Monday, May 28

1977 supper-club fire still haunts rescuers

The Columbus Dispatch : 1977 supper-club fire still haunts rescuers

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire (which occured in Kentucky).
On May 28, 1977, as many as 2,800 guests and employees were in the club on a hilltop across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. An estimated 1,300 of those people sat at tiny tables jammed into the Cabaret Room, nearly triple the number of occupants the room could safely accommodate.

The building did not have an automatic sprinkler system, now regarded as a common fail-safe in public buildings and required in many areas.

Investigators later blamed the fire on problems with the aluminum wiring.

John Beatsch, now chief of Southgate Fire Department, was 21 and on the first firetruck to respond.

After arriving, he ran to the back, where firefighters were pulling people from the Cabaret Room. The overflow crowd had been wedged in. Tables and chairs had been set up in the aisles and along ramps to the stage.

"We could hear people calling for help. Firefighters were yelling, 'Move your arms.' They were piled up. It seemed the people on the bottom were alive. The people on top were overcome."

Firefighters also were frantically searching inside the building; they worked until nearly dawn pulling bodies out.

"There were plenty of signs that said exit, but they didn't lead directly to exits," said Greg Hirsch, a Southgate firefighter. "There was a long hallway and if you went all the way down, there was an exit. But there were dressing rooms and closets along the hallway. We found people inside those rooms. They got confused, couldn't see. They thought they found a door."

Gerald Sanford, now chief of Central Campbell County Fire District, had traded shifts with another firefighter and was working that night.

"Being in Vietnam, I thought that was the worst you could see," he said. "But even having that training, I wasn't prepared for 165 people dying."

Here are links to more information about this fire:
The Cincinnati Post- In depth report of all aspects of the fire. Floorplan of layout.
A 20 year Retrospective...also from The Post.
From the Laconia Fire Department you will find some of the facts of this fire as well as links for other fires of significance in the US.

Esperanza fire spurs debate on priorities | Esperanza fire spurs debate on priorities
An excellent article addressing the politics of wildland fires.
RIVERSIDE - A blaze that killed five federal firefighters last year has emboldened those who question the cost of saving the ever expanding number of homes on the fringe of wilderness.

...Firefighters' attitudes also are an issue in protecting homes.

Public expectations can sometimes lead to bravado and a cavalier mind-set among firefighters, experts say. A recent investigative report in the five deaths listed overconfidence, excessive motivation and risk-taking as contributing factors.

"One of the standard fire orders states: 'Fight the fire aggressively having provided for safety first,"' said Peter Leschak, a 26-year firefighter and a commander for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Division of Forestry. "There has been an argument recently to change that because we don't need to encourage firefighters to be more aggressive - half the time we're holding them back."

Federal firefighters could scale back structural protection without too much political fallout, but that would not be easy for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which answers to the governor, said John Maclean, a federally certified firefighter and the author of several books on wildfire disasters.
Danger zone

The Forest Service spends 44 percent of its budget on wildfire suppression annually, he said, and much of that work means protecting homes where suburbs collide with wilderness.
More than 6 million homes in California stand in wildfire "red zones" - areas defined in part by their thick brush and steep slopes - and that number is expected to grow by 20 percent in the next decade, according to a recently released insurance report.

"There is an expectation on the part of a lot of people that somebody better get in there and do or die for their house," Maclean said. "If you stop doing that and you stop taking reasonable risk to protect structures, you'd have a new governor in about five minutes."

Sunday, May 27

Gilbert family loses home to fire, gets the bill

Gilbert family loses home to fire, gets the bill |
Too bad this family didn't vote to annex (they probably didn't think it would happen to them)....When their double-wide home caught fire, town firefighters showed up.... to watch it burn...Rural Metro also showed up-to watch....and now to put salt in their wounds...the family will now have to pay the Fire Dept for coming to watch their double-wide burn down! (Cause it WASN'T THEIR tax dollar at work...)
Town officials said they felt for the family’s loss, but the family took that risk by deciding not to annex so as to receive town fire services when Rural/Metro Fire Department ended its subscription services Sept. 30.

The double-wide mobile home at 12849 S. Higley Road was considered a total loss after fire tore through it Wednesday night. Gilbert firefighters at the scene ensured there was no threat to life, but did not make an effort to put out the fire.

Rural/Metro Fire Department responded from a farther distance as a courtesy, company officials said. As policy, the homeowners will get a bill that could total upwards of $10,000 based on fees that include $100 an hour for each firefighter responding and about $1,000 for each truck.

