Firefighter Close Calls

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Updated: 52 min 12 sec ago


Tue, 08/21/2018 - 19:54

Jack Wiley Jr.’s friends and co-workers say he was a good-natured public servant who had many reasons to live.

The second-generation Detroit firefighter was set to turn 30 in 10 days. He had recently been reassigned to the Detroit Fire Department’s Engine 57 on Burt Road, and was in the process of fixing up a brick home he’d moved into a few months ago.

On Tuesday, Wiley’s sister reportedly found his bloodied body inside his home in the 15000 block of Penrod on Detroit’s west side. He had been shot.

The grisly discovery was made about 9:15 a.m., Detroit Police Chief James Craig said.

“It’s still a fresh case and information is sketchy at this point, but this was definitely a murder,” Craig said. “The sister came to her brother’s house and saw a lot of blood. Right now, it’s difficult to say much more because this is all preliminary information. The investigation is still new.”

Wiley’s car had been stolen, but it was recovered a few hours after police were called to the scene, Detroit Police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood said.

Because the case involves a crime, Detroit fire officials referred questions to the Police Department.

The victim, who joined the Fire Department in November 2014, followed in the footsteps of his father, a retired Detroit Fire Department senior chief of the same name, acquaintances and co-workers said. He was described as a dedicated firefighter who was proud of his family’s legacy of public service.

“Jack was a tall, friendly, outgoing young man,” said neighbor Martin Rucker, who is also a Detroit firefighter. “This has created a very big hole in the firefighter family.”

When asked if he’d ever noticed problems at Wiley’s home, Rucker, a 19-year fire department veteran who lives down the block, said: “He hasn’t been there long enough for there to be any trouble. Jack just moved here on the block a short time ago, and was fixing up his house.”

Rucker said he believed Wiley lived alone. “The only time I recall seeing anybody there was people helping him with the renovation,” he said.

“He had four years in the department, but had only been on the street for a few months,” Rucker said.

Mike Nevin, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association Union, said he was furious about the killing.

“Members of the Fire Department are pissed off, to be honest,” Nevin said. “This is the second firefighter we’ve had murdered in three years.”

Nevin was referring to the December 2015 slaying of David Madrigal, who was bludgeoned with a gym weight after he was set up for a robbery by three acquaintances. Timmy Soto, Christian Rasnick and Nicole Oneill were convicted in Madrigal’s death.

“It doesn’t matter that he was a firefighter; this is yet another Detroit murder statistic,” Nevin said. “(Wiley) was a guy nobody had a bad word to say about. This is not right — no matter what he did for a living. We need more police and firefighters in Detroit. The city is growing, and we need more bodies on the street.”

Residents of the block, which mostly consists of brick homes with manicured lawns, said violence is unusual in the area.

“It’s very unsettling because this is a great neighborhood,“ said Jim Westphal, who lives down the street from the crime scene. “This neighborhood has really come back since the recession. There are fair number of firefighters and police officers who live around here.“

Nevin said the killing was particularly tragic because it came 10 days before the victim’s 30th birthday.

“Happy birthday, huh? This is ridiculous,” Nevin said.

Rucker, who struggled to hold back tears, said he and his fellow firefighters will try to heal in the wake of the killing.

“Jack, just know that we love you, and we’ll surround you with our love, and come out to support you,” Rucker said. “It’s hard, but we’ll pull together as a department.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Tue, 08/21/2018 - 14:29

A firefighter from Utah was killed last week from falling tree debris after a modified airliner dropped thousands of gallons of flame-suppressing liquid on the area where he was helping battle California’s largest-ever wildfire, according to a preliminary report from investigators obtained by The Associated Press.

Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett was struck by debris on Aug. 13 at the Mendocino Complex Fire, according to the report by California fire officials, while three other firefighters received minor injuries.

Services for the 42-year-old suburban Salt Lake City firefighter were held Monday in Utah. Burchett’s 7-year-old son, Griffin, carried his father’s helmet underneath his arm as he entered the funeral.

The two-paragraph investigative summary calls for immediate changes, saying firefighters must keep out of areas with overhead hazards when planes are dropping flame retardant. California’s firefighting agency said firefighters already are trained to do that and could not say what went wrong, citing an ongoing investigation.

