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August 31, 2011
Hurricane Irene in pictures - US

After 11 LODD's and Hurricane Irene we will be glad to close the cover on this month.

View 159 photos as a result of Irene.

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August 31, 2011
FIREFIGHTER INJURED IN APPARATUS ACCIDENT - NY

A member of FDNY 176 Truck in Brooklyn received serious but non life threatening injuries today when he was injured. Initial reports are that the rig was backing up and for an unkown reason, the member was struck sustaining foot and ankle injuries.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 31, 2011
4 Firefighters Injured in Racing Team Crash - NY

Four members of the Elmont Fire Department drill competition racing team were injured, one seriously, when they fell off a racing truck during a practice session Tuesday night in North Woodmere, police and fire officials said.

Three of the injured firefighters were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, the other to North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.

Three of the firefighters are in stable condition Wednesday. One of the firefighters, who suffered head trauma, remained in serious condition in Jamaica.

A fire district spokesman said the department would not release the names of the injured men, citing privacy laws.

Nassau County police said the accident is under investigation, and details were expected to be made available soon.

The four volunteers were at a training facility on Hungry Harbor Road in North Woodmere at 7:24 p.m., when they were injured, police said.

"In the course of a fire department drill team training exercise an accident occurred, injuring four of our members," the department said in a statement released Wednesday.

"Our first concern is for the well being of our brother firefighters and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families as they deal with their injuries."

"This accident will undergo a routine investigation by the Nassau County Police Department," the statement said, "and as such, it would be inappropriate to comment further until this investigation has been undertaken and completed."
BY JOHN VALENTI - Newsday, Melville, N.Y.

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August 30, 2011
Irene Tears Through Fire Hall - NY

Irene
AP Photo/Hans Pennink
The roof of the Town of Keene Fire Department rest on the side of the remaining structure after being damaged by Irene.

Irene
AP Photo/Hans Pennink
People view the damaged Town of Keene Fire Department caused by Irene.

Irene
AP Photo/Hans Pennink
View of the interior damage to the Town of Keene Fire Department caused by Irene.

Ravaged roads, flattened houses, shock and disbelief offered an unspoken declaration of disaster here Monday.

The Main Street thoroughfare in Keene was in ruins, buildings ripped apart, asphalt twisted and skewed and carried away by water generated by Tropical Storm Irene.

All that remained of the Keene Fire Hall were two overhead doors and one section of the parking bay.

The fire station was consumed Sunday by the swift rise and rage of Gulf Brook.

A mobile home cocked sideways, half-shredded stood yanked off its Main Street foundation, potted summer flowers on the deck blooming and unmoved.

A smell of diesel fuel rose from the muddy street.

The Gulf Brook Bridge at the "Y" turn to Route 9N lay broken in two.

The brightly colored Tip-a-Canoe restaurant sign sat crashed on its side in an 8-foot crevasse made as the East Branch of the Ausable River -- and its normally babbling tributaries -- made a river out of Main Street.

"I don't believe it," Bunny Torrance said after climbing carefully down the steep entrance to Hurricane Road from her home above.

The life-long resident took one look at the Fire Hall and stopped.

"This is incredible," she said. "I didn't expect this when I came down."

The Torrance family, like many others, had to walk into town, cut off from power and communication.

RAGING BROOK

Hurricane Road, with its winding, paved curves past the Town Hall, was shredded by floodwaters, an entire 30-foot section of road just plain gone.

Gulf Brook bubbled on its new path through the road Monday.

"Right now, we can only get down 9N as far as Styles Brook. At least one home on Styles Brook Road is gone," Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee said shortly after 8 a.m., as town officials, fire personnel, highway-department crews and emergency services staff came and went from a busy emergency command center at the Town Hall.

Five people in two homes were pulled from the rising threat of Styles Brook Sunday.

Firefighter Bob Hickey went in on a four-wheeler from the road above and made two trips, firefighters said, rescuing first three and then two others from two houses that were shortly afterward consumed by the raging brook.

HORSES RESCUED

The devastation was astonishing.

For more than 100 yards, Style Brook Road was a mass of huge timbers, tangled roots and chunks of houses.

Heavy equipment could not get anywhere near the spot Monday to start learing because the road below was broken in pieces, power lines dangled over water running in a 3-inch sheet across it and pouring into the East Branch.

Many rescues spared life and property from the angry brown waters in Sunday's deluge.

Linda Deyo had led her two horses across Route 9N and away from the rising river.

A line on her Route 9N living room window Monday showed a watermark at least 3 feet high.

"And that line is inside," she said.

"That's where the barn was," she pointed to a bare slab of cement.

"When I got the first horse (Kahn) out, the water was up to here," Deyo said, reaching to her knees.

"By the time I was bringing (Fiddle) the second one across, it was about to here," she pointed to her hip.

Monday, the equine pair grazed, apparently unfazed, in the green pasture across the road.

"They were reasonable; they let me lead them. They weren't rearing or anything," she said.

"I couldn't believe the whole barn went. The flood in 1976 was bad. But this was worse."

'OVERWHELMING'

The destruction in Keene was still being tallied.

Mark Westcott, representative for Congressman Chris Gibson, made his way down Main Street early Monday.

Gibson would be in town today, he said.

"We'll be assessing damage and providing info through the State Emergency Management Office for the governor's appeal to President (Barack) Obama.

"We certainly would like to see this mess taken care of," he said.

Irene dropped 11 steady inches of rain in Keene as the rivers rose.

Firefighters were able to get fire trucks and some equipment out of the station before watching helplessly as the river tore it apart.

Nancy Piserchia, whose son Mike is a firefighter, stood beside what was left of the mobile home on Main Street they had rented out.

"I saw all the water in the backyard," she said, nodding to a rocky bed of stones left by the water's torrent.

"I called the couple who lived there and told them to come and get everything out," she said.

"This is just overwhelming."

Mrs. Piserchia hugged her son.

SENSE OF RESOLVE

The hamlet of Keene Valley fared better, but not by much.

As the damage assessment got fully underway, large sections of Route 73 south of the hamlet were gone just past the AuSable Club entrance.

The Keene Valley Hardware store sustained heavy damage, along with several other private properties. Eleven people were rescued as John's Brook rose Sunday in Keene Valley.

In all, 10 people were rescued in the hamlet of Keene and taken to an emergency shelter at the Community Center.

A sense of resolve seemed to emerge as the waterways crept back between their banks.

Joy McCabe, a long-time resident of Hurricane Road, made her way on foot, stepping through the debris, walking more than a mile to Deyo's house.

"Should we get the shovels and help?" she asked.

"I guess. Mine are gone," Deyo said, waving toward the empty barn slab.

In the Emergency Command Center, Keene Fire Chief Jody Whitney conferred with other emergency personnel.

Bunker gear sat folded over boots standing in corners, drying.

"At least we have no report of fatalities," the chief said.

"We have to rebuild."
Kim Smith Dedam - The Press-Republican, Plattsburgh, N.Y. / KEENE --

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August 30, 2011
Hingham ambulance crew in crash while responding to accident / MA

A Hingham ambulance crew was in an accident on its way to a crash involving two pickup trucks, police said.

The first accident happened at 6:24 p.m. Monday when, police say, a driver from Quincy failed to yield to an oncoming pickup truck and the two trucks collided on Derby Street near the ramp to Route 3 north. Four people, including 20-year-old Shane J. Denn of Quincy and his passenger, a 25-year-old woman from Weymouth, and two people in the other truck, a 70-year-old Holbrook man and a 64-year-old Holbrook woman, were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment of what were described as non life-threatening injuries.

Denn will be summonsed to Hingham District Court to answer to charges of failure to yield, driving without a license and failure to wear a seat belt, Hingham police said.

At 6:35 p.m., a Hingham Fire Department ambulance on its way to the accident on Derby Street was hit by a 2004 Jeep Cherokee. The impact of that crash forced the Cherokee into a 2010 Nissan Sentra which in turn was pushed into a 2007 Chrysler 300. The ambulance was pushed into a 2005 Honda Civic.

The drivers of the Jeep and the Sentra and the two paramedics aboard the ambulance were taken to nearby hospitals with what were also described as non life-threatening injuries, police said. No citations were issued in that crash which is still under investigation.
By Staff / The Patriot Ledger

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August 29, 2011
ANOTHER APPARATUS CRASH - MO

A firetruck and semi tractor-trailer collided at 9:06 p.m. Sunday on Route H, seven-tenths of a mile north of Route CC in Ralls County.

James F. Calhoun, the firetruck driver, suffered minor injuries but told authorities he would seek his own medical treatment.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports a 1970 American General firetruck was northbound and a 2011 Kenworth was being driven south by RIcky G. Redding, 50, of Kahoka, when the two met. The mirrors on the vehicles hit, police said.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 29, 2011
APPARATUS OVERTURNS - MO

A Rural Fire apparatus rolled over. The Medicine Creek Fire Department 2009 Freightliner Pumper was heading northbound on Missouri 139 when the vehicle ran off the right side shoulder the driver over corrected and the load of water shifted causing the apparatus to roll over. The driver was sent via ambulance to Sullivan County Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. The driver did have their seat belt on. He was the only occupant
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 29, 2011
Two Firefighters Injured In Blaze In Vacant City Home - MD

Two firefighters were injured while working to extinguish a blaze in a vacant home in Better Waverly, a city fire spokesman said. The firefighters responded to the 3000 block of Independence Street at about 8:30 a.m. Monday morning, said Chief Kevin Cartwright.

Their injuries were not life-threatening, he said. One was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and the other to the Public Service Infirmary at Mercy Medical Center, Cartwright said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Written by The Baltimore Sun

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August 29, 2011
Cops call fire hall crash intentional - NY


WIVB-TV Ch. 4 Buffalo posted this video report from the scene:

Architects and engineers were at the Main and Transit Fire Hall Monday morning, to figure out what to do with the building after a car smashed into it overnight.

At 12:38 a.m. firefighters were called to an injury accident and they didn’t have to go anywhere to get to the scene. A firefighter who was inside the fire house at the time of the crash said it felt like an earthquake.

Police say, 50-year-old Mark Detlef intentionally drove off Main Street, jumped the curb and drove straight through the glass doors of the fire hall. Sources tell News 4’s Melissa Holmes that it stemmed from a domestic dispute at home.

“The individual driver was losing consciousness when we were getting him out of the car last night and then at the end he did start to talk, and he did mention something about being apologetic about the building,” Fire Chief John Kemp said. “I wish he would have picked another location, this didn’t make our life any easier but it is what it is.”

Kemp said pulling Detlef from his mangled 1999 Buick was a painstakingly delicate process, for all involved.

“We’re trying to cut the patient out of the car so we’re focused on him, we don’t know what the building conditions are but obviously you can see out of the steel that’s bent up, we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re trying to be very selective on what we moved, and what we cut and still get the patients out, ” said Kemp.

Three of the department’s six trucks were damaged, but they’re still able to respond to calls and serve the community.

“We’re fully operational. We have other vehicles, and back-up vehicles, other departments have already called and offered their assistance and storage so we’re in good shape, we just stubbed our toe here for a day or so,” said Kemp.

Now as a high lift supports the front of the building, inspectors, architects and other officials are assessing the damage. It may be months before the building is fixed and it may be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The driver suffered a broken ankle.

Amherst Police have charged 50-year-old Mark Detlef with criminal mischief, a D felony, saying he intentionally careened his car into the building around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

He has also been charged with moving from a lane unsafely, a vehicle and traffic violation. Amherst Police say more traffic charges are pending, including one regarding his speed. They say, it may have been an excess of 50 mph.

Amherst Police say they are getting a search warrant for the black box in the car, to get more information about the crash. They do not believe alcohol was a factor.
Melissa Holmes / Posted by: Emily Lenihan / AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) -

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August 29, 2011
LODD:  Firefighter dies in on-duty crash at fire - TX

A Texas volunteer firefighter died Sunday after he ran a stop sign and was struck by a pickup truck.

Firefighter Anthony Quinten Meyers, 38, was working at a fire in Jasper County when the ATV he was driving was struck by the game warden's vehicle, according to KJAS.

Firefighter Meyers was transported to a local hospital by ambulance where he passed away shortly after.
By FireRescue1 Staff / JASPER COUNTY, Texas —

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August 29, 2011
LODD:  Rescue squad member dies after Irene rescue attempt - NJ

A New Jersey EMT who was swept away in flood waters while attempting to search a submerged car during Hurricane Irene has died from his injuries.

Michael Kenwood, 39, had been hospitalized since he was pulled from the water early Sunday with undisclosed injuries, the Times of Trenton said.

Kenwood was a member of the Princeton First Aid and Rescue squad. He is the fifth person to be killed by the storm in New Jersey.

Kenwood was dispatched to investigate the submerged car because it was feared someone was trapped in the vehicle, the Times of Trenton said. He was tied to another man before entering the water, and they attempted to turn back after realizing the current was too strong.

One of the men fell, according to Greg Paulson, deputy director of the squad. The two men were tied to a line being tended by rescue squad members on the shore, but came free of the line, Paulson said.

Gov. Chris Christie wrongly reported Sunday that Kenwood had already died. He later apologized for having received bad information, the Associated Press said.
By FireRescue1 Staff / PRINCETON, N.J. —

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August 29, 2011
Fire companies hit hard by fuel costs - PA

There is probably nothing more traditional than watching big fire trucks parade down main streets during local celebrations throughout the year.

But the rising cost of fuel has forced some volunteer departments in Pennsylvania already stretched thin with fewer volunteers, more calls, and increased training time to keep their trucks in the garage on such occasions.

"We have limited parades this year," said Ed Mann, treasurer of the East Derry Volunteer Fire Company in Mifflin County and the state's fire commissioner. The expense of driving a truck 70 miles back and forth to a parade was too much. "We only have a finite amount of money to work with. We are finding ways to limit costs."

As of Saturday, AAA's national average for regular gasoline was $3.60 a gallon; a year earlier, it was $2.68. Diesel, which most rescue vehicles use, was $2.96 a gallon in 2010; the average now is $3.88.

Particularly hard hit are the volunteer fire police, who drive their own vehicles to emergencies. Often the first ones on a scene and the last to leave, they can sit idling for hours. Fire police do not usually receive any regular reimbursement.

Thomas Adams, 59, a volunteer with Reliance Hook and Ladder in Upper Chichester, said he spent about $200 a month out of his pocket on emergency calls or training. He has not been to a movie "in years," and has cut back on going out for dinner with his wife.

Still, Adams said, he would never think of quitting. "I've been a firefighter since I was 16."

The fuel cost the East Derry company $1,245 for all of 2010, Mann said. So far this year, the department has spent $1,476.

A big part of the increase has been due to call volume, which went from 57 emergencies in 2010 to 96 this year.

For the Osceola Fire Department in rural Tioga County, near the New York border, the emphasis is on "chronic fund-raising," said Ryane G. Rumsey, fire company secretary. The all-volunteer company has about 33 members to serve 5,000 residents in 36 square miles. The 70 emergency calls last year cost about $6,000 in fuel, money not directly covered by the township.

"Police get funding from all different revenue streams we don't have access to," Rumsey said. "I have to do a chicken barbecue to put gas in the tank."

The Uwchlan Ambulance Corps in Chester County takes about 3,000 calls a year. The nonprofit organization receives no direct tax money but can buy fuel at a lower rate through the township.

Even so, treasurer Judy Kaplan expects to spend $8,300 on fuel for the next year if call volume holds steady.

To help cover costs, she said, the corps will seek grants for other expenses, trim costs, and hope for additional volunteers.

The ambulance corps has a mix of paid and volunteer staff on the ambulances.

Norristown Fire Department, one of the busiest in Montgomery County, also has the cost of fuel covered by the municipality. The combination volunteer and professional company takes about 1,300 calls a year.

Chief Tom O'Donnell, 40, called the fuel expense "ungodly."

There is no way an all-volunteer company could pay for fuel, maintain equipment, and buy new trucks and insurance, he said. "There has to be a community element that funds part or all of the expenses."

The company does its part to keep costs low, O'Donnell said. It took two years to evaluate what equipment was needed before three vehicles and a water-rescue Jet Ski were sold to cut back on maintenance costs.

For the last three years, Yeadon Fire Chief Michael Melazzo set aside more for fuel, but it was still not enough. He blamed a combination of higher fuel costs and more emergency runs. His department has fuel supplied from the borough, but it must submit a budget.

With costs more of a moving target than a sure thing, Melazzo said he would try to approximate for next year's budget as best he could and cut back in other areas.

There is one cut Melazzo cannot make.

"I can't just not take fire trucks out of the firehouse," he said. "You have to have them.
By Mari A. Schaefer / The Philadelphia Inquirer / MIFFLIN COUNTY, Pa. —

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August 29, 2011
Couple killed, 3 firefighters hurt at house fire - GA

A Sunday morning house fire killed a Woodstock couple, officials said.

