Texan Firefighters Respond to 2-Alarm Commercial Fire

Incident Summary

Firefighters from the Austin Fire were dispatched to a commercial building fire located in the 6800 block of East US 290 in Austin (Travis County), Texas.

First Due Images

Firefighters arriving on-scene were met with this fiery image of the structure being fully engulfed and the Incident Commander escalated the first alarm to a second alarm around 1513 PST/1713 CST.

Fire Operations

Firefighters quickly egressed on the fire and were able to knock down most of the fire aroudn 1748 PST/1948 CST with containing damage to the fire building. Exposure buildings were saved and not being reported as damaged or destroyed.

The fire building, a 16-unit structure is considered to be a total loss.

Location of Fire Building

These are the Menlo at Mueller, luxurious homes centralized near Highways 290 and 183 and near Interstate 5, as well as near Austin’s city center, shopping, dining and recreational districts.

Credit | Zillow

Cause

No word on the cause of the fire and no preliminary report has been released yet.

The cause is under investigation.

Injuries

No reports of injuries to residents, the public or to firefighters were reported.

Evacuee Resources

The American Red Cross was called to help an unknown number of residents. The property manager was also said to be assisting with their tenants’ needs.

ABOUT AUSTIN, TEXAS

Austin is a vibrant City that proudly is host to many great venues with shopping, entertainment, recreational and additional opportunities in mind for all walks of life.  It is also a fabulous place to photograph, as you can see in the image below. Credit:  Michael Barera (under the Creative Common or CC SA 4.0)

Austin August 2019 19 (skyline and Lady Bird Lake).jpg

The City is the Capital of Texas and the largest in Travis County and considered one of the most populated cities in Texas. Texas is home to 964,254 residents, as of their 2018 census records.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 1/10/20 @ 1850 PST/2050 CST.

 

Four Lives Remembered: The Seattle Fire Four

THE DIRTY DEED

Today, we remember the four lives that were stolen from us back on January 5, 1995, when an arson fire set by Martin Pang, the son of the owners of the Mary Pang Chinese Food Company in hopes of collecting a  large insurance sum of money.

Credit | US Fire Administration 

A man described by his ex-wifes and former girlfriends, say his threats of violence came in the form of setting fires and they reported his intentions to the Seattle Police and Fire Departments prior to the deadly incident.

The determined cause of the fire was ruled as arson and Martin Pang, the son was charged.  He would flee to Brazil knowing they have no extridite policy.  After three years of diplomatic delays, he would come back to the United States and make a plea deal instead of fighting to be extridited.

In the end, he was charged with 35 years but would only serve 20 years for “good behavior”.  Challenges to allow him to be released sooner than his sentence, all efforts failed and angered many.

CALL DETAILS

At 1902 hours, Seattle Fire Dispatch initially received a 9-1-1 call from a reporting party, a band member who occupied one of the rooms within an adjacent building to the Mary Pang Chinese Food Company warehouse.  They reported smoke seeping into their practice room.

Image

Courtesy | Pierce Co Firefighters

A 1st alarm or full response, as it is known today, was dispatched by the Seattle Fire Alarm Center (FAC).  Five engines, two ladder trucks, one aid unit (BLS), one Medic unit (ALS), Air Support and two Command Staff were immediately deployed at 1903 PST.

They would respond to the 800 block of 7th Avenue in Seattle, Washington on January 5, 1995.  This was known as the Mary Pang Chinese Food warehouse, a food-processing plant that prepared  pre-made food that was distributed to area grocery stores.

This building had been operating successfully in this location for 20 years prior to this incident.  It was located in the busy portion of the International District of Seattle and only a few blocks from the former Kingdome.

FIRE OPERATIONS

First due units reported a well-involved building fire and pulled a pre-connect to a nearby hydrant.  Some reported fire at the rear of the structure and from a small shed, this was later identified as an employee lunchroom that had been “added on” to the structure.  One of the crews initiated a forcible entry, then were tasked with raising ground ladders to proceed with Roof Operations and to cut a hole in the roof for vertical ventilation.

