Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008
Indianapolis firefighters rescued no less than 20 people from an apartment building blaze yesterday.
When firefighters arrived amidst the flames and smoke, people were leaning out of their windows on the 6th and 7th floor of the building.
A ladder truck was used to rescue the people who had been trapped.
Meanwhile other firefighters entered the building and used the stairs to bring 20 more to safety.
Two people were treated for slight smoke inhalation.
No firefighters were injured.
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008
It’s the weekend in which senior citizens escape fire.
Mable Williams, 98, was working in her kitchen, cleaning dishes. Looking up out of the window she saw a house which is really close to hers on fire.
“”I began to get nervous. I just kept seeing the light. I went to the front and turned on my alarm and nothing. I began to look outside and I saw all of this.”
— Mable Williams, 98
Her house was judged to be too close to the intense fire and firefighters pulled her to safety.
Williams wasn’t injured; her house is undamaged too.
Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2008
Keith Kennedy is getting a chance to meet the firefighters who rescued the 25-year-old man with autism from the Wisconsin woods.
Kennedy was missing for a week in the woods near Grantsburg, Wis. after running away from Trade Lake Camp for the developmentally-disabled on June 15. He was rescued June 22 and taken to Fairview Medical Center at the University of Minnesota for recovery.
Kennedy was discharged from the hospital Monday. He had a kidney transplant in 1995, and had been without his medication since June 15. Searchers feared that his kidneys would shut down.
On the last day of organized search, one of the St. Paul firefighters found Kennedy naked in some brush. He was dehydrated, full of ticks and bug bites and suffering from hypothermia.
Kennedy will meet the firefighters following a ceremony to honor the rescuers at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in St. Paul.
The Patriots in the Park annual carnival turned into a tense situation for several children stranded on a ride.
Sometime between 4 and 6 p.m. on Friday, six children between the ages of 3 and 8 were stranded for about 25 minutes on the Crazy Bus, a children’s ride that goes in circles for several minutes. An electronic problem caused the malfunction, according to Granite City firefighter/paramedic Craig Sykes.
Sykes was one of nine special responders from the fire department who rescued the children by carrying five of the six down a ladder.A child of about 8 was old enough to climb down the ladder by himself, Sykes said.
The children were stranded a little more than 20 feet off the ground in an upright position while they were rescued by firefighters. The rescue took about 15 minutes. No one was injured, Sykes said.
“The youngest one (about 3 or 4) seemed scared. The others seemed fine,” Sykes said.
“This was the first time we had any problems with any of the rides since I’ve been with the Park District,” said Dave Williams, executive director of the Granite City Park and Recreational District. “We’re thankful no one was hurt.”
Williams, who has been the executive director since 2000, said the ride was shut down for the remaining two days of the carnival.
The rides at the Patriots in the Park carnival are owned and operated by Swyear Amusements Company, of New Athens.
Swyear has been providing rides at the carnival for several years, Williams said.
Friday, May. 16, 2008
A mother and three children saved from a burning house in Oxford yesterday thanked their rescuers.
Charmaine Partlett, 25, and three of her children Travis, seven, Mimi, three, and Skye, two, were rescued by firefighters from the blaze at their three-storey house, in Lyndworth Mews, Headington, on Sunday morning.
Miss Partlett was screaming from her top-floor window that she could not find three of her children but the fire crew got them out within a few minutes. All four were unhurt, apart from suffering smoke inhalation.
But the family lost all their possessions in the fire and have been put into emergency accommodation.
Yesterday, they met Slade Park fire station manager David Heycock, who was in charge of the rescue.
He chatted with the children and gave Travis his helmet to wear.
All the children shook his hand, while Miss Partlett thanked him for the firefighters’ speedy arrival.
She said: “We were just a couple of minutes from it being a lot worse.
“I have lost lots of possessions, the kids’ clothes and toys, but I can replace them. The kids got out somehow without a scratch on their heads and I could never replace them.
“I’m just thankful they’re all alive. The firemen kept coming back in and taking my kids out. It was unbelievably brave.”
Miss Partlett was woken by her smoke alarm at about 4am. The house was on fire and the bedrooms were filled with smoke.