Saturday, May 26

The Emmitsburg Experience

Article Archive
I will be in Emmitsburg next week for the FESHE Conference. This article does a great job explaining the National Fire Academy experience.
There is plenty to do at the National Fire Academy, even within the neighborhood of sleepy Emmitsburg -- the local Ott House tavern is still popular with students, and Gettysburg National Battlefield is only ten miles away -- but the encouraging and overwhelming impression is that most people are there primarily to learn. Many courses are very labor-intensive, with evening class meetings or assignments. For every person you see swilling beer in the pub, you will see two huddled over books in a lounge or glued to a computer screen at the LRC.

There is a professional, collegial atmosphere on the Emmitsburg campus that is not often found in day-to-day fire station life. People have fun, but they also exchange ideas, challenge each other, and learn from instruction and experience and their peers. And this is perhaps the greatest benefit of attending a residential course at the NFA: the opportunity to be part of this community of fire service professionals, and to be treated as a valued equal. I felt that way even in 1981, and I have felt that way every time I have been back.

Thursday, May 24

Next Up for Lost Whales: Fire Hoses

ABC News: Next Up for Lost Whales: Fire Hoses
Another use for fire hose....
Rescuers Plan to Use Fire Hoses to Coax 2 Wayward Whales Back to Pacific
Marine biologists said Thursday that they planned to spray fire hoses in a river near two lost, injured whales in the next attempt to coax the pair back toward salt water.

The method has never been tried before, and biologists don't know how the whales will respond Friday. If the whales like the spray, crews will try to lure them back to the ocean; if they hate it, they'll try to force them there.

Biologists planned to spray near the whales both above water and underwater from the deck of a boat on the Sacramento River. The approach comes after attempts to lead them back to sea using the sounds of clanging pipes, feeding humpbacks and killer orcas failed.

The mother whale and her calf were last spotted about 70 miles from the ocean, in an area of the Sacramento River where they have been circling for several days, said Carrie Wilson, a biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game.

Wednesday, May 23

Report faults Esperanza fire-fight decisions | Report faults Esperanza fire-fight decisions
Looks like they knew back in 2002 that the area & home that the men of Engine 57 died protecting....was NOT DEFENSIBLE!!! Perhaps somebody should have told them?...On top of that....they were using a radio frequency that could not be heard by their supervisors and it appears they lost full radio contact prior to the burn over. And then there was a problem with the supervison w/the federal firefighters, creating a span of control issue. And it goes on. Click the link above to read the article and link to the full report.

Tuesday, May 22

50000 Volt Accident

Ouch. Another bad day at the office...

Tesla Coil Part 2

Ok I knew you would ask about part 2 so here it is. 1:03. Warning-video is a bit shaky.

Tesla Coil

Stunning Tesla Coil performance put up @ Singpore Science Centre..It can generate up to 3500000 Volts of electricity! 4:39

Family Guy - Peter Griffin is Electric Man

Fun w/static electricity! 1:58.

Monday, May 21

The Power of Static Electricity

This explains static electricity. Running time is aprox. 20 mins.

Saturday, May 19

Fire Marshal: Gorham Schools Violate Fire Code

Fire Marshal: Gorham Schools Violate Fire Code - Local News Story - WMUR Manchester
GORHAM, N.H. -- An inspection of the high school in Gorham found numerous fire code violations, including a locker room without a second exit and a bowing wall in the gym, according to the fire marshal.

An inspector from the state Fire Marshal's office said work to correct the problems "must begin immediately." He toured schools in the Gorham-Randolph-Shelburne Cooperative School District at the request of Superintendent Paul Bousquet.

The girl's locker room at the high school should be closed until a second exit is installed, fire inspector Charles Chalk wrote in his report. The gym also could be off limits if an engineer finds that the bowing exterior wall is unsound.

The high school's chimneys need to be evaluated and repaired, and the fire extinguishing system in the school kitchen must be updated, he said. In the meantime, the stove may not be used to cook any greasy food.

Chalk also found that the building's entire fire alarm system is unsafe. It consists of a hodgepodge of "manual activation devices, some heat detectors, some smoke detectors and a partial sprinkler system," he wrote. "Upgrading must begin immediately."

He found several fire code violations at the Ed Fenn School, as well, including an inadequate rescue window in the speech therapy room. He suggested that the district hire a licensed fire protection engineer.

