Canadian Firefighters Fight Major St Catharines Fire


Firefighters battled for several hours heavy smoke and flames in a commercial structure located at 11 Cushman Road in the sixth largest city of Canada’s Niagara Region on Friday night into Saturday morning early hours.


The cause is unknown at this time.  Fire investigators were called during the incident to respond to the scene.  A preliminary determination as not been released as of this post.


Pumpers 1, 2, 3, 4 ,6; Ladders 2, 4, 5. Car 3. Safety Officer. Air Units.


Incident Timer | 40 minutes

Firefighters had reported about five minutes earlier, that they were using Blitzfire (deck guns from research) on the Bravo side. There was no visible fire on the exterior and the black smoke was decreasting.  A knockdown of fire in the main area and water on the hot spots was in progress.

Fire Weather Temps:  30F but feels like 19F

However, one minute later, Command reported that the color of the smoke was changing and escaping where the cinder block meets the metal of the building structure.  Command then reported they were in defensive operations, applying water and reporting heavy smoke conditions.

Evacuations were completed for the structure north of the fire building. A heat signature was reported by fire crews on the Delta side.  On the Bravo side, there was zero visibility. Fire heading towards a fire break on Cushman Road and would eventually penetrate the cinder block and tresses on the Bravo side.  A collapse zone for firefighters was immediately established.

Incident Timer | 50 minutes

 Command reported same fire conditions and four ladders, as well as a second water supply as needed immediately.  The water supply group asked Dispatch where the two nearest hydrants were located, which were determined to be at 6 Cushman Road and on Skyway.

A short time thereafter, instead of four ladders, five were requested by Command. Fire had breached the wall on the Bravo side.  Water was on the fire at the time.

Incident Timer | 60 minutes

Visible flames were reported to Command that were burning over the door on building one (we believe to be an exposure building) on the Bravo side.   Command indicated to Dispatch, they were still in defensive operations, heavy smoke and flames and were looking for the four ladders.

Dispatch indicated they were still waiting for another person so that all four of them could be en route together.  Command asked the Safety Officer to ensure there was enough room to enable the four ladders to enter the area and immediately set-up aerial/masterstream operations.

Finally, an additional person showed up and the four ladders were now en route as they were fully manned.  However, they were still waiting for a runner for refilling of their air bottles.

Request for salt via City Yards was requested.

Incident Timer | 80 minutes

Fire appeared to be cooling on the Alpha side but the interior fire on the Delta side had crossed over and was heading past areas where fire breaks were thought to be but were not.

Fire Weather:  Humdity at 59% 

Black smoke was still being reported.  Ladder 4’s crew found a pocket of heavy fire they were working on.   A runner finally was located and en route to the fire ground.

Incident Timer | 90 minutes

Same fire conditions were reported. The gas company was having difficulties shutting off the gas and were working on securing it in the roadway.

Traffic cams were reporting a major fire that had broken out at the base of St. Catharines Skyway Bridge on Cushman Road.  Drivers were reportedly stopping ont the Skyway causing traffic delays.

Incident Timer | 110 minutes

HYDRO had arrived on-scene quickly and secured the power.  The incident timer was switched over to every 20 minutes.

They were still in defensive operations, making good progress and dumping large amounts of water on the fire building.

Firefighters were sent to REHAB and told to take a rest.

Fire had breached the roof and it was reported temps in the Delta wall had reached 103*C  or 217*F.  Car 3 had arrived on-scene.  Finally, gas was secured at the fire building. Service Truck 6  (air unit) had also arrived on-scene.

Incident Timber | 130 minutes

Firefighters were still in defensive operations, making headway and had a heavy water flow.

While a ladder company was implementing masterstream operations, they blew a hole in one of the fire building’s walls, deeming it to be too unsafe to send in firefighters inside. Everyone was ordered to stay away from that area.

Incident Timer  | 170 minutes

 The timer was switched to every 30 minutes via request from Cushman Command. Same reported fire conditions. Most of the fire was knocked down.

Incident Timer | 200 minutes

Light smoke. Operations shut down for 10 minutes. Everyone is taking a break.

Incident Timer | 230 minutes

Defensive operations. Checking for hot spots and in overhaul.  Shortly after this report by Command, fire operations had ceased.  No primary or secondary searches would be conducted.



