A FIRE THAT STARTED IN A STORAGE TANK at a lubricant and fuel distributor site on Thursday in Brazil, then spread to five more tanks and a few nearby homes before it was contained by the overwhelmed local fire department.
One person died and seven others were injured when a huge fire destroyed at least six large fuel storage tanks outside Rio de Janeiro, local government sources said.
The fire broke out in the storage area of fuel and lubricant distributor Petrogold in Duque de Caxias, a municipality in the Rio metropolitan area, and it took firefighters four hours to bring it under control.
The Duque de Caxias city hall confirmed the death of one of the storage center's workers and the fact that seven others had been admitted to Adao Pereira Nunes Hospital.
The intense heat generated by the multiple tanks ablaze forced the firefighters to retreat several hundred feet back, so they concentrated their efforts on containment by spraying exposed buildings and rooftops to prevent spread.
Canale 25 has some good early video of the spreading fire:
The victim was a 43 year-old man who worked at the site, owned by Petrogold fuel distributors. He was rushed to the hospital with 90% of his body burned but died soon after, local media reported.
The fire broke out just after 11:00, and about an hour later spread to the nearby homes.
Fire-fighters cleared out a four-block radius around the fuel depot, located in Duque de Caxias on the northern edge of metropolitan Rio. There were homes and a school within the evacuated area, said deputy Civil Defense secretary Jerry Pires.
Duque de Caxias Mayor Alexandre Cardoso ordered an investigation. "It is unacceptable to locate a time bomb in places were people live and study," Cardoso said.
According to officials with the state of Rio de Janeiro, Petrogold had no environmental license to operate, and had already been raided by federal police. The site was operating only because its case was being appealed in court.
ExtraWorldNews posted some good, raw aerial footage of the fire:
THE SMALL CITY OF JEROME, IDAHO (pop. 11,000), has refined a novel idea on how to balance the budget. Whenever they have what is deemed an "extraordinary" fire, then they'll just require the hapless victim to pay for all the expense of responding to it.
Last month an accidental fire that started in an upstairs apartment spread through a large building downtown and got into two others. The fire, which as been claimed to be the largest in the town's history, caused about $2 million in damage and displaced a dozen families and a few businesses. Hardest hit was the owner of the property, Sylvia Moore who told KTVB-TV that she's had the property for 15 years, buying it as an investment property. She had an antique and second-hand store in the building.
"It was perfect for what I wanted. I could live there, have my store, have an income, and have my retirement all in one package," Moore said.
And then it got exponentially worse earlier this week when she received a bill from the City of Jerome for nearly $100,000 for all the city services that were expended during the fire. KTVB continues:
"I have to say this shocks me as much as the fire," Moore said. "Everything's gone… And now? And now a $100,000 bill for a fire I had nothing to do with. I don't think I need to be penalized for that. I didn't start a fire."
Moore gave KTVB a copy of her bill that includes three pages of Itemized costs including paying firefighters, police, equipment costs, and food during the several-day response.
"If that's happening to me, is it going to happen to other people in Jerome? You think you've got a fire department that's paid with your tax money… I don't know what to think. Really I don't," Moore said.
The itemized bill includes everything they could think of including street cleaning, police traffic control, food for workers, salaries for everybody including more than $3,000 for the fire chief. Even erosion from the water runoff was calculated and billed.
Fire Chief Jack Krill tries to explain:
"We billed at what the employee rates were for city employees as what the true cost of their hourly costs were plus the standard bills for these types of equipment, either the Idaho Department of Lands rate schedule, or FEMA rates schedule," Krill said. "The city of Jerome taxpayers put forth a lot of the efforts to extinguish this fire, and we want to try and recover that taxpayer money the best we can."
In addition to Jerome Fire Department expenses, Krill explains other agencies helped and need to recover costs and the public works department was also involved, adding even more to the fire's total bill.
"We did damage to the equipment, there was some damage to the city sidewalk and city street. That light pole that was out there plus the water runoff, the erosion, all cost the city money to repair and replace," Krill said.
Be sure to view KTVB-TV's eye-opening video report:
Krill says this is the practice only for extraordiary fires and gave as an example their billing for a tractor-trailer fire on the highway last year.