Fire department wants residents to 'Junk the Juniper' /Trees are very combustible, could help reduce threat of wildland fires Fire department wants residents to 'Junk the Juniper' /Trees are very combustible, could help reduce threat of wildland fires
Video: Protect your home from wildfire
Area residents can exchange juniper shrubs for another shrub, plant or tree at two Moana Nursery locations.

Faced with budget constraints, the Sierra Fire Protection District and other local fire agencies are waging a door-to-door fire safety assessment campaign in high risk areas around the Truckee Meadows.

The Reno Fire Department is urging people to help reduce the threat of wildland fire near homes by taking part in this Sunday's "Junk the Juniper" event at Moana Nursery.

"The juniper has a combustibility that ... acts as a ladder fuel," said Capt. Bonnie Terry of the Reno Fire Prevention Bureau.

A ladder fuel starts low in shrubs, such as junipers, and climbs to higher levels, such as nearby trees, and eventually the adjacent homes, Terry said.

Bring in one juniper shrub or tree to either Moana Nursery location between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday at 1100 W. Moana Lane or 11301 S. Virginia St. and exchange it for another shrub, plant or tree.

This event is part of the Nevada Wildfire Awareness Week, which runs through Friday. It is an effort to modify ornamental landscaping around homes and buildings to help reduce the threat of a wildland fire destroying structures.

Friday, May 18

Fire Fighters Are Knocking At Your Door

SOONEWS.CA - Fire Fighters Are Knocking At Your Door
Sault Ste. Marie Fire Service will commence their annual In-Service “Fire Safety Awareness” campaign on May 22, 2007 through to September 27, 2007.

Uniformed firefighters with identification will be knocking on doors of homes throughout the city. Crews will provide information concerning residential fire safety and ensure home owners understand that it is their responsibility.

The Ontario Fire Code requires that all residential occupancies have a working smoke alarm installed on all storeys.

This year’s in-service campaign will be conducted from Monday through Thursday – 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Mission District fire leaves 1 dead, 3 injured / 'Everything was in flames,' one (naked) S.F. resident says

Mission District fire leaves 1 dead, 3 injured / 'Everything was in flames,' one S.F. resident says
Building construction was an issue in this fire:
"It was a very tough fire, there was a lot in the walls," she said. "It took about two hours to get under control. It was very stubborn in the walls and the attic. ... We (still) have crews out there doing fire watch, because sometimes little hot spots get a little whiff of oxygen and will flare up again. We have been having some little flare ups, and they quash those as soon as they start."
Talmadge said the blaze was particularly difficult to battle because it got into the light wells of the adjacent buildings and behind the metal flash lining in those light wells.

31 people at first count, were displaced, but they believe the number may be much higher than that. The Red Cross is providing emergency shelter for those that need it.
One of the victims was a former Olympic Athlete (Remember..this IS San Francisco )
Raphael Muniz, 74, was displaced from his home at 25 Duboce Ave. by the fire. Muniz, a retired Muni inspector who said he swam for Mexico in the 1952 Olympic Games, said he ran out of his third-floor apartment "faster than I swam in Helsinki."

That would be 59 seconds, he said.

"Everything was in flames, flames were coming out everywhere and it smelled like rubber," said Muniz, who was naked until he realized there might be ladies outside, and decided to put on some pants.

Python, cobras, and other creatures rescued after small basement fire in N.Y.

Python, cobras, and other creatures rescued after small basement fire in N.Y.
NEW YORK (AP) - Firefighters responding to a small basement fire Thursday morning were startled to find a 10-foot python, two cobras, tarantulas and an assortment of other creatures inside.

"It was like out of a science fiction scene," said Lt. Ed Ireland, whose engine company responded to the Queens blaze.

The fire, whose cause hadn't been determined, was reported at about 11:20 a.m. in the borough's Corona section. Once it was extinguished and the smoke cleared, Ireland noticed the python writhing near his feet.

In cages and tanks, there also were two small alligators, frogs, turtles and tarantulas, he said.

All the creatures were removed by a private animal rescue agency, except for two that the lieutenant said probably died of smoke inhalation.

"The cobras didn't make it," he said.

The animals' owner was cited for health code violations.

Thursday, May 17

UPDATE 1-GE recalls 2.5 mln dishwashers, citing fire hazard | Consumer Products & Retail | Reuters

UPDATE 1-GE recalls 2.5 mln dishwashers, citing fire hazard | Consumer Products & Retail | Reuters
CHICAGO, May 16 (Reuters) - General Electric Co. (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research is voluntarily recalling 2.5 million built-in dishwashers made from September 1997 to December 2001 because of fire hazards, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Wednesday.

