(Note: While I have apologized and given up my involvement in writing The Fire Critic, Willie Wines apparently is having a tougher time letting go. There is a brand new post attacking me and the people who read STATter911.com. Click here. Personal note to Capt. Wines – Willie, it's over. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. Give it a rest.)
If you saw Part 1 of our investigation into the website FireCritic.com you know that we have determined rather conclusively that there is no Lt. Rhett Fleitz in the Roanoke Fire Department. But it left open the question of who then is The Fire Critic (AKA Fireboy from Roanoke). Who has been writing the website FireCritic.com all of this time?
The shocking answer is in the video above. Our lawyers at STATter911.com World Headquarters advised us strongly not to run this story. But we thought it extremely important that the truth finally come out.
"Amber", a self-described Fire Critic groupie, with her man/boy. But just who is this guy who claims to be a Roanoke fire lieutenant? Capt. Willie Wines, who took this picture, comes clean in the video above and it isn't a pretty picture.
Before you watch Part 2 we should share with you comments from two of our readers quite concerned (and rightfully so) about what we reported in Part 1. Here are the actual comments:
… this kid (supposedly) from Roanoke has been on line how long? Nobody from there noticed he didn't exist? Child sociopaths turn into adult sociopaths and this kid needs help. Some motivation via Trademark infringement suits might get him the help he needs.
The sad part is this kid is setting himself to destroy any chance of a career in the fire service, which to his credit he seems to love. Imagine doing the background check on this kid…
I couldn't agree with these readers more. This is all an outrage. And yes, maybe the authorities need to investigate.
As for any part I may have inadvertently played in helping further this ruse on an unsuspecting fire service web community, I offer the following message straight from my heart (and from Chuck in our PR department):
It is time to take some of my own advice on how an organization should handle bad news (come see me in St. Charles, Missouri for the full lesson and remember to use STATTER in the promo code for a discount).
You will notice I am telling you first about this issue before you hear it elsewhere. It became clear there was nothing to gain by waiting for some smartass reporter (like FossilMedic) to uncover this problem. It was only a matter of time before it leaked out. In addition to getting the news to you first, I am getting it out, getting it right and getting it behind me.
So, let me share with you the steps I am taking. I have ordered a thorough investigation into how this Fire Critic crisis occurred. We will be using a team of outside investigators to insure impartiality. We tried to get J. Gordon Routley to lead that time, but Chief Routley had a prior commitment. (Dave, I have checked the budget. We can't afford Routley, Chuck in PR.)
Instead, I have asked Benny, our 12-year-old neighbor who is really a whiz on the Internet, to trace the digital trail and provide us some answers on how this could go so terribly wrong. Benny has promised me he will get to it as soon as he and my son Sam are finished with their latest battle in Call of Duty. We will share Benny's findings and recommendations with you when they are available.
I will be checking myself into a 12-step program in the morning. (Dave, I have checked all over the country, there is no program for egotistical bloggers who make fun of short people … Chuck.)
In addition, I have spent time today with my spiritual advisor, the Firegeezer Gnome, who I am certain will help me find my digital way once again. (Dave, have you checked with Schumm on this? I really don't think the Gnome counts as an important religious leader … Chuck.)
Please be certain that I take full responsibility for my actions and the actions of my staff at STATter911.com. Remember, the buck stops here. (Dave, fill in other clichés as needed … Chuck.)
To all of those I've hurt, I sincerely apologize. And I particularly regret dragging my family into this unfortunate situation. (Dave, both Hill and Sam have made it clear they will not be standing beside you if you decide to do a press conference, so I advise just go with the written statement … Chuck.)
Dave with his spiritual leader. Photo by Mike Legeros at Legeros Fire Blog.