Burchett was one of Utah’s most knowledgeable wildland firefighters and was careful about his surroundings, said Ryan Love, a spokesman for the Unified Fire Authority that covers most Salt Lake City suburbs.

“This was not a lack of knowledge by any means,” Love said. “It sounds like a pure accident.”

Burchett had been a firefighter since high school graduation and thrived in the tough conditions: sleeping on the ground, eating crew members’ rations and working to protect people, his family and friends said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Tue, 08/21/2018 - 14:26

Channel 2 Investigates has learned a rotating group of Houston firefighters equipped with a tent, waited with a broken HFD fire truck for about 11 hours.

The rotating crews were on-duty but unavailable to respond to emergency calls during the overnight event in Kingwood.

MORE HEADLINES New HFD equipment on display in front of City Hall More than $250K in equipment donated to HFD HFD ambulance breaks down on SW Freeway

“Nobody gave them direction as to checking on them, where do they go, there was no water, no restrooms out there, and no one gave them direction,” Patrick Lancton, president of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, said.

Ladder 101, a 14-year-old apparatus, failed after a back-to-school event at River Grove Park in Kingwood. Attempts to move or tow the truck were apparently unsuccessful.


HFD General Orders state that crews are to remain with incapacitated equipment.

When the minutes became hours, a family member of an HFD firefighter brought a tent to the location.

Channel 2 Investigates has learned and confirmed through HFD administration that the truck that broke down had previously been written-up for the problem.

Fleet maintenance is not handled by the Houston Fire Department. The City of Houston’s Fleet Maintenance Division is responsible for fixing fire trucks.

On Monday, a representative for Fleet Maintenance said she would not be able to answer the question of why the truck was not fixed previously until Tuesday.

Houston Fire Department Chief Sam Pena offered this response via email, Monday:

“On August 16 while attending a PR event along with HPD at River Grove Park, Ladder 101 experienced a problem with the apparatus’ suspension air bag causing the unit to be placed out of service. Multiple attempts were made to tow the unit but were unsuccessful due to the remote and limited access location of the apparatus and the possibility of causing additional damage to the ladder by attempting to tow the vehicle. The decision was made by the company’s District Chief to have the crew remain with the unit to prevent any theft or vandalism. Mechanics from the City’s Fleet Management Department (FMD) secured the needed parts and repaired the unit on-site the following morning. Any additional questions concerning maintenance on this ladder should be addressed with FMD. We commend the crew and FMD for protecting taxpayer assets from further damage.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Mon, 08/20/2018 - 18:22

Two firefighters were injured battling a house fire in Camden County on Monday morning.

Those firefighters are expected to be okay.

The fire started around 5:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Center Avenue in Mount Ephraim.

Cellphone video shows the flames tearing through the home. Neighbors heard the sirens and were surprised at the sight that met them when they looked out the window.


Chopper 6: Fire in Mount Ephraim, N.J. on August 20, 2018.

“Nothing but flames coming out of most of the house,” said Joe Callahan. “The firemen having a tough time getting it out, it looked like. It kept on flaring up every time they moved from window to window but all of them here they did a very good job.”

The duplex that went up in flames appeared to be under construction, officials said.

“Didn’t know if someone had gotten in there and tried to make it a home,” said Callahan. “For a couple of weeks it’s been vacant, it was just cleaned out Friday. All the lights were still on.”


Firefighter injured battling Mount Ephraim fire. Tamala Edwards reports during Action News Mornings on August 20, 2018.

Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke and fire on all floors.

“Crews attempted to make an exterior attack and noticed some of the floors were compromised. Went through an exterior attack defense operations and then brought the fire under control that way,” said Mount Ephraim fire Chief Brian Gilmore.

The fire was placed under control within an hour.

One firefighter was injured after falling through the first floor but he was able to catch himself and refused treatment. Another was taken to the hospital with a shoulder injury to be evaluated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

YORK PA LODD’s UPDATE: No cause found for fire before collapse, firefighter deaths

Sun, 08/19/2018 - 09:18

Federal authorities say the cause of a central Pennsylvania fire that preceded a building collapse that killed two firefighters earlier this year will remain undetermined.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced Thursday that it has closed its investigation into the cause and origin of the March 21 fire in a former piano factory in York.

