Firefighter Close Calls

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Updated: 53 min 25 sec ago


5 hours 39 min ago

A ferocious blaze quickly gutted a three-story apartment building in Pico Rivera Thursday, leaving at least one firefighter and two civilians injured and some 300 people displaced.

The three-alarm fire was reported shortly after 3:30 p.m. in the 9100 block of Burke Street, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.

Firefighters arrived two minutes after the call and saw smoke and fire on all floors, extending into the attic, county fire Chief Daryl Osby said at an evening news conference.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed firefighters moving off the structure shortly after 4 p.m., and Osby said they needed to change strategy after the building suffered “structural collapse.” By 5 p.m., firefighters had exited the building and were in defensive mode, using heavy water streams, the Fire Department said.

Smoke that towered above the fire was visible from much of southeast L.A. County before sunset.

Forty-five units in the building were affected by heat and smoke, Osby said. A total of 141 units united were impacted by the blaze, and some 300 occupants were evacuated.

Tenant Danielle Rodeghier said the flames were swift and she felt lucky her loved ones were able to make it out alive.

“I called my nephew that lives with me, and I told him to get out of the apartment with our dog,” she said. “By the time he got out with the dog, the apartment was already up in flames.”

One firefighter was hospitalized with minor injuries due to heat exhaustion, Osby said. Two civilians were also hospitalized with smoke inhalation.

Firefighters were expected to be on scene overnight, and an urban search and rescue team was set to go into the building. Osby said firefighters didn’t believe anyone was trapped but couldn’t be sure until a search was complete.

The blaze was particularly complex because the building — part of the Corsica Apartment Homes complex — has a common attic, meaning there’s no barrier between units, county fire Inspector Medina said.

“Once the fire got into the attic, it just spread, and it caused the damage that you see,” Medina said.

Firefighters worked to protect structures around the burning building, Medina said. Early in the firefight, smoke rose from the roof of a neighboring building, and firefighters could be seen working inside. Osby said firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the building where it originated.

A Sheriff’s Department lieutenant said deputies responded to help with evacuations and crowd control. Several roads surrounding the apartment complex were also closed, including Slauson, Bequette and Serapis avenues and Burke Street.

The Red Cross was called to help residents, and an evacuation center was set up at Rivera Park Recreation Center, 9528 Shade Lane.

While firefighters on scene indicated that some evacuees whose units were the furthest away from the ones that burned were allowed to go in and retrieve belongings, Pico Rivera city officials tweeted that no one would be allowed on the premises Thursday night.

A tenant meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday morning at the Corsica Apartments leasing office, officials said.

Many were gathered outside the building Thursday night, trying to come to terms with their up-ended lives.

“I’m pretty sure I lost everything, but my dog’s still in there,” resident Bardo Aviles told KTLA. “Mother-in-law, son made it out, so that’s fine.”

Tenant Bianca Forest was also anxiously waiting to be reunited with her pets and wondering how life would carry on in the morning.

“Our dogs are still in there; I’m just worried about our dogs,” she said. “And we have work tomorrow, we need our things. I can’t believe this happened to our apartment.”

Isabel Garcia said, above all, she was thankful her husband and daughter were both safe. But the damage did throw a wrench in the family’s weekend plans.

“(Our daughter) turns a year on Saturday and we were going to have a birthday party for her here,” Garcia said. “But we’re safe, that’s what’s important.”

Pico Rivera officials had been accepting donations for those displaced, but later tweeted that after “fellow residents came to the need of others in overwhelming support and generosity,” no more donations were needed.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Thu, 02/22/2018 - 17:06

Even your fire department is subject to inclement weather and icy roads. Fortunately, no firefighters or civilians were injured in this morning’s rollover involving Fire Engine 14.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Thu, 02/22/2018 - 07:29

EATON, Ind. – Authorities with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office say an impaired driver slammed into an Eaton fire truck at a high rate of speed on Tuesday evening.

The crash occurred on North State Road 3 while emergency responders were working the scene of a car/pedestrian crash.

Authorities say the fire truck was blocking traffic to protect the first responders who were tending to an injured pedestrian who was hurt in the initial crash.

Thankfully, none of the firefighters were injured. The driver was arrested by Indiana State Police.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Wed, 02/21/2018 - 10:20

We regret to pass on to you that Captain Earnest McDuffie, 51, of the Hinesville (GA) Fire Department died on duty yesterday.
While performing fire department mandated physical fitness training, Captain Earnest McDuffie was running at a local park and fell unconscious. CPR was rendered immediately and Captain McDuffie was transported to Liberty Regional Medical Center where he passed away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be determined. Our condolences to all those affected. Rest In Peace.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:33

A car was involved in a crash with a St. Louis fire engine Tuesday morning.  The accident happened at the intersection of Glasgow at Sheridan in north St. Louis.  Two people had to be rescued from the car.


Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Tue, 02/20/2018 - 11:22

Two city firefighters were injured Monday when a wall collapsed while multiple fire crews were battling a massive blaze in a large storage building on Newell Street.

The two unidentified firefighters were taken by ambulance to Samaritan Medical Center, one on a stretcher. Fire Chief Dale C. Herman confirmed one of the injured firefighters was later transferred to a Syracuse hospital.

The extent of the injuries and their conditions were unknown Monday night. Their families were notified, Chief Herman said.

Shortly before 6 p.m., crews were called to the sprawling building at 108 Newell St. that sits behind Derouin Plumbing & Heating Inc. and next to Adirondack River Outfitters.

A cause of the fire was not known Monday night. However, a state fire investigator arrived on the scene and planned to start looking into its cause this morning, Chief Herman said.

“We’ll start looking at it in the daylight,” he said.

Using three ladder trucks and other apparatus, about 30 firefighters from the city of Watertown, town of Watertown and Fort Drum were called to the scene.

The two firefighters were fighting the blaze from across a small parking lot when a section of the building that was on fire collapsed, sending bricks flying across the parking lot and striking the firefighters, said witness Todd Phelps.

Their colleagues and police officers at the scene immediately ran toward the injured firefighters to help, multiple witnesses said.

Afterward, it appeared between a 15- to 20-foot section of the wall and a part of the roof at the back of the 27,000-square-foot brick structure collapsed, some of it falling into the Black River.

Mr. Phelps, who owns Black River Adventurer’s Shop next door, was among a dozen people watching it all from across the street on Black River Parkway when the wall collapsed. He knew immediately what happened.

“We heard the bricks falling,” he said. “It just blew out.”

A little earlier, Mr. Phelps was on the roof of his three-story building taking video of the firefighters while doing what they could to extinguish the blaze. He noticed the two firefighters using hoses to deluge the flames on the northeast side of the building before the wall collapsed.

When he arrived, much of the building was on fire and firefighters immediately took a defensive stance to fight the blaze, Chief Herman said.

“Visible flames were seen at the front of the building and when I walked around the building, flames were visible from two floors and a lower floor at the back of the building,” Chief Herman said.

With the river bank at the back of the building, firefighters could only battle the monstrous blaze from the front, leaving 20-foot-tall flames shooting out from the back.

About 45 minutes before the wall collapsed, Jim Heise, who has fished in that area of the Black River, said he saw white smoke while standing on Mill Street and then realized small pieces of the structure were falling into the river.

The building has been owned by Samaritan Medical Center for more than 20 years, according to hospital spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle.

“We use it for maintenance storage, sheet rock storage for upcoming projects, things like that,” she said.

Ms. Kittle said that the hospital has moved items out of the building over the last few years.

Samaritan officials told Chief Herman that the power to the building was turned off about a year ago, but he would not speculate how that might play into how the fire started.

Firefighters were expected to be at the scene all night. Off-duty firefighters were called in and a handful of other departments were on standby.

For a few hours, pockets of onlookers gathered across the street. People in nearby businesses also watched what was unfolding.

Liam Elsworth, 12, and a handful of friends were riding their bikes through the area when they noticed smoke coming out of the one-story section of the building.

Within a few minutes, the smoke was so thick it teared up his eyes and caused motorists to have difficulty seeing while they drove down nearby Mill Street, he said.

In between waiting on customers at Mr. Sub, Mary Lou Farone watched from a back window as the entire first floor was engulfed in flames.

“We were watching for a while,” she said.

Her daughter, April McGuire, was down the street at a yoga class when the fire broke out. Class members watched what was going on for about 10 minutes before returning to their workout, she said.

Video from the scene of the fire can be viewed at

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Mon, 02/19/2018 - 18:37

A firefighter was injured during a house fire and explosion Monday morning.  The fire was reported at around 3 o’clock Monday morning in the 1400 block of Preble County Butler Township Road.  That’s about halfway between New Madison and Castine.  Crews reported there was an explosion and a firefighter was down.  The firefighter’s injuries were non-life-threatening.  The fire reportedly started in an attached garage before spreading to the home.  A family was home at the time and was able to make it out without injury.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:09

A new study co-authored by Western University and the McMaster School of Rehabilitation Science reveals that chronic pain is almost guaranteed for firefighters.

Nearly 300 firefighters from Hamilton were examined over a 13-month period.

During that time, the firefighters tracked the location and severity of any musculoskeletal problems they may have had.

Data revealed that almost half of the firefighters had problems with their arms or legs, about one in five had neck-related problems, and one in three had back pain.

READ MORE: Work long hours on the job? You’re more likely to have heart problems, study says

Joy MacDermid, a physical therapy professor at Western University, tells 980 CFPL, the research focus will shift towards prevention and treatment.

