't be laying off police officers this go-around and hopes to do the same with the city's firefighters.

Read more HERE.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cleveland (OH) to Lay Off 51 Firefighters

From the AP via
The city of Cleveland has detailed budget-related cutbacks involving more than 320 layoffs, including 81 police officers and 51 firefighters. Five of 40 fire companies will be closed.

Read more HERE.

AR Building Collapse Kills 1, Injures 6

From the Associated Press via
Authorities say a building in a central Arkansas city has collapsed, killing a young girl and injuring at least six other people.

Investigators have not determined what caused the building in downtown Morrilton to collapse Monday.

Conway County Sheriff Mike Smith says rescue teams are searching the wreckage for possible survivors but that he thinks most people escaped. The building housed a beauty parlor.

Read it all HERE.

WV Fire Marshal: Volunteer Departments in Deep Financial Trouble

From the Charleston Gazette:
State Fire Marshal Sterling Lewis Jr. said West Virginia volunteer fire departments are in deep financial trouble.

"We used to be able to say it would happen 'one of these days,' but now we're saying 'it's today' -- fire departments are in a crisis," Lewis said.

Last month, Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Chief John Smoot asked the Putnam County Commission to raise the county's annual fire fee.


Lewis said fire stations across the state are being forced to deal with several problems at the same time - lack of funds and manpower, and higher workers' compensation and equipment costs. For example, Lewis said a firefighter's air pack cost $1,500 15 years ago, but today costs nearly $4,000.

Read more on the details of the crisis HERE.

Fire Wrecks WV Home; Partygoers Unhurt

From, a report from Martinsburg, West Virginia:
An early Sunday fire destroyed a nearly million-dollar house on Babbling Brook Lane, where firefighters spent several tense hours wondering if any of the home’s 150 overnight partygoers were dead inside.

Cadaver dogs initially indicated the possibility of human remains, but cleared that area of the 11,000-square-foot house after debris was pushed aside. Hedgesville (W.Va.) Fire Chief Mike Nichols said approximately 150 people were attending a party in the hours before the fire started.

Read more about the incident HERE.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

IN Firefighter Seriously Injured During Training Exercise

A Salem, Indiana firefighter suffered a severe head injury during a training exercise on Saturday. The firefighter remained in intensive care unit at a local hospital throughout the day on Sunday. The firefighter's name has not been released according to reports from

Fire department officials confirmed that more information would be released in the coming days and according to the report, that it has been "an extremely difficult time" for the department.

Read more information about the incident and see video coverage HERE

TX Mobile Home Fire Kills 3 Children, 1 Adult

A mobile home fire in Conroe, Texas killed three children and one adult at approximately 2:41 a.m. Sunday morning. Five engines and a ladder company responded to the incident finding the mobile home totally engulfed in fire. The first firefighters to respond to the scene were approached by three injured people outside and advised that more people were inside the mobile home, according to reports from CNN.

The report continued to explain details of the incident:

"Two children between the ages of 3 and 8 were pulled out of a bedroom that was not involved in the fire but had heavy smoke. They could not be revived, Kreger said. Firefighters found another child between 3 and 8 and a woman, believed to be about 27years old, dead in another area."

Read the whole CNN report HERE.

Fire in IL Apartment Complex Kills 6

A fire at a small apartment complex in Aurora, Illinois, killed 6 people and injured approximately 12 at 4:06 a.m. Sunday morning. The fire began on the first floor and moved to the floors above. The apartment building was consumed by flames by the time firefighters arrived at the scene as heavy smoke covered the surrounding area. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The complex housed approximately 30 residents according to reports from

Fire department officials reported that two of the fatalities occurred when residents opened their apartment doors during the fire, which caused it to spread into their residence.

Read the whole story HERE

Brooklyn (NY) Fire Kills Two Men

Two men were killed in a four-alarm Brooklyn fire that spread throughout four row houses on Sunday. More than 170 firefighters responded to the incident which killed one victim inside the building and another who dropped from a window to his death, according to reports from Mail Online.

New York City fire department officials gave details of the incident during the report:

"New York City fire department spokesperson Mike Parrella told the department received a 911 call about the fire at 9:13 pm last night. Mr Parrella said 170 personnel from 39 fire department units responded within minutes to the blaze, which is thought to have started around 9 p.m., possibly on the three-story building's top floor."

