Category Archives: National Fire Rescue News

OREGON WILDFIRES: Campfires, open flames ban continues this week


The statewide state park ban on open flames will continue for another week, according to a release from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

While temperatures have moderated in some areas and a little rain has fallen, especially on the Willamette Valley and coast, conditions have not improved enough to warrant relaxing the restriction. Fire crews are still heavily engaged in combating blazes in Central and Eastern Oregon, and resources in many local communities are stretched thin.

Fires are not allowed on properties owned and managed by the department, including the ocean shores. The ban includes but is not limited to fire pits, tiki torches and candles.

Propane stoves for cooking and charcoal briquettes for cooking are not covered by the statewide ban, but some parks have more restrictive bans in place that do cover briquettes.

Before traveling, visitors should verify what’s allowed at their destination by calling the park, calling the state park toll-free information line at 800-551-6949 (Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.), or looking up the park online at

The restriction will be reviewed again next week.

Story from: The News Guard

Exclusive: ‘No cuts’ Ohio chief speaks out on dismissal

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, Ohio Fire Chief Donald Barnes was dismissed after balking at orders from his mayor to make a new round of cuts in the fire department’s budget. The Shaker Heights Fire Department had already been forced to shed four firefighters earlier this year. But when Chief Barnes was then told to slash $250,000 from the department’s budget and lose more positions, he refused. The Chief of seven years was subsequently dismissed by Mayor Earl Leiken. In this exclusive interview with FireRescue1, Chief Barnes speaks publicly for the first time on the dismissal, his fears for other departments in the current economic climate and his plans for the future.

Click to read interview
Continue reading Exclusive: ‘No cuts’ Ohio chief speaks out on dismissal

Fast-moving fire guts Paterson home

A mid morning fire destroyed a 2½ story wood frame home at 272 Jefferson St. on Friday July 10. An alert neighbor phoned 911 at approximately 10:30am to report the fire. Initial police unit on the scene reported heavy fire on the #1 floor. First due fire units arriving just minutes later, confirmed a working fire with heavy fire on #1 and #2 floors and also involving the electrical service wires and the utility pole in front of the structure.

Continue reading Fast-moving fire guts Paterson home

White firefighters were victims of discrimination, Supreme Court rules

47775580Reporting from Washington — The Supreme Court ruled today that white firefighters who lost promotions in New Haven, Conn., were victims of illegal racial discrimination, holding that employers should not rely on “raw racial statistics” to set aside a fair test. The 5-4 decision clarifies the federal job-discrimination laws for employers, both private and public, and it says that the primary goal of the Civil Rights Act is to remove race as a factor in hiring and promotions. “No individual should face workplace discrimination based on race,” said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, overturning a ruling by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and two other judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York. The ruling says New Haven officials were wrong to set aside the results of a 2003 test after they learned no black firefighters were among the top scorers, and therefore, would not be eligible for a promotion to lieutenant or captain. Continue reading White firefighters were victims of discrimination, Supreme Court rules

Fire damages half-century old business in Wayne

An alert passerby notified authorities of flames coming from the second floor of a 75′ X 125′ strip mall at 1459 Route 23 South at approximately 7:45am today, Thursday, June 18. Township companies 5, 2 and 1 were dispatched and the first arriving chief declared a working fire and requested remaining companies 3 and 4 to the scene. The fire was ultimately determined to be largely on the exterior of the building and
was doused quickly by the initial companies on the scene. There was some slight extension to the second floor and to the attic area, and the first floor received some smoke and water damage, but the swift actions of the crews did certainly avert what could have been, a much worse disaster.

The award winning business, Wayne Tile, was started by Bob Westra in 1955 in a garage. A few years later, his two brothers joined him and in 1963, 46 years ago, they moved to this location. They have since added three more locations and built a large warehouse just one block from this location. Their now grown children have taken over much of the active duties.

The fire was brought under control in under an hour and a preliminary investigation by Township Fire Investigator Scott Kooreman, points to the possibility of a lightning strike as the likely cause.

Story and photos by
Ron Johnson – NJMFPA
See more photos at:

Mesa Arizona fire station to be accelerated: Long response times prompt move to start building this year

As construction of homes has expanded into southeast Mesa during the last decade, residents living near Elliot and Signal Butte roads have coped with waiting on fire and emergency crews sometimes nearly three times longer than the recommended national average. Continue reading Mesa Arizona fire station to be accelerated: Long response times prompt move to start building this year

Two Philadelphia Firefighters Injured, One Critically

A section of a warehouse roof collapsed during a fire in Northeast Philadelphia late last night, injuring two veteran firefighters as they fell 20 feet to the hard ground.

The blaze broke out shortly before 10 p.m. at an auto shop tucked inside an industrial complex on the 4800 block of Wingate Street in the city’s Holmesburg section.

Firefighters Bob Underwood, 47, and Raymond Rajchel, 54, ascended to the roof to cut out a hole for ventilation, said Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.

“This roof seemed solid enough. It was covered with asbestos and cement,” Ayers said. “But when they cut it, it gave way.”

Underwood, a 23-year-veteran, was able to break his fall. Rajchel, a 34-year-veteran, landed hard and cracked several bones.

The firefighters were rushed to Frankford Torresdale Hospital. Underwood was treated and able to walk out of the emergency room with his wife, Ayers said.

Rajchel spent most of Thursday in surgery as doctors worked to repair fractures in his arm and ribs, Ayers said.

The blaze, which threw off thick clouds of heavy smoke, was under control in 22 minutes, Ayers said.

It may have been sparked by a battery pack that had been misused and left plugged in, Ayers said.

“We found several violations at the site,” Ayers said, adding the shop was also missing required licences and zoning permits.

West Coast 911 firefighting news source – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Massachusetts Firefighters saved a piece of local Red Sox lore yesterday

An outside section of Salem Diner known by regulars as “Pesky’s Corner” caught fire at 11:30 a.m. by a contractor removing screws with a grind saw, fire Deputy Chief Brian Harrington said.

Firefighters quelled the small blaze, which could have been much worse had winds been moving in the other direction.

“We’re lucky the winds didn’t hamper in any way, (the section on fire) was not on the windward side,” Harrington said.

The section of Salem Diner that resembles a Streamliner railcar is a hangout of former Sox shortstop, coach and manager Johnny Pesky.

Pesky, 89, is a frequent customer of the diner along with a close group of friends. Pesky and company have been frequenting the diner for a decade after their previous hangout in Swampscott closed. Their area of Salem Diner was dubbed “Pesky’s Corner.”

The name is familiar with another Pesky namesake, Pesky’s Pole, the right field foul pole at Fenway Park.

Firefighters learned of the storied nook by customers who had been inside when the fire started.

“They said, ‘You saved Pesky’s Corner,’ that’s where he sits, at the end of the building,” Harrington said.

Responding firefighters opened up the section of the diner and found “quite a bit of fire,” according to Harrington.

A spark or hot piece of the sawed-off screw ignited the building’s framing. Firefighters brought in two lines, one to the diner’s basement and another outside. The fire was knocked down within minutes, but firefighters were on scene for almost an hour checking for hot spots.

The health department responded as protocol, but Harrington said he expects the diner to reopen today or tomorrow.

“Structurally, it’s OK,” he said.

West Coast 911 firefighting news source – The Salem News