Safety

FIREFIGHTER, POLICE OFFICER AMONG 4 INJURED AT PA FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:25

An Allegheny County fire marshal has been asked to investigate a blaze that destroyed an apartment building and injured at least four people, including a firefighter and a police officer.

Coraopolis police said the fire at 1428 4th Ave., not far from the Neville Island Bridge, was reported at about 2:30 a.m. Thursday.

A firefighter and Moon police officer were taken to a local hospital, Coraopolis Fire Chief Larry Byrge said. The officer was being treated for smoke inhalation and the firefighter for heat exhaustion, he said.

The conditions of two residents injured in the fire have not been released.

Firefighters from Coraopolis, Robinson, Moon, and Neville Island worked together to tamp down the flames that burned through the ceiling of the building. The building rekindled later in the morning after the blaze was brought under control.

Police said 15 families reside in the building and have been displaced. American Red Cross is assisting.

As of about 8 a.m., roads in the vicinity of the building were beginning to reopen.

“It’s an incredibly sad scene,” said Nicole Fitzgerald, the manager of the Montour Hotel, located across the street from the apartment building.

When she arrived for work at about 6 a.m. Thursday, she said she was struck by the destruction.

“There were fire trucks and lights and a crane over the top of the building. You can see that the fire started in the back corner. That section is basically gone. The building is destroyed,” she commented.

The building is owned by Dawn Cornell of Crescent, according to county tax records. She could not be reached immediately for comment.

Tax records indicate the commercial building contains between 5 and 19 apartments.

Don Harper of New Wilmington, just north of New Castle, said the building was constructed by his great-grandfather, Joseph W. Harper, in about 1892. An L-shaped building, it served as a general store as well as the family home.

Don Harper said that the retail operation was in the part of the building that paralleled Montour Street while the family lived in the section along 4th Avenue.

“It is quite shocking,” Mr. Harper said of the fire that destroyed the work of his ancestor’s hands. He said his grandfather, Frank Harper, related in his memories that his father had dug the stone for the foundation out of the nearby river bank.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT CANADIAN TRAILER FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/14/2018 - 07:36

Investigator say an open flame heater likely sparked a fire that completely destroyed two mobile homes Monday in Penhold.

Penhold Fire Chief Jim Pendergast says the fire started in a unit built in 1975 and spread to a neighbouring unit built in 1974.

“There was no natural gas service to the originating unit, there were several portable open flame heaters in that unit of which at least one was in operation at the time of the origin, and was most likely the cause of the fire,” he explains.

“Building and fire codes were not as stringent at the time the units were built as they are now and that and the close proximity contributed to the rapid fire spread.”

Both units had been renovated many times over the years, Pendergast notes, creating many voids and dead spaces which hampered the ability of firefighters to reach some of the deep seated hot spots.

Both units are a total loss with neither owner having insurance at the time of the fire. There were two adults and a dog living in each unit, none of whom were injured.

The occupants of the originating unit were outside at the time and noticed heavy smoke coming from the front door.

The injured firefighter is home and is expected to return to work in a full capacity next week.

===

Smoke filled the air over the Town of Penhold Monday night as fire that destroyed two mobile homes and injured a firefighter.

The blaze in the Penhold Estates trailer park started around 4 p.m. with firefighters from Penhold and later Innisfail both responding.

According to Penhold Fire Chief Jim Pendergast, crews found two units fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.

“We made sure all the occupants were out,” explained Pendergast. “It’s been a tough fight. It’s hard to get in to access some of the areas of the fire because of the construction and the way that the trailers have been renovated over the years. Also, all of our air packs are freezing up but I mean its winter time and so we try to plan for that but you have to deal with that right?”

Pendergast says two occupants of the mobile home where the fire started were outside cleaning their vehicle when they noticed heavy, black smoke coming out of their front door. He says there was one person in the other trailer that caught fire but they managed to evacuate safely.

“There’s been no injuries to the occupants of the trailer,” said Pendergast. “We’ve had one firefighter from Penhold transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries due to a fall.”