Fire crews were working on opposite sides of the building.   Once inside, they found a few spot fires and immediately knocked them down.  These were mostly near the ground floor level. Crews were working in adverse conditions that included zero visibility, having to move around equipment and stored materials blindly and very slowly.  Some interior temps were reported hot enough to keep them in crouched positions but they did not distinguish as being abnormal.

Fire in some parts of the building were cool, while crews found a small fire burning in the basement of the building.  Initials reports indicate they thought there were only two floors and were unaware of a basement in this building.

At some point during fire operations, the building was said to have rumbled and flames erupted from the basement as the floor began to collapse.  An unanticipated flaw (one of many key issues raised by the Fire Investigative report) in the structure, caused the “pony wall” to fail which dropped the ends of the floor joists and sending sections of wood and concrete floor down into the basement.   Flames then began to spread across the underside of the roof and what was on  the ground floor began to catch on fire in a rapid flashover sequence.

Two Fire Lieutenants and two Firefighters also disappeared into the fire, while seven  firefighters and one Lieutenant  bailed out of windows and doors suffering burns to their necks, ears, wrists and one hand.  No one on the outside knew what was happening on the inside.

Hot and heavy smoke began billowing out of doors and through a small hole in the roof where they ventialated the smoke.  Smoking Firefighters’ PPE (Firefighters protection personal equipment) were visible as those on the outside watched the rapid events unfolding before their eyes.

1st Alarm units were aware of the arson threat but they were unaware of the multiple rennovations done on this building over its 85-year history.  There were several crucial failures on this day.

THE WORST NIGHTMARE EVER

Abandon the Building tones were broadcasted over radio transmissions. The FAC notifified command that they received an emergency activation alert.  It was determined that it was not coming from one but two firefighter radios.   Later learned, four firefighters were found to be missing.

Image

Credit | FEMA

Search-and-rescue missions were immediately coordinated by crews to look for the missing four and tracking their last-known-locations. Rescue efforts continued but then the risk to the rescuers would be far greater to them.

All efforts were ceased due to the amount of time missing and extreme risk to rescuers themselves.  This would weigh on many firefighters then, now and most likely, in the future.

Firefighters were forced to abandon the building and return to firefighting suppression efforts, including using masterstreams to control the fire.

All four firefighters were rescued from the demolished building but it would take a total of three sombering days.

LESSONS LEARNED

A lot has changed within the City of Seattle and around the country, since this incident happened in 1995, but we can tell you that this event and what transpired still affects firefighters, both active and retired to this day.  It brings tears to many and anger to others as they say this could have been easily prevented.

Since, this date – a lot has happened in the wake of this terrible tragedy.

  • Survivors (Firefighters Families) were awarded $450,000 – $5.6 Million in damage lawsuits against the City of Seattle. SFD, 75% liable. Martin Pang, 25% liable.
  • Seattle Fire has made great strides to changing their accountability, risk-management, pre-fire planning, 360* size ups of their buildings, progress reports to name just a few.

THE SEATTLE FIRE FOUR  – Through the Eyes of the World

We would like to dedicate this post to the Seattle Fire Four, who lost their lives on this day in 1995.  We will continue to remember your accomplishments in the living, the impacts you had on your communities and the Legacies you left us all to behold.

Today, we remember those Lost and their Legacies left behind.  It is what we can only do in the present.

Image

Credit | Seattle Fire/IAFF Local 27

SEATTLE FIRE DEATHS – Always Remember, Never Forgotten

1891 | Firefighter Herman Larson.

1899 | Fire Engineer Charles E Brabon.

1910 | Captain JN Longfellow.

1914 | Firefighter Patrick Cooper.

1917 | Battalion Chief Fred G. Gilham and Firefighter Ole G. Rust.

1920 | Firefighter Charles F. Lacasse.

