Two city firefighters were injured Monday when a wall collapsed while multiple fire crews were battling a massive blaze in a large storage building on Newell Street.
The two unidentified firefighters were taken by ambulance to Samaritan Medical Center, one on a stretcher. Fire Chief Dale C. Herman confirmed one of the injured firefighters was later transferred to a Syracuse hospital.
The extent of the injuries and their conditions were unknown Monday night. Their families were notified, Chief Herman said.
Shortly before 6 p.m., crews were called to the sprawling building at 108 Newell St. that sits behind Derouin Plumbing & Heating Inc. and next to Adirondack River Outfitters.
Watertown Daily Times
Fairfax County’s fire chief announced his retirement Friday, a little more than a week after county officials said they would investigate allegations that the department had failed to curb sexual harassment.
Richard R. Bowers Jr. has received high marks during his five-year tenure for the department’s firefighting work, but was dogged by complaints and a handful of lawsuits claiming that women were mistreated in the ranks. Bowers’s last day will be April 30.
The chief declined to comment, but county officials said Bowers offered to retire after a meeting this week with the county executive, who expressed frustration by the Board of Supervisors with the pace of progress in changing the culture of the department.
Still, Sharon Bulova (D), the chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, praised Bowers’s work.
In 2003, John Bernardo worked occasional nights as a DJ in bars throughout the state, hired to bring in people who wanted to dance and buy drinks.
After Feb. 20, 2003, the night 100 people — including two of his friends — were killed and more than 200 injured, many severely, in the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, that all changed.
“The business really dropped off after that,” he said. “Entertainment nights at bars and grills, they said, ‘It ain’t worth it.’”
For a DJ that was bad news, but from the perspective of his day job as an electrical safety engineer, he said it was a long time coming. Today, Bernardo is the president of the Safety Association of Rhode Island and the owner of his own building-safety consulting company. He said the changes in the state’s fire code enacted after the Station tragedy turned Rhode Island’s fire safety rules from arcane and confusing to a modern code that was more easily understood and enforced.
Emily Avin was supposed to come home that day in September.
Her parents had arranged it: Avin would move back into their country home in the small Florence County town of Pamplico, where she grew up playing softball and cheering for her high school football team as the mascot. It would be a break, for a month or so, from her job as a paramedic, a career the young woman loved but now found emotionally draining.
She worked one last 24-hour shift in Aiken. Afterward, instead of driving across the state, Avin called her mother upset. Sue Ann Avin detected hopelessness in her daughter’s voice.
“Emily, you’re not thinking about doing anything to hurt yourself, are you?”
Her daughter, a tough woman who wore her blond hair cropped short, tearfully promised she was OK. The two ended the call the way they always did.
Charleston Post and Courier
Four members of the American Legion Ambulance Association in Woodstown escaped unhurt Monday after an early morning blaze devastated their squad building and caused at least $2 million in damage.
The blaze broke out around 4 a.m. and destroyed five ambulances and caused significant damage to a sixth, officials said.
Firefighters, some of whom arrived to the scene on Maple Court within three minutes of the blaze being reported, found heavy flames on the right side of the building, Reliance Fire Company Chief Jeff Bowling said.
Four ambulance association employees were on duty in the building when the fire broke out.
Oxygen tanks mounted in the ambulances exploded as the blaze intensified.
A program that allows Los Angeles cops and firefighters to collect their pensions and salaries simultaneously at the end of their careers was originally hailed as a no-cost way to keep the most experienced officers on the job.
But six years into the program it was clear there were serious problems, including reports that aging officers with bad backs and aching knees were joining and then immediately going out on long injury leaves — sometimes for years — at essentially twice the pay. So leaders of the police and fire unions, scrambling to preserve the program in 2008, proposed a seemingly simple solution: require everyone entering to be on active duty.
Los Angeles Times