The firefighter was treated for a torn muscle and later released.

According to Pendergast, power had to be shut-off to nearby mobile homes but crews from Fortis Alberta were working to restore it as soon as possible.

He said it’s too early to determine a damage estimate at this time and the fire is not considered suspicious.

Penhold Mayor Mike Yargeau says the Red Cross was called in to assist the displaced residents but it’s unclear at this point how many that is.

“We had one family show up here, most went with friends or family throughout town or wherever,” said Yargeau. “They were concerned at first but it wasn’t their home that was burned, they were right next door. They were worried about how they were going to get home, how they were going to get their kids ready for school, do all that stuff.”

Yargeau added the family has since been pointed in the right direction to get the assistance they’ll nee

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

IL TANKER ROLLOVER

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 18:49

A fire department water tanker has flipped over in Tilton.

WAND was sent a photo that showed the truck on its side near Route 1 and Ross Lane. A witness told us the truck crashed with a car at an intersection.

We are working to learn what department the truck is from and whether anyone was injured.

The tanker was headed to an apartment fire in downtown Westville on State Street.

Roads are blocked off around the apartment building.

WAND is on the scene of the fire and will bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CANADIAN FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 10:36

A firefighter was went to hospital with an arm injury after battling an early-morning blaze that caused $100,000 in damage to a vacant home in downtown Hamilton.

The fire department responded to the blaze at 53 Cathcart St. just west of Wellington Street around 12:15 a.m. Monday to find heavy smoke.

The residents of the neighbouring semi-detached two-storey home were outside when firefighters arrived.

They searched the home and found a “well-involved” fire in the basement. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze but it went up to the second-floor attic through the wall.

The flames didn’t spread to neighbouring homes, however, fire department information Claudio Mostacci said in a news release.

No residents were injured, but a firefighter was sent to hospital with an arm injury received during an overhaul operation, Mostacci said. He has been released from hospital.

The dollar loss is expected to be $100,000, the fire department says.

“The cause of the fire was electrical and not considered suspicious.”

The vacant home had working smoke alarms. The neighbouring semi has some water damage but the residents have been able to return.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

ZA FIREFIGHTER ATTACKED AT FIRE THAT DESTROYED 95 HOMES

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 07:46

A firefighter was attacked in the early hours of Monday morning as he battled a blaze that razed 95 homes in an informal settlement in Hout Bay.

About 350 people were displaced by the fire at Mandela Park‚ said Cape Town Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne.

He said one of the firefighters helping to extinguish the blaze sustained injuries to his shoulder after being assaulted by a member of the community.

“Fire is now contained. 20 Firefighting vehicles (10 fire engines and 10 water tankers). More than 70 firefighters on scene. No injuries reported from the public‚” he said in an early morning text update.

“Cause of the fire not established as yet. Crew will remain on scene for some considerable time carrying out mopping up operations.”

The disaster risk management unit is due to assess the damage on Monday.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

FDNY ENGINE HITS BUILDING – 5 FIREFIGHTERS INJURED

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 07:44

Five firefighters were injured when their truck careened through the wall of a building while responding to a blaze in Queens Sunday night, according to FDNY officials.

Members of Engine Co. 303 were responding to a report of a fire when their truck struck the side of an auto-parts warehouse at Liberty Avenue and 150th Street in Jamaica, officials said.

The truck pierced the brick facade of the commercial warehouse, tearing a 12-foot gash in the structure.

Four of the five firefighters refused medical attention at the scene, while one was transported by EMS to North Shore University Medical Center in Manhasset.

No civilians were injured, according to fire officials.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CSB's FY 19 Budget Request

CSB News - Mon, 02/12/2018 - 05:55
FY 19 Budget Request
Categories: Safety

Tstud™

Green Maltese - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 16:44

To paraphrase an old saying: The only constant in life is change. Life changes every day for every person in some way. The same hold true in the fire service.

Technology has lead to some significant changes to the tools we use to fight fires over the years. However the actual buildings we fight fires in is changing as well.  It is essential that we the fire service understand that building materials and methods will always be changing, therefore we must be a constant student of buildings.