1923 | Captain Horace E. Roberts.

1924 | Firefighter William E. Shuberg.

1925 | Firefighter Cecil McKenzie.

1927 | Firefighter Darwin T. Lund.

1928 | Firefighter Charles E. Wheeler.

1937 | Fire Captain Albert S. Wolpert.

1938 | Firefighter Theodore R. Cousland.

1943 | Firefighter Luther D. Bonner.

1945 | Captain Andrew G. Beattie.

1947 | Firefighter Fred O. Larson.

1949 | Firefighters Jack W. McGee and Glen S. Murphy.

1957 | Firefighter James Willey.

1964 | Firefighter John F. Herron.

1966 | Captain Harold W. Webb.

1968 | Firefighter Henry C. Gronnerud.

1976 | Firefighter Gerald Miller.

1983 | Firefighter Lisa J. LOng.

1984 | Firefighter Mary R. Mathews.

1987 | Firefighter Robert d. Earhart.

1989  | Lieutenant Mathew W. Johnson.

1991 | Firefighter Donald L. Perry.

1995 | Firefighters James T. Brown and Randall R. Terlicker. Lieutenants Walter D. Kilgore and Gregory A. Shoemaker.

1996 | Firefighter Gary V. Medica.

2004 | Deputy Chief Gerald N. Moberg.

2005 | Firefighter Nathaniel Ford.

2008 | Firefighter Timothy J. Heelan and Battalion Chief James H. Scragg.

2009 | Battalion Chief David H. Jacobs and Firefighter Stephen Lohr.

2010 | Deputy Chief Jesse F. Youngs.

2011 | Firefighter Jeffrey Brit.

2013 | Firefighter Jess Hernandez.

2014 | Firefighters Keith I. Johnson and Wallace F. Goulet.

2015 | Firefighter Joshua Milton.

2016 | Firefighters Tristan Smith, Scott Steed and Captain Craig Aman.

2018 | Firefighter Marvin Larry.

Sources:  FEMA/Homeland Security, Seattle Fire, IAFF Local 27, Social Media, news media.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – 1/5/2020 @ 1835 hours PST

 

UPDATE | South SnoCo Firefighters Tap Lynnwood House Fire

South Snohomish County Firefighters were dispatched at 1249 hours PST to a multi-story house fire in the 5600 block of 169th Place SE in Lynnwood, Washington on Saturday, January 4, 2020. 

Image

Credit | Andrew Kim (granted permission)

Eyewitness accounts reported the attic entirely fully engulfed with potential exposures.

1st Alarm resources included:    B21, E15, E23, L10, L14, TR21, A15, B15, M10 2nd Alarm E16, E17, E18 L72, M11, CH11, B11 and Air 10.

Most 2nd alarm resources were quickly released shortly after their arrival.

Firefighters multiple hot spots and egressed, tapping the fire shortly thereafter arriving on-scene.

Image

Credit | South County Fire

Primary and secondary searches of the entire structure was completed with nothing found.

Fire Investigators have not released the cause of this fire.  It is still under investigation and the preliminary cause has not been released at the time of this  post.

Lynnwood Police Officers provided traffic control near the fire incident, which was closed off to drivers and only open to Emergency vehicles.

No injuries to any citizens or firefighters were reported.

Image

#LynnwoodWAFire #SouthSnoCountyFire #HouseFire

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 1/4/2020 – 1415 PST – Updated 1615 PST

 

 

Snohomish County Firefighters Respond to Lynnwood House Fire

South County Firefighters were dispatched to a multi-story house fire in the 5600 block of 169th Place SE in Lynnwood, Washington in the early afternoon on Saturday, January 4, 2020. 

Image

Credit | Andrew Kim (granted permission)

Eyewitness accounts reported the attic entirely fully engulfed with potential exposures.

A second alarm of fire personnel with additional equipment were immediately dispatched.  Firefighters would quickly knock down the interior fire and work on several hot spots.

