CHICAGO FIRE DEPARTMENT UNITS responded to a working fire in a 4-story apartment building Saturday morning. The call was dispatched at 8:43 am Central and brought 200 firefighters to the scene.
Tim Olk / Chicago Area Fire
A fire this morning at 9401 Muskegan on Chicago’s southside began as a basement fire that travelled up two floors, eventually compromising an upper stairway which collapsed injuring four Chicago firefighters.
Two of the firefighters were transported with respiratory problems and the other two were treated for minor injuries and transported. The fire was already under control when the stairs collapsed the the CFD had the fire out by 9:30 am.
A FIRE BROKE OUT IN A 7-story aparment building in Aubervilliers, France, Saturday night that has recorded three fatalities so far with thirteen others hospitalized with injuries.
The fire began around 10 pm Saturday in the 90-yr.-old building that housed 75 residents. One of the fatalities was found in the 4th-floor apartment where the fire is believed to have started. Another victim died after jumping from his 5th-floor window where the fire had expanded and was threatening him. The third victim died in the hospital. Four others, including another defenestration victim, are in serious condition.
The fire brought 30 units and 200 firefighters to the scene.
One resident claimed to have "smelled gasoline" just prior to the fire, but the police have not yet confirmed that revelation. However, the mayor's office has stated that the fire is suspicious. Paris Match is reporting that the occupants who had evacuated were assembled in a nearby restaurant where they were interviewed by the police. Several of them were saying that the apartment where the suspected fire bomb was tossed was occupied by a group of Egyptians who had a running dispute with another faction that had been threatening retaliations.
ABOUT 80 RESIDENTS OF a Lynn, Massachusetts, apartment house are lucky to be alive this morning after fire ripped through their 25-unit woodframe building just before midnight. The high-occupancy building brought an immediate dispatch elevation to four alarms.
The fire started at the rear of the 3-story building and quickly blocked the rear stairwell. The residents on the upper floors had just moments to escape before the fire had moved across the first floor and gotten into the only other stairwell shutting off that exit as well. Several of the just-awakened resident had to jump out their windows or in many cases, use the outside fire escapes.
The building manager says that the smoke detectors were primarily responsible for everyone waking up in time to escape.
A MAJOR FIRE IN AN APARTMENT COMPLEX in Backnang, Germany, Sunday morning killed eight people, 40-year-old Nazli Ozcan Soykan and seven of her ten children, ages 17, 14, 8, 7, 6, 3, and 6 months. The husband was not at home when the fire started around 4:30 am. Three other people were injured and taken to the hospital.
The fire started in a 1st-floor apartment and quickly spread to the floor above. People were evacuating when the fire brigade arrived, including from two restaurants below-grade that had customers at the time. The fire brigade of the small city of 36,000 population immediately called for help from surrounding towns and ultimately brought over 100 firefighters to the scene.
Benj. Beytekin photo
The apartment complex is a group of 3-story buildings that originally held a leather factory, but has since been converted to apartments that largely cater to a community of Turkish immigrants.
Benj. Beytekin photo
There is no indication to believe that the fire was suspicious, but investiation is just getting underway. They are concentrating on a wall heater/furnace in the apartment.
This unedited home video captures the extent of the fire:
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY AND MANASSAS, Virginia, firefighters were called to an apartment fire late Monday evening just before 11 pm. The fire which was elevated to two alarms was on the top floor of a 3-story building containing about 20 units.
Manassas FD photo
As FF's were working a hand line on the 3rd floor, the ceiling collapsed on them, temporarily trapping them under the sheetrock and leaving them disoriented. A call for help was sent and another crew, using ground ladders to the 3rd floor, was able to quickly come to their aid and help them out from beneath the debris.
Shortly after that, the fire broke through the roof of the building and all personnel were withdrawn from the interior.
At least 30 and perhaps as many as 60 residents have been displaced by the fire that caused considerable damage on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The fire began in one of the 3rd-floor units, but the cause is still under investigation.
WJLA-TV filed this video report:
The Potomac Local News has more DETAILS HERE. Inside NOVA has an 11-image photo gallery HERE.
A FIRE IN A TAUNTON, MASSACHUSETTS, APARTMENT development Sunday night went to three alarms as the blaze got into the attic.
The fire was first reported around 9 pm and wasn't marked under control until 3 am. All of the residents escaped safely, however two firefighters suffered minor injuries.
The 3-story, building contains 24 units and was heavily damaged as the entire top floor burned off and had extensive damage in the other floors below. Between 50 and 60 residents were displaced by the fire.