 Since the first dwelling was built by humans. Building construction methods and materials have continually evolved.  We have lived to see the day when even wood is no longer truly wood.

Recently in my attempt to be a constant student of building materials and methods I came across a new building material that truly is an example of wood framing no longer being what we think, when we think of a wood frame building.

That new building material is called TStud. This material is the marriage of wood and plastic foam to create a structural framing material.

The following information has been taken from several sources on the internet for TStud.

Tstud™ is made from a minimum of 2×3 No. 2 Spruce Pine Fir (SPF) lumber, wooden dowels and approximately 2½”of polyisocyanurate (polyiso) insulation. (1)

Standard construction today uses either 2×4 or 2×6 solid lumber generally spaced 16″ on center. Where energy conservation is a concern, most builders frame an exterior wall with 2×6’s. Up to 30 percent of the exterior wall (studs, top and bottom plates, cripple studs, window/door jams and headers) is solid wood framing. Thermal bridges are points in the wall that allow heat and cold conduction to occur. Heat and cold follow the path of least resistance—through thermals bridges of solid wood across a temperature differential wherein the heat or cold is not interrupted by thermal insulation. The more volume of solid wood in a wall also reduces available insulation space, and further, the thermal efficiency of the wall suffers and the R value (resistance to conductive heat flow) decreases. (2)

The most common way to minimize thermal bridging is to wrap the entire exterior of the building in rigid insulation to minimize heat loss and cold from entering the building. This effort significantly increases materials, carbon footprint and labor costs and can be undesirable in increasing the thickness of the building walls with non-structural materials.

A thermal break wall system comprised of 3×6 thermal studs each comprised of two non-dimensional lumber sections with a thermal break section of rigid foam insulation there between. The studs are 24″ on center. The studs are used for headers and sills and also may be used for top and bottom plates. The corners have an exterior all wood stud, an interior all wood stud and an interior all wood stud adjacent to the interior wood stud completing the interior corner for nailing gypsum board thereto. This corner has a thermal break space between the exterior and interior wood studs for insulation placement. The corners may also have two 3×6 thermal studs oriented 90 degrees from each other and an interior all wood stud for completing the interior corner for nailing gypsum board there to. This corner arrangement also has a thermal break through its construction.

 

Video:

 

Energy Efficiency

A built-in foam core gives the Tstud™ three times the insulation of a conventional wood stud.

In construction, the R-value is the measurement of a material’s capacity to resist heat flow from one side to the other. In simple terms, R-values measure the effectiveness of insulation and a higher number represents more effective insulation.* The R Value through a typical 2×6 wood stud is 6.88. Any wood member causes there to be a transfer of heat and cold from the exterior of a home or a building to the inside of the same space; known as conduction. The only way to stop the transfer of heat or cold from one side of a wall to the other side is to purchase and install thick enough rigid insulation to the entire exterior perimeter of the structure.

The Tstud™ is the same depth as a 2×6 but offers an impressive stated R Value of 18 and has a 99.23% complete thermal break** through the stud. Meaning that there isn’t a need for continuous rigid insulation to meet and exceed the 2015 Energy Code in all of the climate zones in North America.

Typically, the maximum R Value of any continuous insulation is only 5 and is ¾” to a maximum of 1” in depth.

The Tstud™ has approximately 2-1/2” of rigid insulation and we are using a stated R Value of 14.25.  Add in the R Value of wood at 1.25 per inch, times 3” of wood, and you get a combined wood and foam R Value of 18.

Regarding the 99.23% complete thermal break through the Tstud™:

The proprietary truss system that holds the 2 wood members together accounts for .77% of a thermal transfer of heat and/or cold.

The truss is non-metal and is fully encased in foam. Continuous rigid insulation is attached with metal nails and still has up to .5% of conduction through the foam, depending on the diameter of the fastener.

By using the thermally broken Tstud™ Wall Assembly, a reduction of 4-7 points on the HERS numbering system is garnered thus yielding the building an approximate 18% improvement (depending on heating or cooling degree days and the climate zone energy code currently in force) in energy efficiency over standard 2”X 6” wall construction. The Tstud™ will be an excellent LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) product.

