Thursday, February 28

Durango Blaze Recap/Video Shows Firefighters in Explosion

The explosion was caught on tape. It happens at about :59 into to the video. It keeps running and they show them loading 2 of the firefighters into ambulances.

... fire and explosion ripped through the historic district of downtown Durango on Friday afternoon, injuring as many as seven firefighters who were on the roof of the building when it exploded.

Dave Abercrombie, spokesman for the Durango Fire and Rescue District, said the firefighters were standing on top of the Le Rendezvous Restaurant when it blew up about an hour after firefighters arrived.

David Bruzzese, spokesman for the Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, said seven fire and rescue personnel were brought to the hospital.

He said six were in good condition and one was in fair condition. Bruzzese said the hospital planned to admit three.

He declined to say what types of injuries the seven received.

The fire was reported about 1:39 p.m., and three buildings were ablaze when the firefighters arrived two minutes later, Abercrombie said.

In flames were the Seasons Restaurant, Le Rendezvous Restaurant and Half-Price Tees, a shop that sells T-shirts, said Abercrombie.

"We had a crew on the roof of Le Rendezvous - between six and seven firemen - when it exploded," Abercrombie said.

For the rest of the story click on the link above.

Saturday, February 23

Playing with Fire

Reason #9: Why you shouldn't play with fire. Especially in prison.

Thanks go out to Adam S. in our online class for finding this gem!

Wednesday, February 20

Fire Marshal Bill & Safety in Space

Fire Marshal Bill & Hospital Safety

Fire Marshal Bill & Holiday Safety

Fire Marshal Bill & Restaurant Safety

Fire Marshal Bill & School Fire Safety

Fire Marshal Bill (Jim Carey)delivers a fire safety speech at an elementary school. Enjoy!

For Station survivors, painful memories

PROVIDENCE - Gina Russo’s head was seared down to the skull, her body pocked by third-degree burns, her future consumed by painful skin grafts and guilt over having survived The Station nightclub fire when her fiance had not.

“I remember people would come to visit, and then when everybody was gone, thinking, ‘How am I going to do this? Why was I kept alive?’ ” Russo said.

Five years ago tomorrow, fire tore through the club in West Warwick, killing 100 people and injuring more than twice that many. The blaze began when pyrotechnics used by the band Great White ignited flammable soundproofing foam that covered the walls and ceilings.

Survivors live with disfigurement, depression and steep medical bills, and victims’ relatives endure flashes of bitter anger and loneliness.

However, they also have found ways to cope.

James Gahan has set up scholarships for youth sports programs in the name of his son, Jimmy, one of those who died, and has worked for stricter fire codes.

Bonnie Hoisington still tears up when she hears “One Particular Harbour,” a Jimmy Buffett song that reminds her of her daughter, Abbie, but she finds comfort in her new grandchild, born to another daughter after Abbie died.

Russo says she is determined not to let the memory of that night and the loss of her fiance, Alfred Crisostomi, dominate her thoughts.

Russo was placed in a medically induced coma because she had third-degree burns on 40 percent of her body, and she didn’t wake up until 11 weeks after the fire. She remembers the pyrotechnics and seeing the ceiling melting, smoke, heads on fire. Crisostomi put his hand on her back and pushed her forward, yelling “Go!” and she never saw him again. He died from inhaling toxic fumes.

After she woke up, she needed help standing, bathing and tying her shoes. She has scars up and down her arms and wears an auburn-colored wig in public.

During her arduous rehabilitation, Russo drew motivation from the need to care for her young sons, and from her faith that Crisostomi would have prodded her to recover. Even so, as each anniversary awakens painful memories, her normally bright demeanor turns somber and her family knows that’s the time to give her space.

She and others feel let down by the justice system.

A grand jury indicted club owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian and former Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele, though many victims believed members of the band and the local fire inspector also were culpable. All three reached plea deals, and Biechele and Michael Derderian were sent to prison in 2006.

Biechele is scheduled to be released on parole next month, and Derderian in 2009. Jeffrey Derderian was spared jail time and ordered to perform community service.

VH1 Classic and VH1 on Board to Televise 'VH1 Classic Presents: Aftermath: The Station Fire Five Years Later' Friday February 15, 3:09 pm ET
One-Hour Special Will Also Share Survivors' Stories on Easter Sunday, March 23 10:00 P.M.*

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- VH1 Classic and VH1 will air "VH1 Classic Presents: AFTERMATH: The Station Fire Five Years Later" a one- hour special of concert highlights on Sunday, March 23, 2008 10:00 p.m.* from the upcoming Phoenix Rising! Musicians United to Benefit the Victims of the Station Nightclub Fire. John Rich (Big & Rich), Alabama's Randy Owen, Dierks Bentley, Kellie Pickler and Gretchen Wilson will be joining Aaron Lewis (Staind), Tesla, Twisted Sister, Kevin Max and Stryper featuring Tom Scholz and Gary Pihl of Boston and the just added, Winger among others.
For the rest of the article click the link "VH1".