“We’re focusing on how tasks are done… to see if there are ways we could make those tasks a little bit safer,” said MacDermid.

The study adds that screening for upper-limb musculoskeletal disabilities might also help with early intervention and treatment.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:07

Fire investigators are looking for the cause of overnight flames that damaged a Scranton apartment building.
One woman was taken to the hospital — and a firefighter suffered minor injuries — in the fire. Eyewitness News Reporter Eric Deabill has our story.

Scranton firefighters say it’s one of the toughest calls to get.
Fire  in the middle of the night  in an occupied apartment building.
This time it was in t he 600-block of Willow Street in South Scranton.

“When we arrived on scene we had heavy fire on the outside of the rear of the structure”
said Jim Floryshak, Assistant Fire Chief, Scranton Fire Department
A total of nine people live in the building.
Eight of them were home.
They were all able to get out safely — but one woman was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Octavio Collado owns the building.

“Nobody ever really prepares for something like this but you always try to think of all the possible emergencies that could arise when you own a property like this”   Said Collado,
Scranton’s Assistant Fire Chief says immediately after getting the fire knocked down in the back of the building his team went inside to make sure no one was trapped.

“The fact that it’s a multi-family dwelling, a very large building with advanced fire conditions on arrival made it a very, very difficult job” noted Floryshak

While the apartment building has fire, smoke and water damage the owner is hoping to be able to repair it.

“I would have to wait for the insurance company to come in and let them make them make their assessment and see where we go from there” added Collado/

At this time  we don’t know the condition of the woman taken to the hospital.
The American Red Cross is now helping out all of the fire victims.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:04

Lincoln Fire and Rescue said the cause of a fire at the Terminal building in downtown Lincoln is still under investigation.

LFR said no civilians were hurt as a result of the fire, but one firefighter was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries.

The fire broke out just before 6 a.m. Monday on the 8th floor of the north side of the building.

Multiple fire crews responded and got the blaze under control.

LFR said some firefighters did get trapped in an elevator but were able to make it out.

Due to the fire, there was only one working elevator, and crews had to carry gear up 8 flights of stairs.

LFR said nobody was inside the offices impacted by the fire due to the President’s Day holiday.

LPD said traffic in the area will be affected including 9th and 10th along O and N Streets for much of the day, although some parts of 10th Street have started opening up.

Plan an alternative route and expect delays.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sun, 02/18/2018 - 19:22

A firefighter was injured early Sunday battling a two-alarm fire that roared through a Martinez townhouse complex, heavily damaging four homes, authorities said.

Contra Costa County Fire Capt. Lisa Martinez said when crews arrived at around 4:15 a.m. flames and thick smoke was streaming out of the complex.

“Arriving units saw heavy smoke coming out of a 2-story, 8-unit townhouse complex,” she said. “They quickly called in a second alarm.”

The fire — at 455 Eastgate Lane — was finally tamed but not before it had forced the residents of the 8 units from the structure. They were able to escape the fire safely, Martinez said.

However, a firefighter injured his knee when he tumbled down a stairway. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Authorities said the fire was sparked by a pot left simmering on a stove and spread via an attic space into at least 2 other townhouses. All eight units suffered smoke or water damage and power, water and gas were shut off.

The Red Cross was assisting the residents displaced by the fire.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sun, 02/18/2018 - 07:48

Just before 5 pm Tomball firefighters were responding to an apartment fire on Lawrence Street in Tomball. Reports of fire with injuries. As the 2001 E-1 tower truck that was east bound on SH 99 feeder entered the intersection of Rocky Road and slammed into a Ford F-250 pickup. The driver of the firetruck lost control of the 39 ton truck, went between two traffic control poles and into a field. That is where it rolled over in the soft mud. Four firefighters were in the truck with seat belts and firefighting gear on. All were taken to Tomball Hospital as a precaution. One female firefighter is expected to remain overnight for observation. Two persons were in the pickup and both were transported also. The male passenger is also expected to remain for observation overnight. Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash. There were no witnesses so they were having to interview those involved at the hospital. The intersection has very limited sight as the overpass for 99 and then a wall of trees along the west side of Rocky to the intersection.


Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sat, 02/17/2018 - 11:27

Five firefighters are recovering at home after the first floor of a double-storey building collapsed while they were fighting a blaze which flared up in a derelict building in Central on Thursday night.

Victoria Street in Central was a hub of activity on Thursday night as residents rushed out of their homes to watch the double-storey building being engulfed in flames. The cause of the fire, which started at about 8:30pm, is not yet known.

The blaze saw five firemen temporarily trapped in the derelict building after the roof of the first floor collapsed close to them.

However, Nelson Mandela Bay fire chief André de Ridder said teamwork saw all five of the firemen escape with minor injuries before the blaze was extinguished about two hours later.