GARY CHAPMAN IS NOW THE FORMER Fire Chief of the Blackhawk Fire Protection District in Milan, Illinois. He stepped down from office after admitting to the police that he had deliberately called in a false alarm in order to muster a troop to help clean out a building that the FD was going to use for a haunted house.
WQAD-TV Ch. 8 reported:
It happened at 5:30 p.m. on May 6th. An audio tape reveals that before the brush fire call went out for all volunteer firefighters to report for duty, Chief Chapman alerted a Milan dispatcher that the call would not be for a real fire, but an attempt to get some manpower out to the site at 1220 W. 2nd Avenue.
The tape shows that shortly after the call went out, the frustrated dispatcher received two calls from an ambulance driver and a fireman, wondering about the fire and where they should go.
Police launched an investigation into the false fire alarm, under the disorderly conduct statute.
Buildings and Lumber Piles Occupy 200+ Firefighters
A FIRE LATE TUESDAY NIGHT destroyed a major portion of a sawmill and lumber yard in Fulda (Hersfeld-Rotenburg), Germany. Shortly after the fire brigades arrived on the scene and had set up operations, a flashover occurred in the main building that set the entire structure alight and sent out a heat wave that scorched an aerial truck positioned close to the building.
The truck was "greatly damaged" and the engineer was transported to the hospital as a precaution. About 220 firefighters of the fire brigades from Rotenburg, Alheim, Bad Hersfeld, Bebra and Melsungen were on the scene for several hours combatting the blaze.
Several company vehicles were also destroyed and the firefighters were kept back from the fire for a while as several compressed gas cylinders periodically exploded in the flames.
The saw shop, which contained many machines, was completely destroyed by the fire. There were also logs waiting to be processed into lumber. Also wood chips produced in the hall. The adjacent carpentry shop was spared by the flames. The fire spread to a nearby warehouse, but it was not completely destroyed like the saw shop. According to the police the damage is over two million euros.
The investigation into the fire began this morning, but there were no early indications of what caused the fire.
HNA News posted this video report:
HNA News has the story and additional photos HERE. Osthessen News has more details and an extensive photo gallery HERE. Hessen News has an 80-image photo gallery HERE.
THE FIRE CHIEF OF KATY (Texas) FIRE DEPARTMENT Marc Jordan, 58, was indicted yesterday (Tuesday) by a Harris County Grand Jury on felony charges of diversion of a controlled substance and tampering with a government record.
This results from an investigation triggered by anonymous tips and conducted by several law enforcement agencis. Specifically, Jordan is accused of stealing several vials of valium from a department ambulance and injecting them in his cousin's ex-wife to alleviate a severe back pain before her surgery. In an attempt to cover up the crime, he fabricated a memo describing an accidental destruction of the vials.
Sara Marie Kinney with the Harris County DA's office says the incident reportedly happened in January.
"We received at the DA's office, and some other law enforcement agencies received anonymous tips from several sources. And the tampering charge comes from his cover-up into how those were taken. It's a very well-documented process for any type of controlled substance to be taken out of an ambulance."
Jordan became the director of Katy's emergency medical services in 2002. He became fire chief in 2005.
When the DEA began looking into the missing drugs, Jordan prepared a bogus memo that read: "On January 11, 2013, I inadvertently dropped a box of Diazapam(sic). In an effort to catch the box I jammed [it] between my leg and the refrigerator stand breaking the…cartridges. I disposed of the broken cartridges in the sharps container on the lead medic unit."
KTRK-TV filed this video report:
Jordan has been suspended and Assistant Chief Warner Preston has been named acting fire chief to fulfill the functions of the office during the interim.
A NEW CASTLE, DELAWARE, NEIGHBORHOOD was getting ready for a special trash pickup Tuesday with folks setting out those larger items that don't fit, etc. for the trash man. One lady carried out an old ammunition box that had belonged to her late husband and set it in the pile, too.
A neighbor from across the street asked if he could have the box. After getting her permission he took it across the street and placed it on a pickup truck tailgate. As he opened the box a mortar shell went off, covering him in shrapnel.
The ammo box still rests on the tailgate
following the explosion. (News Journal photo)
The man is in critical but stable condition at Christiana Hospital.
Explosive experts from Dover Air Force Base have been called to help after officials believe they found more explosives. Nearby homes were being evacuated shortly after noon.
