10 Story Building Challenges Firefighters

Small Equipment Fire on Roof of 10 Story Building Challenges Firefighters with Difficult Access11/08/17


At 0835 this morning fire crews were dispatched to a report of a fire at 715 SW Morrison. This is a 10 story high rise building and the fire was reported to be in a piece of equipment on the roof. Access to the fire was hampered because there was no internal access to the roof and the firefighters had to use the external fire escape and firefighters ladder (attached to the fire escape) to access the roof. The fire was quickly extinguished and crews have now cleared the scene.

High rise fires, where the fire is elevated on an upper floor, are very labor intensive operations. Firefighters must carry all of their firefighting equipment aloft while working simultaneously to evactuate occupants. Portland Fire and Rescue’s high rise response first-alarm includes six engines, two ladder trucks, 2 heavy squads, and several chiefs. These crews are used to attack the fire, evacuate occupants, ferry equipment up and down the stairwells, evacuate smoke from the building, contact building managers to provide specific information, and to manage the building’s sprinkler, alarm, and air handling systems to help and not hamper firefighting efforts. An aggressive firefighting effort, while a high rise fire is in its early stages, is necessary to prevent the fire from potentially overwhelming those resources. While very rare, high rise fires from around the world remind us of the power and danger that an uncontrolled high rise fire can pose.

High rise buildings are designed and built to rigorous fire and life safety codes that address design-specific concerns to make these buildings very safe to inhabit. Occupants should always be familiar with emergency evacuation routes, participate in regular fire drills, and know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher on your floor.



Twitter photo via @NYCFireWire

By NY1 News  |  November 7, 2017 @9:08 AM


City fire crews on Monday worked to quickly evacuate a mom and her infant after a fire engulfed a building in Brooklyn.

Flames broke out around 3 p.m. on the second floor of a four-story apartment building located at 519 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.

Firefighters took a little less than a hour to get the blaze under control.

Officials say crews were able to evacuate people who lived in the building where the fire started.

In a building next door, firefighters helped a mother and her baby to safety.

Their apartment was not affected by the flames, and they were evacuated by their fire escape.

Officials say three people were hurt in the incident.

Tenants helped down ladders, awoken from bed by first responders

Quick work by Olean police, firefighters prevents tragedy at apartment fire

Tenants helped down ladders, awoken from bed by first responders

  • By TOM DINKI, Olean Times Herald

Olean Police Department officers

OLEAN — Olean police officers and firefighters responded to 114 E. Oak St. during the early morning hours of Oct. 30 to find a scene that some of them called their worst-case scenario: a structure fire with people, including children, trapped inside.

But through some quick thinking and quick action by members of the Olean Police Department and Olean Fire Department, all occupants were safe and accounted for by the time the flames died out a few hours later.

First responders helped a total of five people, including two children, escape the apartment building via ladders, as flames blocked off a stairwell where the fire began; police found fire-starting materials in the stairwell and have ruled the blaze an arson, but have yet to announce an arrest. Another tenant was rescued after an officer made a forcible entry into a first-floor apartment and alerted him of the fire.

While the officers and firefighters involved in the rescues were willing to share their experiences, they all maintained their actions weren’t anything beyond what’s in their job descriptions.

“If you pick this profession and don’t put other people first, you’re in the wrong job,” said Olean patrolman Matt Schnell.

Schnell and fellow patrolmen William Beggs and Kyle Baldwin, as well as Olean Police Capt. Andrew Langdon, were already out on patrol throughout the city when the fire was called in at approximately 1:19 a.m. They were the first to arrive at the burning East Oak Street home, something that’s not unusual when it comes to fires.

“Firefighters do a great job, but you got to keep in mind they have to get gear on, they have to get the trucks running,” Beggs said. “You kind of have to be able to adapt to different scenarios when you’re a cop just because most of the time you’re going to be the first one out there.”

The officers were forced to adapt, as they arrived on scene to find a woman hanging half her body out of a second-floor window and calling for help, as well as two adults and two children having difficulty making their way down a wooden fire escape from a third-floor apartment.

Langdon credited Schnell for using “quick wits” to find about a half-dozen extension ladders lying around that a contractor believed to be doing work on the building had left outside.