GE has received 191 reports of overheated wiring, including 56 reports of property damage, but no injuries, the commission said.

The commission said liquid rinse-aid could leak from the dispenser on the GE dishwashers into the internal wiring of the dishwasher, possibly causing electrical shorts or overheating.

The recall covers various GE built-in dishwashers sold under the Eterna, GE, GE Profile, GE Monogram, Hotpoint and Sears-Kenmore brands.

Wednesday, May 16

Deluge Test gone wrong

Test of a deluge system in an aircraft hangar. They thought they were going to be able to turn it off. Not so much. Good music-Enjoy!

Rescue 911 - 100 Lives Saved - Segment 2

Electrical cord starts a fire and a "silent killer". Good stuff!

That Peter Kay Thing 'Eyes Down'

Ingnorance kills...well so does smoke...and oh too. "Help Help my Mommy's on fire!"

Jobs Available!!!

City of Pasadena: Firefighter Trainee and Lateral Firefighter

OCFA (Click this link to access all of the job flyers)
Firefighter Trainee
Firefighter/Paramedic Lateral
Fire Prevention Analyst
Senior Fire Prevention Specialist

LA County Fire Dept
Firefighter Trainees
They are also hiring the following: (Click here to access these flyers!)Application Developer II (32521-C)
Assistant Chief, Fire Fleet Services (3-7476-C)
Community Services Liaison (32706-C) NEW!
Forestry Assistant (Exam: 3-0328-F)
Fire Equipment Mechanic (Exam: 3-7472-E)
Fire Fighter Trainee (Exam: 30198A)
Fire Prevention Engineering Assistant II
Forestry Technician (Exam: 3-0326-E)
Helicopter Mechanic (Exam: 3-7492-I)
Senior Nursing Instructor (Exam: 3-5216-A)
Student Professional Worker (Exam: 3-8243-A)
Student Worker (Exam: 3-8242-A)
Supervising Cadastral Engineer I (33634-A) NEW!

Huntington Beach Fire Department
Ambulence Operator

City of North Las Vegas Fire Department
Current Openings:
Fire Prevention Inspector
Fire Protection Engineer

City of North Las Vegas anticipates recruiting for the position of Fire Fighter Trainee tentatively during mid 2008.

City of South San Francisco
Fire Safety Inspector

City of Brea
Apprentice Firefighter
Battalion Chief

Summer Job: Surf Camp
Summer job openings for Surf Instructors, Private Lesson Instructors (year round possibility), Weekend Instructors, Beach Kid Camp Instructors
Locations in: Huntington Beach, El Segundo, and Santa Monica
Dates, times of interview...
> Date: Saturday, May 19, 2007
> Time: 1:00pm
> or
> Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2007
> Time: 6:30pm
> at
> Place: Huntington Beach City Gym
> 1600 Palm Ave
> Huntington Beach, CA 92648
> Please bring the following to the interview...
> -Resume
> -Application
> -Copies of certifications if any
> -Anything else you think will help us

You can also visit to find out more information and to fill out an application.

For more info email Sunny at sunny@surfacademy.

Fire Fire Everywhere.....

So fire season isn't supposed to start for another month or so....but it seems like the entire US is currently on fire! Here is the low down on whats going on with links to all of the incidents....

Large fires are currently burning in the following areas:
Arizona a> -Fires burning in both northern and southern Arizona.
Florida- Florida Fire Updates: FL Turnpike Closed
Georgia -Bugaboo Fire roars on
Ga. swamp fire could burn for months
Minnesota-'Good day' in fighting northeastern Minnesota fire
New Jersey -High winds whip N.J. fires; more evacuations

(For more info from National Fire News-click here)

Monday, May 14

Firefighters receive well-deserved lei-off

Firefighters receive well-deserved lei-off - Los Angeles Times
A firefighter strike team with the distinction of battling brush fires last week in Griffith Park and then Catalina Island returned to the mainland today with special orders: Remove your leis.

The leis, made of seashells and bright orange plastic ribbons, were gifts of gratitude handed to each member of the 15-man, one-woman team in Avalon as they boarded a Catalina Express boat headed for Long Beach.

The crew was one of four strike teams from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on the boat, but it was the only one to have pulled double duty.

Thursday, May 10

Gas Pump Fire: Woman drives off with hose still in the car!