An ATF fire investigator determined that the March 21 fire started somewhere on the first floor of the south wing of the Weaver Piano and Organ Building, ATF Special Agent Charlene Hennessy, who was in York during the investigation, said in a release.

“Due to the extensive damage and lack of evidence, a specific point of origin and ignition source could not be identified, therefore, this fire is classified as ‘undetermined,'” the release said.

Ivan Flanscha, 50, and Zachary Anthony, 29, died in a wall collapse the day after the fire as they searched for hot spots. Two other firefighters were seriously injured. Fire Chief David Michaels said the rescue effort to find the four “was quite possibly the most complex rescue in our department’s history.”

That effort saved the lives of the other two firefighters with “rescue tools, sheer will and brute force,” Michaels said Thursday at the department’s annual awards ceremony.

Thousands attended a memorial service in March for Flanscha — a 20-year veteran of the department, onetime firefighter of the year and father of five— and Anthony, who joined the department in 2010. Their badges were officially retired Thursday.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sun, 08/19/2018 - 09:16

A driver hit a fire chief directing traffic in Logan County.

The incident happened during a DUI patrol near Huff Creek area, according to the Logan County Sheriff’s Department. Power lines and trees were in the road and firefighters were directing traffic until AEP arrived.

Jeffery Woods, 53, of Davin, pulled up very fast, and Fire Chief Joe Wimmer flagged down Woods, who was trying to dodge around traffic, and had to ask him to wait patiently.

Woods got out of the car and angrily informed them he needed to get home. Wimmer told Woods everyone was trying to get home safely.

According to deputies, Woods pulled around all the vehicles, hit Wimmer in the legs, he then hit the hood and went to the ground. Woods drove off after hitting Wimmer.

Wimmer was wearing a safety vest, and there were other warnings that should have deterred Woods as well, according to court documents.

A deputy learned that Woods was heading his way, and he tried to stop Woods. Woods then tried to escape, but failed when he backed into a car.

Woods held tight to the steering wheel and refused to get out of the vehicle, but the deputy finally made the arrest.

Woods was taken to Logan Regional Hospital for blood work, to make sure he was not under the influence of anything

Wimmer was evaluated at Logan Regional Medical and released with soreness.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sat, 08/18/2018 - 17:17

Two firefighters are expected to recover from injuries they sustained while fighting a fire caused by lightning.

Crews in Palmyra were dispatched at 6:23 p.m. Friday to the 200 block of Parliament Drive for a reported fire, CBS21 reports.

Officials believe a lightning strike sparked a fire in the attic of the residence. Two people inside of the residence were able to get out safely, according to the report.

Two firefighters were spraying the house from the inside when ceiling came down on top of them.

The firefighters were taken to a local hospital for treatment, Deputy Fire Chief Travis Duncan with Palmyra Fire Company told CBS21.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sat, 08/18/2018 - 07:09

While our firefighters were battling a house fire on Peacock Street in The city this morning, a Fire Police Officer was struck by a hit and run vehicle while directing traffic near Woody’s Bar. It’s tough to get volunteers these days, then situations like these happen, which aren’t often, but when they do, they are unfortunate. This specific member is a long time member of the department, and you can often find him down cleaning the fire trucks, and volunteering countless hours at various organizations throughout the city. So let’s give back and try and find the guy who left our member lying in the street after he struck him. See below.

**Additional details released by Pottsville PD**

The victim informed Police that a male had been operating a black Kia vehicle while the fire policeman had been diverting traffic from the scene of an earlier fire in the 500 block of Peacock Street. The driver cursed at the fire policeman, ignored his instructions, and then drove around the volunteer. Once the vehicle driver realized the street was blocked off he attempted to turn around and the fire policeman called for assistance in detaining the vehicle operator. The driver then stopped the Kia in front of the fire policeman before accelerating and striking him with the front driver’s side of the vehicle, knocking the victim to the ground before fleeing the scene eastbound on Peacock Street. Additional witnesses noted that the driver had been wearing some type of red attire on his head at the time of the incident.