AN EARLY-MORNING FIRE WEDNESDAY in a Paris, France, mid-rise apartment took the lives of five people, all family members, and injured at least 18 others.
The fire was discovered shortly after 4 am this morning (Wednesday) when it broke out of a 5th-floor unit and extended up into a 6th-floor apartment in the 7-story building. The alarm brought 100 firefighters to the scene where they found the bodies of two adults and three teenagers ages 12, 15, and 18 in the same apartment. Neighbors say that they are of the same family. Of the 18 injured, 15 were transported including two firefighters with burn injuries.
As the fire was beginning to extend into the 7th floor, the firefighters got an aerial ladder to the area and rescued seven more people including an infant. They were also able to contain the fire at the point. It was extinguished by 6 am.
Updated, 9:15 am – additional information inserted into posting.
A HEAVY FIRE BROKE OUT in a 3-story apartment building in downtown Cambridge, Maryland, Sunday night. The fire which was dispatched just before 11 pm quickly went to four alarms as the arriving units found dozens of residents trapped and a fast-moving fire. WMDT-TV reports:
A film crew, New Image Films, shooting a faith based video at the church next door to the apartment building were first on the scene and captured video after helping families escape before emergency crews arrived. "I was like, 'Billy, there's a fire!' so he goes and he grabs a key, runs downstairs, gets the van, drives it right under to where the window was and they started taking the children and dangling the children," said (Olimatte) Taal.
Robert Phillips, Cambridge Fire Chief, added: "So many of them were trapped in the, the fire was actually in the exit, in front of the building and stopped them from coming out that way."
WBOC-TV is reporting:
The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office said the 10:46 p.m. blaze at 507 Race St. took nearly 100 firefighters from approximately 13 fire companies less than two hours to bring under
Twenty-one occupants were sent to area hospitals for treatment of injuries sustained when escaping the fire through windows of the three-story building. None of the injuries reported are considered to be life-threatening. Two firefighters were treated for stress-related injuries at Dorchester General Hospital and released.
Star-Democrat / Polk
The ground floor is a commercial occupancy, in this case a clothing store. The second and third floors had four apartments in each. The entire building has been destroyed and will need to be demolished. The Maryland State Fire Marshal is on the scene already, but there is no early indication of what caused the fire.
A MAJOR FIRE BROKE OUT IN AN IRVING, Texas, apartment complex Monday night that went to four alarms and required mutual aid assistance.
WFAA-TV / Patel
The fire started sometime between 8:00 and 8:15 pm Central and was noticed by some tenants after the flames started showing in the building. The fire grew quickly and many people on the top floor of the 3-story building were trapped and jumped for their lives before the FD arrived. Four others were rescued by FD ladders. One man was badly burned on his upper torso and head. At least two people were transported for injuries.
All 22 units of the building were destroyed and officials say that the entire building will be pulled down today. Investigators are still looking for the cause.
DFWPoliceScanner captured the magnitude of the fire in this raw video:
WFAA-TV has the story and a video report HERE.
Irving Fire Department WEBSITE.
A WORKING APARTMENT FIRE WITH PEOPLE TRAPPED in Buffalo, New York, Friday brought a fast response….. from two off-duty firefighters who were nearby and spotted the smoke around 9:30 am and self-dispatched to the scene where they found an injured woman on the ground who had already jumped from the 2nd floor of the 3-story brick building.
Firefighters Jeff Kane and Bob Carnevale were joined by a DEA agent who was also passing by and they went through the smoke-filled building leading the disoriented residents to safety. Many of them were unable to get themselves out and the fast actions saved them from injury.
The Buffalo News reported:
Kane, Carnevale and an off-duty special agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration rushed into the building, none realizing the others were there. They crawled on their hands and knees and evacuated (several) residents who were trapped inside.
Amazingly, there were no fatalities, but four people were reported injured, including the woman who leaped from the window and a fire chief who suffered a minor knee injury.
Fire investigators have not determined the cause of the blaze, which displaced about 50 people, but officials believe it started in the apartment from which the woman jumped.
"This could have been a tragic scenario," said Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, who credited firefighters, including the two off-duty firefighters, as well as the DEA agent, who happened to be driving by as dark smoke billowed out of the three-story brick building.
WIVB-TV prepared this video report that interviews the two FF's:
FIRE IN A MANNFORD, OKLAHOMA (Tulsa area), APARTMENT building sent the elderly resident to the hospital with burn injuries along with at least four others who were injured while helping other residents escape.