Three firefighters were injured fighting the blaze that killed a 78-year-old man and his 77-year-old wife, said Tim Cavender with Cherokee County emergency services.

The couple's daughter and her 25-year-old son were able to escape the burning Commons Court home, located in the Kingston Square subdivision near Woodstock.

The daughter told Cherokee emergency workers that her mother suffered from Parkinson's disease, Cavender said.

The fire started after 1 a.m. The victim's bodies were recovered at about 8 a.m. The injured firemen, one from Woodstock and two from Cherokee County, were standing on the porch of the structure when it collapsed. They were taken to Marietta's Kennestone Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

No identities have been released as of late Sunday afternoon.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
By George Mathis / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / WOODSTOCK, Ga. —

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August 29, 2011
LODD:  FIRE MARSHAL LODD-MEDICAL - UT

On August 26, 2011 South Davis Metro Fire Agency Fire Marshal Steve Cox was performing a firefighter skills fitness test at fire station 81, located in Bountiful, Utah. During that test he collapsed, complained of dizziness and shortness of breath, he was immediately treated by fellow firefighters and taken the local hospital. On august 28,2011 Fire Marshal Steve Cox passed and died in the Line of Duty from that incident. Currently doctors have no answers to the cause, the medical examiners office is conducting an autopsy.
FireFighterCloseCalls.com

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August 28, 2011
TREE HITS APPARATUS - NJ

Firetruck

Firefighters from Freehold Township Independent Fire Co. No. 1 were responding to a call on Jackson Mills Road when a tree fell on the fire truck, Chief Tom Luongo said. The four firefighters in the truck were not injured, but the truck will need repairs, according to Luongo.

Freehold Township Independent Fire Co. No. 1 had approximately 30 firefighters on duty Saturday into Sunday, responding to problems caused by Hurricane Irene.

“It’s been really hectic. We’re up to 70 emergency responses, not including flooded basements,” Luongo said. “There are a lot of trees and wires down.”

Problem areas in the western section of the township that the fire company covers included Jackson Mills Road and Strickland Road, Luongo said. He urged residents to stay indoors to allow emergency crews to respond to issues in the township.

“The fire companies and first aid companies will keep working,” Luongo said. “We’ll get to you. Just hang in there and stay safe.”
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 28, 2011
WATER RESCUE CLOSE CALL - PA

Firefighters are working to rescue several of their own after a water rescue attempt in Montgomery County, Pa. It happened early Sunday morning when rescue boats from the Hatboro Fire Department were called out to rescue at least four people stuck in a car in rising water. A rescue boat capsized and three firefighters were trapped. Additional boats were called to the scene and, after almost two hours in the water, they were rescued by firefighters from other towns. Several additional fire departments are on the way to the scene to assist.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 28, 2011
Collision between SFFD vehicle, black truck sends two to hospital - CA

Two people were injured in a collision Sunday morning between a San Francisco Fire Department truck and another vehicle, according to police.

The crash between the fire truck and a black truck was reported at Harrison and Eighth streets in the South of Market neighborhood at about 8:30 a.m., SFPD said.

The injured parties were taken to San Francisco General Hospital and were expected to survive, cops said.

San Francsico police said the cause of the crash is still being investigated.

A Fire Department spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.
By: Ari Burack | Examiner Staff Writer

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August 28, 2011
Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad member is critical after Irene water rescue - NJ

Around noon on Sunday New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reported a Princeton firefighter had died during a rescue operation early this morning. That information turned out to not be correct. The rescuer did not die, but is in critical condition.

In addition, the person is a 39-year-old member of the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad. The name has not been released.

The official infomation from Princeton Township is that two members of the squad were returning on foot from checking out a vehicle near Johnson Park School that was partially submerged when one of the two slipped into the rushing water. Both squad members were then "unsecured in the water". One of the pair was unharmed and the other was "found unconscious". EMS, fire & police were initially dispatched to the call around 4:30 AM. The vehicle turned out to be empty.
statter911.com

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August 27, 2011
4 Dead in Medical Helicopter Crash - MO

A medical helicopter crashed in northwestern Missouri late Friday near a small airport where it planned to stop for fuel, killing all four people on board, authorities said.

The Eurocopter AS-350 was carrying three crew members and a patient when it went down at about 7 p.m. in a field a mile north of Midwest National Air Federal Aviation, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said. The airport is located near the small Clay County community of Mosby, about 20 miles northeast of Kansas City.

Lunsford said the helicopter was flying to the Kansas City suburb of Liberty. He said the aircraft was based in the northwestern Missouri city of St. Joseph, but he could not confirm that the flight originated there.

The helicopter was owned by Air Methods Corp., an Englewood, Colo.-based air ambulance operator, Lunsford said.

Although the helicopter planned to take on fuel at the airport in Mosby, Lunsford said there was no immediate indication of what caused the crash.

"At this point it's too early to try to speculate at all about what might have happened," he said.

Investigators from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were expected to arrive at the scene Saturday morning, Lunsford said. He did not expect more information to be released Friday night.

Authorities in Clay County and Mosby referred questions about the crash to the FAA.
The Associated Press

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August 27, 2011
Two Injured In Houston County Ambulance Crash - TN

Two Injured

Two people were sent to the hospital after a crash involving an ambulance in Houston County.

The crash happened around 5 p.m. Friday on Highway 49 in Erin, about 70 miles northwest of Nashville. Deputies from the Houston County Sheriff's Office and troopers from the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to the scene.

Officials said an emergency medical technician and the driver of another car were both transported by LifeFlight medical helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Their condition was unknown.

There were no patients in the ambulance at the time of the crash.

Information about what caused the crash was not available, but officials said the ambulance driver was not at fault.

It was unclear if the ambulance's emergency lights were on at the time of the crash.

The victim's names were not released.
WTVF-TV Ch. 5 Nashville

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August 27, 2011
3 Chicago firefighters injured in house fire - IL

Three firefighters were injured, two in serious to critical condition, in a blaze that broke out Thursday night in the city's West Englewood neighborhood, police said.

The fire started shortly before 7 p.m. at a 11/2-story frame house on the 7000 block of South Justine Street, police said.

Firefighters had ventilated the roof before moving into the house, but they were trapped in the attic area when it "lit up," fire Commissioner Robert Hoff said.

"In the attic, things went bad," Hoff said. "They got trapped."

Two of the injured firefighters were quickly rescued, but they suffered burns on their hands and faces. One of those firefighters also suffered burns in his respiratory system, Hoff said.

Both were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, but they were expected to be transferred to the Loyola University Hospital Burn Unit, Hoff said.

A third firefighter was taken in fair condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, Fire Department Chief Kevin MacGregor said. Two of the firefighters were from the same engine company, Hoff said.

"I was just saying, God please don't let them fall off that roof," said Debra Collins, 56, who lives three houses down from the blaze.

Collins rushed out of her home, like many on the residential street, when she saw the smoke and heard the sirens. "Those firemen ran right into those flames without any fear," she said.

As firefighters fought the blaze on the lower levels, others attacked from the roof, tearing it with axes to blast water in from overhead, Collins said.

"I saw him come out on the stretcher," she said. "My God, let them be OK."

One of the firefighters was identified as Kevin Abdullah, 49, according to family members. The other firefighters' names were not being released Thursday night pending notification of families.
By Erin Meyer, Tribune reporter

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August 23, 2011
Firefighter Hurt During Car Wreck Rescue - CA

A 22-year-old woman died and three others were injured early Sunday when a vehicle went over the side of Deer Creek Road, a mile north of the Pacific Coast Highway.

The Ventura County Fire Department responded to a call from the California Highway Patrol at about 3:35 a.m. that a vehicle had gone approximately 400 feet below the edge of the cliff. Ambulance and air squad operations worked the rescue operation.

Victoria Alviti, a resident of West Greenwich, R.I., died at the scene, said Michael Tellez, a senior deputy Ventura County medical examiner. An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be conducted Monday.

Two other people had life-threatening injuries and were transported to the Ventura County Medical Center, one via ambulance, the other via air.

A Los Angeles County firefighter was also injured during the rescue and transported to St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.

Prior to the accident, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department was called to the scene of a large party happening nearby. There were between 400 and 500 people at the party on Pacific View Road. Neighbors were concerned by the number of vehicles (between 30 and 40) parked on the fire road, according to a sheriff's spokesman, who said the CHP would be investigating whether the accident victims had attended the party.
Ventura County Star, Calif.

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August 23, 2011
APPARATUS FLIPS RESPONDING TO GRASS FIRE / TX

APPARATUS FLIPS

APPARATUS FLIPS

A Volunteer Firefighter was treated and released from a local hospital after he lost control of the fire truck he was driving. Investigators with the Mclewis Volunteer Fire Department said firefighters were on their way to a grass fire around 4:30 Saturday afternoon when he took the 1442 u-turn under Interstate 10 and lost control. The fire truck rolled and hit the brick columns. The fire truck mainly carries water to the pumper trucks. The fireman was transported to Christus Hospital Saint Elizabeth for precautionary reasons. He is okay, but the fire truck is totaled. Luckily, firefighters did put out the grass fire.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 23, 2011
Two Firefighters Hurt Battling House Fire - MO

Two firefighters were hurt battling a house fire in the 10700 block of White Avenue late Monday morning.

Fire crews were called to the home at 10:45 a.m. The woman who lived in the house was able to get out safely. She said her husband was out of town on business.

Fire crews evacuated the structure shortly after arriving at the scene. The first floor was reported to have collapsed into the garage.

Authorities said two firefighters suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation and were taken to hospitals.

Witnesses told KMBC 9's Peggy Breit that lightning hit a tree in the back yard.

"I heard a lightning bolt and it was really loud, so I looked out back and I saw splinters in all the yards and I didn't see anything else," said neighbor Joan Henry.

She said a short time later, she heard more ominous sounds.

"I heard some popping noises and the next thing I knew, I looked out the window and their garage was on fire," she said. "It looked like it just engulfed it all."

Firefighters said they were not ready to definitively blame the fire on lightning.

"There was storm going by at the time, so it's definitely possible," said Battallion Chief Nick Berardi.

Firefighters said they were able to salvage valuables from the home, including diamond earrings and family photographs.
Story by kmbc.com / KANSAS CITY, Mo. --

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August 23, 2011
2 firefighters injured in house fire - MD

A house fire in the 1500 block of Nova Avenue Monday night caused thousands of dollars in damage and left two firefighters injured.

Prince George's County Fire/EMS crews arrived within minutes of the call for fire at 8 p.m. Fire officials say smoke was coming from the basement of the two-story single family home. The smoke alarms alerted the residents to the fire and all of them were able to escape.

Fire officials say it took about 20 minutes to extinguish the bulk of the fire.

Two firefighters were transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Extensive overhaul was required due to excessive debris and materials stacked in the home.

The cause of the fire was determined to be an electrical malfunction. The estimated fire loss was $100,000.
WUSA9 / CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. —

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August 23, 2011
Firefighter injured at house fire - CA

A firefighter suffered moderate injuries early Monday fighting a house fire in the 1200 block of Military West Street, fire officials said.

At about 12:37 a.m. the Benicia Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a residential structure fire on Military West.

When members of Benicia Fire Department Engine 11 arrived, they found a single family dwelling with smoke showing from the attic vents, Benicia Fire Department Fire Marshal Ray Iverson said.

The home's fire alarms had alerted its occupants, and no one was injured, he said.

One Benicia firefighter suffered a torn left calf muscle as a result of fighting the fire as part of the roof ventilation team. He was taken by ambulance to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, and likely will be out of commission for "at least a month or two," Iverson said.

The firefighter has since been released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries, Iverson said.

The fire, which caused an estimated $130,000 in smoke and fire damage to the inside of the residence, was brought under control by Benicia and Vallejo Fire Department personnel at about 1:15 a.m. Iverson said.

The cause of the fire is being called "accidental and electrical in nature," he said.
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen / The Vallejo Times Herald / BENICIA, Calif. —

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August 23, 2011
3 firefighters suffer heat injuries at fire - TX

Two Wichita Falls firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries, and one volunteer firefighter was taken to the hospital for heat-related injuries in the wildfire that blazed through the Tanglewood addition of Wichita Falls on Sunday afternoon.

With such hot, dry conditions, the outcome from the blaze could have been much worse. Thanks to a quick response from local and area volunteer firefighters, the fire caused relatively little dollar damage.

Total estimates of the damage have not yet been completed. According to Assistant Fire Chief Bill Weske, two houses have damage to the siding, a couple of outbuildings were damaged and some fences were burned.

The grassy, brush filled area made it hard for firefighters to battle the blaze, but with help from several volunteer fire departments and a Texas Forest Service task force, the fire was contained before severely damaging any homes.

The Wichita Falls Fire Department responded quickly, according to Battalion Chief Lynn Holzer, who updated the status of the fire from a grass fire to a 3-alarm fire when he arrived at the scene.

"We had a very good response from all volunteer fire departments for mutual aid," Weske said.

The 41 city firefighters on duty at the time were dispatched to Tanglewood. Volunteers from Burkburnett, Cameron Gardens, Freebird-Cooper, Iowa Park, Wichita Falls East and West also responded.

Several units stood by at local fire stations to respond to other potential calls in the city until additional help arrived.

The wind worked in the firefighters' favor by remaining calm. The Texas F orest S ervice p rovided helicopter water drops that w ere "very h elpful i n getting to some of the hot spots we couldn't get to," Weske said.

In addition to water drops, bulldozers were brought in from volunteer departments to create fire lines, which help keep the blaze from spreading.

Weske said this was important to stop the fire because the area is so dense and dry.

While residents in 100 homes were in danger, only 20 had to be evacuated. The streets were blocked off by Wichita Falls Police, and no one but the fire department was allowed into the firestricken area until the blaze was under control.

The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire, however it is suspected that it originated under a utility pole located in a ravine.
The Times Record News / WICHITA FALLS, Texas —

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August 22, 2011
Man Confronts Firefighter Treating Woman - NE

A firefighter calls for help while trying to help an injured woman.

Omaha police said the firefighter was treating a woman near 47th Avenue and Lafayette Avenue after receiving a domestic violence call at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Police said a man came from inside the home and tried to keep the firefighter away from the woman.

Police arrested that man and a domestic violence suspect.

The woman and firefighter will be OK, police said.
Story by ketv.com / OMAHA, Neb. --

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August 22, 2011
Man kills himself inside fire station - CA

Investigators are trying to determine why a man would break into a fire station and kill himself.

The odd incident occurred early Monday morning at the Modesto Fire Department’s Station No. 2 on Chicago Avenue on the west side of town, authorities said.

The man, described as Latino in his 20s, shot through a window, entered the building and then shot himself to death, according to Modesto police Sgt. Brian Findlen.

All three firefighters at the station were sleeping. One was awoken by what he thought was a sound of gunfire at about 3 a.m., but dismissed it and went back to sleep, according to Battalion Chief Hugo Patino.

At about 6:30 a.m., a firefighter discovered the dead man on the other side of the building from where the firefighters sleep. A gun was nearby.
By Brian Clark / The Modesto Bee / MODESTO, Calif. —

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August 22, 2011
2 firefighters injured in fire truck, car crash - IL

Two firefighters were injured when their fire truck crashed and overturned Saturday in Otto Township, about six miles south of Kankakee.

An Otto Township Fire Department truck was responding to a call just after 2 p.m. when it collided with an Oldsmobile making a left turn onto U.S. Route 45/52, Illinois State Police said.

The driver of the fire truck, James Turner, 67, of Kankakee, was hospitalized; his condition wasn't available.

Passenger David Tiburtini, 21, of Kankakee, was hospitalized in serious condition.

The driver of the Oldsmobile, Amanda M. Collins, 27, also was hospitalized in serious condition.

Collins was ticketed for not having a valid driver's license and not having insurance, police said.
The Chicago Sun-Times / OTTO TOWNSHIP, Ill. —

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August 22, 2011
Mayor plans to lay off 20 firefighters - OH

The mood in the city's three firehouses is grim these days.

Mayor David S. Smith told the City Council this month that he plans to lay off 31 city workers by Oct. 1, including 20 firefighters and six police officers, to balance the city general-fund budget as required by state law.

Lower-than-expected income-tax collection and reduced local-government funding from the state blew a hole in this year's $23.6 million budget, Smith said.

"This is the beginning," said Susan Cave, executive director of the Ohio Municipal League.

"All of the cuts that came as a result of the state budget will hit the hardest starting Jan. 1. I think we are going to see more of this" in other communities, she said.

Cities trying to weather the recession already have cut services during the past few years — many of them postponing capital improvements, not filling vacancies and freezing wages, Cave said.

"Now you will have cuts in personnel or cuts in wages," she said.

Smith, a Republican running unopposed for re-election, and the Republican-controlled City Council are asking voters on Nov. 8 to approve a 0.25-percentage-point increase in the city income tax for five years, raising it to 2 percent. The increase would generate $2.5 million annually to help balance next year's budget, the mayor has said.