Mr Parrella said in the report:

"It went under control at 11:15. 'It was pretty bad. There was heavy fire on the first and second floors."

Read the entire story HERE

Friday, May 13, 2011

Court: Chicago (IL) Must Hire 111 Bypassed Black Firefighter Candidates

From The Chicago Sun-Times:
The Chicago Fire Department must hire 111 bypassed black firefighter candidates — and distribute “tens of millions of dollars” in damages to 6,000 others who will never get that chance — a federal appeals court ruled Friday, upholding a landmark ruling.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 9-to-0 decision, that, contrary to the city’s contention, African-American candidates hadn’t waited too long before filing a lawsuit that accused the city of discriminating against them for the way it handled a 1995 firefighter’s entrance exam.

On Friday, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling and sent the case back to the trial court to implement what it called the “hiring remedy” the city has been stalling.

Read the entire story HERE.

Off-Duty IN Firefighter Saves Dog from Fire

From, a report from Monticell, Indiana:
The Seabolt family said the house fire could have been worse, but fortunately an off-duty firefighter in a nearby fishing boat saw the flames begin to spread.

"I went up to the residence and asked the homeowner if anyone was still inside. He said 'Yes,'" said Monticello Firefighter Brooks Ingle, who was first on the scene.

Ingle called 911 for assistance, then went in the house for the first time. That first trip he didn't find anyone, but when homeowner Diana Mead-Seabolt went back inside he followed behind. The second time he went in he saved the family dog.

The youngest members of the Seabolt family spotted the fire first. They went back inside to tell the others and their quick thinking mother showed the family out the back stairs.

Read the account of the entire incident HERE.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

White Plains Firefighter Says He Was Harassed By Co-Workers Because He’s Gay


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – A White Plains firefighter claims he was continually harassed on the job and subjected to a constant onslaught of obscene verbal attacks because he is gay.

Steven Saunders, a 17-year veteran of the department, is now suing the city for discrimination.

Read more from Steve Sandburg and listen to his 1010 WINS report HERE.

City of Los Angeles (CA) Fire Department Faces Permanent Cuts

Via a radio report from Southern California Public Radio:
Facing the worst budget deficit in decades, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed deep cuts to the city’s fire department. His plan would permanently close nearly 30 fire trucks and paramedic units, and would shrink the department by more than 300 firefighters. Fire officials who designed the plan promise that it would maintain public safety. Critics predict that it’ll lead to unnecessary deaths.

Fire Captain Jaime Moore said department personnel analyzed more than a million calls for help to craft a plan that would safely scale back the department. “We had to take a very good look at the way we operated," Moore said.

He said while Chief Milage Peaks would prefer to maintain the size of the department, he and other fire leaders found they could get away with some downsizing. "We have some areas where we have task forces where a single engine could handle the number of fire calls they’re getting.”

Listen to the full report and read more HERE.

CO Firefighters May Have Cheated on Certification Test

Some firefighters in Colorado may have been allowed to cheat on tests that they take to become firefighters.

The Colorado Division of Fire Safety has launched an investigation against a man giving the tests. He's accused of providing copies to firefighter candidates in advance.

The Division of Fire Safety believes that less than 100 firefighters in our state were given the advance copies.

Read the full story HERE.

Woman Dies, Son Critical Following Rash of Indianapolis (IN) Arsons

In all, Indianapolis firefighters battled ten overnight blazes. One turned out to be fatal, and a man is in critical condition at Wishard Hospital.

Flames ripped through a home on the 1100 block of State Avenue home at around 6:00 am, sending the family into panic and killing Anna Richards. The 63-year-old woman tried her best to warn the three other adults in the house.

"I could not even smell anything, you know what I am saying? So I told her she was crazy and go back to sleep and just a few seconds later the windows started popping," said Gary Allen, fire victim, speaking tearfully.

"We tried to get my mom out and we can't find her. I tried to get my brother out of bed and we can't lift him up and he caught on fire," said Mary Whitlock, Richards' daughter.