"Because they think it has to do with military ordnance they are bringing up Dover Air Force Base," said Michael G. Chionchio, assistant state fire marshal. "So we are at a stand down now waiting for Dover Air Force Base to assist [New Castle] County EOD."
Chionchio said a robot found two more items. "One definitely looks like a mortar round and one they’re not sure at the moment," Chionchio said.
Initially a 2-block area was evacuated as a precaution while the explosives team conducted its search.
UPDATE, 10:30 pm Central: Body of missing firefighter recovered. Scroll down.
DALLAS, TEXAS, FIREFIGHTERS ARE still working a 6-alarm apartment fire this morning that has taken out an entire building of at least 24 units. The fire was dispatched at 3 am Central and was steadily upgraded as the fast-moving fire was aided by high winds.
Around 5:30 am a radio message from a firefighter was brief as he called "I'm trapped…" but was unable to give his location. The fire is largely knocked down at this hour, but there is an all hands effort to try and locate the missing firefighter. Not knowing which part of the building he is in magnifies the problem.
The intense organized search began while the building was still burning (WFAA-TV)
The regional USAR team has been brought in to stabilize the still-burning building so that the search teams will be better protected and able to reach more area.
Update, 10:30 pm Central:
The body of the missing firefighter was recovered from the debris just after 9 am Central time. The victim's identity has not yet been released publicly. As he was carried out of the fire building draped with an American flag, the firefighters gathered to pray and then salute as he was brought by.
WFAA-TV posted this video from the scene as he was transported to the coroner's office:
You can file this one under the "Just when you think you've seen it all" file. Of course, you all know that nobody's come close to seeing it all, but this one is more like a never-even-heard-of call. It's now known as The Shiny Dog Bowl Fire.
KPIX-TV in San Francisco reported this story from nearby Santa Rosa:
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Somehow I missed the memo about a new type of home smoke detector that is powered by a permanent battery. Have you heard about this? I learned about it from a press release that was sent out by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation late last week and I copy it here:
Your relationship with your smoke alarm is changing and there’s important information everyone needs to know. Maryland is the most recent state to require that battery-only operated smoke alarms be equipped with sealed-in, 10-year lithium batteries. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2013.
Maryland’s new law is part of a nation-wide trend to ensure new and replacement smoke alarms have this new technology. It is anticipated that smoke alarms with long-life batteries will have a significant impact on reducing the number of residential fire fatalities, which stands at approximately 2,600 people annually.
Currently, two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in residences with no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm, primarily due to dead or missing batteries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Smoke alarms with sealed-in 10-year batteries are tamperproof and eliminate the need to replace the battery – something many homeowners fail to do.
The Kidde 0910 Model
Recognizing the difference it can make, one Maryland fire department is providing the new smoke alarms to its entire community. Capitol Heights Fire Station 805 of the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department is using a federal grant to install 10-year smoke alarms to all residents within their primary response area. Firefighters from the station will begin visiting homes within the area on May 20, 2013 to install the alarms.
"This unique effort by the firefighters in Capitol Heights will help keep the community and our firefighters safe," said Chief Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. "Through the Foundation’s Be A Hero, Save A Hero℠ program we work with fire departments and our partners to educate the public about fire prevention and fire safety. Fewer firefighters need to be in harm’s way when residents have already evacuated a burning home."
The NFFF and Kidde have partnered through the Be A Hero, Save A Hero℠ program to provide 10-year smoke alarms to other communities and to educate consumers about the alarms. To learn more and to take the Be A Hero, Save A Hero℠ pledge, go to www.alarmpledge.com. Similarly, The United States Fire Administration encourages the public to become more active in fire prevention and safety through its "Fire is Everyone's Fight™" program.
Kidde Fire Safety (Kidde) is the leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, including the 10-year sealed lithium battery operated smoke alarm. "Alarms with sealed-in long-life batteries are always on, ready to provide warning in the event of a fire," said Neal Zipser, community affairs manager of Kidde. "On average, you only have three minutes to escape a fire, so these alarms offer families the chance to escape quickly and safely. By being able to escape, the risks firefighters face will also be reduced as they will work on controlling the fire rather than extracting residents."
