Wednesday, March 26

Firefighter Killed, One Injured In Explosion Near LAX - KNBC-TV-

Firefighter Killed, One Injured In Explosion Near LAX - KNBC-TV-
LOS ANGELES - Authorities said one firefighter was killed and another remained hospitalized Wednesday evening in critical condition after an explosion at a building near LAX.

Fire officials said the firefighters were transported to the hospital in critical condition. Fire officials announced at an afternoon news conference that one firefighter died. The firefighter, a 10-year veteran of the department, was not identified.

Officials said the second firefighter was in critical but stable condition. A bystander was treated and released, according to fire officials.

The explosion happened at the southwest corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera Boulevard, at 8800 Sepulveda Boulevard.

Authorities said the blast appeared to be "electrical in nature." Deputy Chief Mario Rueda of the city fire department said the explosion was in an electrical vault.

Firefighters were called to the location to investigate dislodged manhole covers. During the investigation, firefighters said they noticed smoke coming from a room near the back of a building and several explosions occurred in the room, according to fire officials.

Video from news helicopters showed damage to a credit union for Department of Water and Power employees. At the Wednesday afternoon news conference, fire officials said a room at the back of the building where the blast occurred housed an electrical panel.

Fire officials said there was no indication on the outside of the door to indicate it contained electrical equipment.

Sepulveda Boulevard was closed during the investigation.

Click here to read the SOG Response to Power Lines/Energized Electrical Equipment for the Johnston City Fire Dept.

Click here for information about electrical vaults.

Jobs Jobs Jobs!!!

Click the links provided for the details!

Ambulance Operators City of Long Beach. Apps avail until 3/28.
Firefighter/EMT & Firefighter/Paramedic. Grand Junction CO. Deadline to submit application packet: May 9, 2009. (18 & breathing! + EMT-B or PM cert)
Entry-level Firefighter and Firefighter/Paramedic Salt Lake City UT. Deadline to register for the process is March 28, 2008 5 PM Mountain Standard Time. Requirements for entry level ff = 18 yrs by 5/10/08 and HS Diploma or GED by 6/14/08.
Firefighter Recruit. City of Burbank CA. Requirments: Age 18; CA Drivers Licence; HS or GED; EMT1 Deadline 4/25/08
Firefighter/Paramedic. City of Berkely. Deadline 3/31/08
Fire Recruit. City of Sacramento FD. Requirements: 18, GED or HS Dip, EMT-1. Deadlines: June 13 & Sept 12, 2008
Firefighter. City of New Orleans LA. 18, GED or HS Dip. Test dates in June/July/Aug 2008.
Assistant Fire Marshal. Benicia, CA Lots of requirments here. Deadline 3/27/08

Probie Joke: The Blue Flare

Fun in the firehouse. Sucks to be the probie!
Rookie Joke, send a rookie to another fire house to pick up "blue flares", have the other fire house paint road flares blue... while he'd driving back, mention that they are hazardous... then have fun during decon...
This video runs 6:22.

When firefighters get bored....

If only they used their powers for good...

A new way to fight forest fires....who knew???

Fire Engine Art Project

Materials list (Fire Truck):
- 1 Graham Cracker per child
- Red Frosting
- One Cheese cracker
- Three pretzel sticks (2 whole, and one broken in thirds)
- Two Hot Tamales per child
- Two Oreo® cookies per child (or one split in half)
- Two chocolate candies (like M&Ms)per child
- Two Corn Pops per child

Directions (Fire Truck):
1. Spread some red frosting on the graham cracker
2. Press the cheese cracker to the front of the truck
3. Build the ladder from the pretzel sticks
4. Put two hot tamales on the top for lights
5. Place the split Oreo's as wheels
6. Add two chocolate candies for hub caps
7. Add a Corn Pop for the head/tail lights

Click here for directions: Handout, website.

Boy Not Competent for Fatal Fire Charges

The Associated Press: Boy Not Competent for Fatal Fire Charges
GREENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A 10-year-old boy accused of deliberately starting a fire that killed his mother, younger sister and three other children was ruled not competent Tuesday to face juvenile counts of murder and arson.

Judge Michael McClurg dismissed the charges against Timothy Douglas Byers in Darke County Juvenile Court.

Police say the boy admitted setting the Sept. 16 fire in this western Ohio city but did not intend for anyone to die.

