National News

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

VIDEO: Fire destroys dozens of cars at Indiana auto yard

Firefighters say more than three dozen cars caught fire Wednesday morning at a south side business. Crews used tanker trucks to bring water deep into the auto yard. Once the water supply was established, crews had the fire under control in about 40 minutes. Indianapolis Fire Department crews were dispatched around 1:45 a.m. to Insurance Auto Auctions located at 3202 S. Harding St. IFD found about 40 cars on fire when crews arrived at the location. Heavy fire destroyed the cars, IFD said. No injuries were reported. The fire remains under investigation. IFD said the company was looking into the possibility that a lightning strike from thunderstorms overnight may have started the fire.
WXIN-TV FOX 59 Indianapolis

As Wildfires Burn, Are U.S. Cities Spending Too Much on Their Fire Departments?

It may sound surprising in an era characterized by increasingly destructive wildfires, but Stephen Jellie just spent the past year trying to get rid of firefighters. Jellie is the fire chief and city manager of Ogdensburg, N.Y., a town on the Canadian border that’s small and getting smaller—10,064 lived there in April 2020, down from 12,375 in 1980. The city kept raising taxes to try to save itself from financial distress, but costs were spiraling out of control. “We let it creep—we just kept putting resources into public safety,” he told me. “But you can’t run a city with just a fire department and a police department.” Ogdensburg isn’t unusual in cities and towns across the U.S.—even as the number of home fires has fallen significantly over the past few decades, spending on municipal fire departments has skyrocketed.
TIME - Metered Site

Oklahoma firefighters rescue country superstar Reba McEntire from second-story window after stairs collapse

VIDEO: A close call for a Texoma country superstar, Reba McEntire, had to be evacuated on a fire ladder from a second-story window Tuesday afternoon. “Oh it was pretty scary, I was worried about who was downstairs and how bad it was,” Coby Scherrill said. Scherrill was touring an historic building downtown Atoka Tuesday afternoon with Reba McEntire for a future project. “We were just touring the building and the stairwell was weak it seemed weak but we did not realize how weak it was until several people had gone down it and then we heard the crash and saw the stairs fall,” Scherrill says. City of Atoka Emergency Management Director, Travis Mullins, said the stairwell from the second story to the third collapsed, falling onto the stairwell from the first to the second floor, and trapping people on whatever floor they were on at the time.
KXII-TV CBS/FOX 12 Sherman

Pennsylvania township to donate fire engine to tornado-ravaged Alabama fire department

The Whitehall Township Bureau of Fire will donate a retired fire engine to a volunteer fire company in central eastern Alabama ravaged last spring by a tornado. The Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the donation at its Monday night meeting. According to Whitehall Fire Chief David Nelson, the 1990 Mack special edition fire engine placed out of service three years ago will be transported to the Shinbone Valley Volunteer Fire Department in Delta, Alabama. The department lost all of its firefighting equipment due to a sudden and severe tornado which raised the fire station to the ground. Nelson said the engine, which at municipal auction would net Whitehall about $4,000, would be put to a better and more appreciated use down South as opposed to becoming a showpiece here in the Lehigh Valley.
WFMZ-TV 69 Allentown

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Las Vegas recycling center fire started in ‘hot load,’ spread to warehouse

VIDEOS: Smoke continues to pour from the yard of the Republic Services Recycling Center in North Las Vegas as firefighters work to put out a blaze that sent black smoke billowing over the northeast valley Monday morning. The large 2-alarm fire at the recycling center just north of Cheyenne Avenue at Commerce Street is still burning. About 60 firefighters have remained on the scene. According to North Las Vegas Police Department firefighter Nino Galloway, the fire started from a “hot load” left at the recycling center. “Hot load” refers to the contents of a garbage truck. “Sometimes things catch fire,” Galloway said. “It could be anything. You could have … in recycling you might have some batteries in there that spark. You could have somebody that put a cigarette in there,” he said.
KLAS-TV CBS 8 News Las Vegas

Wisconsin teen saves 4 sisters from house fire then dog saves him

VIDEO: A 13-year-old Wisconsin boy is being credited with saving his four younger sisters from a house fire while their parents were at the grocery store. He tried to put the fire out himself but couldn’t, his dog eventually leading him away. Days after a fire tore through her home with her five kids inside, Kelly Omar searched through the rubble for anything she could salvage. She and her husband ran out last Monday to grab dinner for the family. The parents had been gone about 10 minutes when their kids, ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years, smelled smoke on the first floor. “My sister said it was really smoky and we looked behind us, and the playpen was on fire,” said Briar Omar, 13. The oldest of the kids, Briar acted quickly. “My sisters, that was the first thing I thought of, and I just knew I needed to get them out of the house,” he said.
Valley News Live

Minnesota fire department proposes embedded social workers

The St. Paul Fire Department has proposed a new $600,000 program in the 2022 city budget to embed social workers with firefighters, police officers and other city workers, hoping to improve responses for mental health and people experiencing homelessness. Fire Chief Butch Inks presented the initial plan to the city council last week, but he promised to release full details in the next 30 to 45 days. Giving the example of a deputy fire chief helping residents at an encampment during a snowstorm last December, Inks said the new rapid response team of social workers could have a "24/7 capability" after regular business hours to supplement the work of emergency services.
KARE-TV NBC 11 Minneapolis

Firefighting has a diversity issue — and these women want to solve that

There are so few women in Daly City’s Fire Department that the women’s bathroom was converted into a private restroom for male captains. In Alameda County, department-wide communications frequently refer to all firefighters as “he” or “him,” despite the longtime presence of women like Fire Captain Kimberly Larson. “It’s not that women don’t want to be firefighters, and aren’t capable of being firefighters,” said Larson. “It’s just that we’re never told, never exposed to it; it’s never seen as an option.” Larson has set out to change that. She’s inspired by specialized camps for women, such as First Alarm Girls Fire Camp, a Bay Area-based training camp designed to introduce young women to non-traditional careers like firefighting. In 2018, Larson founded NorCal Women in the Fire Service, an organization that puts on the annual camps for high schoolers across the Bay Area, including on San Francisco’s Treasure Island.
San Francisco Examiner - Metered Site

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