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Quick Takes: December 7, 2010

Baltimore County two-alarm apartment fire: Michael “FirePix1075” Schwartzberg sent me this yesterday but it was so busy I never got around to posting it. This is from a fire at 5:00 Monday morning at 16 Warren Lodge Court in Cockeysville. Michael’s still pictures and account of the fire can be found here.

Fireground audio from Baltimore fifth alarm: Operations Chief Donald Heinbuch was first on the scene and asked for the box to be struck in the 400 block of East Baltimore Street yesterday. Thanks to we posted the first 90-minutes of the fireground audio late last night. Click here to listen in

Lots of videos from the fire on “The Block”: Sitting home sick yesterday with laryngitis, I stayed off the phone and went a little crazy posting a lot of videos from the fire that not only damaged Baltimore’s adult entertainment district, but seriously threatened Baltimore City Fire Department Headquarters. Click here for that coverage.

Fire apparatus on the fifth-alarm: Glenn Usdin’s has a series of photos from Stanley Jaworski focusing on the rigs surrounding “The Block”. Check them out.

Naked women & fire trucks. That’s how it all started for Dave: In case you missed it, the quote of the day on the Baltimore fireground came courtesy of veteran Baltimore TV reporter Jayne Miller. It came from a worker on “The Block” – “We had to run to the back and grab anything we could and run out buck naked”.  You can now watch that live TV interview for yourself. Click here.

Listening to the report and watching the coverage yesterday brought back fond memories of spending time in one of those buildings that burned. But it is not exactly what you think. At 16, when I was first driving, I would hang out in the 400 block of East Baltimore Street. In what is now a scorched Crazy Johns sub shop and used to be Polock Johnny’s (a much classier Polish sausage joint, I can assure you). I would play pinball with my friends Lee Caplan or Jeffrey Silberschlag and wait to hear the sirens from around the corner at Engine 32 and Truck 1 on South Gay Street. We would then hop in the car and turn the scanner on to find out where they went. And no, we were not completely oblivious to the other sights all around us. It was quite a place.

Also from Baltimore, lawsuit thrown out in recruit’s training death: A judge put a stop to the $15 million dollar federal lawsuit filed by the family of Racheal Wilson, who was killed in a live training fire in a Baltimore rowhouse in 2007. Read the details

And at the other end of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway there is a new fire chief: The B-W Parkway actually terminates in Prince George’s County, Maryland where Marc Bashoor is the new acting fire chief. Brought back to the department from a retirement gig as the emergency management guy in Mineral, West Virginia, Chief Bashoor is already busy with station visits and meetings. He also has a message out to the troops. Click here for our coverage.

Investigator says chief and supervisors are also to blame for Spalding County, Georgia cell phone incident: The man whose investigation into the video taken of a dead woman at a crash scene brought the firing of a firefighter says there should be more people going out the door.  Check out these excerpts from

Attorney Christopher Balch said interim fire chief Kenny West’s lax supervision fostered “an atmosphere where Reid’s conduct seemed acceptable. His failures in leadership development, training and communication cannot be overstated.”

“There is little or no accountability in this department,” Balch said. “Instead, it seems that employees and supervisors are trying to protect themselves and avoid the next disciplinary write-up.”

Assault on the firehouse: Serious stuff in Paris, France where three armed men burst into a fire station, ransacked the place and roughed up a firefighter. Firegeezer has this story.

Two from Western Maryland: The Potomac Fire Company in Westernport posted some pictures from the double fatal fire in Frostburg, Maryland last week. They also have photos from a fire engine wreck from Sunday.

How to stretch a bad news story into multiple days of news coverage: You may recall that yesterday I pointed out the foolishness of the Carmel, Indiana government for telling reporters that a group of firefighters had been disciplined, but not saying what they were punished for. Instead of getting the bad news over with, Carmel has now had to come clean about the transgressions. And they get another day of publicity out of the story for their efforts. In the end, it doesn’t even seem all that interesting. Judge for yourself.

Dog saved. Firefighter wet and cold: Firefighter Close Calls has the story of an Orland, Indiana firefighter who fell through the ice while trying to rescue a dog.

Man bites man: A Charlotte, North Carolina firefighter on an abdominal pains call was bitten by a man in the apartment of the woman they were treating. I am not really sure why. Here’s the story.

I wrote in the name of’s Captain Willie Wines: This year’s Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year honor goes to Florida firefighter Brian Sheets. I know we have all been on the edge of our seats over this. Click here for the details. Better luck next year Willie.

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