She tried to rescue her children but could not find her way through the smoke.
Miss Partlett added: “I woke up to find my bedroom was filled with jet-black smoke and I could barely breathe.
“I couldn’t get to the girls’ bedroom but luckily I had my mobile phone. I found it on the floor through the smoke and dialled 999.
“I still couldn’t breathe and my eyes were stinging. All I could think about was I couldn’t get to the kids and didn’t know if they were awake. I have never been so scared.”
Firefighters broke down the front door and first rescued Travis from his downstairs bedroom, then found Skye and Mimi on the second floor.
Travis said: “I didn’t know there was a fire until the fireman came through the front window and grabbed me and took me through the window so I didn’t cut myself.”
Miss Partlett’s eldest daughter Rhiannon, nine, was staying at a friend’s house.
Mr Heycock said: “This was probably a once-in-a-lifetime job.
“To rescue four people from a burning house with eight rooms, things could have been so different.
“It’s so rewarding to see these children all fine and healthy.”
The fire is believed to have started accidentally, caused by an iron.
Monday, Mar. 24, 2008
A disabled girl around 11 years old is in hospital after firefighters rescued her from the window of a burning building in Montreal (Canada) early Monday morning.
Firefighters said the girl received non-life-threatening injuries when fire broke out around 2 a.m. at a three-storey apartment building on Fullum Street.
About 25 people fled the building, making way for about 100 firefighters who fought the flames and smoke.
The girl was left behind in a first-floor apartment, where firefighters reached her and carried her to safety.
A few firefighters remained on the scene of the charred building with smashed windows around 8:30 a.m. Monday.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007
Joseph Iamonico’s morning began with his usual routine: he lit up a stogie and took his English bulldog, Tito, for a long walk along the Bronx River Parkway, biding time before his 24-hour shift at the Eastchester Fire Department.
The 52-year-old firefighter-EMT isn’t sure what happened to his cigar, but figures he must have dropped it while jumping into the river after a sinking sport utility vehicle yesterday.
“I heard the car hit the guardrail, and I was hoping it would stop in time, but it just kept going and going,” he said.
The accident was reported about 7 a.m. on the northbound parkway, behind the Crestwood train station. The red Kia Sportage sank off Vermont Terrace.
Iamonico used his cell phone to call the Westchester County dispatch center – the number is on his speed dial. After giving out the accident location, he put down the phone and his wallet and jumped into the water.
By the time he reached the submerged vehicle, Debbie S. Johns, 33, of Mount Vernon had managed to get out of the driver’s seat.
“She was sitting on top of her car, and she seemed pretty shook up, but not hurt,” Iamonico said. “The water was about up to my chest. She gave me a bear hug and we basically waded back to shore.”
Johns was taken to Lawrence Hospital Center in Bronxville for back pain.
A heavy-duty wrecker pulled the SUV out of the water shortly before 8:30 a.m. after placing a tether through two windows.
The speed limit on that part of the parkway is 40 mph. Police are investigating whether speed was a factor in the crash.
“Speed is probably the likely cause,” said Lt. Maria Meliti of the Westchester County police. No charges have been filed, said Lt. Henry Cetina.
Attempts to reach Johns were unsuccessful. A phone number listed for her address was disconnected.
Two fatal accidents have taken place on the Bronx River Parkway this month. On Monday, an Orange County man was killed and a Peekskill woman seriously injured in a two-vehicle collision near Virginia Road in Greenburgh.
On Nov. 7, a Yonkers couple were killed in a two-vehicle collision near Oak Street in Yonkers.
Police cited the driver in the Nov. 7 accident for speeding. Yesterday’s accident is still under investigation, police said.
Iamonico got to work about an hour late, after going home to shower and change clothes. He still had to work his 24-hour shift, he said, with a casual shrug.
“Any one of the guys in this firehouse would have done the same thing,” he said. “I don’t think I did anything too crazy. It was a normal reaction.”
His supervisor, Capt. Tom Ferrara, who has worked with Iamonico for 25 years, agreed, but said the firefighters had their own way of honoring his actions.
“We will ruthlessly (tease him) for the rest of the day, and he has to buy dinner, or at least lunch,” Ferrara said. “If you do something stupid or heroic, you have to buy dinner. I’m sure there will be steak on the menu tonight.”