The general-fund budget includes the salaries of about 220 city workers, most of them police officers and firefighters.

Lancaster voters also are being asked to approve a 2.9-mill, 10-year property tax. It would generate about $2 million annually to be used exclusively for street repairs. It would cost homeowners $89 more per $100,000 of property valuation annually. Lancaster property owners currently pay $1,027 per $100,000 of valuation in property taxes annually to the city, county and school district, according to the Fairfield County auditor.

The school district also is on the Nov. 8 ballot, asking for a 4.1-mill levy to help build five elementary schools. The levy would cost homeowners $126 more a year per $100,000 in valuation.

Firefighters plan to campaign for the income-tax increase. But there is concern that voters facing three issues on the local ballot will think they are being asked for too much money at once, said firefighter Billy Squires, president of Local 291 of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Lancaster has 81 firefighters, including the chief and assistant chief. Laying off 20 would reduce staffing to 1980s levels, even as the number of medic and fire runs continues to rise in the city of nearly 37,000 residents, said Capt. Jack Mattlin. Previous budget cuts idled one of three engine trucks and reduced staffing on medic trucks, he said.

The six police officers to be laid off are from a total staff of 69 sworn peace officers, including the chief.

The City Council isn't required to vote to approve the layoffs but supports the mayor's plan, said Councilman Tom Stoughton, chairman of the finance committee.

"I am looking for fiscal discipline," he said. "Revenues will continue to dip. We have to be prudent with every dollar we have."

Some residents are worried about the pending firefighter layoffs.

"I think it's wrong," said Janet Kidder, 70. "I think somebody is going to die because they're not there."

Genevieve Peyton, 88, doesn't want layoffs, either, but she understands that the mayor has to balance the budget. "I don't think they should happen, but if they don't have funding, I don't know what else they can do," she said.

Firefighter Nathan Sharp is trying to figure out his next move, too. The 29-year-old was hired in 2005 and has little seniority. "I am number 12 of 20," he said.

Sharp said he plans to start looking for a job at another fire department. "Maybe more guys are retiring and I can get in somewhere else," he said.

Few communities will be safe havens, Cave warned. The full effect of the state budget on cities will set in next year, including another cut in local-government funding and the accelerated phase-out of payments intended to compensate for the revenue lost from the abolition of the tangible personal-property tax on business inventories. The state's repeal of the estate tax will hit in 2013.

All of this will make it harder on cities trying to balance their budgets, Cave said. "They're left with not many options."
By Mary Beth Lane / The Columbus Dispatch / Trouble viewing the video? Download Flash player here / LANCASTER, Ohio —

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August 21, 2011
Firefighter Hospitalized After Battling Blaze - NH

One firefighter was hospitalized after helping to fight a fire that destroyed a home in Meredith on Saturday morning.

Fire officials said the firefighter suffered heat exhaustion while battling the fire at 74 Hermit Woods Road.

She was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital and was expected to be OK.

Fire officials said the home and attached garage were fully engulfed in flames when they arrived at the scene.

The house was vacant at the time of the fire.

The owners live in Bridgewater, Mass. and use the property as a seasonal home, fire officials said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Story by wmur.com / MEREDITH, N.H. --

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August 21, 2011
BERKELEY APPARATUS STRUCK BY DRUNK DRIVER - SC

The South Carolina Highway Patrol was called to an accident early Saturday morning after a car ran into the back of a fire truck in Berkeley County.

According to the incident report, a fire truck was parked in the far right lane with its emergency lights on working at the scene of accident on US-17A near Long Street just north of Interstate 26.

Troopers say that is when 25-year-old Jonathan Russell of Summerville crashed his 2003 Mitsubishi into the rear of the C & B fire truck. Russell was not wearing a seat belt at time of the accident and was taken to Trident Hospital for unknown injuries sustained in the crash.

Russell is charged with driving under the influence and for not wearing his seat belt.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating this collision. This accident occurred just 16 hours after troopers kicked off its statewide Sober or Slammer Campaign.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 21, 2011
Woman Attacks Responding Firefighter - FL

A woman was charged with a hate crime in Boynton Beach Saturday night.

According to Boytnon Beach police, 23-year-old Angelique Martinez was driving under the influence when she crashed her car in the 2200 block of South Congress Avenue around 9:30 p.m. Police said she attacked a firefighter who was responding to the crash and exhibited prejudice during the attack.

Martinez was taken to the Palm Beach County Jail and is charged with battery on fire fighter evidencing prejudice, which is a hate crime.
Story by wpbf.com / BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. --

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August 20, 2011
FIREFIGHTER EJECTED IN FIRE APPARATUS CRASH - IL

Early this afternoon, the tanker/tender from the Otto Township Fire Protection District (Kankakee County Illinois) collided with an SUV. The apparatus overturned and ejected the Firefighter in the right seat and injuring the Firefighter/driver. The driver of the fire apparatus was transported to a local hospital and will be going into surgery this evening. The ejected firefighter was airlifted to Christ Hospital (Chicago suburb) with external spinal fracture (but no spinal cord injury) and other fractures. Fortunately he is moving his feet and hands.

The driver of the SUV was transported to an emergency room hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 20, 2011
Tree Limb Gives Fire Captin Close Call - NE

A Lincoln firefighter had a close call Thursday night during a thunderstorm.

Captain Guy Pinkman was aboard Engine 8 when a 16-foot tree limb slammed through the passenger-side windshield, narrowly missing him, according to The Journal Star.

The crew was responding to a report of a downed power line just after 9 p.m.

"It sounded like a bomb went off," he told the newspaper.

The limb hit him across the chin and just missed the driver. A third firefighter was unharmed.

Glass sprayed Pinkman in the face, mouth and eyes and he said he kept his eyes closed until after he was treated at the hospital.

Another engine en route to another downed wire and a medic unit responded to the disabled fire engine and transported the driver and Pinkman to the hospital.

Engine 8 sustained several thousand dollars' worth in damage and left the inside of the engine covered in glass.

A reserve engine has been put into service while repairs are made.
Firehouse.com News

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August 20, 2011
GRASS RIG FINDS SINK HOLE AT GRASS FIRE - IN

SINK HOLE
NWITimes.com Photo

Two firefighters rushing to the scene of a 25-acre wheat field fire in Hebron were injured Friday when their truck hit a sinkhole and rolled over.

Hebron Fire Chief Chad Franzman said a drain tile in the field had washed out, creating a 5-foot sinkhole hidden by weeds. The firefighters did not see it until it was too late, he said, and the truck carrying 300 gallons of water rolled on its side.

"Everybody came home, that's the one thing that's most important to me," Franzman said. "We might be down a truck, but that's pretty much it."

The two were wearing seat belts and walked away with minor injuries, Franzman said. One hit his head on the windshield and was getting a CAT scan at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point, and the other suffered minor scrapes and bruises.

The fire call came in about 4:40 p.m., and Franzman said it took about 35 minutes to get the blaze at 8960 E. 157th Ave. under control.

Crown Point, Lakes of the Four Seasons and Boone Grove assisted Hebron in fighting the field fire, he said, and it was unknown what caused the field to go up in flames.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 20, 2011
2 FF STRUCK AT ACCIDENT SCENE - NC

2 FF STRUCK

2 FF STRUCK

At a scene of a vehicle fire this afternoon on Interstate 40-- at the entrance ramp from Hammond Road-- two firefighters from Raleigh Engine 2 were struck as a passenger vehicle entered the scene. The second vehicle struck at least two other vehicles, and injuring three other people. The two firefighters sustained minor injuries, and were transported to WakeMed. Three other civilians were also transported, including one in serious condition.

Engine 2 and Engine 20 were dispatched to the vehicle fire about 4:10 p.m. Engine 20 was still en route at the time of the accident, which occurred about 4:20 p.m. After the reported accident, Engine 1, Engine 3, and Engine 10 were dispatched. Battalion 3, Car 10, and Car 2 also responded. Medical resources included EMS 8, EMS 11, EMS 18, EMS 36, and District 1.

The accident occurred just a couple hundred feet east of where Engine 1 was struck by a passenger vehicle on January 25, 2011. They were blocking for Engine 2 at an accident scene. No firefighters were injured at that incident, but the driver of the car was transported.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 20, 2011
Firefighters Put At Risk During Blaze - TX

A fast-moving fire destroyed a Graham home and took a heavy toll on firefighters Tuesday afternoon. Graham Fire Rescue Chief Dennie Covey said firefighters were called to a home in the 900 block of Texas Street at 3:18 p.m. Tuesday. Covey said he arrived on the scene three minutes later with a fire engine seconds behind.

"When I rolled up, there was heavy smoke coming from the side of the house," he said. "There was fire coming out the window in the middle of the house."

Covey said the first crew on the scene immediately tried to enter the home to fight the fire, but then things got tricky.

"We started to make entry into the house, but the heat and smoke were really bad so we had to back off," Covey said. "When crew one tried to make entry, the heat and smoke were so hot that when they squirted water, it just steamed. So we backed off and decided to go defensive."

With the safety of the firefighters as the No. 1 priority, the first engine battled the fire from the outside, trying to knock out most of the blaze.

"After we knocked the center room down, we sent a crew back inside," Covey said. "Again the smoke was so heavy and the heat so intense, we had to back out."

After continuing to fight the fire from outside the home, firefighters were able to cool things off enough to enter the home. Once inside, they were able to control most of the blaze quickly.

During the fight with the fire, 10 Graham Fire Rescue firefighters responded to help. In all, four engines were used in the blaze.

Despite having a good turnout, Covey said he never could use all 10 men at one time.

"Because of the heat that time of day, the firefighters with their gear and breathing apparatus tend to overheat real fast," Covey said. "So we had to rotate crews and have guys in rehab cooling off and drinking water. They didn't like that, but I didn't give them a choice."

Covey said the heat outside and inside the home took a toll on the firefighters.

"We had three firefighters who went to the paramedics on scene and took fluids through an IV," Covey said. "We appreciate the paramedics for being on scene and helping us out. They did a great job."

Covey said once the major fire was out, the work was just beginning. He explained that because the entire home was wood and the roof had wood shingles, finding and putting out hot spots was a challenge.

Before the fire was fully contained, firefighters were on the scene almost four hours.

When talking to the family, Covey said firefighters learned the family was out when the fire started. When the family returned home and opened the front door, they were greeted by a wall of smoke. One of the young men in the family went inside and saw heavy flames in the utility room.

Assistant Chief Jerry David learned in a further interview that the family had problems with the gas hot water heater blowing out. David also found another possible cause for the flames.

"The man of the house works for Basic Energy and had a lot of greasy clothes back there," Covey said. "Under the right circumstances, that can cause a fire. We think it was the hot water heater or the clothes."

Covey said the contents of the home were a total loss and the structure itself was heavily damaged. He said the home was a rental and was not insured.

While he was relieved the fire was put out and no one got hurt, Covey admitted the battle was not easy.

"Usually a structure fire like that takes a couple of hours," Covey said. "Because we had to rotate crews so much, it took a lot longer."
Written by The Graham Leader

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August 20, 2011
Fire chief puts truck on sale to help keep firefighter jobs - MI

Six firefighters were scheduled to be laid off at 7 a.m. Friday, bringing the total cut to 18.

The Fire Department now will have 36 firefighters and just 12 per shift. The firefighters’ expired contract stipulates a minimum of 14 per shift.

The 24-square-mile city has a population of 65,383.

“We’re going to have to eliminate a fire truck every day,” Fire Chief Bob Tompos said.

He said he is trying to sell the department’s ladder truck for $300,000 to keep some of his firefighters working.

“We have a potential buyer for it, but it has to be approved through council,” he said.

The City Council would have to agree to earmark the money for personnel costs for the department.

Some firefighters are working 96 hours at a time on overtime, but that might not last.

The department had budgeted $200,000 for “emergency overtime” and $5,500 for double time for this fiscal year, which started July 1, when the layoffs went into effect.

An amendment adopted several weeks ago by the council enabled the recall of six firefighters and gave the department about $92,000 — enough to pay six firefighters for five weeks, by which time both sides hoped to have a contract in place.

Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand said he hoped the influx of cash would buy enough time to get a contract worked out; but, that has not been the case.

“We’re going to have to use some overtime to try to keep it at 12 a day,” Tompos said. “But the overtime budget is halfway gone. It’s going to be scary. Being without a full complement of people is going to be difficult.”

He said overtime has cost about $100,000 since July 1.

Lamarand has said he wants to figure out a way to permanently staff the department with fewer people.

“There just isn’t money there,” Lamarand said in a previous interview.

Tompos said he hopes further negotiations will bring some of the firefighters back.

“I hope we can reach some resolution quickly so we can keep serving the community the way we have been,” he said.
thenewsherald.com / By Rene Cizio / TAYLOR —

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August 19, 2011
Nicotine Tests Could Cost Fla. Medics Their Jobs - FL

Volusia County is taking over ambulance services and the anti-smoking policy of county employees could cost some ambulance crew members and paramedics their jobs.

Ambulance employees are currently allowed to smoke if they were hired before the anti-smoking policy took effect earlier this year, but now that those employees will become county workers, all of them will have to pass nicotine tests to keep their jobs.

The nicotine test only applies to uniformed workers, like law enforcement. Paramedics and ambulance crew members will be required to take a nicotine test starting on Oct. 1.

One county employee said she thought this policy is not fair to employees that smoke and thinks it is an invasion of privacy.

"I want to smoke at home and I'm out of uniform and in the privacy of my own home, then I should be allowed to smoke," the employee said.

Volusia County's administration said the policy is a health issue and they do not want taxpayers to pay for expensive health care costs of county employees who smoke. County officials said they also believe they are not invading anyone's privacy.

"When you work for a public agency there really is no such thing as invasion of privacy. They work for the public you know and that's part of the price," Dave Byron of Volusia County said.
Story by clickorlando.com / VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. --

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August 19, 2011
Man Jumps in Front Fire Truck, Dances - KY

A Louisville man is facing charges after police said he drunkenly jumped in front of a fire truck.

According to arrest records, officers saw 32-year-old Alejandro Rodriguez jump in front of a fire truck at the intersection of South First Street and West Oak Street around 1 a.m. Thursday.

Police said Rodriguez started to dance and displayed both middle fingers to the firefighters, blocking them from driving through the intersection.

Police said Rodriguez had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, was unsteady on his feet, and smelled strongly of alcohol.

Rodriguez did not know his address or how he got to the intersection, according to arrest records.

Rodriguez was charged with public intoxication.
BY JAY DITZER - Story by wlky.com / LOUISVILLE, Ky. --

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August 19, 2011
5 Firefighters Treated For Heat Exhaustion After Vacant Brewery Fire - MD

Two more firefighters battling a fire at a vacant brewery complex in Brewers Hill were treated for heat exhaustion, bringing the total injured to five, a city fire spokesman said. All but one had been treated and released by Friday morning, according to the spokesman, Capt. Roman Clark.

Firefighters responded to calls for fire in part of the old Gunther Brewery complex in the 1200 block of S. Conkling St. at about 2 p.m. Thursday. Clark said it wasn't brought under control until 5:45 a.m. Friday more than 15 hours later.

The cause of the fire, primarily confined to the cork-covered walls on the third and fourth floors of the building, is still under investigation. Written by The Baltimore Sun

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August 18, 2011
Firefighters Attacked by Fleas at House - CT

Waterbury firefighters checking an abandoned house Tuesday soon realized they were attacked by fleas, according to WVIT. Fire Chief David Martin told the news station that four members of Engine 2 started to itch while at the house and discovered that they were covered in the insects on their way back to the station.

The firefighters transported to a local hospital and had to strip down before going in. All of them were covered in bites and were scrubbed down before being released.

They returned to the hospital Wednesday to be tested for flea-borne illnesses including the bubonic plague, Martin said.

The fire truck is currently out of service while it is being fumigated and the firefighters' gear is being washed in "high-heat" machines to kill the remaining fleas.
Firehouse.com News

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August 17, 2011
FIREFIGHTER STRUCK OUTSIDE OF FIREHOUSE - PA

A city fire fighter was the victim of a hit-and-run outside the fire station on Monday at around 2:30 p.m.

Michael Shovlin was tending to housekeeping duties outside the firehouse on Kennedy Street when he was struck by a red pickup, the driver of which then fled the scene, according to televised reports.

As of press time Monday night, Shovlin was in stable condition and being transferred from the emergency room to a patient room at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

Although Pittston police were said to be seeking information on the incident, they did not return messages left at the police department, nor did they reply to a request through Luzerne County 911 to return a call to a reporter.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 17, 2011
Ambulance Crashes Into Home - MD

Fire crews were called to a home in the Randallstown area after officials said an ambulance crashed into a home.

The crash happened shortly before 7:30 a.m. along Winands Road at Marriottsville Road.

Baltimore County Police said the private ambulance collided with another vehicle, and it then crashed into a house.