However, Byers' attorney, David Rohrer, has said his client denies the charges and was pressured into giving the purported confession.

Two psychologists, one hired by the court and the other by the prosecution, found that Byers did not have the developmental maturity to understand the proceedings or to aid his lawyers in his own defense.

"The evidence clearly shows he doesn't understand," McClurg said.

McClurg ordered the boy to perform 40 hours of community service, return to school and attend a fire safety class. The judge said he would review the case in six months. He declared Byers a ward of the state but left him in temporary custody of a grandmother.

The victims were the boy's mother, Chanan Palmer, 30, and his sister, Kaysha Minnich. Also killed were the children of housemate Christy Winans: Kayla Winans, 6, Je'Shawn Davis, 5, and Jasmine Davis, 3.

Dezirae Jones, an aunt of some of the victims, told the judge that she forgives Byers.

"But there are four children and an adult lady ... I will never be able to see them again," Jones said as tears ran down her face. "I wish we could figure out what happened."

Fire investigators warn of the dangers of improperly installed wood-burning stoves

Fire investigators warn of the dangers of improperly installed wood-burning stoves - Michigan News, Updates, Photos & Video | Detroit, Lansing -
VANDALIA -- A Michigan State Police investigator who has probed three fatal house fires this year sparked by wood-burning stoves said residents should always have the devices installed and regularly maintained by a professional to ensure safety.

Two young brothers in Cass County who perished Monday in a fire Monday morning were the fourth and fifth person this year in southwestern Michigan to die in a fire that Sgt. Scott LeRoy has determined was caused by a wood stove. LeRoy said improper installation or maintenance is often a factor when wood stoves are to blame for a blaze.

I think one of the contributing factors with these (recent fires) is ... homeowners or friends are installing or reinstalling wood stoves and chimneys and, quite frankly, making errors," LeRoy said.

For example, the sergeant said a recently installed wood stove that sparked a Feb. 16 fire in Delton and killed 35-year-old Jason Hoffman had been improperly placed on a wood floor instead of a non-combustible surface such as bricks. A new stove was also blamed for a Feb. 10 fire that killed 84-year-old Grace Bower and her son, Donald Bower, 60, at their Burr Oak home.

In the fire Monday that killed 6-year-old Dale Baldwin and 13-year-old Scott Baldwin, LeRoy said a wood stove that was used as a primary heat source "most likely" was the cause.

He said the boys' father, Leonard Baldwin had recently performed some maintenance on the stove's chimney, but Tuesday police did not know if those improvements were a contributing factor in the wood stove igniting the blaze.

Brad Friedt, owner of Friedt Enterprises in Kalamazoo, which specializes in wood stove sales and maintenance, said homeowners should have the pipes of their wood stove and chimney checked monthly and cleaned yearly. Friedt said the most common issue his company finds during wood stove inspections is improper clearance around stove and chimney pipes.

In some instances, he said company officials have inspected stoves where chimney pipes traveling through a ceiling of a home butt up against wood in the attic area and present a potential fire hazard.

Friedt said pipe traveling from a stove up to a ceiling should have an 18-inch clearance all around and a two-inch clearance is needed from where pipe travels from the ceiling through a home's rooftop.

The fire Monday gutted most of the house at 60969 Storey Road. Penn Township firefighters responded to the blaze at about 12:25 a.m. and found Dale and Scott dead inside after extinguishing the flames.

Leonard Baldwin, his girlfriend Billie Jo Allen and six other children made it out of the house safely. Alyia Baldwin, 7, was flown to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, where she was listed in good condition Tuesday morning.

LeRoy said the family slept in the single-story portion of the house where the wood stove was located. Dale and Scott were found by firefighters in the dining room of the house, which adjoined to the living room where they slept, he said.

By the time one of the Baldwin children spotted the fire early Monday, LeRoy said "the fire was already well involved" and family members who made their way to safety "barely got out."

LeRoy said police found one to two smoke detectors in the house, but none had batteries. He said police continue to investigate the blaze, but have no indications of anything suspicious and plan to close the investigation, pending the results of autopsies of Dale and Scott.

Tuesday, March 25

Emergency Protection- Manual Activation

Gas Station No No

Thanks go out to Bill H. for this one!

Five Children Die in Ark House Fire

Five children who were asleep in the upstairs of a small Bentonville home died early Tuesday in a fire that swept through the home.