Fire Rated Benefits (Source https://www.tstud.com/)

90% of the Tstud™ remained intact after a 10 minute burn at 3500 degrees.

*Soon to be code compliant!

The foam core of the Tstud™ is currently used in the SIP (structural insulated panel) industry and already has industry acceptance. The adhesive that is used to secure the nonmetal truss inside of the wood members of the Tstud™ is also currently used in the construction industry and passes ASTM D2559, as a heat and moisture resistant adhesive. The ASTM D2559 is required for use in members that could and would be used in headers and top plates, for the protection of fire personal and the inhabitants of the occupied space. Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has tested the Tstud™ and has concluded that the Tstud™ passed as a Class A fire rated member. A testing program is being implemented with UL for use of the Tstud™ as a Fire Class Rated Assembly.

Until a E119 Assembly Test is completed, and additional E84 Steiner Tunnel tests are completed, the Tstud™ cannot be sold with a fire rating. More updates will follow.

Link UL Testing Report: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59cce8bba9db0941ea92e75f/t/59d258c6a803bbde4f0bcc62/1506957510626/16-4787319376DevReport+%28002%29+UL+Testing+of+Tstud.pdf

TER Certification Letter of TStud Link: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59cce8bba9db0941ea92e75f/t/59d258de4c326d7077339582/1506957534952/170808+TER+1603-06+Tstud+Certification+Letter.pdf

Additional Reports & Testing Links: https://www.tstud.com/testing-reports/#

 

The Tstud is just one of many ways our built-in environment is constantly changing and we need to be a student of our profession, more than ever before. It simply is not enough to “Put the Wet Stuff on the Red Stuff”. We must know that the buildings of today, are not going to be built to be fire safe, and as fire service professionals, we must push for home fire sprinklers to save the lives of those we swore to protect.

Please share this with all your brothers and sisters in the fire service in order to continue raising the awareness of modern building construction products that we will face in future fire fights.

Stay safe,

John Shafer

Categories: Safety

FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT IL FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 09:29

A firefighter was injured and up to a dozen people were left homeless after fire ravaged an apartment building Saturday afternoon on Bloomington’s east side.

The cause of the fire at 1101 Gettysburg Drive has not yet been determined. The Bloomington Fire Department was still supervising the scene at 10 p.m. Saturday, but streets surrounding the area were reopened to traffic. BPD asked drivers to “avoid the immediate area … until the fire department has concluded their work.”

“The cold (weather) caused us to add resources. We are cycling guys because they’re wet and cold. We called in off-duty firefighters to cycle them so the others would have a chance to warm up,” said Bloomington Fire spokesman Stuart Blade

The two-story building with 12 units appeared to be a total loss and firefighters stayed away from part of the building that appeared to be on the verge of collapse by early evening.

Blade said firefighters rescued a cat from the building and two Connect Transit buses took residents to the nearby Red Cross office, where workers offered warm drinks and blankets while they collected family information.

Blade said the injured firefighter was treated at a local hospital, but his name and cause of his injury were not available.

Resident Derrick Dawson, who lived in No. 5, said he was in the kitchen making lunch for his kids when he smelled something burning. When he went outside, he saw smoke coming from an apartment door and yelled to get his wife and kids out. He said he saw flames “busting out of Apartment 10.”

The fire was reported about 3:20 p.m.

“We’re not sure how or where the fire started yet,” Blade said around 4:20 p.m. “At this point, we’re going for the defensive and taking an external attack. We started inside but then needed to pull back.”

East Empire Street was closed between Hershey and Prospect roads for most of the evening, and heavy smoke at times completely blocked visibility at the Empire-Prospect intersection.

The fire drew a crowd of residents and bystanders, with neighbors offering blankets and coats.