Whitlock told firefighters where her relatives were located, and firefighters went in and rescued Whitlock's 47-year-old quadriplegic brother Jerry Richards. Paramedics took him to the hospital in critical condition. Both Jerry and Anna Richards required CPR at the fire scene.

Firefighters had been to the home before on EMS runs and knew the layout of the home, which aided in the quick location of the victims

Read more and see video HERE.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

National Emergency Alert System Set to Launch

From YahooNews:

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – After more than five years of planning, a national emergency alert system that will send messages to cell phones during disasters is set to launch in New York City and Washington by the end of year.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said Monday the Commercial Mobile Alert System, which will be formally announced at a meeting in New York on Tuesday, will direct emergency messages to cell phones in case of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other serious emergencies.

The alert plan was approved by Congress in 2006 under the Warning Alert and Response Network Act.

Reaching people in the midst of disasters such as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks or Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when cell phone networks were overwhelmed or otherwise out of service, has been an ongoing concern for emergency personnel around the country.

Local and state governments have been increasingly turning to text messages to alert residents to everything from snow days closing schools to traffic blocking local roadways. But the volume of messages can be overwhelming or too late to be of much help.

Read more HERE

OR Woman Saved from Fire

From The Columbian, fortunate intervention by a passerby saves a woman's life in Sherwood:
The black plume of smoke Laurie Sharpe spotted during her morning walk Monday looked like it could be billowing from a backyard burn. It was what she noticed next — thick orange flames reaching into the sky above a home at 10813 N.E. 38th Ave. — that sent her rushing to see if anyone at a threatened ranch-style house needed help.

There was no one outside, but Sharpe could see a walker on the front porch.

It took four rounds of knocks before Donna R. Davis unlocked the door. Sharpe said the 86-year-old woman was reluctant to leave, wanting instead to stay and protect the home against flames that could be seen advancing. Davis planned to push back a fire engulfing a fifth-wheel type trailer with a garden hose.

A pastor at an area church, Sharpe said she navigated heavy black smoke to haul from the home a crate holding a black cocker spaniel. She said she then had to push Davis outside.

Davis was unharmed but shaken, said Dawn Johnson, a spokeswoman for Clark County Fire District 6. As crews worked to put out the blaze, Davis went across the street to a neighbor’s home.

Read the rest HERE.

Fire Kills Family in Utica, NY

A mother and three young children were killed in a Utica, NY duplex:

In Utica, N.Y., yesterday, a fire in a duplex house killed a mother and her three young children, and witnesses heard banging on the walls as fire tore through the home. The children were ages 1, 2, and 4 years old, Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks said. The victims’ names were not released.

Fire investigators say preliminary information indicates the fire started on the first floor, spread throughout the entire first floor, and then went up the front stairwell to the bedrooms where the victims were located. The cause was not known.
Read more HERE and HERE.


D.C. Fire Department Vehicle Burned in Arson

According to the Washington Post's news blog, a D.C. ambulance that was no longer in use was damaged by a fire that seemed to be arson. Read the whole thing HERE.

KS Firefighter Among the Injured in Apparatus-Car Wreck

A Soldier Township (KS) firefighter was injured along with three civilians in a apparatus vs. car accident:
Emergency dispatchers received a call at 4:43 p.m. about a Soldier Township Fire Department vehicle being involved in a wreck at N.W. 46th and Topeka Boulevard.

A firefighter, the driver and only person in the engine, was responding to a fire alarm in the 8000 block of N.E. Sherman Road, He was driving east on N.W. 46th and collided with a Ford Mustang that was traveling south on N.W. Topeka Boulevard, said Sgt. Danny Lotridge.

Two of the three occupants of the Mustang, who were Seaman High School students, had to be extricated from the vehicle. The driver and back-seat passenger were transported to a Topeka hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening. The front-seat passenger of the Mustang was transported to a Topeka hospital with injures described as serious, Gilchrist said.

Read more HERE.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cornell Student Dies in Apartment Fire

A Cornell University student who would have graduated at the end of this month died in an early morning fire Friday at an apartment building in Collegetown, an official with the Ithaca Fire Department said.

Brian Lo, 21, a senior from East Rockaway, died in the fire that is believed to have started by accident. Fire officials said unattended cooking in a communal first-floor kitchen is suspected to have caused the blaze at 107 Cook St.