Fire Chief Dan White says the children's parents were in a downstairs bedroom and were awakened by a smoke alarm, but could not reach the children because of the smoke and flames.

The parents escaped from the blaze, which was reported at 1:22 a.m.

White says the fire appears to be accidental, but police served a search warrant on the home later today based on items officers saw during the initial call. Among the items seized were a space heater and a small amount of suspected methamphetamine. Officers say there was not enough meth on hand to indicate there was a lab in the home.

The children were identified as 13-year-old Kristan Frazier, 11-year-old Kimberly Frazier, 9-year-old Katelyn Mahmens, 8-year-old Kaila Frazier, and 5-year-old Kiya Frazier.

Authorities identified the father as 33-year-old Jamie Dale Frazier, and the mother as 27-year-old Kerry A. Mahmens Frazier.

The bodies of the children were being sent to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for autopsy. Police say the items seized during the search will also be sent to the lab to be analyzed.

Fire officials described the house as 11/2 stories, with a very narrow stairway leading to the upstairs. White says he had to turn sideways to get through to the second floor.

Funny Insurance Reports.

The following was published by an insurance company for internal distribution. These reports were submitted when policy-holders were asked for a brief statement describing their particular accident.

The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.

I thought my window was down but found it was up when I put my hand through it.

A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.

The guy was all over the place. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.

I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment.

The accident occured when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.

I was driving my car out of the driveway in the usual manner, when it was struck by the other car in the same place it had been struck several times before.

I was on my way to the doctor's with rear-end trouble when my universal joint gave way, causing me to have an accident.

As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.

To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.

My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.

An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.

When I saw I could not avoid a collision, I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car.

The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran him over.

I saw the slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.

Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.

The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

Customer Service: Jimmy Dean

Obviously not a happy camper. How would you deal with this person if you worked in Customer Service for Jimmy Dean?

Communicating w/Dad

No matter how hard you try, sometimes it is very difficult to get people to understand.

Family Guy: 911 Training

A deleted scene from the Family Guy. Just goes to show, if the job was that easy, everyone can do it!

Friday, March 21

Girl, 6, Dies From Swimming Pool Injury: child was partially disemboweled.

The Associated Press: Girl, 6, Dies From Swimming Pool Injury
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 6-year-old girl whose intestines were partially sucked out by a swimming pool drain, leading to tougher safety legislation, has died, her family's attorney said Friday.

Abigail Taylor's parents were with her when she died Thursday at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where she had surgery to receive a new small bowel, liver and pancreas several months after she was injured.

She suffered setbacks, including a cancerous condition sometimes triggered by organ transplants, family attorney Bob Bennett said.

A hospital spokeswoman, Kara Haworth, confirmed Abigail's death but said she could not comment further and Abigail's doctors were not available Friday.

Abigail, of Edina, was injured June 29 when she sat on a wading pool drain at the Minneapolis Golf Club in the suburb of St. Louis Park; its powerful suction ripped out part of her intestinal tract.

Her parents, Scott and Katey Taylor, lobbied for tougher regulations to help prevent similar injuries, and in December, Congress approved legislation in December to ban the manufacture, sale or distribution of drain covers that don't meet anti-entrapment safety standards.

The legislation, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, is named for another victim, the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. She drowned at a graduation party in 2002, when the suction from a drain pinned her.

State Sen. Geoff Michel called the Taylors "a very amazing family" after he learned of Abigail's death. He said Scott Taylor had promised his daughter that he would get the law changed.

"They have held up and been held up for such a tough, tough road. I just feel terrible for them," Michel said.

Bennett said the Taylors wouldn't be available to comment Friday. In November, the family brought a lawsuit against the golf club and Sta-Rite Industries, the pool equipment manufacturer owned by Pentair of Golden Valley.

Gretchen Koehn, president of the Minneapolis Golf Club's executive committee, sent a note to club members notifying them of Abigail's death. The club's "hearts and prayers" go out to the Taylor family, she wrote

Tuesday, March 18

Spring Breaker Raped, Tossed From Balcony

ABC News: Spring Breaker Raped, Tossed From Balcony
A Panama City, Fla., hotel security guard was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with raping an 18-year-old student on spring break and then throwing the woman off a sixth-floor balcony, police told ABC News.