#StCatharinesFire  #CanadaFire

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog  | 2-21-2020 | 2345 hours PST / 0245 EST

Missing Retired Canadian Firefighter | Neil Smith



The RCMP and BCPFFA (BC Firefighters) are looking for missing Retired Vacounver Firefighter Neil Smith whom drove away from his Langley home this afternoon around 2pm.


He has not been seen or heard from by connecting with his family since.

He is said to be driving a grey 2016 Ford 150 truck with license plate # KG 2406.

He is a member of the BCPFFA, a Canadian IAFF local that represents BC’s 4,000 Professionals.


Police are asking for any details on his whereabouts to reach out to them at

#BringHomeNeilSmith #MissingFirefighter #RetiredFirefighter #Missing #PleaseRetween

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of The #AlbertaFires – May 30, 2016

Updated 2150 Hours PDT

Wood Buffalo credit by Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

The Good News 

Some residents are being allowed to return to your homes and the Province of Alberta has a set plan of assisting with voluntary returns, which means imminent danger has passed.

With that being said,

The Bad News 

Several agencies, such as the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta Environmental and Parks have each conducted extensive testing of the air, soil and ash in hard-hit fire impacted areas.  The results of these testing samples have been returned as having harsh and dangerous chemicals being present, which may pose a high-risk to residents if the exposure is not minimized or avoided.

Therefore, 567 homes and 12 apartment complexes have been deemed as permanently inhabitable and unsafe for residents to return.  This is per Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health whom says is a permanent re-entry for some.

A non-toxic Tackifer, used in landfills for dust control and prevent ash and other contaminants from being airborne will be used.   The non-toxic agent will be sprayed on fire debris in neighborhoods touched by the wildland fires.

Photo Credit: RMWB

The Ugly News

Restricted access into #FortMcMurray is still ongoing, however some residents will be allowed back in but not all of them displacing quite a few permanently.

1600 homes have been destroyed including a school under construction, businesses,

Currently, 14 Wildfires burn across the Alberta Province topping at 591,920 hectares or 1.463 Million acres. Those assigned to these incidents include 1211 Personnel, 20 Water Tenders and 64 Dozers with many of them responding around the World.

Here are the current fires burning in the multiple Districts in #Alberta:

Booklet is posted on the town’s website. (Courtesy: RMWB)

#FortMacFire (Fort McMurray Fire)

  • Start 5/1/2016 @ 1608 Hours
  • Fort McMurray, Alberta
  • Uncontrolled
  • 579,946 Hectares or 1.433 Million Acres
  • Unknown Cause
  • 32% Contained
  • 1218 Personnel
  • 41 Light Crews
  • 28 Intermediate Crews
  • 31 Medium Crews
  • 20 Water Tenders
  • 32 Dozers
  • 1 SKD

High Level 

  • Total 8 Fires
  • Under Investigation
  • 42,784 Hectares or 105,721 Acres
  • 11 Personnel
  • Unknown Containment Status.

Lac La Biche

  • 1 Fire
  • Caused by Lightning
  • Under control
  • 147 Hectares or 362 Acres
  • 35 Personnel
  • 1 Light
  • 1 Medium

Peace River

  • 3 Fires
  • 2 Under Control
  • 1 Human Caused
  • Started 4/17/2016 @ 1256 (Fire 1)
  • Started 4/30/2016 @ 1444 (Fire 2)
  • Started 5/24/2016 @ 2334 (Fire 3)
  • No assigned resources
  • 86 Hectares or 213 Acres

Slave Lake

  • 1 Fire
  • Caused by Lightning
  • Started 4/30/2016 @ 1516 Hours
  • Under control
  • 1939 Hectares or 4791 Acres


The following #Hashtags are being used by residents, Media, Government and by us.  Please use these if you are posting across your Social Media platforms or simply Sharing so that those can receive updates on fire news as it occurs.

Thank you for following The #NWFireBlog.  Please remember to check us out on #Facebook and on Twitter

(c) 2016 The #NWFireBlog

2013 Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference

The 2013 Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference hosted by the Washington State University, will hold this event at the Greater Tacooma Convention Center on April 2 – 4, 2013.