Firefighters from Bloomington and Normal used at least two ladder trucks in fighting the blaze, and broke windows on both floors to get at the fire and to vent smoke. Cold temperatures caused some of the water to freeze on the parking lot and sidewalks.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

FATAL APPARATUS CRASH IN CO

Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/11/2018 - 09:25

A driver died Friday night in northern Colorado in a collision with a Wellington Fire truck.

Wellington Fire Protection District Engine 1 was responding to an incident on I-25 when it “was struck by another vehicle” going north on the highway, according to the fire department.

No firefighters were injured. The highway was closed in both directions at Owl Canyon.

The fire department announced the driver’s death on Twitter at 8:52 p.m.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

BALTIMORE FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT 2 ALARM FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 18:51

A firefighter suffered non-life-threatening injuries while responding to a two-alarm fire in West Baltimore early Saturday morning, according to a Baltimore Fire Department tweet.

The firefighter was taken to Mercy Medical Center and treated for a knee injury before being released.

The fire, which occurred at about 3:30 a.m. on West Gilmor Street, was brought under control by the time of the tweet, at about 7:30.

No further details were available midday Saturday.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

YONKERS NY TOWER LADDER STRIKES BUILDING

Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 02/10/2018 - 07:20

A Yonkers firetruck that was being maneuvered into a garage on Nepperhan Avenue slid on ice and crashed into the structure Wednesday.

The incident happened around 5 p.m. and left behind a gaping hole in the side of the garage.

“My best guess was the ice was the factor, but I would have to investigate it and talk to the driver and so forth,” says Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Fitzpatrick. “My best guess is that the inclement conditions led to the rig sliding backwards.”

No firefighters were injured.

Earlier in the day, slippery conditions also resulted in a massive chain-reaction crash involving two dozen vehicles on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

Four people were hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening.

A woman got out of her car after a minor crash when officers say a tractor-trailer – unable to stop – crashed into her vehicle, pinning her against the guardrail and causing the pileup.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

2 CHICAGO FIREFIGHTERS INJURED AT STILL AND BOX ALARM FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 16:27

Chicago fire officials said two firefighters sustained minor injuries while battling a still and box fire in the city’s Roseland neighborhood.

The fire department said a two and a half story building in the 11500-block of South Michigan Avenue caught fire Thursday evening. The building was occupied but no occupants were injured, officials said.

The fire department is investigating the cause and origin of the fire. One family was displaced, the fire department said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Attributes of Leading Train-the-Trainer to Be Held at Firehouse World

Everyone Goes Home - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 14:10

Using the newly produced National Fallen Firefighters Foundation video series named Attributes of Leading, Kevin Conant and Brian Crandall will offer an a new course during Firehouse World 2018. This interactive, case study-based train-the-trainer program is intended to build more effective company and chief officers.

Attributes of Leading participants will practice effective leading actions, including facilitated discussion techniques and methods for implementing the techniques at their own departments.

The course will be held on both Wednesday, March 7, 2018 and Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm. Sessions are limited to 12 students each; students may register for this course on the Firehouse World website.

The post Attributes of Leading Train-the-Trainer to Be Held at Firehouse World appeared first on Everyone Goes Home.

Categories: Safety

MA FIREFIGHTERS THANKFUL FOR MAYDAY TRAINING HOURS BEFORE MAYDAY CALL

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:50

A scary situation for firefighters in Leominster when they became trapped in a building, but they credit training they’d received just hours earlier for getting them out alive.

The fire started around 2 a.m. Sunday on Mechanic Street in Leominster, but the problems for firefighters didn’t come until they thought they had the flames under control.

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Elysia Rodriguez@ElysiaBoston25

“It’s gut wrenching – I think about it now & it almost makes me want to cry – I almost lost one of my men.”

Two FF’s talk about why they called during a fire Sunday. Story tonight on @boston25 at 11.

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“It just took a turn, it got really hot really fast,” firefighter Jonathan Williams said.

Williams and Lt. Marcel Cormier were inside checking for hot spots when the fire suddenly flashed back.

>>PREVIOUSThree people hospitalized after early morning fire in Leominster

“When everything turned red it felt like a hundred bees stinging your neck,” Cormier said.