The woman survived the harrowing ordeal and is in stable condition at an undisclosed area hospital, authorities said. Her name was not released because she was the victim of a sexual assault.

Click the link above to read the rest of the story...the roofs below are probably what saved her life.

Fire Prevention Presentation gone bad

Problems with live props and an interested audience...

I Hate School.

Little Irish girl calls demolition company requesting them to knock down her school. Apperently, teachers that give homework on Fridays suck. Wonder what she could do w/a lighter?? (Or how she feels about Mondays...and yes that is a Boomtown Rats reference for those of you old enough- or hip enough ;-) to know. Enjoy!)

The Associated Press: Manager Jailed in R.I. Fire to Be Freed

The Associated Press: Manager Jailed in R.I. Fire to Be Freed
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The former rock band tour manager whose pyrotechnics started a fire that killed 100 people five years ago will soon be a free man.

Daniel Biechele is scheduled to be released from prison Wednesday after serving less than half of his four-year sentence. He is expected to return to his home state of Florida to serve out the remainder on parole.

Biechele was the tour manager for the band Great White when he set off pyrotechnics inside The Station nightclub on Feb. 20, 2003. Sparks from the pyrotechnics ignited flammable soundproofing foam on the club's walls and ceiling.

Biechele pleaded guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Friday, March 14

Officials faulted for Santa Ana College fire alarms problems

Officials faulted for Santa Ana College fire alarms problems - Los Angeles Times
Broken devices plagued the campus for two years because of miscommunication, failure to declare an emergency and the belief that a new system would soon be installed, a report finds.
Broken fire alarms at nearly a dozen buildings at Santa Ana College went unrepaired for more than two years because of miscommunication and a can't-someone-else-do-it mentality, and because officials did not declare an emergency to fix the antiquated system, an investigation by a law firm found.

"Everybody thought it was someone else's responsibility," said Eddie Hernandez, chancellor of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

The investigation was performed by Liebert Cassidy Whitmore of Los Angeles at Hernandez's request after widespread problems that placed thousands of students, faculty and staff in potential danger became public in October.

The faulty alarms had been documented in inspections in 2005 and 2006, but not repaired. The findings of the investigation were released to The Times this week.

Six entire buildings -- including the gym, fine arts building and library -- had no working fire alarms at various times over two years. At least three other buildings had some that worked. Some alarms had broken handles, others did not ring, and at least one was turned off because it would not stop sounding.

Campus and district officials put off repairs because they thought a new system was coming soon, according to the report.

"There was a feeling of 'Why fix these things if they're going to be replaced?' " said John Hanna, a community college district board member. "But that's no excuse."

Officials made another major mistake by not starting a fire watch when they first learned alarms were broken, Hernandez said, which left buildings unmonitored by human or machine.

Meanwhile, officials used the $400,000 in state money that had been earmarked to replace the system to paint and waterproof the exteriors of some of the same buildings that lacked working alarms.

The college's safety committee disbanded several years ago, cutting off one avenue through which the problems could have been reported to a higher level.

If the district board had been notified of the problem immediately, it could have drafted an emergency resolution that could have bypassed the lengthy bidding process and promptly fixed the alarms, according to the report.

That's what the board did once news of the broken fire alarms reached board members in October and the campus newspaper El Don wrote a story about the lapses.

The board acted swiftly, calling an emergency meeting, instituting a 24-hour fire watch and fast-tracking repairs for the aging system.

Less than two months later, the old system was restored to working order.

This month, the board is scheduled to approve a contractor to install a new fire alarm and public address system. That system, at a cost of about $1 million, should be in operation by the end of the year.

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore's report portrays a complicated web of campus and district bureaucracy, with at least six officials passing around information about the broken alarms for two years but taking little action.

For nearly three years before the problem became public, campus and district officials drafted and revised plans to replace the entire system but did not send forward a proposal to repair the existing one, district spokeswoman Laurie Weidner said. "We wanted to make sure we made the right investment," she said. "We don't take the expenditure of public funds lightly."

Santa Ana College President Erlinda Martinez knew the alarms were malfunctioning to some extent, asking in August 2007 for a faulty alarm -- which buzzed constantly -- outside her temporary office to be silenced.

"She had a very stressful day and just wanted the buzzer to be shut off," according to the report.

Martinez has said she did not learn of the broken alarms until inspectors brought the problem to the college's attention in October.