The Advocate - - Newark, Ohio
More evidence that "Fire Prevention" methods work (and won't put anyone out of work!)
UNION TOWNSHIP — In the morning rush to get gas, a motorist became distracted when the credit card machine wasn’t working and ended up driving off with the hose still in her tank, Union Township Fire Prevention Officer Ron Jones said.

“A spark, we don’t know from where, set the gas in the hose on fire,” Jones said.

The fire quickly engulfed the plastic housing of the gas pump. When Hebron Fire Department arrived at the scene for the 7:30 a.m. call, they quickly dosed the pump with foam to extinguish the flames before any other damage was done.

“I’ve never been to a gas station fire before,” said Jones, a 30-plus year veteran firefighter. “When we came down from the hill, we could see the black, billowing smoke.”

But with the amount of safeguards on gas pumps, fire never reached the fuel tanks.

Gabby - Fire Cheese

Gabby makes good on his pledge to 'be helpful' by assisting the local fire department while they put out a fire. When the chief incapacitates himself by getting Gabby's hat stuck over his head, Gabby takes charge with with disastrous consequences. 6:41


Smokey Bear rocks in this fav PSA: "Only YOU!" can prevent forest fires!

Spontaneous Human Combustion: Part 1

Watch this Very Exciting Paranormal Video About SHC. Very Interesting Investigation. 9:36
Warning: Graphic content, may be disturbing to some.

Human Combustion 2

Watch Humand Combustion 1 before this. Continues the Paranormal Investigation of Spontaneous Human Combustion. 9:48

Dr. Heard's Amazing Fire Magic

Fire fun and facts!
Fun with chemistry. In the 1990s, we had Bill Nye the Science Guy. In the 1960s, we watched Mr. Wizard on TV on Saturday mornings. and in the 1950s, they had Dr. Heard. Many of these chemistry demonstrations are still being done today. Enjoy! This clip is from a 1950s newsreel from the Internet Archives. (more)

Caught On Tape: Man Clings To 36th-Floor Ledge

HONG KONG -- A man crawled out onto a narrow window ledge to escape a fire in his 36th-floor apartment in Hong Kong on Tuesday, and the whole thing was caught on tape.

The crowd below gasped as the man, who was trying to escape smoke and flames in the apartment, nearly lost his footing.

As the fre grew, the man tried to move to the next ledge. After a number of attempts, he made it.

Not long after that, a Hong Kong firefighter rappelled down the building and saved the man.

Tuesday, May 8

Aging homes a problem for city

HUNTINGTON -- Tonia Page and her neighbors complained for three years about the downward spiral of the house at 1835 9th Ave.

It began with tall weeds and garbag

Aging homes a problem for city

HUNTINGTON -- Tonia Page and her neighbors complained for three years about the downward spiral of the house at 1835 9th Ave.

It began with tall weeds and garbage that attracted rats and other vermin. Then, drug dealers and prostitutes began using it as a place to get high.

Fortunately, Page says, the house has not caught fire. The same can't be said for dozens of other abandoned homes in the area.

In the next few weeks, the house at 1835 9th Ave. will be demolished, as will 13 other derelict properties in Huntington. It's a small victory, considering the city's Unsafe Building Commission ordered the demolition of 62 homes in 2006 while the housing inspector and fire marshals identified about 220 more that were either fire-damaged, unsafe or in need of major upgrades.

And there could be hundreds more that have not yet been identified or are a couple of years away from falling into disrepair.

Yorba Linda fire 60% contained

Yorba Linda fire 60% contained - Los Angeles Times
A brush fire in Yorba Linda that has burned about 140 acres was 60% contained by this morning, fire officials said.

"Things are looking good right now, but if the winds heat up later in the day, we might have to change our assessment," said Capt. Steve Miller, the Orange County Fire Authority's spokesman.

Miller repeated Monday's prediction that the fire would be completely controlled by 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The fire, which was accidentally started by a Caltrans road crew, forced the evacuation of the Canyon RV Park. Trees in nearby Featherly Regional Park have been seriously damaged by the fire and will have to be cut down today to keep them from adding fuel to the flames, Miller said.

The fire burned west along the 91 Freeway, and firefighters were able to stop it from crossing the Santa Ana River.

A Caltrans crew had been installing metal fencing at Coal Canyon Road when sparks from a cutting tool ignited the fire, investigators said.

All roads in the area are now open, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Heat Leaves Imprint Of Ear On Firefighter's Hood

Heat Leaves Imprint Of Ear On Firefighter's Hood - Akron-Canton News Story - WEWS Cleveland
AKRON, Ohio -- An Akron firefighter is thanking his partners and his equipment for saving his life during a fire last weekend.