Even through all of his gear, the heat was too much for him.

“It got to the point where I recognized things were starting to deteriorate significantly fast and bad,” he said.

The firefighters were ordered out of the building, but as he was leaving Cormier couldn’t find Williams. Thankfully, they had gone through mayday training earlier in the night.

“I got wedged in the door, debris fell behind the back and pinched me right in there,” Williams said.

Williams couldn’t reach is radio to call for help, but Cormier was already making the mayday call that firefighters dread.

“I can’t explain the pit in my stomach, the realization that I had just lost a member of my crew,” Cormier said.

Williams’ wife was listening to the scanners and heard the call, she rushed to the scene and found her husband had been able to fight his way free from the debris.

“You get that blast of adrenaline and you get yourself out of that situation in any way possible,” Williams said.

His helmet is burnt and cracked but he was unhurt and Williams said he’s grateful his lieutenant made that call.

“No matter how much you train, and we train a lot, when you’re in the real deal situation it still kind of sends a chill down your spine,” Williams said.

Cormier said many firefighters don’t like to make a mayday call because they don’t like to admit they may be in trouble, but he hopes that by sharing this story more will do so and more will come home to their loved ones at the end of their shift.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

SAN ANTONIO FD MAKE SEVERAL MISTAKES AT FIRE AT KILLED FF SCOTT DEEM

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:32

A state fire marshal’s review of the blaze that killed San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem found firefighters and commanders made several mistakes while fighting the major fire at Ingram Square Shopping Center.

San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said firefighters approached the blaze like a residential fire, rather than a commercial one, and failed to use a hose or rope when they entered the building to look for people possibly trapped inside.

That left firefighters without a water source, and could have left them stranded without a clear path to exit.

Later, as conditions grew worse to the point that no possible victims could have survived, the search-and-rescue operation continued, Hood said.

A firefighter who entered the building with several others that night pulled down ceiling tiles, bringing the fire down on him and Deem. That’s a tactic typically used to find the origin of the fire and not appropriate during a search-and-rescue mission, Hood said.

The official review was conducted by the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office with assistance from the Houston Fire Department, and the full report is expected to be available Friday. Hood provided an outline to reporters on Thursday in an effort to be transparent with the public, he said.

Hood admitted that mistakes were made by the department, but he stressed that the real blame falls on the person who set the fire in May. He said none of the missteps made by the department led to Deem’s death or the injury of two other firefighters.

He also stressed that commanders made the decision to go on the offensive based on limited information, not knowing the fire was intentionally set or that no one was in the building.

Still, the department vowed to improve training and update policy to prevent future line of duty deaths. Some changes have already been implemented.

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“There’s a void there that’s never going to be replaced,” Hood said. “We have to make sure we do justice to his loss.”

Deem, 31, had been with the San Antonio Fire Department for six years. He was married with two children. After his death, his wife gave birth to a third child named Aubrey Scott Deem.

Months after the fire, authorities arrested Emond Javor Johnson, 39, and charged him with one count of murder and four arson-related counts. They say Johnson used a disposable cigarette lighter to ignite a mixture of gasoline and oil spilled at the gym he owned, the Spartan Box, in order to get out of a newly signed lease.

Johnson remains in jail on a $1.63 million bail awaiting trial.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

REMEMBERING 6 FIREFIGHTERS KILLED IN BOSTON 120 YEARS AGO

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:28

Six firefighters died 120 years ago this week in a relentless blaze at a mattress factory in the West End. There is no memorial to the men, but the tragedy is still remembered by Boston firefighters.

The fire started on the fourth floor of George W. Bent & Co. on Merrimac Street on Feb. 5, 1898, according to a Boston Globe article the next day. Ten firefighters were inside the building battling the fire when the roof suddenly collapsed on them, causing them to fall from the fourth floor to the basement, where they were buried under feathers and other cushioning materials.

Four escaped with burns and other injuries, but the others died. Four of them were found dead in the basement – Patrick Disken, John Mulhern, George Gottwald, and William Welch. District Fire Chief John Egan was pulled from the wreckage and died en route to the hospital, and Captain James Victory died at Massachusetts General Hospital shortly after the fire.