I'm wondering how long it will take the Darwin Award Candidates to figure out how to get inside the thing before they find out that this new battery won't power their X-Box. I do know that I need to get to the DIY store and check into these things. I like the idea… ten years. That's longer than the current normal lifespan for a home detector anyway.
Depending on where you buy them, the price ranges between $18 and $20. That's a bargain when you factor in the replacement costs of new batteries every year. In fact, that makes them almost free. I like free!
We'd better get started on the equipment check now before our own current starts to trickle down. I'll recharge the Bunn-O-Matic before we get back to the day room in a little while.
Willoughby Fire Chief Al Zwegat said his department received multiple 911 calls at 9:42 p.m. and when crews arrived on scene four minutes later, about 60 percent of the original building on the DeMilta Salvage property was engulfed in flames.
Fire departments from across Lake County were called to assist at the scene. Crews came from as far away as from the Perry Joint Fire District because the blaze required intense manpower to help lay down fire hoses, Zwegat said.
Zwegat said about 80 percent of the building had burned to the ground as of about 11 p.m. and fire crews expected to be on scene throughout the night and through most of the day Sunday.
The property has been largely vacant for close to ten years, save some storage area used by a local landscaping firm.
The News-Herald filed some raw video taken at the scene:
A 23-YR.-OLD PHOENIX, Arizona, firefighter with but two years on the job was killed Saturday night at an outside fire shortly after 6 pm local.
Bradley Harper, a member of Engine 21, was at the scene of a large mulch fire when he was caught and pinned between an ambulance and an engine that were repositioning (seen in the photo above). He was taken to the hospital in what the police spokesman called a gravely injured condition.
It was later reported that he passed away at 1 am local time, succumbing to his crush injuries.
KSAZ-TV Ch. 10 posted an informative video report:
A MOBILE LIFE AMBULANCE IN ULSTER COUNTY, New York, collided head-on with a pickup truck Saturday morning.
The crash left the ambulance driver in critical condition. He had to be extricated by the FD before being flown to Albany. The other medic with him was treated at Kingston Hospital then transferred to Albany also. The two passengers in the pickup were able to get out of the truck on their own and were also transported.
The accident occurred around 7 am on Rte. 32 near Bloomington. The two vehicles were travelling in opposite directions and the ambulance was not on an emergency call when it happened.
From early reports, the police do not yet know what caused them to end up in the same lane.
The Daily Freeman provided some raw video from the scene:
Where should the Chief of Department be at a major, multi-jurisdictional event?
Yesterday we looked at the professional background of Steve Abraira, the first outsider appointed Chief of Department in Boston. Thirteen of the 14 deputy chiefs shared their frustration about Chief Abraira's command style with Mayor Menino (and the rest of the world).
Boston Fire Command Structure
There are 35 fire stations in the 47.3 square mile city. Organized into nine battalions and two divisions,
Each of the nine battalions, called "District" in Boston, is comprised of three to five fire stations. There is a District chief assigned to each battalion.
The city is divided into two Divisions, supervising four or five Districts. A Deputy Fire Chief is assigned to each Division. The Deputy responds to second alarm incidents. Boston averages four multiple alarm fires a month, as many as nine (June 2010).
Traditionally, the Chief of Department responds to third alarm incidents. There were 11 events in 2012 that went beyond a second alarm, one going to a sixth alarm. In 2011 there were 16 events that went beyond a second alarm, two were fifth alarm fires.
Retired firefighter and photographer Bill Noonan, when discussing this issue on FaceBook, noted that the last Chief of Department was responding to second alarm events.
NIMS does not require Chief of Department to be the Incident Commander
In a Boston Globe article by Travis Anderson about the issue:
“I think the big issue for them is, they think that because I’m not called the incident commander, I don’t have responsibility, and that’s not true,” said Abraira, who previously led the Dallas department and was an assistant chief with the Miami Fire Department. “I’ve reiterated that. . . . I’m still responsible for what goes on there.”
He said he polled 29 big city fire departments last year to see if their chiefs are required to take command of a scene, and only the New Haven department said it follows that policy.
The chief also denied an assertion in the deputy chiefs’ letter that he took a picture of himself at a six-alarm fire in East Boston on the roof of an adjacent building, to capture the blaze in the background, and that he was “worrying about his ‘scrapbook’ ” instead of fire safety. Abraira said he went to the roof to see what the roof of the other building looked like but called the notion that he took a photograph of himself “just crazy.”