This conference is geared towards anyone that is associated with Emergency Preparedness or in the Emergency Management sector, such as:  EMS, Fire, Police, Business Sector, Universities, Schools, Non-profit sector, Economic Development and Volunteers.

We felt this would be a great conference to attend and realize the date is approaching rather quickly.  Registration is required to attend.  Please check out registration, conference program and hotel accomodations on their website at

Conference questions?  Contact Dana Colwell, Conference Coordinator at 253-507-8506 or by email

(c) 2013 The NW Fire Blog

22nd Annual Scott Firefighter StairClimb: Climb. Conquer. Cure.


69 Flights.  1311. Steps.  788 Ft. Vertical Elevation.


The Columbia Tower, is the tallest skyscraper in the State of Washington. It is the second tallest building on the West Coast. (c) 2011 LR Swenson/First Alarm Images

Climb.   Conquer.   Cure.


One of Seattle’s Favorite Annual Event


The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)

 (Washington/Alaska Chapter)

March 10th – Sunday – Columbia Tower,- 701 5th Avenue, Seattle.

Over 1500 firefighters across the United States and around the world, will participate in one of Seattle’s favorite events that raises awareness and money to help this organization’s mission in life.  Literally – saving lives and making a difference in lives is what it is all about.

 Who is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society?

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. The mission of LLS is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, LLS has invested more than $550 million for research specifically targeting blood cancers.

Every day, more than 347 LLS sponsored researchers come closer to the goal of finding a cure for leukemia and related blood cancers. Locally, LLS funds 4 researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington Medical Center. Your support and commitment to the mission of LLS enables us to continue this important work of saving lives and aids us in our ability to reach patients in our community.

What is the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb?

The Scott Firefighter Stairclimb is a timed race up the stairs at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle in full fire gear and SCBA. There are 69 flights of stairs, 1311 steps, and 788ft of vertical elevation. Although it will be challenging, it pales in comparison to what blood cancer patients must go through. All proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

 Cole Vukich
2013 Honoree  

Cole in truck - cropped.jpg

Cole Vukich is the 6-year-old son of West Pierce Fire & Rescue firefighter Steve Vukich and his wife Brooke. Cole was diagnosed at 2 years old with Biphenotypic Acute Leukemia (both AML & ALL)

Cole is currently receiving high-risk ALL treatments. In the past 3 1/2 years Cole has had to endure 25 intrathecal lumbar punctures (where chemo is injected into the spinal fluid) 98 IV drip chemo infusions, 7 MRI’s, 4 CT’s, 5 Bone Marrow aspirations, 7 Blood transfusions, 5 platelets transfusions, IVIG infusions, Pic line placements, and surgery for port placement. He takes between 1 and 9 chemo pills daily. This is all to keep the cancer from returning. Cole has been in remission for a year and a half. Cole has 7 months of chemotherapy left to go. We were told this makes him one of Mary Bridge’s longest on treatment pediatric cancer patients they have ever had. When Cole is done he will have been on treatments for 3 years and 10 months.

While new treatments and therapies are developed every day that continue to save thousands of lives, there is still isn’t a cure for cancer. Each dollar fundraised through the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb helps to fund vital blood cancer research, as well as to help support patients and their families. 

Who are some of this Year’s Participating Fire Departments and What States do they Represent?

Wrangell Volunteer Fire Department – Anchorage Fire Department – University Fire Department.   Alaska.

Rural/Metro Fire – Tucson Fire Department.   Arizona.

Ventura City Fire –  Mountain Gate Fire Department – El Dorado County Fire – Big Bear Fire Department –  Cal Fire.   California.

Victoria Fire Department – View Royal Fire Department.   Canada

Denver Fire Department – Aurora.   Colorado.

Marietta Fire Department.   Georgia.

Nampa Fire Department – Moscow Fire Department – Boise Fire Department – Pocatello Fire Department – Kalispell Fire Department.   Idaho.

Missoula Rural Fire – Dillon Volunteer Fire Department – Bozeman Fire Department – Helena College of Technology Fire and Rescue – Seeley Lake Fire Department – Rae Sourdough Fire Department.    Montana.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.   Nevada.