The investigation narrowed in on six officials. At the college: Bruce Bromberger, plant manager; and Noemi Kanouse, vice president of administrative services. At the district: James Wooley, safety and security supervisor; Al Chin, director of safety and security; Don Maus, environmental and safety services manager; and Bob Brown, director of construction and support services, who retired in 2006.

All six were apparently cited in the report for not fulfilling their responsibilities regarding the fire alarms, though how they erred is undetermined because district authorities blacked out names when referring to mistakes they made.

The district also took disciplinary action against those faulted by the report.

Bromberger, who was responsible for the maintenance and repair of fire alarms at the college, resigned in February.

Chin, who is responsible for fire alarm systems at the district and college and communications about safety, was suspended for two weeks without pay.

Kanouse, responsible for facilities maintenance at the college, was transferred to serve as vice chancellor at the district and given a pay cut.

Three other officials received letters of reprimand but kept their jobs.

In reaction to the fire alarm problem, Santa Ana College has reconvened its safety committee, and the district board has formed its own counterpart.

"Thank God no one was hurt and we didn't have to pay the price," Hanna said. "But there were mistakes made. Administrators have been chastised and will see more clearly now. The silver lining is that out of this will come a safer campus."

Wednesday, March 12

Old smoke alarm may have led to woman's death in fire

News: Old smoke alarm may have led to woman's death in fire | alarms, smoke, fire, believe, power -
Will your 10-year-old smoke alarm fail you?

Investigators say 60-year-old might have escaped her San Juan Capistrano home if her 35-year-old alarm had been operating.

This was sent to me courtesy of Jim C in the online class. Jim comments:
(This)kind of goes along with (our discussion of)complacency.

How many of us took the time to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors in our homes while we were changing our clocks for daylight savings? Put a new one if it needs it or not. If it is older, replace it. If you don’t have one, get one.

We should all take a little tour of our own homes now and again and make them safer and easier to escape from. Fire prevention starts at home. Check out the link, it’s a sad thing to think about a $10 device could have changed the outcome for this family.

I think Jim makes a very valid argument. Read the story and see what you think. The link to the original story has more photos and lots of worthwhile info on smoke detectors.

Thanks Jim!
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – It may have been a fire burning in the floor below Rita Sales' bedroom that killed her, but investigators believe it was a smoke alarm that failed her.

The 60-year-old woman and her dog were in the bedroom when the fire began smoldering in the family room at 10 p.m. Jan. 25, officials said. It took firefighters about an hour to put out the blaze in the two-story home in the 33600 block of Avenida Calita, but investigators believe Sales might have been able to get out if the smoke alarm outside her bedroom had worked.

"We don't believe the smoke alarms were activated," said Chief Investigator Devin Leonard of the Orange County Fire Authority.

Investigators believe Sales' home was equipped with the same hard-wired smoke alarms that were included when the home was first built in 1973. Although the smoke alarms should be replaced every eight to 10 years, officials believe that most of the 400-plus homes in the same tract, like Sales' home, are using the same, ineffective alarms.

This Saturday, about a dozen firefighters are expected to be sent door to door in the tract where Sales lived to inform residents about the need to replace smoke alarms that could be more than 30 years old. The simple practice of replacing the alarms and checking the battery power could save lives, said Laura Blaul, Fire Authority fire marshal.

Hard-wired smoke alarms are connected to the home's power supply and use a battery as a backup. Although batteries should be replaced every six months, the entire smoke alarm needs to be replaced every 10 years. Because they are connected to the home itself, many homeowners have an incorrect notion that hard-wired alarms don't have to be replaced, like battery-power-only detectors, she said.

In the past six years, about 70 percent of fires in the county have been in homes equipped with ineffective smoke alarms, Blaul said.

Click HERE to read the rest of the story. It has lots of good info in it!

Tuesday, March 4

Buzzer beater from Autistic student drives crowd wild

A basketball story.

The Last Lecture

An academic tradition at Carnegie Melon asks faculty to consider what they would tell their students if they learned they were dying and could only deliver one more lecture. This is Randy Pausch's Last Lecture on achieving your dreams. 11:52 (an excellent investment of your time IMHO) Thanks Therese!

Monday, March 3

Fresno FD: Home Fire Sprinkler PSA

"It's like having a firefighter in your house all the time....maybe even better!" This is great-Thanks for sharing it Joel!