The structure was a 4-unit building in a complex that was completely destroyed by the fire. It began around 5:45 when what many residents described as an explosion-sound occurred immediately followed by a large and fast-growing blaze.
Two neighbors, one of them a local volunteer firefighter, ran to the primary victim's unit where they found a 58-yr.-old woman suffering from burns and large chunks of flaming materials dropping on her from the ceiling. They carried her out, receiving some burns themselves, and she was transported to the hospital with reportedly 28% second- and third-degree burns on her.
KTUL-TV Ch. 8 has some fire footage in this brief video report:
MORE THAN 30 APARTMENTS WERE DESTROYED or damaged in Holland Township, Michigan, Wednesday when a man set his balcony on fire while trying to burn the fur off of a squirrel.
The man was preparing the rodent for dinner when he took it onto the balcony and fired up a portable propane torch, then started burning the fur off the critter. His action somehow started a fire on his 3rd-floor deck that quickley got up into the attic and that was all she wrote.
Robert Ouellette, who has lived in the building for two years, said today that someone alerted him around 11 p.m. Monday that the building was on fire. "Get out!’’ the person shouted, Ouellette recalled today. He said he grabbed his cat, ran outside, got into his car and drove across the street and discovered that the front of the building was engulfed by smoke and flames.
As he and other residents gathered, they quickly realized the woman and daughter, who live in the first floor apartment next to Ouellette, were missing. They alerted arriving emergency personnel about the possibility they had not made it out, he said.
Ouellette said the pair were homebodies, and that the mother most likely would have been home when the fire broke out because Monday was a school night.
WGGB-TV Springfield posted some raw video of the blaze:
There is a detailed search ongoing this morning for the pair. According to the FD, the woman's relatives have been contacted to see if they knew their whereabouts, but they are not known. "We have initiated a very detailed search of the unit where we believe she resides. This is literally hand-by-hand removing heavy timbers that caved in as a result of the heavy fire conditions in the building," said State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan. The family's auto is parked at the scene.
NECN has the full report that includes the Fire Chief's and Fire Marshal's press conference:
WHDH-TV has also posted this video report from the scene:
Heavy construction equipment has been brought in to assist in disassembling the debris:
Update: It was announced Tuesday afternoon that one body has been discovered and retrieved from the debris. They have not disclosed whether it was an adult or child. Currently seven of the eight residents have now been accounted for.
WJAR-TV has filed this updated video report from the scene:
We have also learned that the building, originally a farmhouse, was built more than 220 years ago.
Thanks to Mark D.
Update #2, Wednesday:
The Worcester County District Attorney announced Tuesday evening that a second body has been found and removed from the burnt building. Neither of the victims have been positively identified yet, but they have been transferred to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsies and hopefully identities.
A 4-ALARM NIGHT FIRE IN SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sunday morning gutted six apartments in a 24-unit building.
Firefighters arrived to find fire showing through the roof of the 3-story building and tenants fighting their way out of their burning building. Eight of them were treated for minor injuries, but all made it out otherwise in the fire that was first reported at 1:30 am Mountain.
In addition to the six units burned out, another dozen has water and smoke damage. The photos from the scene indicate that the buildings were probably lightweight construction which explains the debris and siding hanging in the trees around the complex.
The Deseret News quotes a FD spokesman as saying, "The biggest challenge was the small walkway area that separated the burning units and a two-story parking structure. It was hard to maneuver and get the hoses through. There wasn't much room to work."
Initial investigation indicates that the fire started on the outside deck of a 2nd-floor apartment.
KTVX-TV Ch. 4 filed this video report:
A bystander posted this video of the fire through the roof:
A PASSERBY, SEEING FOUR CHILDREN TRAPPED ON the balcony of their 5th-floor apartment, dashed inside and led them to safety through the smoke and flames Thursday afternoon.
Presse Ocean photo
The fire broke out around 4 pm in the mid-rise building in Sable-sur-Sarthe, France just as a young man, Gilda Gardin, 29, was walking down the sidewalk. Looking up he saw four children ages 6 to 14 stranded on a balcony and calling for help. He instinctively ran up the stairs and kicked in the door to the apartment. He told what he did to the reporter from Presse Ocean: "There was already much smoke, I kicked in the door, which was locked, and then I took a child in my right arm, another in my left and I told the others to hold onto my t-shirt and led them down the stairs, we could see nothing. But anyone would have done the same as me when it comes to save the children".
