A raging fire destroyed a Boyle Heights import business Wednesday and three firefighters were injured, one critically, when the roof of the sprawling warehouse-type structure collapsed beneath their feet.
The fire broke out for unknown reasons around 12:45 p.m. at the Passion Imports building in the 2800 block of East Pico Boulevard. Arriving crews found the structure well-involved in flames with a thick plume of black smoke rising into the air.
Crews began pouring water on the structure and worked to vent the roof of the 16,000-square-foot building, with initial reports indicating that as many as a dozen people might be inside, according to Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott.
A short time later, the roof gave way, and three firefighters who were on top of the building fell inside the burning structure, Scott said. All three suffered burn injuries, with one of them taken to a hospital in critical condition and the other two listed as fair, he said.
KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner agreed to a 7 percent pay increase for police officers just weeks before a Houston referendum vote to determine whether firefighters deserve comparable pay for similar ranks.
Turner announced some of the details of the pay raise at Wednesday's city council meeting.
The two-year agreement with police will cost the city $52 million and goes into effect July 1, 2019.
Turner has skipped few opportunities to tell the public that the fire referendum vote, appearing on ballots in November as Proposition B, amounts to a 25 percent pay increase for firefighters and would cost $98 million. The HPFFA refutes that number but hasn't provided its own analysis to ABC13.
"If it passes, it's going to be ugly," Turner told reporters after the meeting. "There are no good outcomes."
KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston
Rensselaer Fire Chief Bill Hummel resigned Wednesday just hours before volunteer firfighters are set to bring concerns about training and proper equipment to city officials.
City volunteer firefighters and county officials say both the chief and an assistant chief have stepped down. While the mayor and the chief have not returned calls for comment, the volunteers believe the resignations are a direct response to growing tensions between volunteers and career firefighters within the city.
Michael Stammel is the chairman of the county legislature and a volunteer firefighter for many years. He and others say flaws within the system have recently come to light that show a huge breakdown in communication between Hummel, the volunteers, and paid firefighters.
Stammel also says volunteers have not been given necessary training or proper equipment to respond to emergencies.
WNYT-TV 13 Albany
As Anaheim Fire Chief Randy Bruegman’s retirement approaches, he discusses the future of firefighting and allows that if departments fail to change it could mean fewer men and women prepared to battle infernos.
Along with more mega wildfires and tornadoes of flame never seen before in modern history, the chief points out that 85 percent of calls are for emergency medical service.
“If we don’t adapt,” he warns, “we’ll be challenged to be relevant and worthwhile.”
While we talk, I glance at a collection of fire helmets that attest to the chief’s positions over his 43-year career. I also steal a look at a series of photographs of sooty firefighters that silently speak to heroism, sacrifice and honor.
But it’s a photo of a man dressed in red and gold robes that best captures both the chief’s approach to running a fire department as well as the chief himself.
That would be the Dalai Lama.
Anaheim Fire Chief Randy Bruegman will be retiring and moving to Wisconsin with his wife to be closer to family.
Prosecutors are recommending an 89-year prison term for the “serial arsonist” who set a fire in her nail salon that resulted in the deaths of two Kansas City firefighters.
Thu Hong Nguyen, 46, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday by Jackson Country Circuit Court judge Joel P. Fahnestock.
She was convicted of murder, arson and assault in the Oct. 12, 2015, fire in the 2600 block of Independence Boulevard that killed firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh. Two other firefighters were seriously wounded.
Prosecutors say several victims wish to testify at the sentencing hearing. Nguyen was convicted on six separate counts and will receive a sentence on each. Prosecutors are asking the judge to make those sentences consecutive.
Kansas City Star