Quick Takes: February 21, 2011.

Audio from mayday at FDNY 5th-alarm in Brooklyn. Union says staffing cuts played a role in fire. FDNY says it was the wind & an open door: This is the fire that broke out during high winds Saturday evening in a 70-unit, six-story apartment building. It left a resident dead and injured 20 firefighters. One of the firefighters, who was burned, was rescued by other firefighters during a mayday. Firegeezer.com has coverage of this fire. Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy believes crews were hampered by the recent removal of one firefighter from 60 FDNY engine companies. From WINS Radio – Cassidy claims that because the first unit to arrive on the scene Saturday had one less firefighter, “it took [the crew] five minutes longer to get water on the fire.” An FDNY statement gives a different view, “Contrary to the UFA’s statement, it was the open door problem – greatly exacerbated by severe winds – that fueled this fire into an unstoppable conflagration … “.

It was windy here too: The high winds hitting the East Coast kept firefighters busy. Prince George’s County, Maryland was so busy it received mutual aid from across the Chesapeake Bay and Western Maryland. We have lots of videos and details, including arrival video of two burning homes in College Park. Click here and here for our coverage. 

The wind helped keep Baltimore County busy: Besides brush fire, since Friday there have been a significant number of muli-alarm structure fires in Baltimore County. One of those was a third-alarm commerical fire on Pulaski Highway on Saturday. Check out Michael Schwartzberg’s video on this one.

Early video from Loudoun County, Virginia house fire: A house fire on Friday in the Broadlands community. Click here.

It’s Not My Emergency: I have mentioned this before, but if you are interested in how social media and public safety interact you need to be reading Chief Bill Boyd’s blog, It’s Not My Emergency. I’ve been playing catch up on the thoughts of the fire chief from Bellingham, Washington. It’s well worth your time.

Unfortunately it was HIS emergency: In Conesus, New York, Lt. Jim Wood didn’t realize at first the fire he was responding to was in his own home. He soon found out. His family was not home when the fire broke out. Click here for that story.

Fighting a house fire from the shoulder of Interstate 85: That was the case in McAdenville, North Carolina (Gaston County). The back of the burning home was next to the highway. Here’s the story.


Cop and fire chief charged with arson, but only one person was arrested: A little riddle to start the week. Late last week Morris County, New Jersey officials held a press conference to say a Morris County Sheriff’s officer and the assistant chief of the District 5 VFD in Parsippany are accused of arson. Actually it is just one person, 33-year-old Jason Campbell, who fills both roles. The house fires were in 2008 and 2010 and the case was cracked as part of an undercover investigation and the use of a confidential informant. Other fires are being looked at. Read more.