A fire escape allowed Stephanie Searles and her two young children, as well as an adult male, to get down from a third-floor apartment to a second-story deck, but there were no steps to get down from the deck. Schnell and Beggs used the ladders to bring the four of them safely to the ground from there.

Schnell said Searles’ young son was frightened and initially didn’t want to come down from the third-floor apartment.

“The mom thought our presence kind of calmed him down to where he was willing to come down,” he continued. “The kids were stellar. They were crying, they were a little scared, but I think all the adults, myself included, were more nervous than them. They’re brave little kids.”

Meanwhile, Langdon grabbed one of the ladders to assist the woman down from her second-story window. However, firefighters then arrived and ultimately Olean firefighter Nate Veno used one of the fire department’s ladders to rescue the woman.

“Capt. Langdon was there to assist me in anything I needed,” Veno said. “He assisted me as I climbed up and got her out of the window.”

While his fellow officers tended to those who were visibly trapped, Baldwin entered an unlocked door to the building to make sure no one else was stuck inside. He found a locked apartment door, and after knocking several times and hearing no response, used his shoulder to open the door.

Inside the apartment, Baldwin woke a sleeping Mark Wilson, who was unaware of the fire.

“It’s definitely a rush, for sure, because you know you have to act fast, you know you have to make that split-second decision,” Baldwin said. “You don’t want to say it’s the right one or the wrong one because it happens so fast, but you better make sure it’s the right one.”

Baldwin said no one instructed him to enter the building — just as no one instructed the other officers to grab ladders and start the rescue process. Police did what their “gut” told them, he said.

“The team that just happened to be there that day, we work real well together,” Beggs said. “We didn’t even have to speak — everybody just split up and accomplished everything that needed to be accomplished.”

When arriving first at a fire, Langdon said police simply have to assess and the deal with the situation they’re presented.

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Fire tears through Sanford neighborhood

Fire tears through Sanford neighborhood, destroying apartment buildings

A resident of the building where the fire started said she climbed down a fire escape to get out and was one of 4 people taken to a hospital for various reasons, including smoke inhalation.






SANFORD — A fast-moving fire damaged or destroyed six buildings in the heart of Sanford on Thursday afternoon, sending at least four people to the hospital.

Witnesses said they smelled smoke long before seeing flames in a pile of trash on the back porch of one of the buildings, according to the state Fire Marshal’s Office. The flames spread to four buildings on one side of Island Avenue before jumping across the street and damaging two others, officials said.

“Eyewitnesses told us the fire started outside on a back porch (at 33 Island Ave.),” State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said. “Some people said they could smell smoke for an hour prior to seeing the fire, which would lead us to believe that it was a smoldering fire. That would suggest it could have been started by a discarded cigarette.”

A team of four fire marshals was expected to spend the night sifting through rubble in the burned out neighborhood and interviewing witnesses before trying to pinpoint the fire’s cause on Friday, Thomas said. Two of the buildings at 33 Island Ave. and 35 Island Ave. were expected to be torn down overnight because they pose a safety hazard.

Four people were transported to local hospitals, including one with a cardiac-related condition. Fire Chief Steven Benotti said one person suffered smoke inhalation and two experienced anxiety. He did not have further information about their conditions.


Video courtesy of Amber Crocker via Facebook

Sanford Police Chief Thomas P. Connolly Jr. said police officers and firefighters escorted students from the nearby Lafayette Elementary School to buses after classes ended Thursday. The chief estimated the school is about 150 yards from the fire scene. If the wind had been blowing in the direction of the school, the students would have been evacuated, but he said they were never in danger.

“It was a nasty fire,” Connolly said.


Benotti said the fire, which was first reported at 1:15 p.m, put firefighters in danger because power lines were burning and falling into the street.

No firefighters were injured, but power to the neighborhood had to be shut down for several hours, Benotti said. Firefighters used a drone with a video feed to see the sprawling fire from the air and help direct the fire hoses that poured water into the burning buildings.

Benotti estimated that more than 100 firefighters from 25 agencies in Maine and New Hampshire responded to the scene.

14 injured as fire burns

14 injured as fire burns through Brooklyn apartment building



Fourteen people were injured, one seriously, in an early morning fire at a Brooklyn apartment building.

The three-alarm blaze broke out just before 5 a.m. Monday in a kitchen on the second floor of the four-story building on 49th Street in Borough Park.