THREE South Wales firefighters have been honoured for acts of bravery while on duty.
Mark Dodds and Rob Adams, who work on Blue Watch at Barry Fire Station, were called to Aberthaw Quarry, where a woman had threatened suicide before losing consciousness on the edge of a 100ft drop.
Rigged with ropes and harnesses, Rob caught the woman before she slipped and held onto her as she hung over the edge of the quarry for 10 minutes.
Mr Dodds rushed to his colleague’s aid and the pair then lowered the unconscious woman, and themselves, down the quarry face and into the quarry.
Both then performed CPR on the woman, who had stopped breathing, until paramedics arrived.
Another firefighter who was honoured was James Haskell, who works at Ely Fire Station.
He was called to a house fire in Canton where an unconscious man was trapped in a loft conversion.
Mr Haskell managed to break into the room and, along with a colleague, rescued him.
Thursday, Jul. 5, 2007
A Hamilton firefighter who has been hospitalized since being trapped under water for more than 20 minutes during a training exercise in April will be going home Friday, according to a hospital spokesman.
Guy Karrick, a spokesman for the Drake Center in Cincinnati, said Chris Gabbard will be released at noon Friday. He said there would be some “tremendous visuals” at the discharge, which is expected to include Gabbard receiving a ride home in a fire truck.
After more than six weeks of recovery from the accident on the Great Miami River, it is good that Gabbard is going home, said Hamilton Fire Chief Joe Schutte.
“It’s truly a miracle,” he said.
Gabbard, 32, has been recovering since the April 17 accident that occurred during recertification training on the Great Miami River. About 12 members of the department’s River Rescue Team were present when two boats drifted toward the turbulent water near the dam and overturned.
Gabbard, a four-year firefighter, and three others fell into the water near the low-level dam. Three of the firefighters were pulled out of the water within minutes. Gabbard was under the water more than 20 minutes.
Gabbard was taken to The Fort Hamilton Hospital and then to University Hospital in Cincinnati before being transferred to the Drake Center.
A second firefighter, John Hansbauer, who sustained spinal and leg injuries during the accident, was released from Drake in early May.
After the accident, Schutte asked the community to pray for the recovery of Gabbard and Hansbauer.
“The prayers were certainly answered,” Schutte said. “There is no other way to explain it.”
R. Dennis Riddick, pastor of the Twinbrook Hills Baptist Church where Gabbard is a member, echoed Schutte’s claim that Gabbard’s recovery was miraculous.
“Both Fort Hamilton and University Hospitals gave him up and didn’t think he was going to live,” Riddick said. “Now, he’s up talking, eating regular food and getting visitors. He’s doing really well.”
Riddick said Gabbard was undergoing physical therapy to regain the use of his legs and had been walking some distances on his own.
Wednesday, Jul. 4, 2007
Los Angeles County firefighter/paramedic Fred Sandoval estimates he took three minutes to save Bryce Lyons’ life.
Sandoval, of Upland, insists any one of his fire crew members could have rescued the Glendora man – who was nearly certain to die from smoke inhalation inside of a smoke- and fire-filled apartment building.
But last Monday, Sandoval was the one who went inside the apartment about 6:40 p.m. in the 500 block of Parker Drive.
“Anyone of them would have done it – it was just Fred’s turn to go in,” said John Schmidt, emergency services manager for Glendora.
Sandoval, 39, has lived in Upland with his wife and three children since December 1998 but grew up in Glendora and graduated from Glendora High School in 1985.
Los Angeles County fire Capt. Gary Bronner said Lyons, 29, is alive because of Sandoval’s help.
“Even to the bigger point, he probably would have died if we hadn’t gotten to him before the next minute – that’s how close it was,” Bronner said.
Sandoval went inside the apartment after Glendora police Officer Mike Skibar went in but could not see more than three feet because of “intense” smoke and then exited the building, Schmidt said.
Bronner said Sandoval put on a breathing apparatus, and fire engineer Ed Vasquez gave him a 300-foot hose line for safety.
“I was crawling on my knees feeling – like this,” Sandoval said last week as he re-enacted the scene inside his station next to a fire engine.