Gilda Gardin (Ouest France)
(Sign him up!)
The fire brigades from Auvers-le-Hamon and of Saint-Denis-d'Anjou, in the Mayenne département arrived with about 30 firefighters and quickly contained the fire while evacuating the rest of the building. The apartment that was on fire was completely burned out.
Ouest France photo
The children were not injured and after being checked, were not transported.
FIRE BROKE OUT IN AN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, apartment complex Friday afternoon and heavily damaged 12 units in two buildings.
Orange County Register / Lopez
The fire started around 1:40 pm in a building with a common attic. With fire showing, extra alarms were dispatched and the fire was under control in about an hour.
The Orange County Register reports:
The damages are estimated at $1.3 million for the building and about $100,000 for contents in the apartments, Anaheim Fire Marshal Jeff Lutz said. The fire was accidental and was caused by a cooking fire, Lutz said.
The Anaheim Fire Department received the call at 1:44 p.m. and sent firefighters to the 3500 block of W. Savannah Street. When they arrived, the firefighters found flames and smoke coming from second-floor apartments in the Villa Regina complex.
About 50 firefighters were called to put out the blaze. All residents had evacuated by the time firefighters arrived and no one was injured, Lutz said, but 30 residents were displaced.
A MAJOR FIRE IN BRANSON, MISSOURI, Wednesday evening is still burning and it is expected that the entire 4-story apartment building containing 160 units will be a total loss. The fire started in the middle of the multi-building property and spread rapidly though the entire complex. It is not known yet what caused the fire.
Images via KOLR-TV
Two problems facing the firefighters were the limited water supply, all of it coming from the nearby Table Rock Lake and being provided by a tanker shuttle, and a fierce wind storm that forced the firefighter to stop operations and relocate their pumpers to a safer spot.
Southern Stone County F. P. D. photo
The Springfield News-Leader is reporting: Eric Nielson, spokesman for the Southern Stone County Fire Protection District,said high winds have complicated efforts. Nielson said high winds from a storm pushed the condo fire into the parking area where firefighters were stationed, causing the units to evacuate. Nielson said one truck had to make an emergency evacuation with the fire hose still attached. He said a second high-wind event is now causing more problems putting out the blaze. He said the winds also spawned a brush fire.
More than a dozen fire departments responded on the mutual aid call, one of them from 40 miles distant.
The fire is still burning at the time of this posting and there is no further information available yet. Firegeezer will update on Thursday morning.
AN EARLY-MORNING FIRE SUNDAY IN AN Oklahoma City apartment complex burned the roof off a building and gutted 16 units.
The fire was discovered around 4 am by a resident who immediately began banging on doors to rouse his neighbors. The OKC Fire Department quickly increased the dispatch to 3 alarms and all the residents were able to evacuate without injuries. The firefighters had the fire knocked down in 45 minutes and were able to clear the scene around 8 am.
About 24 people were left homeless after the fire and the Red Cross is assisting them in getting accommodations and necessities.
The Deputy Fire Chief speaking for the department told the press that the fire is "suspicious."
A SUSPICIOUS FIRE IN THE BELLEVILLE section of Paris, France, Sunday afternoon led to 16 people being seriously injured and 20 more needed to be rescued by the firefighters.
The fire began in the basement of a 7-story apartment building around 2 pm Sunday and quickly traveled up the sole stairwell to the top of the building. With their exit blocked by the fire, the residents were trapped in their apartments. One person jumped out a window and 16 others tried to battle the flames in the stairway. Five of those were critically injured and the other 11 are listed as serious.
The dispatch brought 234 firefighters from 27 stations on 64 units and they went to work rescuing 20 more residents using aerial ladders and ground ladders.
The fire was knocked down at 4 pm. Investigators have talked to witnesses that described a group of "youths" who were seen in the basement just before the fire and acting suspiciously.
A FIRE IN A 5-STORY APARTMENT BUILDING in Toulouse, France, Tuesday burned through the stairwell and trapped several people inside the building. The fire started around 11:30 am while most residents were gone but stranded seven residents on the upper floors.
Five of the people went to the roof and waited, hoping that the firefighters would arrive in time to remove them. Two others, a man and a woman were unable to leave their 4th-floor apartment where the fire had started and blocked their exit. They were forced to climb out onto window ledges where they got ready to jump to certain injury or death, but the bystanders yelled encouragement to them to wait for the arrival of the fire brigade.