Jim Kocsis rushed inside a burning house because he was told children were inside, NewsChannel5 reported.

The house was empty but the flames flashed over, knocking Kocsis to the ground.

The heat was so intense that there is an imprint of his ear on his hood. His helmet and visor melted around his head and the carpeting melted on his knees.

Kocsis suffered second-degree burns.

Monday, May 7

Chemical Fire Sends People Fleeing

MyFox Memphis | Chemical Fire Sends People Fleeing
MyFox Memphis | Chemical Fire Sends People Fleeing
Employees and neighbors were terrified when this occupancy caught on fire...
Employees said a tanker unloading the chemical resin spilled and sparked the fire. Resin is used to make tubs and counter tops. However, fire investigators have not officially confirmed the cause of the fire.

Workers inside Lawrence Tile say hallways were filled with smoke and there was a lot of confusion. None of the workers were injured.

Lawrence Tile and Marble is at the end of a road mainly occupied by businesses. While many companies were not officially evacuated, the fear of a chemical explosion sent people running.

Woman, 4 dogs die in house fire

Woman, 4 dogs die in house fire - Northwest Florida Daily News
The smoke detector worked, but without an exit plan, Maria didn't make it out. Water shuttle operations were needed due to the rural location of the home.
MIAMI (AP) - A 71-year-old woman and her four dogs died in a house fire, authorities said.

Maria T. Pratt became trapped in her wood-framed home seconds after calling 911 about 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Pratt and her husband heard a fire alarm and he asked her to call authorities while he tried to determine the source of the fire, Miami-Dade Fire rescue Lt. Shanti Hall said.

"He began to put the fire out with a garden hose," Hall said. "By the time he went back for her, the house was already engulfed in flames."

Pratt's husband, Joseph S. Pratt, was not injured. Twelve cats and a dog were still missing.

Fire officials said it took them 15 minutes to reach the house because it was located on two acres in a rural part of Miami-Dade County. Water had to be shuttled to the site because there were no fire hydrants nearby.

The home was destroyed. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Saturday, May 5

When kids play with fire, firefighters worry | The CABINET PRESS INC | Covering Milford, Wilton, Amherst, Lyndeborough, Greenville, Mont Vernon, Jaffrey, Mason, Hollis, Brookline, Merrimack and Bedford, NH.
MILFORD —A toddler played with matches and set a mattress on fire last year. Teens played with fireworks and nearly injured four firefighters in Milford last year.

Milford’s fire prevention officer says these are two examples of a huge problem across the nation: kids setting fires.

In Milford in 2006, there were nine such instances and seven of them were intentional. The nine instances involved 15 kids.

“We’ve had children as young as two who have set fires,” said Capt. Jason Smedick, the town’s Fire Prevention Officer.

The toddler was copycatting a grandparent who lit a candle with a match. But the toddler didn’t light a candle; the child set a mattress on fire. Smedick hopes to remind parents that children are watchful and prone to emulate what they see.

The article goes on to discuss the Juvenile Firesetting Program offered by the Milford Fire Department.

Rookie firefighter honored for dedication

Evening Sun - Rookie firefighter honored for dedication
Bart Martin recieved the "Rookie Firefighter of the Year Award"---Here is what his boss had to say about him:

To be named rookie firefighter of the year, the recipient must be nominated by someone in the department. For Martin, that person was his supervisor, Lt. Brian Barnes.

Barnes said he nominated Martin because of Martin's outstanding performance as a firefighter and emergency medical technician. Martin constantly takes training, helps newer rookies and is hard-working, Barnes said.

"He's always at work extremely early and is ready to go," Barnes said. "He's an outstanding employee, he's a reliable employee, he's a damn good guy."

Barnes said Martin impressed him from the start. He needed no guidance, Barnes said.

Martin was one of the top students in his class, and he completed his probationary book several months early. The book has four chapters and demonstrates a recruit's knowledge of all policies and procedures for government and the fire department, and skills in the academy.

"If we could get all recruits that come out of the academy like him, my life would be a whole lot easier," Barnes said.

Army Giving Troops Fire-Resistant Clothing - Army Giving Troops Fire-Resistant Clothing
ARLINGTON, Va.— The Army will send fire-resistant clothes to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan this summer, including a new long-sleeve pullover shirt, officials announced this week.