Image

Credit | South County Fire

Primary and secondary searches of the entire structure was completed with nothing found.

Fire Investigators have not released the cause of this fire.  It is still under investigation and the preliminary cause has not been released at the time of this  post.

Lynnwood Police Officers provided traffic control near the fire incident, which was closed off to drivers and only open to Emergency vehicles.

No injuries to any citizens or firefighters were reported.

Image

#LynnwoodFire #SouthCountyFire #HouseFire

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 1/4/2020 – 1415 PST

 

 

New Fire Chief Takes Oath of Office, Room Erupts in Applause

CONGRATULATIONS, CHIEF PENNINGTON!

Congratulations are in order for former South King Fire & Rescue’s Assistant Fire Chief Vic Pennington, sworn in by Judge Dave Larson on December 27, 2019, as the Fire Department’s new Fire Chief.

In attendance was the Chief’s family, Fire Comissioners, City of Des Moines Council and countless firefighters. After being sworn to take the Oath of Office, news media present reported the room broke out in applause.

Chief Pennington takes the helm of the Fire Department which has a service area of 41-square miles for areas in the Federal Way, Des Moines and unincorporated areas in King County, Washington.  It’s area includes about 150,000 residents and vistors alike at any give time.

He has held positions as Assistant Fire Chief and Deputy Chief for the Department according to his Social Media profile.

They have fully staffed stations, which one includes their Headquarters and the other a Training Division.

Stations include:

FEDERAL WAY

#61 – 3203 South 360th Street

#62 – 31716 1st Avenue South (Headquarters)

#63 – 33414 21st Avenue Southwest

DES MOINES

#66 – 27010 15th Avenue South

#67 – 2238 South 223rd Street

UNINCORPORATED KING COUNTY

#64 – 3700 South 320th Street, Auburn

#65 – 4966 South 298th Street, Auburn

#SouthKingFireRescue    #SKFRFireChief #FCPennington

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/29/2019 – 00:35 hours PST

Car Crashes Into House in North Strabane Township, PA

Incident Summary

Scanner feed began broadcasting about a vehicle into a home call  located in the 500 block of Taylor Drive in the North Strabane Township area in Pennsylvania.

This occurred early morning on Sunday, December 29, 2019.

Current Status

Because of the home was hit by the vehicle, it was said to have suffered extreme structural damage.

The occupant(s) was/were being extricated at the time of this post.

The IC requested additional units to bring equipment to help stablize the home due to the extensive damage it suffered.

One female occupant was displaced by this incident and RED CROSS was called for assistance.

Resources

Fire personnel responded from Washington City Fire and EMS Services (Zone 1).

#NorthStrabane

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog  – Updated 12/28/2019 – 2350 PST

Seattle Firefighters Quickly Extinguish Shilshole Building Fire

SEATTLE, Wash.

INCIDENT SUMMARY

A fire broke out in a commercial building in the 2800 block of Shilshole Avenue NW with resources dispatched on Saturday, December 28th around 1751 hours PST.

RESOURCES

This was designated as a full response and the following were deployed:

  • Aid 2, Medics 18, 44, REHAB 1
  • Air 10
  • Battalions 2 and 4
  • Deputy 1, Safety 2, Staff 10
  • Engines 20, 21, 35, 41, 9, 18, 28
  • Fireboat

OPERATIONS

Within about ten minutes from the first due unit, fire crews quickly egressed and tapped the fire.

INCIDENT TIMELINE

Here is a timeline of the fire incident:

1758 PST | Units are arriving o/s.  Shilshole Command established by Ladder 18.  Battalion arrives on-scene assumes Command.  Water on the fire. Fire boat requested by IC. Building on the water.

1759 PST | Fire Boat dispatched.

1801 PST | Engine 18 laying a pre-connect. Engine 20 water supply established. Water on the fire. Code Green (not needed/back in service) Fire boat.