The 2008 update of the National Response Framework removed the designation of "Incidents of National Importance" in order to create a more agile response. Still, events like the Boston Marathon generate tremendous attention and preparation by local, state, regional and federal resources. The role of the Chief of Department may be within the senior command of the Joint Field Office, interacting with all of the other senior agency representatives as they process real-time input and send resources to a dynamic, unfolding incident.
Big city fire departments rarely act alone when operating at major fire incidents, the role of the Chief of Department changes under the National Response Framework.
(update) "Stop dancing around the question – when should the CoD take command?"
For third alarm structure fires, the past practice was the Chief of Department would arrive, announce that he has command and the Deputy Chief commanding the incident would move in to command the most critical activity. This started long before NIMS and is a baked-in command practice. It works and makes sense.
Earlier Fire Chiefs have accumulated 20-30 years experience handling fires in Boston and intimately know the neighborhoods, built environment and fire history. The Chief of Department has worked with the command staff on thousands of incidents as the CoD went from Lieutenant to Captain to District Chief to Deputy Chief.
Chief Abraira does not have that experience database, going to the roof of an adjacent structure to determine construction details during a six-alarm fire is understandable. He has little experience with his subordinate commanders, no shared close-calls, no local history. No trust.
Learning-as-you-burn is not a good technique when you start with a third alarm event, I appreciate the deputy chief's lack of confidence in the fire chief as an incident commander. Chief of Department needs to be the commander of third alarm or higher events.
If the current or future Chief of Department wants to change the Boston model, will need to provide training and practice to implement.
Update 2: Demonstration of the Chief of Department activities at a major blaze
Tip of the digital helmet to Bill Carey, who posted this portion of a "48 hours" segment on the Boston Fire Department battling a 9-alarm blaze in 1989 on Firefighter Behavior:
FOR THE FIRST 100 YEARS all the fire departments had specially-built ladders that could withstand the rough usage and brutal conditions they were used under. In fact, all ladders used by everybody, painters, construction crews, burglars, were made of wood because that was the only suitable material that would work.
But in the late 1940's – early 50's availability and affordability of aluminum led that medium to start being used for ladder construction. It is so much lighter and easier to carry and set up that there's no thought of staying with wood.
Gradually in the 1950's heavy-duty aluminum ladders developed for fire service use started taking over the ladder beds of firetrucks everywhere and by the end of the 1960's the wooden jobs had virtually disappeared. But not in San Francisco and a handful of other West Coast cities.
The Golden Gate City is one of the few remaining fire departments in America that still uses wooden ladders and they are adamant about staying with them. It's not a blind adherence to tradition that keeps those 400-lb. beauties on the ladder racks, but what they feel are necessities due to their unique geographical situation. Basically it's the hillside construction throughout the city that leaves electric lines in the way of ladder-raising coupled with the off-shore winds that frequently whip through the streets and can easily blow over an aluminum ladder no matter how sturdily it's built. Once a wooden ladder is in place, it stays there.
There are twelve other FD's that use wood, 3 of them in the San Francisco Bay area, 8 in Los Angeles County plus the City, and Bellevue, Washington.
So where does San Francisco go to buy their ladders? They do what they've always done…. they make them themselves. In their dedicated ladder shop where skilled craftsmen both make and repair the several hundred ladders in the fleet. And that brings us up to today's treat, a video visit to the country's last wooden ladder shop:
Did you catch that statement in the early part of the video where they tell us that their timbers are aged for 15 years?
Cities currently using wood: San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Alameda County, San Mateo, all in the Bay Area, plus Los Angeles City, Los Angeles County, Glendale, Pasadena, West Covina, Montebello, Arcadia, all in Los Angeles County, and Bellevue, Washington.
A NEW BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS, MAN nearly blew himself up early Monday morning while he was in a vacant house trying to steal the copper piping.
Kevin Livramento, 46, lives directly behind the house that has been vacant since the owner passed away in January, so he knew it was ripe for the pickings. Livramento was malisciously cutting up the copper pipes in the basement around 3 am when he mistakenly cut into a gas pipe. The leaking gas soon found its way to the water heater where the pilot light triggered a ka-boom that knocked an exterior wall open and moved the house off its foundations.
