Allentown, PA 3rd-alarm: This run came in around 4:00 AM yesterday for a fire in a law office at 1248 Hamilton Street. The fire started in the basement. The video is from our friends at NewsWorking.org. Also, click here for more details and pictures from this apparent arson.
My kind of town – columnist takes on judge who granted fire lieutenant/arsonist his pension: Jeffrey Boyle, a former Chicago Fire Department lieutenant, served two years of a six year sentence for a series of arsons. He had entered a guilty plea to eight fires but told investigators there were 20 in all. The Firemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago thought Boyle was a good candidate to have his pension denied. On Friday a judge thought otherwise. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, who has closely followed this case, has a special honor for the judge. Boyle’s main argument was that he didn’t set the fires with city equipment or on the department’s dime. Click here.
Super Bowl TV star/firefighter/accused arsonist gets reduced charge: Do you remember the case of the Pittsburgh area volunteer firefighter/college student who set a couch on fire on live TV during last year’s Super Bowl celebration (if you don’t, here it is)? He is now a former firefighter and college student. He also had his charges reduced following completion of a program for first time offenders. Click here to read and watch the update.
Jewish EMS crew claims discrimination over beards: In Baltimore County a discrimination complaint has been filed by volunteer EMS members of Pikesville VFC. All three are Orthodox Jews who say shaving their beards is against their religious beliefs. Watch the story. Read the story.
Autopsy report withheld from NIOSH: A bunch of new NIOSH reports on firefighter fatalities have come out. The one on the Boston Fire Department’s loss of two firefighters at a restaurant fire is not really complete. NIOSH wrote in the report that it was aware of allegations of alcohol and drug use by the fallen firefighters, but its investigators were denied access to the autopsy reports. Click here to read the reports from Boston, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Oh, never mind: Just after noon yesterday the mayor of Muncie, Indiana said it looked like they were heading toward more firefighter layoffs. Five hours later Mayor Sharon McShurley was saying something very different. Read the latest in the ongoing drama between the mayor and her firefighters.
They are back to rolling up their sleeves in Haverhill: Firegeezer told us about Haverhill, Massachusetts Chief Richard Borden putting a halt to H1N1 shots for his troops last week. The chief said he did so to make sure all of his department could get the shots and was concerned about not being in the loop for the decision making process. These issues that stalled Monday’s shot have apparently all been resolved and the firefighters started getting the shots yesterday. Here’s the latest.
Update on firefighter trapped when garage door came down: Both the local paper and Firefighter Close Calls have the latest on a Hooksett, New Hampshire firefighter who was hurt Monday night during a fire at a firm housing lawn mowers and other garden equipment. A mayday was called by the injured firefighter’s officer after “an overhead door came down as he had just stepped inside the large metal clad building with heavy fire conditions”. Goldfeder says full PPE likely helped save the day on this one.
Mystery odor brings out the troops: The Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service in Maryland found a bunch a people complaining they were sick at a grocery store yesterday afternoon. They blamed it on a smell that suddenly filled the store. Six people went to the hospital and much of the shopping center was shut down for a few hours. Watch the story. See slideshow. Read the story.
FMs shut doors on community arson meeting because of overcrowding: The Seattle Fire Department met with Greenwood residents last night about a series of arsons, but the interest was so high they had to close the doors. A second meeting was held so everyone could hear the details. Who can blame the people for wanting to know more? There have been 14 set fires in their community. Some of the arsons caused significant damage. Read more about the meeting. Read details of the investigation.