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National Fire News

At least 25 dead, several missing after boat catches fire off California Island

Divers with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department joined the U.S. Coast Guard Monday in an effort to find as many as 30 people feared dead resulting from a 75-foot commercial diving boat that caught fire and sank near Santa Cruz Island early Monday. Twenty-five bodies have been located, and at least nine other people were missing and likely deceased, authorities said.
- PUB DATE: 9/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fox 5 San Diego

Assistant fire chief severely burned fighting Eastern Washington wildfire

An assistant fire chief has been severely burned while fighting a fire in Okanogan County that began over the weekend. The Spring Coulee Fire was sparked Sunday afternoon south of the town of Okanogan, county emergency officials said. The fire spread quickly to the north. During the fire fight, Assistant Chief Christian Johnson with Okanogan County Fire District No.
- PUB DATE: 9/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Baltimore City firefighters union says new policy ‘jeopardized the life of a citizen’ in first day

The Baltimore City Fire Department’s (BCFD) new response reduction policy, which lowers the number of vehicles and battalion chiefs responding to initial fire alarms, went into effect on Sunday, September 1. Barely a day passed before an incident that the city’s rank-and-file firefighters’ union said shows the policy’s critical weaknesses.
- PUB DATE: 9/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Captial Gazette

Comptroller's office faults New York fire district for raising taxes after overestimating its expenditures

Mount Sinai Fire District officials unnecessarily raised taxes more than 4 percent over a four-year period after overestimating expenditures by more than $300,000, state auditors said in a report released last week. The district, which runs business operations for the fire department, also failed to seek bids for about $27,000 worth of purchases, the office of state Comptroller Thomas P.
- PUB DATE: 9/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newsday

Workers Sickened, Guests Evacuated After Apparent Hazmat Suicide At California Hotel

Poisonous chemicals killed one woman in an apparent suicide and sickened eight people, prompting the evacuation of three floors of the Hotel Fairmont in San Jose Saturday, fire officials said. About 10 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to the hotel on a report of an attempted suicide on the 19th floor using chemicals.
- PUB DATE: 9/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Francisco CBS Local

Chief: Quick decision by New Jersey firefighters may have saved several city blocks from burning

Saturday's fire on Straight Street would have engulfed several city blocks if fire commanders on the scene hadn't made the right call, said Fire Chief Brian McDermott. Fire commanders Capt. Jose Castro and Battalion Chief John Botero got to the scene and within minutes switched the mission from offensive to defensive in order to prevent the fire from spreading throughout the neighborhood.
- PUB DATE: 8/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: North Jersey.com (Bergen County Record & Herald News)

Family and friends remember Iowa Fire Chief as man who brought joy wherever he went

Family and friends are remembering Maysville, Iowa, Fire Chief Ty Arp as not just a loving husband and father who loved his firefighters and his community, but also as a man who brought joy wherever he went. Arp, 42, died Tuesday at University Hospitals, Iowa City, after suffering a stroke on Aug. 22.
- PUB DATE: 8/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Quad-City Times

Nevada fire chief describes unprecedented preparations for “Storm Area 51” event

It’s not often that a fire district must prepare for a known event with so many unknown factors. But that’s the situation facing the Lincoln County (Nevada) Fire Protection District and its fire chief/emergency manager, Eric Holt, now anticipating a massive influx of people to the remote area on Sept.
- PUB DATE: 8/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

Minnesota mayor proposes shifting money for mental health response from police to fire department

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter's proposed 2020 budget would take money from the police department's mental health unit and give it to the fire department. Carter allocated $500,000 for the police department in 2019 to pay for three new mental health officers and community mental health provider contracts, according to the city's finance department.
- PUB DATE: 8/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Star Tribune

Texas fire department purchases off-road ambulances

The Brownsville Fire Department is equipped with some new ambulances that can be used in off road conditions. The three all-terrain response units will be able to go into areas standard ambulances are unable to access. Fire Chief Jarrett Sheldon said the off-road ambulances will be used on the hike-and-bike trails, along the border fence, along the river terrain and even Boca Chica Beach.
- PUB DATE: 8/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Brownsville Herald