The shock wave in the community led some neighbors to spring to their windows to see what was the matter and Livramento was observed pedaling away on a bicycle. He was easily recognized by his own neighbors and the police had him in custody in short order.
WLNE-TV Ch. 6 filed a good video report from the scene:
Livramento was suffering from burns to his face and was taken to the hospital for treatment. He has been charged with breaking and entering in the nighttime into a building, larceny in a building and malicious destruction of property.
The police have already linked him to another similar crime in the area and are questioning him on several other breakins that have been happining in recent months.
Police Couldn't Get Them Down,
So Who Ya' Gonna Call?
SUNDAY AFTERNOON A MERRY BAND of Ukrainian feminists (we are NOT making this up) descended in downtown Paris, France, to counter-demonstrate against a large group of Neo-Nazis who were holding a rally for some reason.
The Femens, as the gals call themselves, parked themselves on a balcony of the Hotel Regina wearing only short-shorts and topless where they unfurled a large banner protesting the Nazis.
HuffingtonPostUK / Reevell
A descriptive article in the Huffington Post UK edition continues:
The four women stood above the jeering crowd for roughly an hour while police attempted to reach them. Officers scaled the balcony of an adjacent hotel and began trying to pull in Femen's banner, as well as calling to the women to come down. Around 1pm a (firetruck) arrived, and a ladder was extended up towards the women. Simultaneously, a fireman began to climb across to reach them.
Firefighter appears to be pleased that he made it all the way up.
(HuffingtonPostUK / Reevell)
The Femen activists obeyed police instructions to descend once firemen reached them, climbing calmly down the ladder one at a time, helped by two sapeur-pompiers. Each woman turned to face the crowd and blow kisses from half-way up the ladder. The crowd below shouted insults at the women and chanted "Jump, jump!" over and over again. Riot police armed with batons and shields formed lines around the ladder, as far right demonstrators tried to approach.
HuffingtonPostUK / Reevell
The women were hurried by officers into a police van as soon as they stepped off the ladder. When Inna Shevchenko, the third to descend, reached the ground, around 20 shaven headed men tried to break through police lines to her, shouting "whore". Officers used pepper spray to drive them back, while Shevchenko disappeared behind the engine.
"One house leads us to another, and then another…"
ELK GROVE, CALIFORNIA, AND SACRAMENTO firefighters responded to a house fire late Saturday morning and found fire coming through the roof of a house that neighbors thought was vacant.
Once they made entry to extinguish the fire, they found that the home was indeed unfurnished, but instead filled with hundreds of marijuana plants and extension cords in heavy use throughout the dwelling.
The police were notified and detectives quickly obtained a search warrant that gave them access to information leading them to two other houses in the area that were also being used as "grow farms." Altogether police seized 550 marijuana plants, $1,400 in cash, and a loaded, sawed-off shotgun.
A quick roundup brought arrests of five adults associated with the farms including the leader of the operation.
"There may be additional homes involved, or not. Traditionally, one house leads us to another and another," Elk Grove police spokesman Christopher Trim told the Sacramento Bee.
UPDATE, 12:30 pm Eastern: Additional information and more video added. Scroll down.
FOUR CHILDREN AND TWO ADULTS have been confirmed dead this morning (Monday) following a large house fire in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
The fire began shortly before midnight Sunday and rapidly filled the entire home before the first-in units arrived on the scene. The fire was difficult to fight because of access to the house and a quick collapse of the roof and upper floor.
WNEP-TV filed this early report from the scene:
According to the coroner's office, four children ages 2, 3, 7, and 8 were killed along with their father age 30. His sister-in-law age 26 also perished, however the children's mother was not at home at the time of the blaze.
The state police fire marshal is on the scene awaiting the opportunity to get inside. There is no indication yet on the cause of the fire. Five firefighters suffered not-serious injuries.
Republican-Herald / Meyer
Units are still on the scene at the time of this posting and no further information is yet available.
SpankMan posted this raw video of the blaze:
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Fire and Film has more extensive video:
The Pottsville Republican-Herald has the early STORY.
Fire officials said seven people lived in the home. Just one adult, the mother, survived. She was across the street in another house doing laundry.