For more info or to make a donation, check out

Escape auction

Another oldie but a goodie~ Enjoy!

Sunday, February 17

Chelsea Handler's Exit Drill

Chelsea Handler suffers a "wardrobe malfunction" and other problems during a surprise fire drill.

Thursday, February 14

Agency Sued Over Death of Firefighter at Tower

Agency Sued Over Death of Firefighter at Tower - New York Times

The sister of one of the two firefighters killed in August fighting a fire at the former Deutsche Bank building sued the government agency that owns the building and several contractors on Wednesday, charging they knowingly created dangerous conditions that led to her brother’s death.

Firefighter Robert Beddia, who died in an August fire.
The sister, Barbara Beddia Crocco, contends in the suit that her brother, Robert Beddia, 53, died because of conditions caused during the dismantling of the building, including piles of combustible debris, dismantled fire connections, compromised stairwell walls and barricaded exits.

But in a striking omission, Ms. Crocco did not sue New York City or the city’s Fire Department, even though city officials relieved three senior fire officers of their posts about 10 days after the Aug. 18 fire. Aryeh Portnoy, a lawyer for Ms. Crocco, said his client had not ruled out suing the Fire Department, “at the right time.”

The suit seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. Mr. Beddia and a second firefighter, Joseph Graffagnino, 33, died when a broken standpipe in the basement could not deliver water to the fire, which fire marshals said was probably started by a cigarette. At a news conference in August, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said three senior fire officials had been stripped of their command during an investigation into the fatal fire.

The mayor said the local firehouse had failed to conduct any required inspections of the building, which was on the edge of ground zero, since 2006.

Wednesday, February 13

California Captain Pinned Between Fire Trucks

California Captain Pinned Between Fire Trucks - News
A Marin County fire captain was in critical condition Monday after a fire engine struck him and wedged him against another fire truck, officials said.

Rubin Martin, 37, of Windsor was airlifted from the Throckmorton Ridge fire station, where the mishap occurred, to the trauma center at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, firefighters said. Martin suffered a broken leg and a "massive blood loss," according to fire broadcasts.

"It sounded like he was in pretty bad shape, losing blood internally," said Deputy Chief Rich Lopez.

The incident occurred at 3:20 p.m. as the Throckmorton crew was returning from a call. Martin, a longtime county firefighter, got out of the truck to help guide a colleague who was backing the fire engine into the garage, said acting Sgt. Bryan Yops of the California Highway Patrol.

When Martin moved from the left side of the rear bumper to the right side, he got pinched between the moving fire engine and a stationary one, Yops said. The firefighter who was driving the truck, 35-year-old Todd Lando of San Anselmo, heard Martin yell and quickly moved the truck forward.

"(Martin) temporarily lost consciousness and lost quite a bit of blood," Yops said.

The fire truck was backing up at less than 5 mph, he said.

A medical helicopter landed at the fire station and flew Martin to John Muir. He was in critical condition Monday night and was admitted to the hospital, a nursing supervisor said.

The incident will be investigated by the California Highway Patrol and Cal/OSHA, the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

"We don't know whose fault it is at this point," Yops said.

Friday, February 8

Oops! Alarm Was Off in Building Where Fire Injured 33

Alarm Was Off in Building Where Fire Injured 33 - City Room - Metro - New York Times Blog

Even though the alarm wasn't required by code to be installed, once installed, it is REQUIRED to work.

An early-morning blaze in a stationery store led to the evacuation of tenants from a luxury apartment building at 200 East 72nd Street on Thursday, the Fire Department said. Thirty-three people — 19 firefighters and 14 residents — were injured. One firefighter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, fofficials said. The other injuries were less severe.

Officials said the building’s fire alarm was out of service for repairs at the time of the fire. They said the local fire company, Ladder 16, had issued a violation order for a problem with the alarm system on Jan. 30, and the owner was in the process of fixing the system at the time of the fire. The officials did not know the nature of the original problem on Thursday afternoon. Violation orders are typically written by local fire companies and, because they are handled on a case-by-case basis, there is no fixed deadline for repairs to be made, fire officials said.

The Fire Department said an alarm was not required for the 35-story building, which contains fire-resistant construction materials, although once a fire alarm is installed it is required to be properly maintained.