Two arrested on suspicion of murder in connection to disappearance of California firefighter

Two people were booked on suspicion of murder in connection with the disappearance of 28-year-old firefighter John Brian Mananghaya Aguila, West Covina Police announced Wednesday. Elijah Thomas Rouse, 18, of La Verne and Shaun Cardarelli, 37, of San Gabriel were arrested on Tuesday and are currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail each.
- PUB DATE: 8/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTTV-TV MyFox 11 Los Angeles

Report finds fire agencies in California county face crisis fueled by funding, labor shortfalls

Signs taped to the entrances of Guerneville’s fire station warn people that it’s risky to step inside — an unusual message for a building dedicated to public safety. It turns out this Russian River firehouse is among an aging group of unreinforced masonry structures in jeopardy of collapse in a major temblor.
- PUB DATE: 8/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Press Democrat

Florida fire chief retires as city asks Department of Law Enforcement for probe of EMS billings

Apopka fire Chief Chuck Carnesale, a part of the Fire Department since 1983 when he was 13 and served as a “student explorer,” announced Wednesday he is retiring. His decision to step down effective Friday followed a city request for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look into problems with National EMS Billing, a company which held a contract to collect bills from patients treated by the city’s emergency medical service.
- PUB DATE: 8/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel - Metered Site

Apocalyptic footage shows cars narrowly avoiding flames from massive Alaska wildfire

VIDEO: A destructive wildfire season in Alaska has only grown worse in recent weeks, as the Swan Lake Fire has spread rapidly. Located near Sterling on the Kenai Peninsula, the blaze has been fueled by an incredibly warm and dry summer. Since being ignited by lightning on June 5, the blaze has become the country's largest wildfire at a total size of 158,042 acres, as of Aug.
- PUB DATE: 8/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: AccuWeather

New York fire department explorer battles back after surgeries, his firefighter family cheered their support

The surgeries were over, the life-threatening condition halted, and Tommy Spiotta headed out of Stony Brook Children's Hospital Tuesday — only to find a joyful surprise. The East Patchogue 19-year-old — a fire department explorer and Special Olympics competitor — passed through the front doors of the hospital to applause and cheers from about 50 firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 8/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newsday

Massive Multi-Alarm Fire At West Philadelphia Church Causes Parts Of Building To Collapse

VIDEO: A massive fire at a West Philadelphia church is finally under control after several hours. The blaze caused parts of the building to collapse onto the street. The three-alarm blaze erupted on Tuesday afternoon at the Greater Bible Way Temple on the 1400 block of North 52nd Street. Fire crews remained at the scene the entire night monitoring hot spots.
- PUB DATE: 8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KYW-TV CBS 3

Ohio firefighters create support program in response to first responder suicide rate increase

New York City isn’t the only community dealing with an increase of first responder suicides. Nationally, suicides for both police officers and firefighters have surpassed line-of-duty deaths for the respective positions. In Lakewood, firefighters Ryan Fairbanks and Ryan Birth decided to tackle this epidemic by creating the Fire Peer Support initiative.
- PUB DATE: 8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Cleveland.com

Officials: Man set fires that caused $5M in damages to draw SoCal firefighters out of stations so he could burglarize them

A 21-year-old former San Bernardino County Fire Explorer is suspected of starting numerous fires that resulted in more than $5 million in damages as a diversion to burglarize fire stations across Southern California, the Orange County Fire Authority said Tuesday. Christian David Saddler, of Hesperia, has been serving a five-year prison sentence on an arson and burglary conviction since July, authorities said.
- PUB DATE: 8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTLA-TV WB 5 Los Angeles

How Wisconsin Firefighters Saved Lives as a Milwaukee Landmark Burned Down

On a January night in 1883, flames engulfed Milwaukee’s Newhall House hotel, among the tallest buildings in the nation at the time. In just two hours, the fire killed more than 70 people. The fire remains among the deadliest unsolved arsons in U.S. history. The tragedy drew global attention to Milwaukee, with heart-wrenching stories of victims who were burned to death or killed as they leapt from the burning building.
- PUB DATE: 8/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Milwaukee Magazine