1802 PST | Engine 20 is the back-up line to Engine 35.

1803 PST | Fire is under control, no exposures and primary search is all clear, nothing found.

1806 PST | Water supply verified established, Marshal 5 (FIU) responding. Ladder 8 assesses the building structure integrity, states stable and ok for crews to assess the interior.   Unit states large forklift on fire inside a garage type building. Conveyor belts on the Bravo / Charlie corner.

1807 PST | Ladder 9 is assigned RIT and Battalion 4 is Incident Command, or also known as “Shilshole Command”.

1808 PST | The IC asks if there is a tap fire. Ladder 8 states addressing some hot spots.

1809 PST | 10 minutes on the incident clock from the first due unit. Ladder 8 now calls a tap fire. Seattle PD requested for traffic control as there is a water supply across one of the nearby streets.

1810 PST | Aid 2 and Battalion 2 back in service.

1814 PST | Engine 21 and Rehab 1 back in service.

1820 PST | Medic 44 and 18, Staff (command) 10, Marshal 5 (FIU) are returned back into service.

CAUSE

Exact cause has not been released yet by SFD.

INJURIES

There was no reports of injuries to firefighters or to civilians.

HASHTAGS

#ShilsholeCommand #SeattleFire

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/28/2019 – 1840 hours PST

 

Search for Missing Pair in Mason County, Washington Located

MASON COUNTY, Washington State  | A missing 30-year old and a 4-year old male were reported missing around 1300 hours this afternoon, when they did not return from a day hike around Lake Bennetson in the Tahuya Forest.

A large number of searchers from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, along with Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers and Firefighters from the Mason County Regional Fire Authority began the planning, implementation and later rescue of the pair.

A presser was released with limited details from both the Fire and Police Departments stating the emergency in locating them. They were unprepared for the adverse weather elements of rain and low temps.

An update has just been released that both have been found and are currently undergoing evaluations by Paramedics.

We will release a new update, if additional details emerge.

(c) NW Fire Blog – Updated 12/24/2019 @ 2240 PST

Burien Fire Scorches Home, Displaces Several

BURIEN, Wash. – Several adults were displaced after a fire forced them to flee their home.  The incident occurred around 2051 hours PST in the 11200 block of 18th Avenue Southwest in Burien, located south of Seattle.

Firefighters were quickly on-scene from the moment they were dispatched to first due resources arriving.  Within minutes, firefighters conducted a primary and secondary searches on floors one and two with reaching an “all clear” and nothing found.

Fire extended to the attic but it was quickly knocked down.  A light package was set-up in front of the building.  Additionally, Command had called for two ambulances to respond priority to the fire ground. Later, they appeared to be on standby with some units returning back in service.

A FIU Investigator was requested by Command, as well the Red Cross for the displaced residents.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is still under investigation.

Injuries and the cost-to-datea are also unknown.

#BurienFire #HouseFire #FireNews

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – Update 1 – 12/21/2019 – 2220 hours PST

 

House Fire in Covington, Washington Ignites

A house fire ignited around 1325 hours this afternoon in the 26800 block of 165th Place SE in Covington, Washington today.

Covington Garage Fire.jpg

Credit | Puget Sound RFA

The Homeowner’s nephew smelled smoke and heard fire coming from the garage, calling 9-1-1 and evacuating all persons from the structure, saving many lives including his own today.

1st due reported smoke coming from the eves and requested additional fire resources, elevating this incident to a “working fire”.  Additional incoming units would arrive quickly, but not before fire extended into the attic. Ceilings were pulled to gain access to send in additional hose lines.

Due to the venting through areas of the structure and the downpour of rain in this area, the home would most likely be covered by visqueen plastic sheeting to protect it from further damage from the weather.

Resources include:  Firefighters from the Puget Sound RFA, American Red Cross and South King County Medic One.

No injuries were reported.

The fire cause, damage assessment and property loss is still under investigation.

(c) 2019 NW Fire Blog – 12/21/2019 @ 1830 hours PST.