The building is a three-story wood-frame house with eight apartments and 13 residents, all of whom are Cornell students, said Deputy Chief Tom Parsons at a Friday morning press conference. Lo's body was found in the rear of the building. He was apparently attempting to escape when he succumbed, Parsons said.

Read more HERE and get tips on campus fire safety from the Center for Campus Fire Safety HERE.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Woman Trapped in Basement of Burning MA Home Dies

A fire that broke out Friday night in a two-family home on Melrose Avenue killed a woman trapped in the structure’s basement, a fire official said.

The woman, whose identity was not released pending notification of her family, was believed to be a "visitor" in the house at 75 Melrose Ave., said Brockton Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Murphy, in a brief phone interview this afternoon.

The woman called 911 and reported that she was trapped about 11 p.m., he said. Eight trucks responded to the two-alarm fire, he said.


A search team of fire fighters swept the basement searching for survivors, but failed initially to find her. A second search team located a door to a room where the woman’s body was found, Murphy said.

A witness to the scene last night, who lives nearby but declined to give her name, said she saw emergency medical personnel attempt to revive the woman for more than 15 minutes in the back of a waiting ambulance after she was pulled from the building.

Read MORE.

CA Firefighter Injured in Fall Through Floor at Burning Home

From the Petaluma (CA) Patch:
A firefighter suffered second degree burns after falling through the floor of a burning home Saturday morning.


The duplex sustained severe structural damage and the contents were completely destroyed. Fire department officials say materials from a previous marijuana growing operation were found inside, but had no further details Saturday.

The firefighter suffered burns to his hand and was not transported. Read the full story HERE and another story on the incident HERE.

Woman Killed When Demolition Team Tears Down Atlanta (GA) Home

A woman was killed Saturday afternoon in southeast Atlanta as a demolition team tore down a house.

Witnesses said the woman was inside the home when the building began crumbling around her.

Residents in the area told Channel 2’s Tony Thomas the demolition crew began working from the back toward the front.

Neighbors said they had wanted the house torn down for years. Then they said they heard the cry for help.

Through the afternoon, Atlanta firefighters combed through the debris, making sure there is no one else trapped underneath the rubble. They would find no one else.

Read it all HERE.

Canadian Firefighters Raise Alarm over Dangers of 6-Story Wood Frame Buildings

From the Vancouver Sun:
Richmond Fire Rescue stands behind the 2009 report that said its resources might not be adequate to fight a fire in a six-storey wood frame structure, a deputy chief says.

The fire service does not have any more staff or higher ladders than it did when the concerns were first expressed, Tim Wilkinson, deputy chief of operations for Richmond Fire Rescue told The Sun.

"To fight a fire effectively in such a structure will require new firefighting tactics, which could also require additional firefighting resources, more personnel, and higher reaching ladder trucks," fire prevention officer Dave Clou wrote in a report to the city's community safety committee expressing concerns when the BC Building Code was changed to allow taller wood-frame buildings.

Read more HERE.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Denver (CO) Firefighter Injured in Apparatus Accident

From The Denver Post:
A Denver firefighter was injured this afternoon when the engine he was riding in got into a traffic accident in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

The accident happened at about 1:25 p.m. at the intersection of East Colfax Avenue and Washington Street, said Sonny Jackson, a Denver Police Department spokesman.

The fire engine was "running hot" with its siren on and lights flashing, Jackson said.

A woman in a car came to a stop and then the driver changed her mind and thought she could cross in front of the engine, Jackson said.

The injured firefighter complained of back pain was taken to a hospital. Read more about it HERE.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Deutsche Bank Trial: Firefighter Tells of Colleague's Last Desperate Moments

From the AP via the Wall Street Journal:
James Martin and two fellow firefighters were backing their hose down a stairwell in rolling smoke too thick to see, the sounds and heat of fire coming at them from the floor above, when he heard the man behind him gasp, "I need air. I'm out of air!"

Over the frantic next moments, Martin tried first to give stricken colleague Joseph P. Graffagnino his own oxygen and then to lead him to safety, Martin told jurors Thursday in the manslaughter trial stemming from the deadly August 2007 blaze at a toxic ground zero tower.