The initial call was apparently to the police department for a disturbance. A neighbor tried to get in but couldn't. Fire crews were called in and arrived within minutes, but there was little they could do. Pottsville Fire Chief Todd March said, "When the police got here, and the neighbors, they all tried to get in the back of the building. One of our police officers tried to get into the basement door in the front. He got in so far, but there was flames were already coming down the stairs from the second floor down to the first."
The fire crews got water in the fire immediately, March said, but within five minutes the entire front of the building was engulfed in flames.
"The neighbors smelled smoke, including the mother, and they came out to see what was going on, and they just saw it, you know, heavily involved in the back of the building, a lot of smoke coming out the front," March said.
The neighbors' response was apparently what led to the "disturbance" call to police, according to the fire chief.
All of the victims were found in the bedrooms and were believed to be asleep at the time of the fire. Two were in the back bedroom, one was in the middle bedroom, and three were in the front bedroom.
The fire is believed to have started in or near the kitchen and the investigation is first concentrating on the home's furnace and the kitchen stove as the possible origin.
TWO MONTHS AGO ON MARCH 7, the Bremen, Germany, Feuerwehr (fire brigade) responded to a fire in an attic apartment that had the potential for a rescue effort. As the ladder truck was approaching down the narrow street, they came across some autos that were parked improperly, or more specifically, too far away from the curb and not leaving enough clearance for the emergency trucks.
Putting human safety above auto safety, the ladder driver plowed right up the street, crumpling some cars along the way.
While there wasn't a need for aerial rescue as it turned out, they did have a working fire a the address.
The polizei arrived and did their part by writing tickets for all the ill-placed cars. There were no injuries reported from the fire.
NonStop News prepared this good video that documents the situation and bodywork:
A VOLUNTEER FIRE CHIEF ALONG WITH another volunteer firefighter were arrested Friday in connection with two suspicious fires in Oneida County, New York. The arrests followed within hours after an arson in the town of Vienna.
On Friday, firefighters and state police responded to a report of a suspicious fire at a seasonal residence at 8177 Yager Road, in the town of Vienna. The fire was put out by members of the McConnellsville Fire Department but the house was heavily damaged by the fire, troopers said.
An investigation into the incident revealed that someone was involved in starting the fire, troopers said. As a result of an investigation one man was arrested.
McConnellsville Fire Chief Howard Roache, 35, was charged with felony arson. He's accused of starting the fire, troopers said.
Also arrested that same day was another McConnellsville firefighter James Goold, 54, who has been charged with setting another building alight on February 2. According to the police, Goold admitted setting the earlier fire while he was being questioned about Friday's arson.
The owner of the property in Vienna had been having some problems with vandals at his weekend retreat and had set up a hidden surveillance camera. After Friday's fire the police viewed the tape and saw a man later identified as Roache on the property approx. 30 minutes before the fire was reported.
A recent series of suspicious fires in the area are now being re-examined with a focus on the pair's activities.
We're going to start this new week off with some News You Can Use by posting this handy map showing you how much tax each state imposes on your beer purchases. This figure is uniformly stated as the per gallon rate for retail purchases of beer sold in 12-oz. containers.
Surprisingly Tennessee, normally considered a low-tax state, has the highest (way highest) rate of $1.17 per gallon. On the other end of the scale is Wyoming with a compassionate 2¢ per gallon.
The map also includes each state's relative ranking and illustrates another mild surprise. Pennsylvania is not usually admired for its taxing policies, but if you rely on the barley brew for nourishment, Pennsylvanians are way down the list of beer tax pain at #46. That explains why those Marylanders (#12) stock up in Breezewood while they're hitting the Keystone state to buy their fireworks.
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Only one playoff game in the NHL yesterday. Pittsburgh had to really work to pull off an overtime win against the spunky Islanders. The Pens take their first-round series 4 games to 2 and will now be facing off against the Ottawa Senators in the 2nd round.
Ottawa just came off a mighty upset over Montreal, but can they do it again over Pittsburgh? Get some good odds before you bet on it.
Three games scheduled for today, all of them on national tv networks. Detroit vs. Anaheim are playing Game 7. Washington vs. Rangers and Toronto vs. Boston round it out.
Before we give Mom a call, let's get this equipment checked out. I think I'll make an extra pot of coffee this morning. It feels like one of those days. See you back in the day room.