The Globe described the event as a “catastrophe.”

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“Their sufferings can only be imagined. When their bodies were taken out they were fair, showing that they had not been crushed or burned, but their features showed the stamp of agony,” the Globe reported.

The Globe started a charitable fund for the widows and children of the deceased firefighters, raising more than $4,300 in just a day following the fire. Today, that amount would be the equivalent of over $100,000.

Bill Noonan, a retired Boston firefighter, now dedicates hours to pouring over library archives in an attempt to document the department’s history for the Boston Fire Historical Society. He says more people should reflect on and remember the event and the men who perished.

“I don’t like to use the word ‘hero,’” Noonan said. “I think it’s overused. They were basically doing their jobs and they got caught in an unfortunate incident.”

The factory was the site of three previous fires in the two decades before. Repairs after those fires left the building with improper support beams that failed in the 1898 fire, the Globe reported.

“It must have been terrible,” Noonan said. “If you’re killed outright, it’s one thing, but if you’re trapped and you can’t get out – it must be like quicksand.”

An event like the Merrimac Street fire isn’t as likely to happen today, due to the availability of heavy machinery like cranes, Noonan said. He also noted improvements in the city building department’s ability to monitor renovations and ensure safety.

Noonan said the historical society has tried to work with the city to create memorials for firemen who have died in the line of duty, but nothing has come to fruition yet.

“Most people don’t seem to care or pay attention to it, but I think it should be remembered every year,” he said. “It was 120 years ago, but all those guys were married and had children.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

NAPLES FL FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT APARTMENT FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:26

A firefighter was injured and two cats were killed in a fire in Naples on Thursday evening.

The fire started burning in a four-unit apartment building on Curlew Avenue in Naples.

According to the Greater Naples Fire Department, one of their firefighters was injured when something fell on him while fighting the fire.

The fire chief said that the injured firefighter is in stable condition and is alert.

Two cats were also killed in the fire. There were no other injuries or deaths.

The GNFD was assisting the Naples Fire Department in fighting the fire.

Fire Chief Pete DiMaria said that the building is most likely a total loss, but it could have been worse.

“We certainly feel for them in the loss they’re faced with in the home, but we’re certainly happy there’s no loss of life here,” DiMaria said.

DiMaria also said that it took fire crews approximately an hour and 20 minutes to contain the fire, and thanks to a quick response time of about five minutes no other surrounding buildings were damaged.

The cause of the fire is not yet known and is under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

ZA FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT WILDFIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:24

Working on Fire crew member has been seriously injured while battling a blaze near George.

The fire broke out in the Kammanasie area on Thursday. It’s not yet been extinguished.

The Working on Fire crew member has been hospitalised after sustaining burns to his face and hands.

A fire truck has also been completely destroyed.

This is the second blow for Working on Fire in just a few days.

Earlier this week, assistant project manager Cedric Seokoma died while fighting a fire near Klapmuts.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

LA FIREFIGHTERS SUFFER INJURES AT HOUSE FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 10:23

Two firefighters suffered burn injuries in the two-and- a-half-hour battle against a greater alarm house fire in Bel Air and both were hospitalized in fair condition, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The blaze inside the 7,500-square foot home at 10835 Bellagio Road was first reported at 5:27 p.m., according to Amy Bastman of the Los Angeles Fire Department. A knockdown was declared at 8:01 p.m., Erik Scott of the LAFD said.

One firefighter suffered burns to his face and his hands. A second firefighter suffered burns to his ears, Scott said.

The department dispatched 107 firefighters to the scene, Scott said.

The house’s roof suffered a collapse, prompting firefighters to be pulled from the home and assume a defensive position attacking the blaze from outside the home, Scott said.

Firefighters kept the flames from spreading to an adjacent pool house, garage and nearby brush, Scott said.

The homeowners, children and their nanny were alerted to the fire by smoke alarms, Scott said. All of them made it out of the house unharmed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by arson investigators, Scott said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

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