Two people from the vehicles were taken to Sinai Hospital in unknown condition. No one in the house was hurt, police said.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the crash.
Story by wbaltv.com / BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. --

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August 17, 2011
Kansas City Fire Apparatus Crashes Through Firehouse - KS

A Kansas City fire truck crashed into a downtown fire station on Wednesday, according to KCTV.

The firehouse at Ninth Street and The Paseo sustained significant damage.

Pieces of concrete were strewn in the parking area and one chunk landed on top of the apparatus.

No firefighters were injured in the crash.

A bulldozer was used to clear the debris.
Firehouse.com News

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August 17, 2011
Firefighter Treated For Chemical Exposure At Fairfield Hazmat Incident - CT

A firefighter exposed to chemical fumes at a Commerce Drive hazmat emergency early Wednesday was sent to the hospital for treatment. The incident began when smoke was seen billowing from the building that houses MCP Metalspecialties at 515 Commerce Drive. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they discovered no flames but heavy smoke from an apparent chemical reaction among the various hazardous materials at the metal-treatment business.

The Fairfield Fire Department and Fairfield County hazmat teams, as well as personnel from the state Department of Environmental Protection, were called for assistance.

Firefighters worked with officials of MCP Metalspecialties to identify the hazards and the chemical process that had gone awry, according to Assistant Fire Chief George Gomola. A team entered the factory and sophisticated metering equipment was used to check for the presence of hazardous materials and to identify safe areas, he said.

The problem was quickly brought under control and stabilized, Gomola said.

The firefighter who suffered minor exposure to the chemical fumes was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for treatment and later returned to duty, officials said.

Commerce Drive was closed several hours during the emergency operations. The last fire units cleared the scene around 3:30 a.m.

The building is home to the MCP-Group. It uses the building as a low melting point alloy (LMPA) manufacturing site, according to the company's website.

It is the company's main facility in North America and responsible for managing its business interests in the region, including commercial activities, warehousing, distribution, recycling and light manufacturing, according to the site. MCP-Group was recently purchased by 5N Plus, which is based in Canada.
Written by Connecticut Post

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August 17, 2011
Three Firefighters Injured After Fire At Stimson Lumber In Gaston - OR

Three firefighters were injured Tuesday night in an explosion at the Stimson Lumber Mill in Gaston. One Gaston firefighter was taken to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland. One Gaston firefighter and one Yamhill firefighter were taken to Tuality Hospital in Hillsboro, all with non-life threatening injuries. All three have gone home, said volunteer spokesman Ken Bilderback. Crews from Stimson Lumber reported the fire -- apparently caused by a spark in the dust collection bin, Bilderback said, just before 7 p.m. The explosion occurred more than two hours after the initial call. The mill continued to operate during the fire. Units from Gaston, Yamhill, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Cornelius and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to the two-alarm fire, which was out by midnight. No damage estimate has been determined.
Written by The Oregonian

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August 17, 2011
5 firefighters injured at residential fire - NJ

Five firefighters were injured and 17 residents were displaced by a two-alarm fire that badly damaged two houses on Sherman Avenue on Tuesday, a fire official said.

The firefighters, whose names were not available, were being treated at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.

The fire at a large three-story building at 116 Sherman Ave. was reported around 2:50 p.m., said Deputy Chief Bruce Vander Voort of the Paterson Fire Department. It appeared to have started toward the rear of the structure's top floor, he said.

A second alarm was sounded as the fire spread quickly to 118 Sherman Ave., also a three-story building, Vander Voort said.

A teenage resident, who said he had lived on the third floor at 118 Sherman for 12 years, said family members were outside when they saw smoke.

They ran to the house and yelled for the rest of the family to get out.

Natalia Montoya, 22, had just returned from nursing school and was in her apartment on the second floor of 118 Sherman when she heard the commotion.

She stood on the sidewalk next to her dogs, tears streaming down her face.

"I heard people screaming, and I looked outside and some lady was screaming, 'Come out of the house now!' " Montoya said.

Montoya said she scooped up her two dogs and a pet bird and ran outside, leaving behind four birds, including a cockatiel and a canary.

Vander Voort said a firefighter rescued one of the birds.

All three floors of 116 Sherman were heavily damaged, Vander Voort said.

The second and third floors of 118 Sherman Ave. sustained damage.

The fire was still under investigation late on Tuesday.
By Erik Shilling / The Herald News / PATERSON, N.J. —

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August 16, 2011
2 hospitalized after tour bus, fire engine crash - FL

fire engine crash

Two people are now in the hospital after a tour bus collided with a fire truck.

The accident occurred in the area of Dade Boulevard and Pine Tree Drive, Monday afternoon.

The tour bus driver and a tour guide were the only two on board the double-decker at the time of the collision. Both were transported to area hospitals.

No firefighters were injured.

Officials shut down traffic to the area as they continue to investigate the accident and try to determine who was at fault in the crash.
Wsvn.com / MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) --

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August 16, 2011
Firefighters Injured, Exotic Birds Killed In Row-home Fire - PA

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries and more than 30 exotic birds were killed by smoke from a fire that damaged three row homes Tuesday morning in Reading. Seven residents were displaced. Smoke from a fire in a vacant home at 1105 Green St. woke the owner of the home at 1103 Green St. shortly before 6 a.m., First Deputy Chief Gary Mogel said.

The owner ran through the house, waking other residents and getting them out of the house, Mogel said.

"He did a great job getting them out of there or this could have been a very unfortunate situation," Mogel said. "That could have been multiple fatalities."

Flames were visible on the first and second floors of 1105 Green when firefighters responded at 6:04 a.m., six minutes after receiving the call, Mogel said.

Most of the fire was knocked down by water from hoses within five minutes, said Mogel, praising the quick work of firefighters who he said were stretched thin to battle the blaze.

He said they worked hard so the fire wouldn't spread to all the homes in the block.

The fire was so intense that it burned through a fire hose in the first floor of 1105 Green, Mogel said.

One firefighter was taken to Reading Hospital with minor burns and chest pain, Mogel said.

Three others suffered first-degree steam burns on their legs and another firefighter pulled a muscle while yanking a hose around a parked car, Mogel said.

The house at 1103 Green sustained about $15,000 in smoke damage, including the loss of the birds, Mogel said.

Damage to the vacant house where the fire started was estimated between $25,000 and $30,000, Mogel said.

The property was purchased in 2008 for $26,500 by BMI Properties LP, Bangor, Northampton County, according to Berks County records.

BMI could not be reached for comment.

The cause remains under investigation, said Lt. Michael Lessar of the city fire marshal's office.

Neighbors said people have often been seen entering the vacant home, Mogel added.

The house at 1107 Green sustained $5,000 in smoke damage.

The seven people displaced by the fire are being helped by the American Red Cross, Berks County chapter, Mogel said.
Written by Reading Eagle

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August 16, 2011
LODD:  Fire chief dies after responding to house fire - SC

A South Carolina fire chief died Tuesday morning after responding to a house fire.

Lancaster County Volunteer Fire Chief Dennis J. Cauthen, 54, collapsed at his fire station and later died, according to WISTV.

Chief Cauthen, who headed the Elgin Volunteer Fire Department, had spent more than 31 years in the fire service in Lancaster County.

Firefighters had just returned from an old mill house in the early morning when he collapsed, having spent nearly three hours on scene.

Fellow responders began medical assistance when he collapsed and transported him to a local hospital.

Chief Cauthen is survived by his parents, wife, three children and four grandchildren.
By FireRescue1 Staff / Duty Death: Dennis J. Cauthen - [Lancaster, South Carolina] / LANCASTER, S.C. -

View a Slideshow of the house fire

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August 16, 2011
City lays off 17 firefighters - NJ

The city of Passaic began the week with 17 fewer firefighters, following a layoff that may be only the start of a larger reduction in municipal employees.

The layoffs that took effect on Sunday are part of a reorganization of the Fire Department that includes the demotion of six superior officers, each of whom will be bumped down one rank.

The cuts in the Fire Department are designed to help the city close a budget gap that has been estimated at around $5 million.

Originally, the city planned to lay off 20 firefighters. But on Friday, five firefighters put in for retirement, sparing three full-time jobs.

"The administration is working off the expectation of five retirements," said Keith Furlong, a spokesman for the city.

The layoffs came after unions representing both rank-and-file firefighters and superior officers rejected an offer to give back two weeks' pay.

Layoffs in the Fire Department are part of a larger plan to reduce the size of city government.

The second phase of the layoff plan includes the elimination of 24 jobs at City Hall, which is scheduled to take place Friday. Most of the jobs targeted for layoff are administrative positions in the city clerk's office, finance, the community development department, code enforcement and the municipal court.

The city has offered municipal workers the same deal as the firefighters, and gotten the same answer: No to pay givebacks. Members of the Passaic City Employees Association voted last week against pay givebacks. There are no negotiations between the city and PCEA scheduled for this week, although that could change.
By Richard Cowen / The Herald News / PASSAIC, N.J. —

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August 16, 2011
LODD:  Firefighter dies after fire truck burned - SD

Gov. Dennis Daugaard is asking that all flags in South Dakota be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. until sunset Tuesday in honor of a state forest firefighter who died while battling a blaze in the southern Black Hills.

The governor's office says 23-year-old Trampus Haskvitz of Hot Springs died from injuries suffered when the fire engine he was working on was burned by the Coal Canyon fire.

Two other firefighters from Hot Springs, Austin Whitney and Kevin Fees, were injured.

Funeral services for Haskvitz have been set for Tuesday in Hot Springs.

Haskvitz had been employed with the South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division since 2006. The governor's office says he recently graduated from Dickinson State University in North Dakota with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
The Associated Press via The Bismarck Tribune / PIERRE, S.D. —

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August 15, 2011
FIREFIGHTER EXPOSED TO HAZMAT AT STORAGE UNIT FIRE - FL

A Holly Hill (Florida) Firefighter assisting Ormond Beach Firefighters at a fire at a self-storage business Sunday got sick after some kind of chemical splashed on him. The firefighter was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center by EVAC ambulance, Firefighter Bill Kimmy was doing better at the hospital Sunday night but was being kept overnight for observation, said Holly Hill Fire Chief Ron Spencer.

FF Kimmy was listed in stable condition Sunday night, a nursing supervisor said.

Firefighters were called to Simply Self Storage at 610 S. Yonge St. at 5:42 p.m. Sunday to reports of white smoke coming out of three or four storage units. Holly Hill firefighters also responded to assist, King said.

Firefighters opened the unit and located a 35-gallon drum smoking. When water was put on it, the chemical, which King said was some kind of ammonia product used to bleach hair, splashed on Kimmy's arm. Twenty minutes later, he started having respiratory difficulty and started vomiting, King said.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 15, 2011
LODD:  Dallas firefighter dies after falling through roof - TX

A Dallas firefighter died Sunday after falling through the roof of a burning apartment building.

Dallas Fire-Rescue Lt. Todd Krodle, 41, was attempting to perform vertical ventilation from the roof of the two-story apartment structure when he fell into the attic.

Fellow firefighters rescued Lt. Krodle and transported him to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Lt. Krodle had spent 17 years in the fire service and was a married father of two.

"On behalf of the Dallas City Council and the entire City of Dallas workforce, we express our deepest sympathy to the family, friends and fellow firefighters of this courageous and dedicated firefighter," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

"We must never lose sight that fire service is an extremely dangerous business and this brave man died doing the dangerous job he loved; protecting our citizens and our properties and making our neighborhoods safer for all of us."

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August 13, 2011
Pedestrian Injured In SOMA Fire Truck Accident - CA

A fire truck driving in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood this morning clipped a big-rig, which then hit a man on the sidewalk nearby, fire officials said.

At about 9:10 a.m., the tiller ladder truck was conducting a routine check and was making a right turn from Mission Street onto New Montgomery Street when it struck the parked Penske big-rig, fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

After being struck, the big-rig hit the 20-year-old operator of the truck who was on the sidewalk behind the passenger side door, Talmadge said.

The man fell to the ground but was alert and talking. He had minor complaints of pain and was transported to San Francisco General Hospital, according to Talmadge.

The accident is being considered industrial and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has been notified and will be investigating.
Zack Farmer, Bay City News

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August 13, 2011
Car Hits Ambulance Causing Other Crashes - NY

An ambulance taking two people to a hospital was hit by a car in Shirley Thursday night, causing several other crashes, police said.

The ambulance was traveling north on William Floyd Parkway at about 8:24 p.m. when it was struck by a BMW car traveling west on Surrey Circle, police said.

The ambulance rolled over and skidded into the median, police said. Other vehicles tried to avoid that collision, but several secondary crashes resulted, police said.

Two people from the ambulance and one person from the BMW were taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue, police said. Four others were treated at the scene. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening, police said.

Suffolk police were still investigating Thursday night, but there were no arrests, police said.
Bill Mason. and John Valenti / Newsday, Melville, N.Y.

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August 13, 2011
1 FF hospitalized 20 people displaced - CA

Approximately 20 people, in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles, have been displaced from their apartments tonight, as a result of a stubborn fire that may have been prevented. A small explosion reportedly precipitated the fire that started, in what is being called a "utility-storage room."

It was late this afternoon, at 5:27 pm, that residents of 2505 North Hancock Street reported hearing the loud boom and then, smoke alarms. First arriving resources quickly evacuated the entire complex and then discovered the fire on the second floor of the two-story, un-sprinklered apartment building. It took 87 Firefighters, under the careful direction of Battalion Chief Rudy Hill, nearly 30 minutes to fully extinguish the pesky blaze and when it was all over, the water and smoke damage left the 26-unit apartment complex largely, uninhabitable.

The LAFD's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section was called-out to handle the investigation. After meticulously processing the scene, the probable cause was determined to have been an unspecified type and quantity of a combustible liquid, that had been kept in storage directly adjacent to a hot-water heater in that utility room. What resulted, was a fire that charged the hallways with enough smoke to warrant the cutting of several ventilation holes in the roof of the complex. This operation made the conditions tenable for both the residents that were fleeing the building, as well as the Firefighters below, who worked to confine the fire to just one room.

One LAFD member was hospitalized after falling down a flight of concrete steps in the smoke-filled complex. The Firefighter was transported in fair condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Department of Water and Power and the Southern California Gas Company were dispatched to the scene to assist and evaluate issues that were reported with both utilities, as a result of the sustained damage. Local Red Cross was also requested and will assist the displaced occupants with shelter for the evening.

The investigation is ongoing and the dollar loss has not yet been calculated.
LAFD News & Information

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August 13, 2011
LODD:  EMT Medical Emergency On A Run - IN

EMT Charles Black of the Superior Ambulance. EMT Black was assigned to the Highland, Indiana base. EMT Black suffered a fatal heart attack Wednesday, August 10th, while transporting a patient from St. Margaret Hospital - North Campus - in Hammond, Indiana. Due to the patient's size and difficulty getting him in the dwelling, a second ambulance crew was called to assist. After the four EMTs got the patient inside, EMT Black suffered a fatal heart attack. He is 54 years old and survived by his wife, Miavria, daughter Jackie, 11, and son Joe, 18. Our sincere condolences.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 13, 2011
FIREFIGHTER INJURED WHEN CEILING FALLS IN WORKING DWELLING FIRE - OH

DWELLING FIRE

A firefighter was taken to the hospital Friday night following a house fire in Wayne Township, Clermont County near Cincinnati. The fire started around 2030 hours in a home in the 6700 block of Garrison Spurling Road.

Everyone inside the home was evacuated and received no injuries. However, one firefighter did get hurt when the ceiling fell while the firefighter was inside the home. He was not seriously hurt and has been released from the hospital with a minor neck injury. It was in Wayne Township Fire Department's first due along with Goshen, Jackson Township, Harlan Township and Blanchester Fire Departments.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 13, 2011
LODD:  FIREFIGHTER DIES IN THE LINE OF DUTY - TX

Larry Gale Nelson

Val Verde County Volunteer Fire & Rescue (Texas) Firefighter Larry Gale Nelson died in the Line of Duty yesterday. Around noon, FF Nelson was doing work at the firehouse and was alone. Sometime after he started doing some work, passerby saw him down on the front concrete area and help was summoned as he was in arrest. It has not yet been determined if his injuries were traumatic, medical or a combination.

FF Nelson was a very active and beloved member, Firefighter of the year in 2007 and also served as a consultant to the oil industry as his career, according to Fire Chief Jerry Rust.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 13, 2011
Firefighter allegedly threatens co-workers with gun - KS

KSHB-TV Ch. 41 ran this video report:

Kansas City police were called to a fire station Wednesday morning after a firefighter allegedly waved a gun at four other firefighters during a dispute.

The victims later said they didn’t want to prosecute. Fire union representatives went to the suspect’s home after the incident and escorted him to a psychiatric hospital, according to police reports.

The incident began about 6:50 a.m. Wednesday when the 47-year-old suspect arrived to start his shift at Fire Station 28, at 930 E. Red Bridge Road.

The suspect “started complaining about the new guys never putting fuel in the fire trucks,” the police report said.