Rye Fire Department.   New Hampshire.

Fairchild Fire.   New Jersey.

Boring Fire Department – Portland Airport Fire & Rescue – Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue/Local 1660 – Forest Grove Fire & Rescue – Bend Fire & Rescue – Corbett Fire Multnomah County District #14 – Klamath County Fire District #1 – Hermiston Fire – Portland Fire & Rescue.   Oregon.

Fredericktown Community Fire District.   Ohio.

Rural/Metro Fire Department.   Tennessee.

Victoria Fire Rescue.   Victoria, BC Canada.

DCFD.   Washington, D.C.

Bothell Fire & EMS – Spokane City Fire Department – Bainbridge Island Fire Department – Everett Fire Department – Paine Field Fire – Renton Firefighters Local 864 – Seattle Fire Department – Tacoma Fire – Bellevue Fire – Navy Region Northwest Fire & Emergency Services – Hanford Fire – Bates Technical College  – King County Medic One.   Washington State

New Zealand.

BLM Fire – USDA Forest Service.   Government Teams.


 Who are the Top 2013 Fundraiser Teams?

1 –  Boise Fire Department ($30,867.11)
2 –  Spokane County Fire District #9 ($25,720.94)
3 –  Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue/Local 1660 ($25,405.00)
4 –  Richland Fire Department ($17,765.07)
5 –  Local 2878 ($16,616.00)
6 –  Hanford Fire ($15,554.00)
7 –  City of Buckley Fire Department ($15,205.00)
8 –  Renton Firefighters Local 864 ($13,293.00)
9 –  Nampa Fire Department ($13,226.00)
10 –  West Pierce Fire & Rescue ($13,088.00)

  Who are the Top 2013 Individual Fundraisers?

1 –   Timothy Woodland ($11,405.69)
2 –   Richard Brown ($10,673.87)
3 –   Dan Cecil ($6,452.00)
4 –   David O’Connor ($5,810.00)
5 –   Jasper Stenstrom ($5,318.00)
6 –   Joe Paterniti ($4,369.00)
7 –   Corey Gorham ($4,100.00)
8 –   Justin Smith ($4,060.00)
9 –   Jay Edwards ($3,895.00)
10 – Bill Dean ($3,862.00)


 Who are some of the Featured Firefighters Climbing during this event?

Meet Everett Fire’s Firefighter Joe Paterniti.

The first year I climbed to support Everett Firefighter John Jerde in his fight against leukemia. He lost his battle. Please help me in honoring him and finishing his fight by sponsoring me or another firefighter.

The first year I climbed to support Everett Firefighter John Jerde in his fight against leukemia. He lost his battle. Please help me in honoring him and finishing his fight by sponsoring me or another firefighter.

Goal: $10,000.00
Achieved: $4369.00

 Hello Everyone! I will be participating in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb on Sunday, March 10th. This will be my 15th or 16th time in a row doing this (I’ve lost count). Please support me with a donation by clicking the donate button. Our efforts will help make a big difference in the fight against blood cancers. Thank you for your generosity!

Why do I do this? The first year I did it to show support for John Jerde, an Everett Firefighter who at the time was fighting Leukemia. He lost his battle so I continue his fight to kill this disease by climbing every year until I am no longer able. I do this in his honor & in the honor of others who have or are fighting blood cancers.

I will be 48 by the time of the climb. My best time up those stairs is 17:22. Last year I was in the 19s. I aim to beat my best. I raised a little over $8,000.00 last year. I’m starting late but am aiming for $10,000.00 I know I can reach both of these goals with your help.

Thank you for your time and I hope that you will consider donating to this cause! Remember, every dollar counts when someone’s life depends on it! Now please click donate and let’s kick cancers butt!

[Ed – Check out additional information on Joe’s page, his team and fundraising progress. [  

How can I donate to Joe’s team?

Go to Joe’s page at and click on “Donate to Joe!”

Let’s help Joe reach his Goal of $10,000.00. 


Meet Seattle Fire’s Matthew “Matt” Runte with Engine 25.

911 2

Seattle firefighter Matt Runte is all fired and ready to go….