Sixty-five firefighters responded and were able to initiate quick rescues utilizing an aerial platform to make the saves. This citizen cellphone video captured the rescue of the two on the ledge:
The two people on the ledge suffered burns to their backs and arms, and two others were treated for smoke poisoning at the hospital. The fire destroyed the top two floors and the attic space with collateral damage to the lower floors and a restaurant/bar on the ground floor. The cause is still under investigation.
FIRE COMPTLETELY DESTROYED A 24-UNIT APARTMENT BUILDING near Toledo, Ohio, early Monday morning leaving one person dead and another missing.
There were 17 units occupied in Bldg. G of the fire-plagued Hidden Cedars Condominiums in Springfield Township when the fire started just before midnight. As the residents fled for their lives in the wood-frame building, 8 people were initially unaccounted for. But by late this morning all but one had come forward to be counted. Another resident was injured after jumping out of a 2nd-floor window.
The complex has had four major fires in the past 12 years. The wood-frame 3-story buildings are notorious for not having any fire walls.
The fire was marked under control about 5 hours after the FD arrived. The fire victim was discovered around 10:30 am according to the Toledo Blade. The search continues now for the missing person.
This early video report from WTOL-TV has some fire footage:
AN APARTMENT FIRE FRIDAY MORNING in Langenfeld, Germany, left a family of four dead and a police investigation into the suspicious fire.
When the firefighters arrived they found a fire largely contained to the small apartment on the top floor over a commercial occupancy and knocked it down quickly. But the smoke had been thick and when the firefighters looked through the apartment they found the bodies of a 34-yr.-old man, his wife, 33, and their two children ages 1 and 5.
Initial investigation quickly revealed that the fire had been set and not an accident. Suspicion fell on the father after a neighbor found a note in their letterbox left by the dead man along with his car keys. The note said "all is explained" referring to a suicide note that he had left in the car. The police are currently working on the theory that the father had first killed his family members, the set the fire before he took his own life.
NRW posted this video report:
None of the people in the other apartments in the building were injured and only smoke damage was done outside the fire unit.
A CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, WOMAN WAS PUT THROUGH an ordeal early Tuesday morning when she was prevented from saving her two children from a fire because of a locked door.
The fire started around 3:15 am Central this morning (Tuesday) and the mother of three was awakened somehow, alerted to the fire. She grabbed her 6-year-old son who was closest and took him out the front door of their apartment. But the self-closing and locking door slammed shut behind her, preventing her from returning to the apartment to snatch the other two youngsters ages 3 and 1 yrs.
A police officer who was first on the scene and a passing tow-truck driver tried to break in the door and when they were finally successful, the fire and heat in the apartment prevented their entry.
WLS-TV Ch. 7 filed this early video report:
The two victims were in the same bedroom and apparently died from the smoke as there was not burning in the bedroom. Their mother is in the hospital in serious condition from smoke inhalation, but the 6-yr.-old boy was uninjured. The apartment had smoke detectors and it is believed that they were working, but not confirmed.
WBBM-TV has a recently updated report with more information and additional video HERE.
LADDER RESCUE TECHNIQUES in the Far East are not much different than in the West. This video taken on Wednesday in the central Chinese city of Yueyang was at a major fire in a 3-story apartment building. The only other information that came with it is that the woman is over 70 years old and is paralyzed.
A 90-YR.-OLD WOMAN WAS RESCUED from her blazing apartment by a passing soldier, a crew of policemen and two neighbors Tuesday evening.
The woman's kitchen was ablaze and she first tried to put it out herself without success. As the fire spread into her apartment, her escape was cut off and she could only retreat to her balcony. The smoke was visible from a nearby police station and several officers responded immediately to the scene where they commandeered a ladder from a craftsman's work van.
While the soldier started scaling the ladder, the others went inside to try an incursion into the apartment, but were unable to get inside. They then went down one floor and came out on the balcony below the fire apartment. The soldier and a policeman going up the ladder were accompanied by two young men from the neighborhood and they all combined to make the dramatic rescue seen on the home video:
The comments on the video are bystanders repeating that the fire brigade is too slow arriving.
The old woman was severely stricken with smoke inhalation and was rushed to the hospital. The fire brigade arrived soon after and removed another six victims with their tower platform.
All photos via L'Alsace
The fire was extinguished with one hose line, but three apartments were burned while two more on the floor below had water damage. Eight people were treated for smoke inhalation.
The rescuer, Corporal Dmitri Higelin, 22, is recently returned from four years in the army where he served in Afghanistan. He says he is ok with just some minor burns on his legs.