A 29-year-old firefighter “wasn’t really listening to the suspect,” police said, because he was trying to get ready to go home. This angered the suspect, who said, “I’m talking to you, too!”

The younger firefighter asked “what his problem was…and why he was yelling,” according to police reports. The suspect then allegedly shoved the younger firefighter with both hands.

A fire captain intervened and told the suspect to go home and take a “sick day,” according to police reports.

A few minutes later, the suspect showed back up in the fire house with a gun and “began waving it back and forth and pointing it at” four firefighters who were sitting in a common area. The suspect “stated he was going to shoot them all,” police reports said.

The fire captain told the suspect to put his gun away. The suspect complied and left.

The younger firefighter declined to prosecute for the shoving, and the three firefighters and captain also declined to prosecute for the alleged aggravated assault.

“The issue is being handled internally,” said Battalion Chief Joe Vitale, a department spokesman.
By CHRISTINE VENDEL / The Kansas City Star

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August 12, 2011
Two Arrested for Stealing From Fire Trucks - TX

Five or six firetrucks in northern Tom Green County were out of commission earlier this week after gas tanks and various tools were stolen, Tom Green County sheriff's officials said.

Two men were arrested Wednesday on allegations that they stole gas tanks from Carlsbad Volunteer Fire Department trucks, officials said.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Lt. Christina Lopez said a patrol deputy in Carlsbad on Monday stopped a vehicle in which he saw a number of gas cans, a siphoning hose, bolt cutters and a cut combination lock. The two men inside the vehicle, Jim Chadwick III, 19, and Joseph Doty, 17, were later arrested.

Chadwick and Doty were booked into the Tom Green County Jail on burglary charges Wednesday and were held in lieu of $30,000 bonds, according to jail records.

Burglary of a building is a statejail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine up to $10,000.

On Tuesday, Carlsbad volunteer firefighters reported that fuel tanks, holding between 5 and 10 gallons, had been stolen off at least one of their brush trucks. Lopez said several of the items taken were unique to the department because firefighters had made them and were able to identify them.

Chief Deputy David Jones said charges are also being filed against the men in connection with a theft at the Water Valley Volunteer Fire Department this week.

"A lot of it wasn't high-dollar; it was just high-value," Jones said.

Between the two departments, five or six trucks were able to run but had no gas to fuel firefighting equipment because fuel tanks were missing.

J.C. Schovajsa, fire chief in Water Valley, said all three of the department's water trucks were robbed of tanks. A lock on the department's door had been cut to get inside the station.

He replenished the missing items Thursday - at a cost of $200.

"I never dreamed someone would steal the fuel out of our trucks," he said. "If we would have had to go somewhere, it would have run for 30 seconds and we'd have been in a world of mess."

Schovajsa said this isn't the first time the department has been targeted. In May, one of the trucks was called out and ran out of diesel. He said they later found that 150 gallons had been siphoned out of the truck's tank.

He said it made him feel good to know someone had been caught in this instance.
BY JENNIFER RIOS - San Angelo Standard-Times (Texas)

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August 12, 2011
Ambulance Crew Attacked - IL

Two ambulance workers who were trying to help a woman who was having trouble breathing were attacked by the female early Thursday.

The woman, whose name wasn't released, is now sitting in an East St. Louis jail cell facing aggravated battery charges.

The ambulance workers did not require medical treatment, Detective Michael Floore said.

MedStar was dispatched to the 1500 block of Wynstanley Avenue at 1:34 a.m. in reference to a 20-year-old woman having trouble breathing, Floore said.

When the ambulance crew arrived, they found the victim lying on the ground.

"They attempted to render aid, but a massive crowd, including family members and friends were standing around," Floore said.

When the ambulance crew got the victim inside the ambulance, a man, who police believe is the victim's brother, got inside the ambulance. The crew told him he had to exit the vehicle.

Floore said when the victim noticed the male was no longer in the ambulance with her, she unbuckled her seat belt and attempted to get out of the ambulance. Family members, who were on the outside of the ambulance, were holding the door closed so she couldn't get out, Floore said.

After the victim realized she couldn't get out of the ambulance, she started striking a male MedStar employee on the head and in his face. Then, a female MedStar employee opened the side door to allow the victim out.

The victim then scratched the female employee all over her face.

"After the woman got out, the ambulance driver drove just a short ways down the street away from the crowd and called police and a second ambulance," Floore said.

A MedStar spokesman could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The woman was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery.

Investigators plan to submit the case to the St. Clair County State's Attorney's office today for review and charges, Floore said.
Carolyn P. Smith / Belleville News-Democrat, Ill. / Aug. 12--EAST ST. LOUIS --

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August 12, 2011
LODD:  FF MEDICAL - IN

Tim White

A line of duty death of Firefighter/EMT Tim White of the Cedar Lake Fire Department.

Firefighter/EMT White died August 5th of apparent complications of a heart attack suffered July 17th during Technical Rescue Training. In addition to being a member of the Cedar Lake Department, he was a member of Indiana District 1 Urban Search and Rescue/Technical Rescue Team.

He is 50 years old and served the citizens of Cedar Lake for 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, three daughters, and six grandchildren.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 12, 2011
LODD:  FF DIES IN WILDLAND FIRE - SD

One state forest firefighter was killed and two others were injured late this afternoon while fighting the Coal Canyon Fire on U.S. Forest Service land nine miles north of Edgemont.

The three firefighters, all from Hot Springs, were seasonal firefighting employees of the South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division.

Trampus Haskvitz, 23, died as a result of injuries he suffered when the Type 6 fire engine he was working on was burned over by the blaze.

Two other firefighters, Austin Whitney and Kevin Fees, were injured and transported by Life Flight to Rapid City Regional Hospital. Whitney is being transferred tonight to a certified burn center in Greeley, Colorado. Fees is in stable condition at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

“This is very sad news,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “Linda and I are praying for Trampus’ loved ones, and for the firefighters who were injured. Too many times in recent weeks, South Dakotans have been reminded just how much we owe to the firefighters, law enforcement, and others who risk their lives to protect us all.””

“This is a tragic day for the South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division,” said Division Director Joe Lowe. “Trampus died a hero doing what he loved to do, and he will be sorely missed by the Black Hills firefighting community.”
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 12, 2011
Firefighter falls from ladder at Detroit fire - MI

A Detroit firefighter slipped from a ladder at the scene of a house fire in video posted online Friday.

The firefighter was ascending the ladder up to a steep roof when he slipped and fell about eight feet.

Despite the fall, the firefighter was able to land on his feet and continue fighting the fire.

The next firefighter attempting to climb the ladder also has trouble and nearly slips.
By FireRescue1 Staff / DETROIT —

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August 11, 2011
CIVILIAN WITH NO DRIVERS LICENSE AND NO ISNURANCE STRIKES FIRE APPARATUS - TX

FIRE APPARATUS STRUCK
ABC 13 Photo

A driver is in the hospital after colliding with an Houston, TX Fire Apparatus. It happened on Telephone Road and Airport late last night. Police say a fire truck was responding to an emergency call when it collided with a car at the intersection.

The driver of the car was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. No firefighters were hurt. Police say the driver of the car was at fault. She had no driver's license and no insurance
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 11, 2011
ANSON ENGINE GOES FOR A SWIM DURING PUMP TEST - ME

The town is repairing one of its firetrucks after it plunged into the Kennebec River taking two firefighters with it.

Town officials still don't know for sure what caused the rescue vehicle to shift into travel mode during an annual pump test at the boat landing off Patterson Bridge Road on June 3. But selectmen, who were updated at their meeting Tuesday night, know it will take at least another month before repairs are complete and the truck is ready to fight fires again.

"Accidents happen, and we just have to pick up and go on," Fire Chief Alan Walker said.

The pumper-tanker truck, worth between $250,000 and $300,000, has a new transmission. Its engine may need to be rebuilt, and it will need new wiring and computer controls, Walker said.

The town's insurance -- Maine Municipal Association's Risk Management Services -- will cover the cost of repairs, said Robert Worthley, administrative assistant to selectmen.

Walker said he's not happy about the accident, but it occurred in the best possible place. "If this had happened on a fire scene I don't know where that truck would have stopped," he said.

The accident appears to have been caused by an electrical malfunction during a standard pump test session.

Each year the department has to make sure its pumps meet state requirements. When it did its initial testing in June, the pump worked fine, Walker said. When a technician proceeded to the next part of the test and increased the revolutions per minute, "the next thing he knew, he was in the water," Walker said.

Even though the brakes were on, and the wheels were blocked to keep the truck from moving, the gear box came out of pump mode, went into travel mode, and the truck rolled into six feet of water, Walker said. The wheel chocks flew 50 to 75 feet.

The pump technician, who was at the pump panel behind the cab, was thrown into the water, Walker said. Another firefighter nearby lost her balance and also landed in the water. Neither was injured.

If there had been a "black box" in the truck recording what occurred, the town would have more answers, Walker said. But his hunch is that the RPM increase caused "some type of false electrical signal," he said, that shifted the truck into a low gear. The engine, transmission and pump panel are all computer controlled.

At 425 horsepower in low gear, "that's a lot of power," Walker said -- enough to propel a braked vehicle into the river.

He doesn't believe it was human error, he said, because he has spoken several times with the operator. "Every time she answers me the same way, so I know she did the application right," he said.

The truck has been drained of water, and the engine runs, but there are more tests to complete. Walker said he wants a statement from the insurance company when the vehicle is repaired.

"I'm not going to say this truck is acceptable until somebody says so on the bottom line," Walker said.

The town bought the truck new in 2000. The manufacturing company Rosenbauer built the back part of the truck, while Freightliner built the cab and frame. The computer controls were installed by a company called Cummins, Walker said.

While Walker and the town's approximately 30 firefighters do not like being down one truck, departments in neighboring towns are available to help. The truck is one of four in Anson.

"Thank goodness for mutual aid," Walker said. "We will be covered."
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 11, 2011
Two Firefighters Injured in South Los Angeles Blaze - CA

Two Firefighters Injured

Two Firefighters Injured

Two Firefighters Injured

As firefighters were responding to the 6:30 PM alarm, a large "loom up" of dark smoke could be seen from blocks away.

Firefighters arrived at 121 West Florence Avenue where they found a row of one-story commercial buildings under a common roof with heavy smoke showing. Shortly thereafter, flames erupted outside the structure and careful attention was given to protecting attached and nearby businesses from flame impingement. Firefighters were strategically placed around the large structure as others forced entry inside to do battle with the intense flames.

Multiple ladders were rapidly tilted against the structure from all angles allowing firefighters assigned to truck companies to reach the roof and begin vertical ventilation using chainsaws. Moderate amount of smoke began pouring out of the holes as the chainsaws sunk in and continued to cut. Firefighters inside searched through the dark to reach the seat of the fire. As the fire ripped through the attic, a portion of the roof collapsed on one side, preventing firefighters to continue to make entry from that area.

Firefighters raced the clock as they worked intensely to stop the spread of the flames and save the adjoining businesses along with their contents.

The fire appeared to have started in southwest side of the commercial building and ran up to the attic where it quickly traveled northeast. A total of four businesses, selling furniture, carpet, mattresses and cabinets were damaged. Shortly thereafter the smoke began to lighten as firefighters started to gain the upper hand, then worked on saving the contents of the business. Due to the aggressive work, an offensive attack was used and there was no need to pull firefighters out into a defensive mode.

The building created additional challenges to firefighters due to having an unusual double roof on the northeast side described as an arch truss with 1x6 straight sheeting below, and a corrugated metal roof approximately six feet above.

Two Firefighters Injured Battling South Los Angeles Blaze. © Photo by Chris Conkle, click to see more...A total of 166 Los Angeles Firefighters were able to fully extinguish the flames in just 43 minutes by confining the blaze to the building of origin. An additional 40 personnel were summoned to assist in a complete overhaul of the burned premises during the nearly sixteen hour operation.

One firefighter received second degree burns to his hands and another firefighter was taken ill during overhaul operations. Both men were transported to local hospitals where they were treated and released to remain off-duty.

An initial estimate for fire loss was placed at $1,000,000 ($600,000 structure & $400,000 contents). The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.
lafd.blogspot.comlafd.blogspot.com

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August 11, 2011
Houston Fire Department SUV Involved in Crash - TX

A Houston Fire Department supervisor was involved in a crash in Southeast Houston Wednesday.

Shortly after 10 p.m., police said, the supervisor was on his way to a scene in a Houston Fire Department SUV with his lights activated.

He was heading west on Airport Road, and as he reached the intersection of Airport Road and Telephone Road, a woman driving northbound on Telephone Road ran the red light after the light had changed to green for the supervisor, police said.

Investigators said the HFD truck slammed into the side of the woman's car, causing it to spin around.

The woman was taken to the hospital. Police said she will be held at fault and that the woman did not have a driver's license or insurance.

The HFD supervisor was not hurt.
Story by click2houston.com / HOUSTON --

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August 11, 2011
Firefighters Retrieve Colleague's Body After Crash - MD

After Baltimore County firefighters got word that one of their own had just died in a motorcycle wreck Tuesday, they boarded Engine 1 -- accompanied by a medic unit -- and drove more than 20 miles to retrieve his body.

Firefighter Kurt Chenowith was just 25, but had already become a leader at the Towson station and was usually the one at the wheel of Engine 1, according to WMAR-TV.

"One of the main things he did was mentor to some of the younger members," Lt. Michael Miller told the news station. "He was a natural firefighter and a natural paramedic and many of the people as soon as they would meet him would go to him for advice and he would help them out."

Chenowith was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash after a vehicle pulled out of a car dealership directly into the path of his motorcycle on Route 1 in Bel Air.

State Police officials said there was nothing the young firefighter could do to avoid the collision.

The impact of the collision ejected his body close to 60 feet.

He was scheduled to report to duty that night.

Upon receiving word, his fellow firefighters drove in Harford County and delivered his body to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore.

The crews at the Towson station have been receiving numerous calls from firefighters throughout Baltimore County offering help as they continue to mourn their colleague's death.
Firehouse.com News

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August 11, 2011
Minneapolis lays off 10 firefighters - TN

Ten Minneapolis firefighters got calls from Fire Chief Alex Jackson on Tuesday telling them they are losing their jobs as the result of state budget cuts.

Even more firefighters might have gotten laid off, but Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barbara Johnson said they're urging the council to dip into the city's reserves for $1.75 million to save 31 additional firefighter jobs and avoid any police layoffs.

While Rybak and Johnson blame the Legislature for skimping on local government aid, a frustrated fire union President Mark Lakosky put the blame on Rybak. The number of sworn firefighters has dropped from about 469 in 2003, which was Rybak's first budget, to 401. He warned that firefighters will be stretched even thinner and it will take them longer to respond to emergency calls.

"It's amazing how public safety has been cut each year under Rybak," Lakosky said. "But when there's some fluff program, he finds money for it."

The layoffs were no surprise. Rybak's budget anticipated 32 layoffs in the Fire Department this year, but he and the council put money aside to keep them on the payroll if the city got its full allotment of local government aid. The Legislature froze local government aid at last year's level, meaning the city received $23.5 million less than Rybak had hoped.

The firefighters who lost their jobs have been on a layoff bubble almost since their hiring in 2008. One of them, firefighter Johnathon McClellan, said his mind went blank when Jackson called: "You go through all the training and go through the firefighter hoops in hopes of doing a career. When you go through all that, you don't anticipate that this is going to happen."

Rybak spokesman John Stiles said that even with the cuts, the city's fire response times compare favorably to that of fire departments in neighboring cities.

The Police Department expects its budget to be in balance by the end of the year through retirements, and the city will use money from its reserves to avoid short-term layoffs, budget officials said. But fewer firefighters have chosen to retire, likely due to the poor economy and uncertainty over a pending vote on a fire pension merger, Jackson said.
By Steve Brandt / The Star Tribune / MINNEAPOLIS —

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August 10, 2011
Police officer intervened to protect the paramedic; patient later dies - VA

Fire and Rescue was summoned to Hiram Court for a medical emergency. Shortly after arrival Fire and Rescue requested that police expedite to help with a combative patient. When police arrived they received information that he had been violent and had assaulted several firefighters; the police also observed the suspect in the back of the ambulance, with his behavior rapidly changing from calm and cooperative to agitated and combative. Throughout the incident police and Fire and Rescue staff repeatedly tried to calm Wilkerson.

While in the ambulance Wilkerson assumed an aggressive position and screamed at the paramedic. A police officer intervened to protect the paramedic, warned Wilkerson to calm down and cooperate. Wilkerson lunged at the officer and in self-defense the officer deployed the TASER. Officers were able to put one handcuff on him when he suddenly turned and jumped out of the side door to the ambulance. He then assaulted a relative; all the while yelling at police and continuing to be disorderly. The officers told him to let her go or they would deploy pepper spray. He let go of the woman and was handcuffed. As the officers walked him back to the ambulance he told them that he had been using heroin and PCP.