It quickly rose up the cockloft to the top floors.

When the fire started burning, fire crews believe it had time to spread before the families inside knew about it, making for frantic moments as they tried to escape.

“Some neighbors got us out, some people called us,” resident Martici Weinberg said. “And they rang the bell, ‘fire.’ We grabbed the kids. We got out.”

The smoke was so intense that nine people took the fire escape, climbing to the roof to avoid the flames.

In the second-floor apartment where investigators believe the fire began, a woman trapped by the bars on her windows.

“There was no way she could get out,” FDNY Deputy Chief Peter Leicht said. “We had a firefighter on the roof. He heard her call. The firefighter on the roof called our inside team. The inside team was dispatched to go into the rear bedroom.”

The fire crews walked through flames to get to her, but by the time they reached her, the woman was unconscious.

She was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.

Nine others who lived in the building were treated for minor injuries.

More than 130 firefighters responded to the fire. Four of them suffered minor injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Man arrested after fatal apartment fire

Man arrested after fatal apartment fire in south Minneapolis

– The smell of charred wood still lingers in the air at 1500 Park Avenue in Minneapolis.

It’s all that remains of the apartment building where 59-year-old-Royce James lived. He died of injuries sustained by jumping from a third-story window during the fire, which authorities believe may have been set purposefully.

59-year-old Royce Wayne James (foreground in a gray shirt) died Friday evening after jumping from a third-story window to avoid an apartment fire. 

“It was three minutes of horrible,” said Jenna Harper, who lives nearby and jumped in to help residents of the building to safety Friday evening. “I’m literally sprinting around with the paramedics and firefighters. Just because you don’t have a degree in this or you weren’t trying to do it, doesn’t mean you can’t help people.”

Family members identified James and his girlfriend, Vicki Ness, who also jumped from the same window and was sent to the hospital with critical injuries. Several others were treated for smoke inhalation and 30 people who lived in the building remain uprooted due to the blaze.

Police arrested a man in connection with the incident Friday night, booking 30-year-old Marcus Dewayne Shanks into Hennepin County Jail on probable cause murder charges.

One firefighter received a minor injury while battling the blaze, but was able to return to putting out the fire.

According to officials, the fire was on the third floor of the apartment building. Firefighters rescued multiple people by ladder from windows and the fire escape. Eighteen of the 22 units in the building were occupied at the time.

This is the ninth fire fatality in Minneapolis so far this year.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Fire destroys apartments in North Providence

Published: Updated:


NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Multiple emergency vehicles rushed to the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence around 6:30 p.m.

North Providence Fire Chief Edward Digiulio said one of their first responders was returning from the hospital from a call when he heard the fire alarm going off in a nearby building.

Crews found smoke coming from multiple floors of the building when they arrived on scene.

Digiulio said the fire appears to have started on the second floor. Firefighters were able to have the flames under control in 20 minutes.

“People started coming out of the second floor fire escape, so we immediately assisted with the rescue of two people,” he said.

Fire officials also helped rescue two pets from the fire.

“It’s a second alarm so we have crews, all of our companies are here, we have help from Smithfield and Providence,” he said.

Digiulio said the apartments on the second and third floor are facing the most damage. The first floor is home to multiple businesses.

“It’s inhabitable right now,” he said. “The fire investigators will be investigating to see what the cause of the fire was.”

Fire officials say there were no injuries.

Deadly apartment fire in Brooklyn

Deadly apartment fire in Brooklyn caused by careless smoking, FDNY says

Authorities say a deadly apartment fire in Brooklyn Thursday night was accidental, caused by careless smoking.

56-year-old Rupert Smith was killed in the blaze that broke out just after 10 p.m. in a six-story apartment building on Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights.

Investigators say the fire broke out in Smith’s second-floor apartment and spread.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was out the second-floor window.

Once inside, firefighters found Smith in an apartment. He was unconscious and had burns all over his body.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

A look inside the apartment where a 56 year old man was killed in a fire last night. The fire was contained to one apartment . @ABC7NY

Smith has a history of setting fires and that is part of the investigation, the FDNY said.

Residents had to quickly rush out to escape.

“I told the kids to go out. By the time I went back in to grab my robe, the kids were coming back up because they were overtaken by the smoke,” said tenant Shatoya Killings. “So we had to make our way through the fire escape. But we couldn’t get down because the ladder wasn’t down so we had to stay at the bottom of the fire escape.”