Goal: $1,000.00
Achieved: $495.00

Greetings!  Once again, I will be participating in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb on Sunday, March 10th. Please support me with a donation by clicking the donate button. Our efforts will help make a big difference in the fight against blood cancers. Thank you for your generosity!

Thank you for your time and I hope that you will consider donating to this cause! Remember, every dollar counts when someone’s life depends on it!

You can pay by credit card and every dollar you make, is tax-deductible and plus, you are helping save a life! 

 Let’s help Matt reach his goal of $1,000.00.


Meet James “Jim” Ito with the Bothell Fire & EMS.

 [ No Photo Available ]

Goal: $500.00
Achieved: $607.44

Hello! I will be participating in the Scott Firefighter Stairclimb on Sunday, March 10th. Please support me with a donation by clicking the donate button. Our efforts will help make a big difference in the fight against blood cancers. Thank you for your generosity!

Jim’s Goal was $500 and has Exceeded his Goal!  Congrats, Jim!


Every firefighter is a Hero.  This timed event is definitely one to challenge your mental and physcial abilities and is a welcome challenge for many.  Whether you get the top fastest time or not, you are still a winner to all of us. 

We commend each and every one of you for your dedication to the extra training you have taken to get to this point and for reaching out your local Communities to raise money for this great cause.  Today, we will watch and support you during your climbs, sharing your talents, skills and knowledge.  We admire you for display of compassion for others and truly, saving lives!

For those behind the scenes supporting these firefighters, your hard work and commitment to making this a fun, family annual event has not been left unnoticed.  Thank you for your hard work, time and commitment to helping make this a successful fundraiser, year-after-year.

To the families who support your firefighters, as they increase their training schedules for this event, for encouraging them to participate and everything in between – you all deserve a huge thank you, for being their foundation to success.

Photos from 2011 Climb:


Bellevue Fire’s Air Rig assisting with air bottles. (c) 2011 LR Swenson/First Alarm Images


Seattle Fire Air Rig [Reserve Unit] assists with air bottles. (c) 2011 LR Swenson/First Alarm Images


Seattle Firefighter receives family support. (c) 2011 LR Swenson/First Alarm Images.


Everett Fire’s Joe Paterniti (L) and Seattle Fire’s Matt Runte (R). (c) 2011 LR Swenson/First Alarm Images.


Prepping for the Climb. (c) 2013 LR Swenson/First Alarm Images.


This was one of several banners showing their support for this great cause – “Climbing for a Cure”.

Remember, the event is now only six days away and every dollar raised helps them to raise awareness, research and find a cure. 

Don’t know if your friend, family or favorite firefighter is climbing in this event and want to support them?   Go to this link at  You search by their first/last name or by their Fire Department.

Help Make a  Difference Today!  Donate & Help Save a Life.

(c) 2013 The NW Fire Blog



2013 Firefighter Career Expo Upcoming – Canada

Don’t forget to register for this upcoming Fire Fighting Career Expo (Canada)  to learn what it takes to become a firefighter, what Fire Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs are looking for in a volunteer or career firefighter and to get an edge above the rest.

It’s a day long expo with Fire Service Vendors, Fire Chiefs and Deputies in attendance, Human Resources Specialists, Firefighters in presence, Fitness testing Agencies, Firefighter Training schools. is dedicated to helping firefighter recruits become the best and be the best in the firefighter profession.  Founder, Kory Pearn, will give two presentations on how to get ahead in pursuing your quest for becoming a firefighter.

This expo is to help give you an edge in pursuing your ‘dream’  job. Chiefs will help guide you through the application process, as well as other important steps in applying. 

Looks like a great way to step into the first phase of becoming a firefighter.

The following dates and locations are still open for registration:

Calgary – April 27, 2013 at The Coast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre Calgary, AB.  Phone #403-207-8102.  Conference Fee is $125.00 + HST.

Edmonton – April 28, 2013 at the Delta Edmonton South, Edmonton, AB.  Phone #780-434-6415.  Conference Fee is $125.00 + HST.

Wolfville – June 8, 2013 at Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Phone #Unavailable.  Conference Fee is $125.00 + HST.

Space is limited and you must apply online at  Check out their website:

for more information and details.

We wish you lots of luck !

(c) 2013 The NW Fire Blog