Once back in the ambulance he again lunged at an officer, knocked him down and ran out the back door of the ambulance. Officers pursued him on foot and deployed the TASER again to stop him. He fell to the ground and officers restrained him as he continued to resist. While the police restrained him paramedics applied medical treatment. He continued to struggle for a period of time. Eventually he became passive. His vital signs were monitored as police and EMS were able to carry Wilkerson to the ambulance on a stretcher. His vital signs deteriorated and paramedics could no longer find a pulse. They began resuscitation efforts and emergency personnel transported him to the hospital. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The investigation into the death is ongoing. The autopsy is scheduled for August 8th.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 10, 2011
20 firefighter layoffs looming - NJ

With the clock ticking toward a Sunday layoff date, city firefighters met Monday to discuss contract givebacks designed to save some jobs.

The city's latest offer is for firefighters to give back two weeks' pay, according to union sources. The offer is on the table for unions representing both rank-and-file firefighters and their superiors — and, if accepted, it could save some of the 20 firefighters targeted for layoff.

A similar offer has been made to 25 city employees scheduled to be laid off on Aug. 18. However, details of those discussions could not be obtained on Monday.

Members of both FMBA Local 113, representing the rank-and-file, and FMBA Local 213, representing superior officers, held separate meetings at the Eastside Firehouse on Monday to discuss the offer. Another meeting, between firefighters and Passaic's business administrator, Ricardo Fernandez, is scheduled today.

The city is grappling with a hole in the 2011 budget that is estimated at $5 million. Aside from cuts in the fire department, the city has also proposed laying off 25 municipal employees.

But sources within the fire department say that superior officers have thus far balked at the pay giveback. That's because the city still wants to demote each superior officer one rank, on top of any pay giveback. About 35 of the current 105 firefighters are superior officers.

"I'm already going down a rank, and that's going to cost me $15,000 a year," said one superior officer. "And I'm supposed to give back two weeks' pay on top of that?"

City spokesman Keith Furlong said he's not optimistic that a deal can be reached with the firefighters. He said municipal workers appeared to be more willing to accept a pay giveback. "Unfortunately, it looks like Monday we'll begin layoffs in the fire department," he said.

Capt. Louis Sanchez, the head of Local 213, said no vote was taken and no final decision was made on Monday. "We're still discussing it," Sanchez said, although he would provide no further details of the discussion.

Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost said time was running out. "Both parties have to meet in the middle," Trentacost said. "We're all hoping for some kind of solution."

Manpower is already low as a result of typical summertime shortages because of vacations. Normally, the fire department runs six companies, but it has had to periodically shut one down during the past month because of the manpower shortage.

With firefighters reluctant to give money back, about the only hope is that the city taps into either state or federal aid. In years past, money has been available from the federal government through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which is sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson.

Congress reauthorized the program in June with a $1.1 billion appropriation through 2014. SAFER is designed to help distressed cities hire new firefighters or avoid layoffs. Passaic has received the funding in previous years, and has applied again, but with less than a week before layoffs are set to begin, there doesn't appear to be time to plug the hole in the 2011 budget.

"We may get the money and be able to rehire firefighters," Furlong said.
By Richard Cowen / The Herald News / PASSAIC, N.J. —

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August 09, 2011
Injured Firefighters Recovering - NC

Two Onslow County firefighters are recovering after being injured in two separate lightning-caused house fires over the weekend, fire officials said. A female firefighter broke her arm at one house fire and a male firefighter was struck with residual lightning at the scene of another nearby blaze, said Greg Jeppson, chief of the Half Moon Volunteer Fire Department.

The female firefighter is from the Half Moon VFD and the male firefighter is from the Rhodestown Road VFD. Citing federal medical records protection laws, Jeppson would not release the names of the firefighters.

He said the female was released from Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital, but has to have surgery on her arm. The male firefighter was treated and released at Onslow Memorial Hospital.

The firefighters were injured responding to three late Saturday afternoon blazes sparked by a suddenly appearing and quickly dissipating electrical storm. Three houses in the Half Moon area were hit by lightning with two catching fire.

There were four people inside a home on Hunting Green Drive in the Deerfield subdivision when lightning hit the house and started a blaze in the attic. All four people and their three dogs made it to safety, neighbors said.

The female firefighter was injured while battling that blaze.

Jeppson said the house, which took a direct hit of lightning, was a total loss.

Lightning also caused a blaze nearby at a group therapy home on Winter Place.

A the injured male firefighter received a jolt when another lightning bolt struck groundwater, traveled through flash flood waters and zapped him.

Area resident Billy Costley said he the repetitive lightning strikes sounded like exploding bombs.
Written by The Daily News

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August 09, 2011
Firefighter injured after falling off fire truck in Baltimore - MD

A Baltimore City firefighter was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center shortly after noon Tuesday after he was injured while responding to an emergency call.

Department spokesman Chief Kevin Cartwright said the firefighter fell off a fire truck that was turning a corner while en route to the 3000 block of Liberty Heights Ave. shortly after noon.

The firefighter suffered injuries to his head and elbow, including lacerations, and was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center as a precaution, Cartwright said. The firefighter did not appear to have fractures or life-threatening injuries, he said.

The firefighter was alert and talking with staffers when he got to the hospital, the city Firefighters Union Local 734 said in a Twitter message.

Cartwright said the Truck Company No. 12 firefighter had been in the cab of the truck and wore a seat belt, and an investigation was underway to determine how he fell.

He added that crews found no fire to put out when they arrived at the Liberty Heights address, just smoke from an air conditioner in the building.

Cartwright did not immediately have additional information about the identity of the firefighter, including his rank or number of years on the job.
The Baltimore Sun

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August 09, 2011
Fire truck rollover injures 2 firefighters - MO

Fire truck rollover
KFVS-TV image

Two firefighters were injured when their fire truck overturned in Missouri on Monday.

Investigators say the Doe Run tanker truck ran off the road and into a ditch because it was driving too fast for wet road conditions at a sharp curve, according to KFVS.

One firefighter was airlifted to a local hospital with moderate injuries, while the other was transported by ambulance with minor injuries.
By FireRescue1 Staff / DOE RUN, Mo. —

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August 09, 2011
Naked man attacks firefighters - CA

Firefighters attempting to help the victim of a hit-and-run accident instead were attacked by a 43-year-old Hayward man, who stripped naked and ran into the street, yelling obscenities, throwing punches and climbing on a fire truck before being subdued and held for arriving police.

Fire officials said they received a call about a bicyclist being struck by a car around 7:20 p.m. Thursday, but when they arrived, nobody was in the area. A short time later, they got a call from a home on the 300 block of Lion Street saying the accident victim was there.

When fire personnel asked him to lift his shirt so they could see his injuries, he stripped down to his shoes and ran outside.

"Firefighters realized by the look in his eyes that he was on something," fire Capt. Thor Poulsen said.

The man started climbing on the fire equipment and blocking traffic, attracting a number of spectators, then struck firefighters trying to restrain him. Two were hit but sustained no serious injury. They were able to hold him down until police arrived.

He was taken to the hospital and faces assault charges. Police said it was determined that the man had been under the influence of PCP.
By Eric Kurhi / The Oakland Tribune via The Contra Costa Times / HAYWARD, Calif. —

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August 08, 2011
LODD:  FIREFIGHTER DIES IN THE LINE OF DUTY-MEDICAL - VA

A member of the Altavista VFD in Campbell County, Va. FF Jefferey A. Cocke, 59, died in the Line of Duty yesterday from a heart related issue. Services at this time will be Held at Altavista High School, 3 pm on Sunday August 7. FF Cocke was a member of the Altavista VFD for over 39 years.

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August 08, 2011
Update: LODD:  FIREFIGHTER DIES IN THE LINE OF DUTY-WILDLAND FIRE OPERATIONS - OK

An Oklahoma Firefighter who collapsed on August 1 while operating at a wildfire in Noble County (OK) has died in the Line of Duty. According to Perry Fire Chief Wayne Emmons, 52-year-old Perry FD Captain Kyle King stopped breathing and received CPR and ALS treatment. He started breathing again at the scene and was taken to a hospital in Oklahoma City where he has now passed away.

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August 08, 2011
Medical Helicopter Fired Upon in Flight - OH

Central Ohio law-enforcement agencies are on alert after a medical helicopter was shot Thursday during flights to children's hospitals.

No one was injured but the Union County sheriff's office is investigating. Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration have been notified.

Authorities think the helicopter, based in Union County's Allen Township, was shot at from the ground between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., Sheriff Jamie Patton said.

Nothing was noted during a preflight inspection. The chopper then made trips to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and Akron Children's Hospital. While refueling in Akron, a bullet hole was discovered in the rear door on the right side, said Todd Bailey, MedFlight's spokesman.

Authorities found a bullet fragment on the floor of a storage compartment, Patton said.

The path of the bullet and the location of the hole led investigators to conclude that the copter was fired on while in flight, Bailey said.

The helicopter was immediately taken out of service for patients. After being inspected by a mechanic, it was flown back to Union County for the investigation.

Another helicopter has been stationed at the Union County base to carry patients, Bailey said.

Once deputies took the report just after midnight Thursday, all area police agencies and airports were notified so aircraft could be on alert, Patton said. Television news stations with helicopters also were notified.

Since there was no crash, the FAA will take a supporting role in the investigation, said spokesman Tony Molinaro. He said the agency might be able to check radar records for specific flight paths to help local authorities narrow their focus on where the shot could have originated.

Endangering an aircraft is a fourth-degree felony. No one has been charged.

Anyone with information can call the Union County sheriff's office tipline at 937-642-6753.
Holly Zachariah / The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) / MARYSVILLE, Ohio --

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August 08, 2011
Seaside Heights restaurant fire - NJ

A multiple-alarm fire Sunday evening at La Casa Del Sol Mexican Restaurant at Boulevard and Hancock. Two firefighters suffered from heat related issues.
statter911.com

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August 08, 2011
Three firefighters hurt in three-alarm high-rise fire that wasn’t. - TX

Three alarms were called to Williams Square at 5215 North O'Connor Boulevard in the Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas around 7:30 this morning when white "smoke" was spotted billowing from the top of a 26-story building.

News crews gathered as firefighters looked for the source of the fire. Three firefighters were hurt and were taken to the hospital. In the end there was no fire.

Two of the firefighters were hospitalized after a hose popped off a standpipe and struck them. A third firefighter was also taken away in an ambulance for treatment. Their injuries were said to be not serious.

Irving Fire Department Assistant Chief R.W. Wilson confirmed that the 7:30 a.m. incident was not a fire. He said a "deluge system" designed to extinguish fires had been triggered by a malfunctioning sensor. The water then cascaded down on the fan blades of the building's air conditioning system, which spun the water into a cloud-like vapor seen rising from the top of the tower.
WFFA.com

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August 08, 2011
Pittsburgh firefighters treated for heat-related conditions - PA

One person died in a Sheraden house fire this afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the three-alarm fire in the 1300 block of Pritchard Street just after noon and found the body of a man about 15 feet inside the home, authorities said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire was under control within 90 minutes and several firefighters were treated for heat-related conditions.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, officials said.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review / PITTSBURGH —

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August 07, 2011
RESPONDING FIRE APPARATUS VS MOOSE CRASH - ME

North Lakes Firefighters called to the scene of a collision between a van and a moose on Route 161 late Thursday night struck and killed another moose on the way.

The three people in the van suffered minor cuts and scrapes, though one passenger was taken to a Caribou hospital and the two firefighters walked away from their accident.

Firefighter Stephen Belanger, 53, was driving the North Lakes Fire and Rescue Department's 1979 International tanker truck to the scene when a moose ran into the roadway in front of him a mile or so from the first crash. FF Belanger tried to avoid the moose but could not and also struck and killed the animal. Belanger and his passenger, FF Ben Pelletier, 54, were not injured in the accident. The tanker sustained heavy damage to the front and had to be towed from the scene.

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August 07, 2011
Generator stolen from fire truck - TX

The Rockport Volunteer Fire Department is seeking information about a missing generator.

The 500-watt portable generator and light, which cost the department about $1,500, disappeared from a firetruck during the last week of July.

"The loss is greater than the monetary value, as the equipment is used to help the firefighters save lives," firefighter Gillian Cox said.
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times / ROCKPORT, Texas —

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August 06, 2011
Fire guts Mulberry business; 1 firefighter hurt - IN

Fire guts Mulberry business

Fire guts Mulberry business

Fire guts Mulberry business

Fire guts Mulberry business

Mike Lueken and Lenny Herr watched their business of more than 20 years burn to the ground Thursday night.

But as the structure was consumed by flames, the two men could only think about the well-being of their employees, the residents of Mulberry and dozens of firefighters who worked for hours to contain the blaze.

"We can always do something with the business at a later date," Lueken said. "We just want everyone to be safe. That's all we're worried about."

According to the Clinton County Sheriff's Office, the Madison Township Fire Department was called to All-American Awards, 116 S. Glick St. in Mulberry, about 5:56 p.m.

Fire Chief Ron Kaser said investigators were unable to enter the building as of 9 p.m. due to extreme heat and falling debris.

They believe the fire started in the rear of the structure.

Kaser said several flammable chemicals used by the business, including magnesium and acid, helped the fire grow as it made its way through the structure.

"When we first got here, we got about 10 feet inside and the heat just blew us back," he said. "Once the structure is secure and we can make sure everyone is safe, we'll go inside."

Kaser said no one was inside the building when the fire began. He said one firefighter suffered a head injury when debris from the burning building struck him.

The name of the injured firefighter was not released Thursday night.

Scott Roberts, owner of the Southfork Restaurant & Pub across the street from All-American Awards, said he called 911 when he noticed smoke coming from the building.

"I walked around the building to make sure no one was in there, and I saw some flames on the second floor," he said. "This business has been here 21 years. There was a thriving business here.

"This a loss for the whole community."

Herr and Lueken said there were about 10 to 12 people on the company payroll.

"It's going to be real tough on them," Herr said.

Shortly after the fire began, Mulberry residents began to flock to the scene. Eventually, more than 100 people lined the streets around the business.

Roberts lent a hand by offering the firefighters food and drinks from Southfork as they worked, and emergency responders also made sure everyone stayed hydrated.

Mulberry's Tyler Vance was one of many residents who used his cellphone to capture every moment.

"I got here pretty early. It was crazy," he said. "There were flames all over the place and big chunks of the building were falling. I think I called everyone I knew about it. ... The whole town knows."

Lueken said he was already home in Lafayette when he learned of the fire.

"I had three people call me on my cell phone and said, 'Mike, your building's on fire.' I said, 'It can't be. We just left.'

"The last person to leave left around 5:30 p.m. A little bit after that, Scott from the Southfork said your building was on fire, and that's really all I know.

"I couldn't even tell you what my first reaction was."
By JUSTIN L. MACK / jconline.com

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August 06, 2011
Mob Attacks Man, Firefighters After Child Hit - WI

A Milwaukee man said he thought he was going to die when a mob attacked him after he accidentally hit a 3-year-old girl with his car on Monday.

The man, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the mob also attacked firefighters who arrived at the scene to help the girl.

Firefighters put their lives on the line every day, but Milwaukee Fire Chief Doug Holton said that danger is increasingly coming from the people on the ground, not from those in the buildings. Holton said this must stop.

Holton said by the time the firefighters and paramedics arrived at the scene, the mob was already in full swing.

The man who hit the girl said he bore the brunt of the group’s anger. When he stopped to help, things turned ugly, he said. He said a woman set down the child and hit him.

The driver left his car running and took off down the street, he said, partly to save himself and partly to make sure someone called 911 for the girl.

“Firefighters pretty much saved him from being beaten,” Holton said.

The driver of the vehicle has a broken bone beneath his right eye and a number of chipped and loose teeth from the beating.

According to an incident report, the mob turned against the firefighters and paramedics, slowing them down while they tried to help the injured girl.

“We are here to help you, and we cannot do our jobs if you attack firefighters and paramedics,” Holton said.

The driver’s car was also stolen from the scene. Police found it Wednesday, but the driver said the stereo was stolen and the inside was torn apart.

The girl who was hit was listed in critical condition.

Police said the driver is not expected to face charges, adding that they also cannot arrest anyone in connection with the beating because the man is not able to identify his attackers.
Milwaukee News / WISN.com

Video:  Mob Beats Man After He Accidentally Hits Child With Car

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August 06, 2011
Fire breaks out in South Bend business - IN

The fire started in the back of the empty restaurant, said a friend of the owner.

The owner had reportedly locked up to run to the grocery store and returned to find smoke coming out the back of the building.

Firefighters were evacuated from the building twice, eventually having to fight the fire from the outside only.

The fire also spread to a connected vacant building and was threatening a third late Friday night.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital when he was overcome by the heat. The cause of the blaze is being investigated.
SouthBendTribune.com

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August 06, 2011
Firefighter suffers heat exhaustion at market fire - CA

The "Old DeSabla Market," which was reportedly constructed in the 1920s, is a total loss after a fire that was reported at about 4 a.m. today.