De Ridder said: “The firefighters were able to escape through the assistance of their team. All of them were treated and discharged from St George’s Hospital last [Thursday] night. They suffered minor injuries ranging from bruises, to cuts and minor burns.”

“Although firefighters are prepared to deal with extremely difficult conditions on a daily basis, it is important that we acknowledge their bravery.

“Despite the risk of personal injury, the team members ensured that injuries to their colleagues remained at a minimum by pulling each other from the still burning debris and rubble, which partially covered them.”

Victoria Street resident Ashley Boggenberg said the blaze had been extinguished as quickly as it started.

“The firefighters were excellent. They arrived and immediately began to fight the fire and bravely walked into the burning building to see if there was anyone trapped inside,” she said.

“I know there were people living in that building. But I guess they all made it out before the fire became too hectic and the roof collapsed. If it wasn’t for them [firefighters] who knows how far it would have spread.”

De Ridder said since the building was abandoned it was difficult to detail the cost of the damage, confirm ownership or provide the cause of the fire at this stage.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sat, 02/17/2018 - 11:24

Five firefighters were injured and nine structures were damaged or destroyed in a fire that started Thursday afternoon (Feb. 15) and spread to 12 acres off Peter Moore Lane west of De Soto before it was put out several hours later, said Assistant Chief Tom Fitzgerald of the Rural De Soto Fire Protection District.

Three of the injured firefighters were treated at the scene and two were transported to Mercy Hospital Jefferson in Crystal City with non-life-threatening injuries, Fitzgerald said.

He said one of the firefighters who went to the hospital was a Mapaville firefighter who had an injured shoulder, and one was a De Soto Rural firefighter who was suffering from exhaustion and dehydration.

Of the nine structures affected by the fire, a barn and all of the outbuildings were destroyed, and two homes were damaged, Fitzgerald

In addition, numerous animals were killed in the blaze, he said.

Jefferson County 911 Dispatch began getting calls about the fire around 1 p.m., Fitzgerald said.

“People were seeing smoke but they didn’t know where it was coming from,” he said.

An off-duty firefighter followed the smoke and was the first one on the scene, about a half mile south of LaChance Vineyards, Fitzgerald said.

A barn was on fire and there were high winds, said Fitzgerald, who added that he checked the wind conditions on the way to the fire.

“It was at 14 miles per hour gusting to 29 miles per hour,” he said.

By the time Fitzgerald arrived at the scene, the brush fire encompassed about 8 or 9 acres, but spread to 12 acres before it was controlled, he said.

Some of the outbuildings that were destroyed were animal pens, and many animals perished in the fire, including 16 goats, chickens and geese, Fitzgerald said.

The two homes that were damaged can still be occupied, he said.

“The exterior of the homes caught on fire and our crews were able to stop the fire before it got inside the homes,” he said.

Firefighters from Jefferson County assisted with the call, and after “we exhausted all the resources in Jefferson County,” firefighters from the St. Louis metro area and neighboring counties responded to the fire, Fitzgerald said.

Firefighters from as far as Pattonville, Spanish Lake and St. Charles assisted, he added.

Rain eventually began to fall and helped the situation, he said.

Firefighters were on the scene until about 8:30 p.m., Fitzgerald said.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office were expected to return to the scene today (Feb. 16) to see if they could determine the cause of the fire, he said.

“We do not believe it was suspicious,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said someone may have had a fire outdoors and thought it was out but then it sparked back up and spread.

He said there was some indication that the barn that was destroyed had faulty wiring and maybe the fire started there.

Fitzgerald said people drove to the scene to see what was happening, causing traffic problems in the area and problems for firefighters.

“We need firefighters and firetrucks,” he said. “Please fight the urge to come and be nosy.”

Fitzgerald said the small amount of rain that fell on the county last night will not reverse the drought in the area. As a result of the drought, people are advised against burning brush or trash.

“People just don’t realize how long a pile of ash will stay hot,” he said.

The National Weather Service has forecast a moderate fire danger through April.

A fifth alarm was struck about 2:30 p.m. to bring in even more firefighters after another large brush fire encompassing about 10 acres was reported near Klondike and Knorpp Road in the De Soto area, Fitzgerald said.

The Saline Valley Fire Protection District was first on the scene to that fire. No homes were near that blaze, but firefighters had to work to protect a nearby communication tower, he said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:21

Three firefighters were hurt Thursday morning while fighting a fire on Indianapolis’ northeast side.

The fire happened around 6 a.m., at a house in the 2800 block of Forest Manor Avenue.

Two firefighters fell through a floor, prompting a mayday call. A third fell through a window.

One was treated at the scene for minor injuries. Two others were taken to a hospital, according to a firefighter at the scene. None of the injuries are believed to be serious.

The house is vacant, and the fire was put out by 7 a.m.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


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


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


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


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


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