“I was feeling around and I felt his left foot,” Sandoval said.
“Is this him?” Sandoval remembered thinking. “Yeah, it’s him. I grabbed both feet and dragged him out.”
Fireman Dominic Viramontes and firefighter/paramedic Pat Dunham from Engine 32 in Azusa helped pull him away from the building, Sandoval said.
Then firefighter/paramedics Sean Cusack and George Gonzalez from Sandoval’s Engine 151 helped to resuscitate Lyons, Sandoval said.
Lyons was released May 7 from Foothill Presbyterian Hospital.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Since 1990, Sandoval has worked for Los Angeles County as a fire suppression aide, flying in a helicopter and fighting brush fires in 1990 and 1991. He was hired as a firefighter in 1992.
He had been an ambulance driver in 1988 and 1989 as well as during a brief period in 1991.
He went to Citrus College and Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut and in 1991, he graduated with a fire-science degree from Mt. SAC.
He has been at the Glendora station for 11 years and passed an exam to be a fire engineer in November.
Bronner said it was a team effort in saving Lyons.
“I have an excellent crew,” he said. “It doesn’t surprise me my crew made the right decision to make a difference.”
Schmidt, who was a paramedic with Sandoval’s brother in Glendale in the late 1970s, said he believes Sandoval made the difference.
“That gentleman is alive because Fred went in there and did a thorough search. He could have done a quick precursory search.
“If Fred was on the hero list, I’d vote for him.”
Thursday, Jun. 28, 2007
Firefighters rescued a young family from their burning house when a mystery blaze trapped them in a bedroom.
A man, woman and child were rescued from the bedroom window as flames engulfed their home in Enfield, north London.
The family were trapped in the bedroom when the fire began just before mdnight on Saturday.
The blaze took hold in the ground floor of the house in Wishaw Walk and fire crews helped two adults and a young boy to safety from a first floor window.
The three were treated for smoke inhalation, but were otherwise unharmed.
A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said: “We were called at midnight to a fire at Wishaw Walk, Enfield, in a house of two floors.
“One adult male, one adult female, and one male child were rescued from a first floor bedroom suffering from smoke inhalation.
“Ten per cent of the ground floor was damaged by fire. The firefighters used one hose reel, a fire extinguisher, breathing apparatus, and a thermal image camera.”
The cause of the blaze was being investigated.
Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2007
FIVE UK firefighters who saved a man’s life after he was stabbed are to receive an award.
The men, from Maesteg fire station, will be honoured in a ceremony tomorrow.
Their quick thinking saved the life of 48-year-old John Baker, of Carmen Street, Caerau, Maesteg.
Sub Officer Martyn Harris, Leading Firefighter Dave Lake, Firefighter Andrew Daye, Firefighter Dave Smith and Firefighter John Boulton will be presented with a letter of commendation.
The men were called to a pub where they found Mr Baker in grave danger. They wrapped him in their uniforms to stop the heavy bleeding and drove him to hospital in the back of a fire engine.
Wednesday, May. 30, 2007
A fireman braved a burning petrol station forecourt and prevented disaster after a man flooded the area and covered an attendant in fuel.
Police yesterday praised the actions of deputy chief fire officer Dave Burford who stopped the blaze just as it was licking petrol bowsers.
A 34-year-old man was granted interim name suppression when he appeared in the Christchurch District Court today charged with arson, two counts of assault, and resisting arrest.
The incident closed the station for about two hours while police examined the scene.
Duty solicitor Shaun O’Neill told Judge Stephen Erber he would not apply for bail on instructions from the man’s family, but asked for interim name suppression so relatives could be informed.
The man, who is now subject to an in-patient order from the court, was remanded in the custody of Hillmorton Hospital without plea to reappear on May 31.
Burford said he was passing the petrol station on his way back to work when he heard an emergency call.
“There was a man standing in the forecourt with lots of petrol around him and he had a fire-starter. I immediately realised the implications,” he said.
“The police weren’t there yet, so I had to be quick.”
Burford said the ground was covered in petrol as bowsers had been used to flood the forecourt.