According the Cal Fire-Butte County Fire Department, the structure at 15305 Skyway was closed as a market some years ago but was still being used as a home.

When the first fire crews arrived, the building was already engulfed in flames.

The residents, including five adults and one infant, escaped the blaze without injury, but a firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion. The firefighter was being treated, but had not suffered life-threatening injuries, according to fire officials.

When the fire was out, only a chimney and an unused three-story water tower remained standing.

No estimate on the cash loss was available and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Flames consume the old De Sabla market after a fire broke out about 4 a.m. today.

Firefighter sprays water on the wreckage of the old De Sabla market after it was burned to the ground by a pre-dawn fire today.
The Chico Enterprise-Record / MAGALIA, Calif. —

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August 05, 2011
Fire tears through SoHo apartment building - NY

SoHo apartment building

A fast-moving fire forced residents out of their apartment building in SoHo Friday morning.

The blaze broke out around 2 a.m.in the basement of a seven-story building on Thompson Street.

The flames shot up a shaft to the roof.

Firefighters battled the fire for more than an hour.

Ten firefighters and one resident were treated for minor injuries.

The cause is under investigation.
WABC-TV/DT

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August 05, 2011
Firefighters Hurt, Residents Saved at Blaze - CT

Five firefighters suffered minor injures after battling a blaze in Bridgeport early Friday morning, according to The Connecticut Post.

Crews responded to the large, brick house at 143 Coleman Street at approximately 3:23 a.m. to find residents hanging from their windows.

Firefighters quickly set up ground ladders and rescued four of the residents, Fire Chief Richard Thode told the newspaper.

Five firefighters were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries which were mainly heat and stress-related.

A Mayday was sounded around 4 a.m. after sheet rock fell on a firefighters, hitting the alarm button on his radio. A RIT team was deployed, but no rescue was necessary and the firefighter was uninjured.

None of the residents were injured but 28 were left homeless by the fire.

"This was a very difficult fire fo fight," Thode said. "It's an old building, it's hot and humid, (the firefighters) did a phenomenal job."

The more than 100-year-old structure was heavily damaged, but officials said it was not a total loss.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Firehouse.com News

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August 05, 2011
Several injured in wreck at Scholls Ferry, Barrows roads - OR

KOIN-TV Ch. 6 filed this video report from the scene:

wreck at Scholls Ferry
Submitted photo / TVFR
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews carefully carry the driver of a wrecked minivan to a waiting Life Flight helicopter Thursday afternoon.

wreck at Scholls Ferry
The crash was so severe it knocked the engine out of the car and tossed the ambulance across the road. Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office.

wreck at Scholls Ferry
The van smashed into a Newberg Fire Department ambulance, crushing the passenger side as the ambulance was transporting a patient with a broken hip. Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The accident happened just after 2:30 p.m. along Southwest Scholls Ferry Road just west of Barrows Road in Beaverton.

Deputies from the Washington County Sheriff's Office along with officers from the Beaverton Police Department and firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to 911 calls reporting the high-speed crash.

When they arrived, firefighters found 51-year-old Beth Caulfield trapped in a minivan.

"The van had left the roadway and was in a grassy area on the south side of the road," said Sgt. David Thompson, sheriff's office spokesman. "It had sustained massive damage, to the point where the engine was ejected from the vehicle. It took firefighters at least 30 minutes to extricate Mrs. Caulfield from the minivan."

Firefighters used hydraulic tools to free Caulfield. She was taken by Life Flight to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, where she remains in critical condition.

Meanwhile, the two Newberg firefighter/paramedics and the patient in their vehicle were treated at the scene and taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

The firefighter/paramedics with the Newberg Fire Department, 39-year-old Shannon Hankel and 26-year-old Jared Wick, were released from the hospital Thursday evening.

The woman in the back of the ambulance was 90-year-old Mary Schollenberg, who was being transported for a broken hip. She did not suffer any major injuries from the crash and was treated at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

Members of the Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team were called to the scene. They closed the road for several hours during the rush-hour commute while they investigated the crash.

"The preliminary investigation showed that the ambulance was traveling east on Southwest Scholls Ferry Road approaching Southwest Barrows Road," Thompson said. "The minivan was traveling west at a high rate of speed.

"Witnesses reported that she blew through the red light at Southwest Barrows Road. Mrs. Caulfield then drifted into the eastbound lane and was on a collision course for a head-on crash with the ambulance."

Hankel reportedly saw the approaching vehicle and made a quick maneuver by steering left into the center median, avoiding the head-on collision, he added.

Caulfield's van struck the ambulance on the passenger side just behind the passenger door. The impact caused massive damage to the rear compartment of the ambulance and tore a gaping hole in the side of it.

The force of the crash pushed the ambulance across four lanes of traffic and off the side of the road. The minivan was badly damaged in the collision and came to rest on the south side of the road.

"Investigators do not know why Mrs. Caulfield was driving at such a high rate of speed," Thompson said. "They are continuing to investigate her activities prior to the crash and would like to hear from anyone who saw her this afternoon."

Investigators say alcohol was not a factor in this crash.
The Beaverton Valley Times

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August 04, 2011
Update:  Blaze That Killed Firefighter Declared Arson - NC

LODD
Asheville Fire Department
Capt. Jeff Bowen

A fire in a medical building that killed an Asheville fire captain last Thursday was deliberately set, according to investigators.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with criminal investigators from the Asheville fire and police departments and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, determined that the fire was an arson, according to a release from the ATF.

Capt. Jeffrey Bowen, a 13-year veteran of the Asheville Fire Department, succumbed to intense heat and smoke and was taken to Mission Hospital, where he later died of a cardiac arrest. Bowen, 37, is survived by a wife and three children.

More than 60 firefighters responded to the fire at Biltmore Center, located at 445 Biltmore Ave.

Another firefighter, Jay Bettencourt, was taken to Mission Hospital and then transferred to the Augusta Burn Center, where he was treated and released.

Eleven firefighters, including the captain who died, were treated at Mission Hospital, Merrell Gregory, spokeswoman for Mission Hospital, said.

The fire did more than $20 million in damage to the building.
Story by wxii12.com / ASHEVILLE, N.C. --

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August 04, 2011
Firefighters Injured in Ceiling Collapse - WA

Two firefighters from the Army's Yakima Training Center were treated for minor injuries at a local hospital after a ceiling collapsed on them while fighting a house fire late Tuesday, Selah Fire Chief Jerry Davis said.

View Photos

Both firefighters were treated at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and released back to duty Wednesday morning.

James Reddick, training center spokesman, said one firefighter suffered a minor concussion while the other had a shoulder strain.

Their names were not released.

Davis said investigators believe the fire was started by a short in wiring to a recessed ceiling light in the living room.

The fire in the two-story house on North 12th Street began about 10:30 p.m.

Davis said the fire was contained to the attic.

Firefighters had to break through the ceiling to get at the fire that is believed to have been burning for some time before crews were called.

The training center firefighters were working to open the ceiling when they were hurt.

The last units cleared the scene about 3:30 a.m. Selah firefighters were assisted on the fire from the training center, Gleed and Yakima fire departments.

Davis estimated damage to the house to be $125,000 to $150,000. The property sustained charred rafters, water damage and smoke damage.
Yakima Herald-Republic, Wash. / SELAH, Wash. --

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August 04, 2011
Two Houston Firefighters Hospitalized After Blaze - TX

Two Houston firefighters were sent to a hospital after battling a massive house fire in southwest Houston on Wednesday night.

The firefighters were two of about 80 fighting fires at two homes on Watts Street at Morningside Drive about 6:20 p.m.

Fire officials said the two firefighters got too hot in their giant protective gear while fighting the fire.

"We had a couple of firefighters that had some heat issues -- heat exhaustion. We initially didn't think we were going to have to transport, but we ended up transporting both of them. They appear to be fine, but they needed to be hydrated and got to get them into some cool air conditioning," said Deputy Chief Blake White of the Houston Fire Department.

Firefighters said they think the fire started at 2411 Watts Street and spread to the home next door. The people who live there were all home but got out and were not hurt.
BY RYAN KORSGARD - Story by click2houston.com / HOUSTON --

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August 04, 2011
Two Firefighters Treated During Brush Fire - AL

Brush Fire
AP/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.
An Athens firefighter wipes his brow as he takes a break from battling a field fire near Tanner High School in Limestone County.

Brush Fire
AP/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.
A brush truck from Athens is dwarfed by the columns of smoke rising from a field fire near Tanner High School in Limestone County.

Two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion after a brush fire scorched a wheat and bean field in Tanner Wednesday afternoon, according to The Decatur Daily.

Clements Firefighter Matthew Hayes and another firefighter were treated at the scene and are believed to be OK.

Temperatures over 100 degrees made it difficult for firefighters and other departments had to be called in.

Crews from Tanner, Clements and Athens battled the fire on Sommers Road about a half-mile north of Tanner High School that was first called in at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Officials said the fire consumed approximately 30 acres and the field was reportedly a complete loss.

Tanner Fire Chief Marty Posey told The News Courier that a cigarette butt tossed from a car was the possible cause of the blaze.
Firehouse.com News

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August 04, 2011
FIREHOUSE FIRE - TN

FIREHOUSE FIRE
11 Connects Photo

Fire heavily damaged a Johnson County, Tennessee volunteer fire department's headquarters and vehicles this morning at the Johnson County Second District Volunteer Fire Department Station #1 on Highway 421 South just outside the Mountain City line. Reports from the scene that the fire heavily damaged the building as well as three fire department vehicles. A tanker truck was a total loss, a fire department member said. The Second District Volunteer Fire Department had insurance on the vehicles, so members were confident the damaged ones will be replaced. Until repairs are complete, the department will continue functioning by using another building with apparatus and fire vehicles on Cold Springs Road in Johnson County.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 04, 2011
ROOF COLLAPSES AT WARSAW - KY

A fire station suffered major damage Wednesday afternoon when its roof collapsed.

Firefighters said they heard a loud thud at about 1:30 p.m. at the Warsaw Fire Department, and portions of the roof caved in.

Fire crews said the collapse was likely due to standing water on the roof left by heavy storms during the morning.

The collapse ruined three garage doors that were newly installed at about $10,000 each.

"We're proud of our doors. We just got those. They're all brand new.

They just refurnished. All this was all changed; the front was all redone," Fire Chief Barry Alexander said.

The turntable of a ladder truck was also damaged, but no cost estimate has been made. The fire chief said he's worried the ladder may not be functional.

"I'm sure my insurance man is not a very happy person," Alexander said.

No injuries were reported in the collapse, and firefighters said their efforts were not affected on any fire calls during the day.

Alexander said the ladder truck will be inspected Thursday to make sure it still works.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 04, 2011
Car hits fire truck responding to call - NJ

One person was injured Wednesday in an accident involving a vehicle and a village firetruck traveling along Paramus Road on the way to an emergency call.

"The firetruck was being followed by a police car traveling south on Paramus Road with lights and sirens going," said Ridgewood Police Chief John Ward. "All traffic had come to a halt.

The firetruck and police car had slowed at the intersection with lights and sirens on."

A car traveling west on Linwood Avenue did have the green light and hit the firetruck, Ward said. The firetruck was en route to another emergency call, Ward said.

After impact at the intersection, the car spun around and ended up facing east on Linwood Avenue, hitting another vehicle, Ward said.

The driver of the vehicle was taken to The Valley Hospital for treatment, Ward said.

There is minimal damage to the bumper and chrome around the lights of the fire engine, said Ridgewood Fire Chief James Van Goor.
By Evonne Coutros / Herald News

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August 04, 2011
Arson investigator's car set on fire - MI

A Prentiss Township man was arrested early Wednesday after the car of a state fire marshal investigating arson fires in the area was set ablaze, authorities said.

John Weckerly, 53, who lives about a half mile from the fire scene, was charged with arson, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

He said the fire destroyed the state-owned 2009 Chevrolet Impala of Fire Marshal Sgt. Timothy York, who had parked the car Tuesday night off Aurora Road while he and two other state fire officialsconducted a follow-up investigation into arson fires that had been set in the area since late last year.

"When York returned to his car about 12:30 a.m., he found it had been set ablaze by a flammable liquid," McCausland said in a press release. "The vehicle was destroyed, along with a number of personal items of York's inside the car."

In a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon, York said he had parked the car at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and it was on fire when he returned.

"I called the Fire Department, called for help and stood there and watched it burn," he said. "What are you going to do? It was burning and I didn't have any way to put it out."

A team of fire investigators, game wardens, Penobscot County sheriff's deputies and Maine State Police troopers went to the fire scene, McCausland said. A state police dog followed a scent that led to Weckerly's property, he said.

Weckerly was arrested at his home about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and taken to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.

York and the two other officials from the State Fire Marshal's Office, Ed Archer and Scott Richardson, were in Prentiss conducting an investigation into three arsons that had occurred in the area over the past 10 months, McCausland said.

"The prior fires that brought investigators to the town last night damaged a garage and a seasonal camp," McCausland said Wednesday.

The garage was set on fire last November and again on July 3, and the camp fire, which destroyed the structure, was reported on July 20.

"The investigation into those fires continues," McCausland said.

He declined to say whether Weckerly was a suspect in those arsons.

The garage at a camp on Aurora Drive, a dirt road in a deeply rural location off Tar Ridge Road, was damaged on Nov. 16. The garage door and its door frame were partly burned with the use of an incendiary, according to a letter written by York to the camp's owner, Christopher Jones, 61, of Newton, N.J., dated Aug. 1.

State police were in the vicinity of Jones' cabin investigating reports of graffiti, broken windows and lug nuts stolen from trucks on his and other owners' property shortly before the November fire occurred, Jones said.

Jones and other landowners in the area interviewed Wednesday said that Weckerly was somewhat eccentric. Known around the area as "moped man" because he drove one, Weckerly was a loner often seenmuttering to himself, neighbors said.

Jones said he suspected that the fire which damaged the garage at his camp was set by several people.

Jones said he hasn't visited the camp in several years, having bought it before the year 2000 in preparation for the Y2K problem, or the Millennium bug, the suspected collapse of computers worldwide due to a programming malfunction in date-related computer processing.

He said his cabin has no insurance.

Weckerly was arrested in 2007 for disposing of lighted material, but the charges against him later were dismissed, according to court listings printed in the Bangor Daily News.

"We believe it's the first time that a vehicle belonging to the office was set on fire," York said of Tuesday night's arson.

Firefighters from Kingman Fire Department extinguished the car fire.

Prentiss is a small, remote community in Penobscot County located about 15 miles northeast of Lincoln and Chester off Interstate 95.
By Nok-Noi Ricker and Nick Sambides / Bangor Daily News

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August 04, 2011
Fourth-alarm at Boro Park, Brooklyn garage. Firefighter hurt in fall on roof. - NY

Fort Hamilton Parkway in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn. The photographer pulls up in the early stages of the fire inside a commercial garage. Watch closely at the bottom left of the screen at 2:50 in the video when a firefighter trying to get onto the roof loses his footing and takes a tumble. One firefighter was transported with a broken ankle. News reports indicate a dozen firefighters were hurt.
SATter911.com

Watch the video on youtube

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August 04, 2011
Update:  Fire chief crashes truck avoids more costly damage - MI

A $3,000 price tag for repairs to a firetruck, wrecker service and insurance deductible could have been much heftier had the town's fire chief not swerved the runaway emergency vehicle into a wall three weeks ago, officials said.

Fire Chief Chuck Bean was driving the town's 1975 Chevrolet pumper truck up the slope on School Street when the accident happened.

Bean said Tuesday that he stopped the truck before trying to shift it in reverse to back it into the fire station. That's when the master cylinder gave out, disabling the brakes. The truck, loadedwith 750 gallons of water, started rolling down the hill and building momentum.

At this point, Bean said, the truck was heading toward the fire department building, another firetruck and several other vehicles in the parking lot.

"I just tried to avoid anything, that was all I could do," Bean said. "I could have hit a few vehicles and a building we just put an addition onto."

The truck came to rest after hitting a 3-foot "retaining wall" that divides the town office entrance from the fire department entrance, Bean said. The back of the truck was hanging over the wall, so a wrecker had to be called from Newport to pull the truck onto all four wheels. That cost about $800, according to Bean.

The impact ripped off the truck's exhaust pipe and dented the body. That plus the other mechanical repairs totaled a little more than $2,000, according to Bean.

"It was an unfortunate, weird accident," said town Selectman Brent Randall. "Fortunately, Chief Bean turned the truck away from the building, avoiding a lot of major damage."

Selectmen held a special meeting Tuesday to inspect the truck, accident scene and talk to Bean about the crash. They weren't aware of the accident until they saw the damage appraisal this week.

"We got word of it a little later than we should have," Randall said.

After looking at the truck, Randall said, "the damage is minimal. Unless they pointed it out to you, you wouldn't even notice it."