The clothes are designed to give soldiers an extra layer of protection against fires caused by roadside bombs or rocket-propelled grenades, according to officials from the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Va. This is especially important for those traveling in vehicles or aircraft, where fire can be particularly intense.

In the past, fire-resistant clothes were reserved for aviators and tankers — soldiers who traditionally faced the greatest threat of fire.

But Army leaders have realized that fire protection is now an issue for all troops who travel outside the wire in Iraq and Afghanistan — in particular thanks to a phenomenon firefighters call “flashover.”

The heat from a flashover can melt polyester and other man-made fabrics, which have plastic or petroleum components, into skin.

To prevent such burns, Army regulations require troops to wear only 100 percent cotton shirts under their body armor while traveling the roads or flying in helicopters. Cotton burns but doesn’t melt and fuse into flesh the way artificial fibers can.

In January, the Army began sending more than 160,000 uniforms made of Nomex, the firefighting industry’s “gold standard” nylon-based fire-resistant fabric, to deployed soldiers conducting convoy operations.

But Nomex is a heavy, stiff fabric. It traps sweat and is very uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time, especially next to the skin and in places like Iraq, where summer temperatures routinely soar into ranges topping 120 degrees.

That’s why the Army chose to use a lighter version of Nomex for the fire-resistant pullovers being supplied to all deployed soldiers, according to the news release.

The pullovers “breathe,” or wick, sweat away from the skin.

Thursday, May 3

Exploding Stormdrain Covers!

Watch as the storm drain cover get blown off by thousands of gallons of water... and destroys a car! This happens when the pipes get flooded - they build up pressure till it finds the easiest place to escape!

Exploding Manholes

Another hazard you wouldn't normally expect!

BLEVE! Propane Tank Explosion Takes out City Block... TWICE

Gas leak at a propane storage facility in South Korea...all caught on tape. Wow!

Fire hydrant needs adopting

Just because.

The Fire Hydrant That Saved The Mission

The fires that raged after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco caused far more damage than the quake itself. According to legend, this fire hydrant saved the Mission District. Every year, it is spray-painted gold in commemoration. aprox. 7 mins.

To learn more about the past and present of San Francisco's cultural epicenter, visit

PC Pitstop: Laptop Battery Fire

The authors intentionally created conditions in which the Li-ON battery pack would explode inside a generic portable. The results are dramatic. There are numerous conditions where these fires can occur in real life. Faulty battery packs (driving the recalls), faulty protection circuits inside the PC, exposure to excessive heat, and blunt force are some of the major ways that this could happen to you.

Hope your laptop isnt on your lap when this happens! 4:55

What's the Status of Fire Hydrants in Montgomery Co.? Magical apparently.

What's the Status of Fire Hydrants in Montgomery Co.?
Geeze Louise!...Apparently hydrants are magical in Mongomery County. No one knows where they come from or how they are maintained. The apparently just appear....or not....and then sometimes they work....or not. Un-freakin-believable. This is 2007. Wow.
ROCKVILLE, Md. - With word that 53 fire hydrants in D.C. need repairs, Montgomery County's Public Safety Committee will ask fire and water officials about the status of hydrants in their county.

"I think it's a wake up call for everybody," says Montgomery County Council member Mike Knapp.

When a huge fire broke out at the Georgetown Library Monday, firefighters couldn't use the two closest hydrants because they were inoperable.

"I think if nothing else, we should learn from D.C. that just because it's there it doesn't mean its always operational," Knapp says.

Knapp says the committee will ask fire and water officials if there's a way to check hydrants before an emergency.

"If there isn't, then I think it really provides a false sense of security to the community," he says. "Every minute that passes with a fire, the fire increases exponentially."

Knapp says some newer neighborhoods may not even have hydrants, and that's an issue he'd like addressed.

But it isn't just in D.C. or Montgomery County- Seems to be a problem in Seattle too~ Click HERE to read the story and watch the video and play with the interactive web site on Fire Hydrants that DON'T WORK!!

Wednesday, May 2

England Fireworks Factory Explosion

This is what happens when a group H Division 1 building catches on fire! Video runs 2:13.

Library Fire Exposes Problems With Hydrants

Library Fire Exposes Problems With Hydrants
What if there was a fire .... and the hydrants were all out of order? Don'tcha simply HATE it when that happens? They sure do in Washington DC-- Where the failure of the hydrants slowed firefighters tremendously.
WASHINGTON - The fire at the Georgetown Library has exposed problems with some fire hydrants in the city.
Dozens of them aren't in working order, including the two closest to the library, where some irreplaceable documents and artwork were destroyed.