Four residents in the building were treated for smoke inhalation.


‘lucky’ to have escaped

Malone fire victims feel ‘lucky’ to have escaped

  • By DENISE A. RAYMO Press-Republican

A few minutes later, his girlfriend, Lakeisha Mitchell, woke up and told him she could smell smoke.

About the same time, someone started pounding on their door, yelling there was smoke in the hallway of their four-story apartment house at 384 West Main St.

“We got out onto the fire escape, and the flames started shooting up,” Coates said.

“I had to carry her down the fire escape,” he said, gesturing to Lakeisha, who is five weeks pregnant with their first child.

“I carried her down, then I brought four little kids down and went in again,” Coates said.

“There were so many kids, I kept going in to help.”

Everyone that he and first responders assisted got to safety as firefighters from 17 Franklin County departments, five fire departments from St. Lawrence County and one from Clinton County poured into the village from all directions to help.


The couple sat on the stoop of the former Kriff’s Furniture Store building across the street from the fire site as volunteer firefighters continued to peel off strips of metal roofing more than nine hours after the blaze was first reported to Franklin County Fire Control.

“This whole place was full of smoke,” he said, raising his arms to indicate the two-lane passage of Main Street/Route 11, which is lined with tall, old buildings on each side.

Thirty people were sent to the Emergency Department at University of Vermont Health Network, Alice Hyde Medical Center to be checked out as a safety precaution.


Coates and Mitchell were medically cleared and left to come back downtown to see how badly the building was damaged.

“Luckily, nothing was wrong with us,” Coates said. “But all of our stuff is gone. Even my wallet’s up there.”

He had not been able to contact the American Red Cross for help because he had no minutes left on his pre-paid phone.

But across town where the Red Cross has established an emergency shelter at the Malone Adult Center, the aroma of goulash cooking and a cheery chalkboard sign encouraging people to grab a fresh cup of coffee greeted the nine victims being helped there.

All had just enough time to leave with the clothing or pajamas on their backs after being evacuated by firefighters and police.


Angela Dolan and her boyfriend, Richard Rhinehart, were being helped at the shelter. They lived on different floors of the adjoining apartment house to the immediate right of where the fatal fire occurred, so they aren’t sure how much smoke and water damage their belongings might have endured.

“We went outside and saw the flames, and people were running all over the place, trying to get out,” he said.

“It was a nightmare. I’m deathly afraid of fire. But my girlfriend’s front door goes right out to Main Street, so we got right out.”

“I’m just thankful everybody’s OK,” Rhinehart said. “I knew a lot of the people who lived there.”

He said a neighbor, Faye Fleury, was very upset at the scene because she had not been able to find her cat, but Dolan said the pet turned up safe a little later.


“It seems like we were lucky,” Dolan said. “Oh, it could have been such a disaster if anyone else had been hurt. I felt awful; I still feel awful about the whole thing,” she said.

“He just decided to stay with me. He wasn’t going to, but for some reason, we decide to stay together,” Dolan said.

“I was awake at 1:30 and heard a commotion in the back yard and didn’t know what it was. Then I saw somebody going down the fire escape, so I looked out the front window and saw the fire trucks.

“Seems like we were lucky,” she said. “But this is a sad time.”


The Red Cross will have the shelter open until at least Monday unless the fire victims can all be placed in other safe lodging before then, said Bridget Nelson, an AmeriCorps and Red Cross disaster-services volunteer.

Community members were already offering furniture and bringing bags of clothing to the Adult Center.

Director Paulette Dear said the agency was using the food planned for Monday’s Meals of Wheels and congregate-meal program to feed the fire victims and that an alternate menu will be created for those clients when the new week begins.

If the center is still needed as a shelter on Monday, when meals are typically served at the Route 30 site, the fire victims will be fed with the elderly patrons but the scheduled bridge card game will be postponed.


Sandro Colon, who lived on the third floor of the apartment house for about a year, was one of the people being helped at the shelter until he can figure out what he is going to do next.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” he said of the fire’s destruction.

“We may have lost all of our belongings. We may have to start all over again.”

Email Denise A. Raymo:


Twitter: @DeniseRaymo