The truck's master cylinder and exhaust pipe have been replaced; now "it just needs a little body work," Randall said.
NICK MCCREA BDN STAFF / Bangor Daily News (Maine)

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August 04, 2011
Firefighter treated for heat exhaustion - IL

A Springfield firefighter had to be treated for heat exhaustion at a garage fire at 2927 Woodward St. Tuesday.

Medical crews treated the firefighter on scene, Springfield Fire Chief Ken Fustin said.

The back wall of the garage caught on fire because someone was burning garbage too close to the garage, Fustin said.

Crews arrived at the property about 4:45 p.m. and extinguished the fire within 15 minutes, he said.

Total damage to the property and contents was estimated at $5,000.
Staff Reports / The State Journal- Register (Springfield, IL)

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August 03, 2011
FIRE APPARATUS CRASH - OH

CRASH
Carrie Cochran Photo

Cincinnati Engine 32 went left of center just before 0900 this morning and struck an electric pole, along with three other vehicles. A fire spokesman confirmed one firefighter was injured. The firefighter’s name has not been released, although officials said injuries were not life-threatening. Everyone on the fire truck was being checked for injuries, as required by protocol. The truck sustained substantial damage, officials said. It was unclear whether the morning’s stormy weather was a factor in the accident.
firefighterclosecalls.com

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August 03, 2011
Wildfire Sends Three Firefighters To Hospital - OK

A wildfire in southwest Oklahoma City Monday afternoon destroyed a barn and some outbuildings and sent three firefighters to the hospital, authorities said. No homes were lost, but many were threatened in the fire that started near SW 119 and Mustang Road about 2:15 p.m., Oklahoma City fire Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland said.

Firefighters disbanded a command post about 6 a.m. Tuesday after monitoring hot spots and flare-ups overnight. Just 30 minutes later, reports that fire had rekindled were received and crews returned to the 11200 block of S Mustang Road only to find it was dust in the air kicked up by work crews moving debris and trees. Firefighters then left the scene.

Eighty acres burned in the intense firefight that lasted about five hours and spread down to SW 104 and about half a mile on the east and west sides of Mustang Road, Stanaland said. About 40 Oklahoma City firefighters were on the scene as well as crews from nine other departments, he said.

Two Oklahoma City firefighters were taken to hospitals for heat exhaustion, and a third suffered second-degree burns on his hands, Stanaland said.

Some people were evacuated from their homes during the fire, and others weren't allowed home while the blaze was being extinguished, but a precise number wasn't available.

Fire crews had the fire contained by about 6 p.m. but were expected to remain at the scene through the night to hose down any flare-ups and hot spots.

An Army National Guard helicopter conducted water drops, and the Oklahoma City police helicopter also assisted the fire department.

"What we do is put one of our chief officers up in a helicopter, and they're able to do reconnaissance from the air. They're getting a big picture view," Stanaland said.

The high temperatures forced firefighters to take frequent breaks and be evaluated by medical personnel.

"We actually have wildland firefighting gear that's a little bit lighter weight, but it's still not comfortable at all. It's made of a material that's not very breathable, so it's very, very hot in that type of gear," Stanaland said.

Fire paramedics conduct medical screenings of crews and make sure that they have plenty of water to drink

"Even the day before they come on duty, we're getting them to hydrate the day before. If we see they have any signs of heat illness, we evaluate them immediately and transport them to the hospital if necessary," he said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

"Our situation as far as lack of rain is getting worse in the metro. Everything burns so readily because that heat pulls the moisture out of everything," Stanaland said.

"Low humidity, high heat pulling the moisture out of any vegetation, and we did have some gusty winds. You add all those ingredients together and any little spark is going to travel fast," he said.
Written by The Daily Oklahoman

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August 03, 2011
Firefighter suffers severed fingertip at fire - CA

A Pasadena firefighter had the tip of a finger severed after battling a fire Monday, authorities said.

Officials responded to reports just before 8 p.m. of a fire in a converted garage in the 900 block of S. Madison Ave., Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.

Firefighters made quick work of the blaze, which caused an estimated $11,000 worth of damage to the structure and its contents, Derderian said.

The cause was believed to be electrical in nature, officials added.

While placing a ladder back on a fire truck once the flames were out, officials said, a firefighter pinched his finger between the ladder and a ladder bracket, severing the tip.

The firefighter was treated at a hospital and released in stable condition, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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August 03, 2011
Fire truck malfunction leads to crash - ME

A $3,000 price tag for repairs to a firetruck, wrecker service and insurance deductible could have been much heftier had the town's fire chief not swerved the runaway emergency vehicle into a wall three weeks ago, officials said.

Fire Chief Chuck Bean was driving the town's 1975 Chevrolet pumper truck up the slope on School Street when the accident happened.

Bean said Tuesday that he stopped the truck before trying to shift it in reverse to back it into the fire station. That's when the master cylinder gave out, disabling the brakes. The truck, loadedwith 750 gallons of water, started rolling down the hill and building momentum.

At this point, Bean said, the truck was heading toward the fire department building, another firetruck and several other vehicles in the parking lot.

"I just tried to avoid anything, that was all I could do," Bean said. "I could have hit a few vehicles and a building we just put an addition onto."

The truck came to rest after hitting a 3-foot "retaining wall" that divides the town office entrance from the fire department entrance, Bean said. The back of the truck was hanging over the wall, so a wrecker had to be called from Newport to pull the truck onto all four wheels. That cost about $800, according to Bean.

The impact ripped off the truck's exhaust pipe and dented the body. That plus the other mechanical repairs totaled a little more than $2,000, according to Bean.

"It was an unfortunate, weird accident," said town Selectman Brent Randall. "Fortunately, Chief Bean turned the truck away from the building, avoiding a lot of major damage."

Selectmen held a special meeting Tuesday to inspect the truck, accident scene and talk to Bean about the crash. They weren't aware of the accident until they saw the damage appraisal this week.

"We got word of it a little later than we should have," Randall said.

After looking at the truck, Randall said, "the damage is minimal. Unless they pointed it out to you, you wouldn't even notice it."

The truck's master cylinder and exhaust pipe have been replaced; now "it just needs a little body work," Randall said.
By Nick McCrea / The Bangor Daily News

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August 03, 2011
Responders among 6 treated after chemical death - CO

A hazardous materials team was on the scene at a north Colorado Springs apartment complex where a body was discovered Monday afternoon.

Six people at the scene — a paramedic, two ambulance workers, a police officers and two people from the apartment complex — were sent to a hospital as a precautionary measure after possible exposure to cyanide.

The presence of the chemical also slowed the police investigation into how the person died because detective must wear hazardous material suits to enter the unit.

The chemical was found in a bottle that indicated it was sodium cyancide, and the team on scene treated it as such, according to Colorado Springs Fire Department spokeswoman Sunny Smaldino.

As of Tuesday morning, Smaldino said that the chemical had yet to be officially identified as cyanide.

No other apartments were evacuated.

Police are calling it a "suspicious death" but no other details have been released.

The body was found about 3:45 p.m. Monday in the Fillmore Ridge Apartments near Fillmore and Chestnut streets.
By Maria St. Louis-Sanchez / The Gazette

Hazmat Risk for First Responders  A link to our additional information and training on Chemical Suicides

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August 02, 2011
A Great Idea
Old Dump Truck to Protect Crash Scenes - MI

The Grand Rapids Fire Department has acquired an old city-owned dump truck to help protect emergency crews and motorists at crash scenes, according to WOOD-TV.

Fire officials say that whenever there is a collision on the S-curve section of the highway, the fire truck given the task of blocking the lane ahead of the crash is often hit by motorists.

Utility 2 was given a fresh coat of red paint, flashing emergency lights, a siren and pulls a large shock absorber on wheels.

It also includes reflective chevron strips on the back, plus a lighted road arrow sign typically seen on road commission trucks.

Almost everything the truck came from the spare parts pile and the Kent Road Commission provided the traffic arrow. The items that did cost money were covered by a private, $15,000 insurance industry grant.

"This is basically a dump truck that the water department turned in (that) was going to be sold at auction but we scarfed it up," Deputy Chief of Operations Gerard Salatka told the news station.

Back in November, a tractor-trailer jack-knifed into Ladder 3 while it was blocking traffic at the scene of a crash on US 131.

Officials said that incident, along with two other similar incidents that occurred in 2010, has cost the department over $150,000 in damages.
Firehouse.com News

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August 02, 2011
Medical helicopter responding to wreck hits power lines in Polk County - TN

A medical evacuation helicopter on its way to Erlanger hospital from Polk County was forced to land after its rotor hit electrical wires Monday night, according to hospital officials.

The Air Evac helicopter was called by Polk County dispatchers to a motor vehicle accident on Maggie Mill Road about 7:30 p.m.

It was lifting off with one of three seriously injured patients when it hit the wires and was forced down, according to Erlanger spokeswoman Pat Charles.

No one onboard including the patient was injured when the helicopter went down, Charles said.

They wre not calling it a crash,” Charles clarified. The helicopter was just disabled.

At that point, Erlanger sent Life Force 1 from Chattanooga and Life Force 2 from North Georgia to assist.

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville also dispatched a medical helicopter, Charles said.

All three patients were taken immediately to Erlanger.

At 10 p.m., the three patients were listed in stable condition, according to Erlanger.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is handling the follow-up investigation.

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August 02, 2011
Ambulance in Head-On Crash - OR

Head-On Crash

A head-on collision between a van and an ambulance on U.S. 101 north of Seaside sent six to the hospital, several with serious injuries.

An ambulance was headed south with a paramedic tending a patient in the back around 3:15 a.m. when an oncoming van crossed the centerline. Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Dom Dyer said that the ambulance driver Timothy E. Lewis, 40, of Warrenton, tried to avoid the van by steering to the right, but the vehicles collided nearly head-on.

Dyer said the driver the van, Erika Esperanza Vazquez Montiel, 34, and passenger Alejandra Palacios, 17, both of Seaside were seriously injured. A five year old girl was in a child safety seat in the left rear seat and had minor injuries. They were transferred to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.

The ambulance driver had minor injuries and the 72-year-old woman passenger was not injured. They were taken to a local hospital. The paramedic, Robin Scholtz, 38, of Warrenton, received non-life threatening injuries and was also transferred to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center,

Fatigue on the part of the van driver is being investigated as a contributing factor in the crash.

OSP had no troopers on duty at the time of the crash and were called out to investigate. Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, Seaside Police Department, Seaside Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation helped. The highway was blocked about 90 minutes.

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August 01, 2011
Nine Firefighters Injured in Apartment Blaze - PA

Nine firefighters and four residents were injured Sunday morning in a fire in an apartment house in Reading, fire officials said.

The fire started about 10 a.m. on the second floor of the building at 245 S. 10th St. and quickly spread to the second floor of the adjoining apartment building at 243 S. 10th, Deputy Fire Chief Ron E. Wentzel Jr. said.

A total of 16 residents were displaced, officials said.

Four third-floor residents of the building at 245 S. 10th were taken by ambulance to Reading Hospital, where they were treated for smoke inhalation, Wentzel said.

At least one of the victims is an infant, he said.

Wentzel did not know the victims' names or ages. Information on their conditions could not be obtained.

"I have been told it was nothing life-threatening," Wentzel said.

Eight firefighters were treated at the scene for heat exhaustion, and one firefighter was treated for burns to his hands and wrists, Wentzel said.

"He's fine," Wentzel said of the firefighter, whose name he did not release. "Back on the job."

Both buildings are uninhabitable, Wentzel said.

The Berks County Chapter, American Red Cross, was assisting nine of the displaced residents with food, clothing and housing, said Lori Lowery, planning coordinator for the Red Cross.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. A damage estimate had not been set.

City firefighters were stretched thin during the apartment house fire when a call came in for a small electrical fire at Trinity Lutheran Church at Sixth and Washington streets.

Second Deputy Chief William Stoudt said the fire was minor. The church was evacuated and power was shut off to the building until a Met-Ed crew arrived.

Every piece of fire apparatus in the city and every firefighter were tied up at both scenes, Wentzel said. Off-duty firefighters were called in along with several other county fire departments.

Firefighters needed about an hour to control the South 10th Street fire.
BY KATE WILCOX - Reading Eagle, Pa.

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August 01, 2011
Seven Firefighters Hurt in Fatal Four-Alarm Blaze - NJ

An elderly woman was killed and seven Jersey City firefighters were injured in a four-alarm house fire early Sunday morning, according to The Jersey Journal.

Crews responded to the call 153 Glenwood Avenue shortly after 5 a.m. for a fire at the two-story home that spread to three other buildings.

Firefighters found 81-year-old Elsa Ewida inside near the front door, but attempts to revive her were unsuccessful, Fire Director Armando Roman told the newspaper.

Seven firefighters sustained minor injuries while battling the blaze and were transported to Jersey City Medical center where they were treated and released.

The blaze displaced several families in the neighboring homes that were affected.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Firehouse.com News

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August 01, 2011
City Recovers From Fires - MA

A firefighter who was injured during a blaze Saturday was back to work yesterday. Sean Sullivan fell and injured his wrist fighting a fire at 49 Exchange St. Deputy Fire Chief John Marsh said children admitted to lighting matches near the rear exterior of the three-story building causing the fire. The children who admitted to fire investigators they were playing with matches will be referred to the Juvenile Firestarter program, Marsh said.

The building only sustained exterior damage and residents were not displaced because of the fire.

"It wasn't anything of great damage," Marsh said.

It was a different story for seven people who were left homeless after a fire on Friday at 46 Washington St.

Marsh was on duty on Friday when the call came in for a dryer fire on the second floor of the two-family home.

He said efforts by firefighters were complicated by overhead power lines.

Zoila Ramos, who lives on the second floor apartment was doing laundry when the power to the dryer went out. She went to the basement to flip the circuit breaker and when she returned upstairs to finish the laundry, noticed the fire had started behind the dryer.

Ramos was taken to Holy Family Hospital for smoke inhalation and released.

Marsh estimates the house suffered about $200,000 in damage.

"The fire burnt through the roof, which has to be repaired," he said. "The first floor had a good amount of water damage."

Marsh said the house is uninhabitable because the wiring is exposed in the room where the fire started and the water was cut off through the building.

"It wasn't malicious or intentional. The cause was accidental," Marsh said. "We're not sure if it was the dryer or the wiring."
Written by The Eagle-Tribune

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August 01, 2011
2 firefighters overcome by heat at vacant house fire - PA

ARNOLD, Pa. — Two Arnold firefighters were taken to the hospital suffering heat exhaustion after batting a smoky fire on Saturday afternoon at a vacant Fourth Avenue house.

Both firefighters were expected to be treated and released from Allegheny Valley Hospital, Arnold Fire Chief J.C. Tedorski said.

Many firefighters were treated at the scene for heat-related issues, as the temperature reached the mid-80s.

The electric was connected to the house and the state police fire marshal was called to investigate and determine the cause of the fire, Tedorski said.

The two-story house, at 1422 Fourth Ave., sits about 20 feet back from the street. It was destroyed by the fire, Tedorski said.

The fire call came in around 2:45 p.m. Saturday, and it took crews about an hour and 40 minutes to extinguish it.

"I arrived probably 15 seconds after we got the call," Tedorski said. "I was a block away and saw the smoke before we got the call. It was fully involved when I got here."

Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames and searched the building to make sure there was no one inside.

"Our major obstacle today was the heat," he said.

Fire crews from Arnold, Lower Burrell, New Kensington No. 1 and No. 2, Frazer and Lower Kiski EMS responded.
By Rossilynne Skena / The Pittsburgh Tribune Review

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August 01, 2011
Firefighter injured at house fire - ND

BISMARCK, N.D. — A lightning strike to a rural north Bismarck home early Saturday morning appears to have caused a blaze that destroyed it six hours later, according to the Bismarck Rural Fire Department.

A firefighter suffered minor burns to the back of his neck, but was treated by paramedics at the scene. The homeowners safely left the home on their own.

At around 8 a.m. Saturday, firefighters were called to Marv and Diane Alveshere's home at 9903 Kerry Lane.

Marv Alveshere told firefighters his home was struck by lightning around 2 a.m. and he got up and walked around the home to examine it for any damage.

"He didn't see any problems other than a scorch mark on the roof," said firefighter Brandon Fitterer.

A neighbor reported he smelled something around 6:30 a.m., but also saw no fire, Fitterer said.

The family reportedly went back to bed.

Fitterer said Marv Alveshere opened some curtains around 8 a.m. and determined part of the home was on fire. The residents evacuated on their own without injury.

The family called 911 and firefighters responded.

Fitterer said the blaze was already active on the south side of the home when they arrived. Firefighters contained the blaze about a half hour later. They remained on the scene for nearly five hours.

"The firetrucks came. They did what they could and this is what is left," said Marv Alveshere, pointing to the hollowed-out roof on Saturday.

Firefighters believe the fire spread through the attic ovenight, Fitterer said.

The home is believed to be a total loss.
By Leann Eckroth / The Bismarck Tribune

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