The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority is in charge of more than 9,000 hydrants in the city, and the agency has identified 53 hydrants across the city that are in need of repair. Some leak, some have defective parts, and others don't produce water.

Officials say it's hard to keep up on inspections, so the fire department plans to work with WASA to do more checks.

Fire and union officials say the faulty hydrants often aren't discovered until a fire breaks out. Firefighters wound up using hydrants that were about two blocks from the burning building.

Officials say the broken hydrants slowed the response of some units by a few minutes but didn't have a major effect on the blaze.

This is why many fire departments have their own hydrant maintenance and testing program, such as the Charlottesville, VA FD. Click here to read their SOP.

California Town Uses Goats to Stop Wildfires - News

California Town Uses Goats to Stop Wildfires - News
MENLO PARK -- A hungry, four-legged firefighting crew has returned to the city's hillsides.

About 450 goats from the Dixon-based Ecosystem Concepts Inc. started feasting Tuesday along the slopes of Sharon Hills Park.

The critters are in town for a couple of weeks to chew up dry brush that otherwise could turn into tinderbox fuel heading into the fire season.

"They are a really neat mowing machine," said Robert McGrew, a former firefighter who runs Ecosystem with his wife, Brea, a licensed veterinarian.

The goats have been bringing their fire-suppression skills to Menlo Park around this time every year for almost a decade, and they've turned into a kind of neighborhood tradition for those living around Sharon Hills Park.

Check out the website for these four legged firefighters by clicking here.
Goats R Us is another company that provides the same service. Click here for their website.

Rapping Philadelphia Firefighter Fired - News

Rapping Philadelphia Firefighter Fired - News
What do you think? Are the lyrics of a song grounds for dismissal? Do you have a "right" to free speech as a firefighter?
firefighter who wrote rap lyrics calling police "pigs" and threatening to turn them into "bacon bits" will be losing his job, fire officials said Monday.

Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers reported that the investigation into musical lyrics produced by firefighter Rodney Jean-Jacques had concluded.

As a result of the investigation, Ayers has suspended Jean-Jacques with intent to dismiss effective Monday afternoon.

"Commissioner Ayers deeply regrets that anyone was offended by the lyrics, especially our important (first) responder partners, members of the Philadelphia Police Department," said a fire department press release.

The police union's president initially asked for a written apology, but when none came, the union demanded Jean-Jacques's firing.

Click here for the link to the previous story.
Click here to link to the music video Jean-Jacques made for the fire department...back when they liked him.

Tuesday, May 1

5-Year-Old Who Died In Fire May Have Been Home Alone

5-Year-Old Who Died In Fire May Have Been Home Alone - Local News Story - WCAU | Philadelphia
Flames broke out just after 8 p.m. inside the home near 19th and Carpenter streets on Monday.

It took firefighters about 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control, but officials said the severely burned girl was later pronounced dead at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Fire investigators said the blaze started after someone left food cooking on the stove.

Philadelphia police told NBC10 they are also investigating if the young child was home alone.

“She was,” Maisha Watkins said. “They didn't pull nobody out but her. Her family was over there.”

Fire Department Lt. Michael Grant said a 5-year-old should not be isolated from the rest of the family.

“If someone is cooking, stay with the minor,” he said.

Fire Lt. Michael Grant also said this is the 26th fire fatality this year where no working smoke alarms were found on the gutted properties.

Firefighters handed alarms out to the community Tuesday afternoon.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers asked anyone who lives in Philadelphia and doesn't have one to call the Smoke Detector Hotline at 215-686-1176 to get theirs for free.

"Our whole organization is sick of this. We're upset about it. We want folks to catch on. We know that people are starting to catch on, but we need everybody to get it," Ayers said.

A Fire That Could Have Been Foretold -

Courtland Milloy - A Fire That Could Have Been Foretold -
The fiery destruction of Eastern Market, our long-neglected, trash-strewn, rodent-infested "local treasure," hit us when we least expected it. Sure, the 19th-century Capitol Hill structure had no sprinkler system; the electrical wiring was faulty; the opaque plexiglass windows were set in rotted wood frames. But who could have guessed that those things might constitute a fire hazard?
The District has fire inspectors. Apparently, they didn't have a clue.

Ouch. This would be a very bad day at the office.

Bungee Math

What happens when you bungee jump 60' off a road with a 70' bungee???
Check out the link. I give him a 10 for form....but -2 for the landing....8 overall. What do you think?