The investigation is continuing and anyone with surveillance camera footage of the general area at the time of the incident or any other information to help identify the vehicle and/or driver is asked to call the Pottsville Bureau of Police at 570-622-1234 or 570-628-3792

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Fri, 08/17/2018 - 08:12

A firefighter suffered minor injuries after falling into an empty swimming pool while fighting a house fire near San Gabriel early Thursday,  Aug. 16.

Vanessa Lozano, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said “an accidental chemical reaction between a chemical and combustible rag” started the fire in the 7000 block of La Presa Drive, which is in an unincorporated county area.

She didn’t know what chemical was involved. Firefighters responded at 1:15 a.m.

A firefighter, while going across a narrow walkway, fell into the empty pool. He was taken to a hospital; Lozano didn’t know his condition.

Marvin Lim, another department spokesman, said the fire was knocked down at 1:34 a.m. A damage estimate was not available yet.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Fri, 08/17/2018 - 08:07

Two fire vehicles fighting the North Eden Wildfire were destroyed today by wind-driven flames. A heavy engine from Woodruff Fire Department and a light engine from the State Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands responded to the fire’s west flank. One engine experienced a mechanical problem and as both crews tried to make the vehicle mobile again, flames quickly moved toward the scene cutting off their escape route. The group of three firefighters was forced to leave the vehicles and escape into the black. No injuries were reported.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Wed, 08/15/2018 - 17:33

Two Arizona firefighters are recovering today after they were involved in a single-vehicle accident on the way home from their fire assignment in California.

On Monday, August 13th, the two firefighters, from Elephant Head Volunteer Fire Department, were headed back to Arizona from the Carr Fire when their engine blew a tire and rolled along U.S. Highway 95 outside of Hawthorne, Nevada.

The men had to be extricated from the engine and then airlifted to a Nevada hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Both have since been released. The two firefighters were the only ones on the engine at the time of the accident.

The Department of Forestry and Fire Management is working with the Nevada Highway Patrol and sent a safety investigation team to Nevada.

“Considering the seriousness of the accident, we are very lucky these men were able to be released from the hospital so quickly. As firefighters, we are always on the road, and driving is one of the most dangerous parts of our jobs. We cannot stress driver safety enough. Thankfully, these men will both make full recoveries,” said State Forester Jeff Whitney.

Nearly 400 Arizona firefighters are working on fires across the west. The majority are assigned to fires in California. 

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Wed, 08/15/2018 - 14:03

A driver had to be pulled from his vehicle early Wednesday after he crashed it into a fire truck, according to an official with the Houston Fire Department.

The crash happened about 3 a.m. in northeast Houston, near  Little York and Maple Leaf.

Car strikes HFD truck backing into station

Media: Metro Video

A pumper truck was backing into a fire station, lights flashing, when the driver tried to go around it at a high rate of speed, said HFD District Chief Eric Hutzley.

The traffic signal outside the station was flashing a red light, but firefighters who witnessed the crash said the driver “didn’t even hit the brakes,” Hutzley said.

The black Chevrolet Impala drove up under the truck, he said. The vehicle was crushed and the driver’s leg was trapped under the dash, so firefighters had to use tools to open the door and pull him from the car.

One firefighter was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, Hutzley said. The driver was also transported to a hospital in stable condition.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Floods Trap NY Firefighters During Rescues

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 14:00

An upstate fire department got trapped rescuing 50 people from flood waters in southern Seneca County, Gov. Cuomo said Tuesday morning.

State officials are scrambling to rescue the stranded firefighters and residents in the town of Lodi who stayed in their homes during the heavy rainstorm that began Monday.

“We have to send people on boats going through debris, and there’s a sea of debris,” Cuomo told reporters. “It looks like a garbage heap floating in the water.”

“So now it’s a very complicated, dangerous situation, frankly,” he said standing by a closed-off street.

Cuomo — who raced to the area to survey the damage — urged residents living in a region that tends to flood to leave their homes.

Kelly Curtin@KellyCNYCentral

NEW VIDEO: In Seneca County— Lodi Point Road near Lower Lake Road. You can see emergency/rescue crews out making sure everyone is safe. Heavy rains caused major flooding. @CNYcentral

9:36 AM – Aug 14, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy


“It only gets worse,” he said. “The ground is saturated. More rain is coming. And it makes a bad situation worse.”

No major injuries have been reported.

The trapped residents will be moved to a shelter at Ovid Federated Church.