The department said it received a report of a fire at about 5:10 a.m. Ultimately, 145 firefighters responded to combat the blaze, which was under control at 6:51 a.m., officials said.
The fire was contained to the one store, State News, on the ground floor, the department said. The cause remains under investigation. According to the city’s Finance Department, the building is owned by 72nd Street Associates.

Not so Sweet: Sugar Refinery Explosion, 6 bodies found

Did you know sugar is highly explosive???

Bodies Found Following Georgia Refinery Blast - News
Firefighters working gingerly through a still-burning sugar refinery found three bodies Friday and were trying to reach the remains of three others killed in an explosion overnight, Georgia's top fire official said.

Crews found the three bodies in tunnels beneath the building, which was reduced to a mass of rubble, twisted beams and mangled metal, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine said.

Local authorities said they had not heard of any recoveries.

"We have not had any confirmed deaths yet. I know that for a fact. They are still going through the rubble as we speak," Savanah-Chatham County Police Sgt. Mike Wilson said.

Police Chief Michael Berkow told families of missing workers that rescue efforts at the massive Imperial Sugar Company refinery had shifted to recovery operations hours after the explosion erupted late Thursday. Dozens of the nearly 100 people were working inside at the time of the blast were hurt, many critically burned.

Fire officials said they had begun clearing debris so they could move farther into the plant, and predicted the blaze could be extinguished by Friday afternoon. Fire Chief Greg Long said he wasn't giving up hope some of the missing might still be found alive in rooms blocked by debris.

"I have friends that work at this plant," Long said. "I don't want to see a casualty list."

Officials had not determined what caused the explosion Thursday night but said they suspect sugar dust, which can be volatile.

"There was fire all over the building," said Nakishya Hill, a machine operator who escaped from the third floor of the refinery on the Savannah River.

"All I know is, I heard a loud boom and everything came down," said Hill, who was uninjured except for blisters on her elbow. "All I could do when I got down was take off running."

The blast was felt by residents throughout the Savannah suburb.

Police Lt. Alan Baker and his wife, Joyce, told CNN they were among the first on the scene. Alan Baker said he went with a maintenance worker to turn off a gas main while his wife, a Red Cross first aid instructor, treated the injured.

"It was like walking into hell," Joyce Baker said. "We had approximately 13 men who were coming out and they were burned, third-degree burns on their upper bodies. And they were trying to sit down and the only thing that they wanted was to know where the friends were."

Some of the burned men had "no skin at all" and some had skin "just dripping off them," Baker said.

More than 30 people were taken to hospitals, some airlifted to a burn center in Augusta, 130 miles up the Savannah River, according to police and hospital officials. Several were in critical condition, including some who were placed on ventilators, said Dr. William Wessinger, the medical director at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.

Beth Frits, a spokeswoman for the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta, said 15 fire victims transferred from Memorial were in critical condition and three were in serious condition.

The plant is owned by Imperial Sugar and is known in Savannah as the Dixie Crystals plant.

"A far as we know, it was a sugar dust explosion," Imperial Sugar CEO John Sheptor said. He said it happened in a storage silo where refined sugar is stored until it is packaged.

Workplace disasters involving combustible dust have been a concern for federal safety officials for years.

In a November 2006 report, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigates industrial chemical accidents, recommended that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issue a comprehensive combustible dust standard for general industry.

A posting on the CSB Web site Friday said the 2006 recommendation was still open. An OSHA spokeswoman did not immediately return a call Friday seeking comment.

The plant's last inspection by the state Department of Agriculture was Oct. 30, 2007. Records show it was cited for two violations, one involving an opening in a packing room area that could allow for pests to enter and another related to buckets used for packing molasses in a warehouse not being properly protected.

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Lynn said the river was closed to ship traffic from the Port of Savannah while the river was searched for possible victims.

"It's a large facility, and there is still a significant amount of fire," said Clayton Scott, assistant director of Chatham County Emergency Management Agency. He described the refinery as covering an area the size of a Super Wal-Mart.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said Friday it is sending an investigative team to the plant.

Sugar dust is combustible, according the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration's Web site. Static electricity, sparks from metal tools or a cigarette can ignite explosions. Sugar dust is suspected of sparking a nonfatal explosion last summer at a factory in Scottsbluff, Neb., and one that killed a worker in Omaha in 1996.

Imperial Sugar, based in Sugar Land, Texas, acquired Savannah Foods & Industries, the producer of Dixie Crystals, in 1997. The acquisition doubled the size of the company, making it the largest processor and refiner of sugar in the U.S., according to the company's Web site.

Imperial markets some of the country's leading consumer brands, Imperial, Dixie Crystals and Holly, as well as supplying sugar and sweetener products to industrial food manufacturers.