But after Graffagnino flailed, fell and didn't answer his entreaties to follow, Martin realized, "I had to go get help.

"So I made the decision," he said, his voice cracking, "to leave him and go get help."

Read it all HERE.

Houston (TX) to Lay Off 238 Firefighters, Union Says

The City of Houston plans to lay off 238 firefighters as part of ongoing budget cuts, union officials said Thursday.

Firefighters gathered outside of their monthly union meeting Thursday and spoke with KHOU 11 News. They requested anonymity because they feared for their jobs.

"We’re literally losing sleep over it," said one firefighter, who expects a phone call Friday notifying him that he will be pink-slipped. “I’m dreading it so much. I have a family back home. I got a wife, a kid, a mortgage to pay. (I have) a lot of commitments -- and this job is really all I’ve got.”

Firefighters said they started to get phone calls Thursday notifying them about special meetings next week. That's when employees with the least seniority expect to get official notice they will be let go on July 1.

Mayor Annise Parker’s office would not confirm the number of potential layoffs, but it released a written statement late Thursday.

Read more HERE.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

OH Firefighters Injured in Stairwell Collapse

From The Columbus Dispatch:
Two firefighters were injured when portions of a stairwell collapsed while they were battling a fire inside an East Side town home yesterday evening.


Columbus and Whitehall firefighters responded at 6 p.m. to the report of a fire at 3482 Cunard Square, in the Cushing Arms Townhomes.

According to Columbus Fire Division Battalion Chief Michael Fowler, a group of Whitehall firefighters went up the stairs, and one Whitehall lieutenant fell through a hole in the stairway.

Shortly after, the Columbus firefighter coming up the same staircase was more seriously injured when the staircase collapsed into the town house's basement.

Read it all HERE.

Pittsburgh (PA) Firefighters Injured in Flashover

From the AP:
Four Pittsburgh firefighters have been burned but are expected to be released after treatment after they were caught in a flashover during a house fire.

The firefighters were battling a blaze early Thursday in the city's Greenfield neighborhood when the incident occurred. A flashover occurs when all the combustible material in a confined area catches fire at once because of the intense heat.

Read more HERE.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Boston (MA) Fire Causes $3M in Damages, Cigarette Blamed

An office building located on Boston's Commercial Wharf was destroyed by a fire sparked by a carelessly tossed lit cigarrette according to fire officials. Reports estimate the damage to be at $3 million. The Boston Fire Department was required to use a fire boat and a dozen rescue divers during the incident to direct hose lines into burning wooden pilings on which the building was perched. Five firefighters were injured during the incident, according to detailed reports.

Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald statement in the report reads:

“The employee was working late into the night and would go out onto the second floor balcony for a cigarette break.’’

MacDonald added: “The cause was careless disposal of the cigarette,’’

Reports have not clarified if fire began as a result of improper disposal of one cigarette, or multiple cigarettes, but a single, still-burning cigarette could be responsible for the fire and the building's destruction, according to his statement.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Death of Osama Bin Laden: A Retired 9/11 Firefighter Responds

The Death of Osama Bin Laden: A Retired 9/11 Firefighter Responds

'Emotional Rollercoaster'

Tim Brown, retired FDNY firefighter, speaks about his feelings when hearing the announcement of Osama Bin Laden's death. Brown told Fox News that he was 'speechless and stunned' by the news but also expressed that much sadness comes out of this announcement. The news brings up new feelings of sadness for all of those who lost their lives due to the horrible events that day and for those who live with the aftermath.

See Tim's interview with FoxNews Here at:

Tim Brown is the owner of and

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Arson Awareness Week

Today marks the beginning of Arson Awareness Week. This year's theme is: Working Together to Extinguish Serial Arson. The USFA is teaming up with the ATF, IAAI, NASFM, NVFC, and ICAC to lassist ocal communities in combatting serial arson. Read more here.

President Obama Tours Alabama's Tornado Devastation

President Obama and First Lady Michelle toured Alabama's tornado devastation and visited with families impacted by their damage. President Obama stated, "I've never seen damage like this. It's heartbreaking." Read more about President Obama's survey of the destruction here.