“He (the accused man) took a swing at me and missed. But then the fire started. It just went right across the forecourt. I grabbed an extinguisher and told them (station staff and customers) to get out of there.”
He then managed to put out the fire using four extinguishers.
“I was surprised how well it worked,” Burford said.
Police then arrived and arrested the man on the forecourt, he said.
Burford said it was fortunate it was an open forecourt, with plenty of fresh air.
“I was lucky it didn’t blow,” Burford said.
“There was just enough air around for it to just ignite.
“With the amount of petrol there, I realised it would be a big explosion,” he said.
“They don’t realise how dangerous it can be if a petrol station goes.”
However, Burford said he did not feel a hero, despite his actions. “I’m not. It’s just my job. I have been in the job for 37 years, and that is what I get paid for.”
Sergeant Steve Jones, of the Sydenham police, said the accused man was by himself and went into the store and spoke to attendants briefly.
“I don’t know what he was saying. It doesn’t sound like he’s had an altercation with them.”
The man left the store then started pumping petrol over the forecourt and over an attendant who was outside, Jones said.
“The attendant and other Caltex staff took off out the back door. They had shut the petrol off inside – I’m not sure at what stage.”
Police arrived on the scene minutes after the fire broke out, and Jones managed to capture the alleged offender.
“It was just so dangerous to everyone around.
“It had the potential to be a major fire – full credit for the fire chief.”
Caltex staff at the scene declined to comment.
In a statement, Chevron New Zealand marketing manager Nick Hannan praised the actions of a staff member at the petrol station.
“This is a very rare occurrence and the staff member was quick to follow Chevron safety and security procedures, which meant the situation was well contained,” he said.
The incident closed the station for about two hours as police conducted a scene examination.
Witness Julie Paul said she saw the man pouring petrol around the forecourt.
“Then I just saw flames, and smoke, and then it was out.
“It happened so fast.
“There were quite a few people there at the time.”
Paul ran across the road to the station and saw a policeman holding the man on the ground.
“He was fighting back and said `leave me alone’.
“I told him he was a bloody idiot because I was so angry. It was such a stupid thing to do.”
Another witness, Ken Schick, was with a friend about to drive into the petrol station when he saw the flames.
Schick said the thought of the station exploding did cross his mind: “It was almost touching the petrol bowsers.
“It could have exploded. It did go through my mind.” Schick said he saw police officers arrest the man.
The man had looked very agitated.
Friday, May. 25, 2007
A volunteer firefighter is being heralded as a hero after he jumped into a burning car to save a woman’s life.
Robin Drought was the passenger in a car when in wrecked in Pleasanton back in March. Her door was smashed in and her feet were pinned under the dashboard. Then, the fuel tank ruptured and the car caught on fire. The water trucks weren’t there yet, but Pleasanton volunteer firefighter, Scott Garris was. Garris got inside the burning car with a fire extinguisher and kept the flames back.
“He sat there and held my hands the entire time. I thought if he stays with me and doesn’t leave me, everything must be okay,” said Drought.
The fire was put out when the water trucks arrived, and Drought was extracted from the car. She suffered second degree burns on her back and numerous broken bones, but is expected to make a full recovery thanks to Garris.
Captain Garris was named ‘District Firefighter of The Year’ last month.
Tuesday, May. 22, 2007
Rochester firefighters rescued a mother, two children, two dogs and seven puppies in two fires early Friday.
The first fire, at 21 Reed Park, was called in shortly after 3 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the front porch was engulfed in flames.
The occupant of the home was already outside, but firefighters found and rescued two adult pit bulls and seven puppies, said Battalion Chief Richard Yackel.
One of the 1-week-old puppies was not breathing when firefighters brought it out of the house, but paramedic Sarah Andzic gave it CPR and worked with it until it was breathing again, said John Halldow, public information officer for Rural/Metro Medical Services.
The second fire, on nearby Weld Street, was called in about a half-hour later, and also started on the front porch.
The fire reportedly blocked the second-floor stairway, trapping the family inside.
The mother and two school-aged children were rescued by ladder from the back of the house, said Deputy Chief Bill Curran.
The three were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital; the children with possible smoke inhalation, the mother reportedly with a deep cut in her wrist from broken glass.