Earlier Tuesday, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office issued a no-unnecessary-travel alert Tuesday morning after roads flooded in four towns between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. County officials declared a state of emergency in the towns of Covert, Lodi, Ovid and Romulus.

The National Weather Service said up to 5 inches of rain fell in that area, prompting a flash flood alert advising residents to seek higher ground.

The weather service has issued flash flood warnings for parts of the Finger Lakes and New York’s Southern Tier and bordering Pennsylvania counties, along with flash flood watches for upstate counties from central New York to New England.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Wed, 08/15/2018 - 10:50

A pilot of a plane fighting wildfires survived after the plane crashed in northeast Washington on Tuesday.

Washington Department of Natural Resources officials said the crash happened Tuesday afternoon. Officials said the aircraft experienced an unknown problem and issued a “MayDay” call asking for immediate help.

The pilot had to make a forced landing on a logging road. KXLY-TV reports that the pilot survived the crash and crawled to a nearby road to get help. He was later transported to the hospital.

In this photo released by The Eastern Area Incident Management Team, a Fire Boss plane, top left, a fixed wing aircraft used in wild land fire suppression, continues to battle a wildfire in eastern Washington state Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018. (Eastern Area IMT via AP)

According to reports, it was one of five FireBoss planes battling the Horns Mountain fire Tuesday.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Wed, 08/15/2018 - 10:48

MIRAMAR, Fla. – Rescue crews freed three Miramar firefighters late Monday after they became trapped when a live power line fell on their fire engine, authorities said.

Jose A. Gregorisch, a spokesman for the Miramar Fire-Rescue Department, said the fire engine struck a low-hanging power line in the 9000 block of Miramar Parkway as the engine left the station on a call.

A car had crashed into a utility pole moments before and damaged the power line, Gregorisch said.

One of the firefighters suffered minor injuries but was not hurt by the power line, Gregorisch said. The power line also cracked the windshield of the fire engine.

Paramedics took the firefighter to a local hospital.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CAL FIREFIGHTER LODD-At The Mendocino Complex Fire (The Secret List)

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 05:10


The Secret List

More bad news as late last night CalFire advised that a Firefighter died in the Line of Duty, fighting the massive Mendocino Complex fires that have burned 336,399 acres in the state and forced mandatory evacuations. The Firefighter was not immediately identified as the next-of-kin was being notified.

Our condolences to all those affected. Rest In Peace.

Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.


The Secret List 8-14-2018, 0335 hrs

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Sun, 08/12/2018 - 19:59

Exciting drive home tonight! If you get bored skip to about the 5 minute mark (but you’ll miss him trying to pump gas onto himself). Also, yes I tried to talk to the guy with the screwdriver to his neck but he wasn’t interested and I’m not getting stabbed. Enjoy!

Huge shout out/respect for the man in black and the firefighters that came through in a clutch situation! That is not in his job description it just shows the type of men that are here to protect us.

08-09-2018 104th & Portland. Tacoma Wa 



John Janssen on Facebook
Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Structure Collapse Kills Asst Chief-Fire & Funeral Info

Sat, 08/11/2018 - 20:33

As an update to yesterdays TSL, the Assistant Chief of the Friendship, Oklahoma, Volunteer Fire Department died in the Line of Duty Friday evening.

Firefighters responded to a house fire near Altus and 54-year-old Friendship Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Madison “Maddy” Lee Clinton Jr. was tragically killed in the Line of Duty.
Clinton was performing suppression operations on that structure fire when during the operation, the structure collapsed on him, pinning him under the roof of the structure.

His funeral will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Altus First Baptist Church. Altus is about 2 hours SW of Oklahoma City.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Thu, 08/09/2018 - 15:51

More bad news from The Carr Fire as the Tehama County Coroner’s office has identified the Cal Fire mechanic killed in the Line of Duty, in a crash this morning, Thursday. The CalFire member who died was 40-year-old Andrew Brake of Chico. Brake had been driving northbound on Highway 99 when the Cal Fire support vehicle ran off the road, hit a tree and burst into flames. The collision happened near Los Molinos in Tehama County and he was assigned to the Carr Fire.

Our condolences to all those affected as our Firefighters continued to take a horrendous beating out West. Rest In Peace.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety