Hot Shots 3/13

WOONSOCKET, RI, JAN. 10, 2013 – Five families were left homeless after a fast-moving fire tore through their three-story, six-unit, balloon-framed, vinyl-sided apartment building. An attack line was pulled to attack the exterior fire running up toward the eaves of the flat-roofed structure. Deputy Chief Roger Perrault requested a second alarm that brought all of the city’s fire apparatus to the scene. Interior companies worked on the third floor by going from room to room, opening up ceilings and extinguishing the rolling fire. Extensive overhauling was continued for hours to find all of the hidden hot spots. Mutual aid engines from Smithfield, RI, and Bellingham, MA, responded to the scene and other out-of-town companies covered empty firehouses.

Photo by Ken LaBelle/



RUTHERFORD, NJ, JAN. 4, 2013 – A fire that tore through a one-story commercial building appeared to have started in a barbershop of the structure that contained eleven commercial tenants. Low banking smoke covered the business district and at times provided zero visibility for firefighters. Mutual aid fire companies from East Rutherford, Wallington, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Hackensack and Clifton answered the second alarm.

Photo by Ron Jeffers


MADISON HEIGHTS, MI, JAN. 8, 2013 – The Madison Heights Fire Department responding to a reported structure fire found a well-involved townhouse complex. Automatic aid responded from the Ferndale Fire Department. Upon assessing fire conditions and lightweight construction, command pulled crews out of the building and switched to defensive operations. A second alarm was requested and Madison Heights and Birmingham towers were put into operation along with a monitor and several handlines. Crews continued to operate in defensive mode for 45 minutes to knock down the fire, which was controlled in two hours. The cause is under investigation. The Madison Heights, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Troy fire departments responded.

Photo by Dennis Walus


PERTH AMBOY, NJ, DEC. 29, 2012 – A mechanic and other employees escaped safely after a vehicle being repaired burst into flames inside a gas station. Upon arrival, heavy smoke blanketed the area and a vehicle was found in the middle bay of the repair shop fully engulfed in flames. Engine 1 secured a water supply and went into master-stream operation to knock down the heavy fire consuming the building. Poor water pressure in the area hampered operations and the fire continued to spread throughout the building. Several vehicles inside and outside the building were burning. Additional handlines and two ladder pipes were set up to extinguish the blaze and protect the exposure building. The water company eventually boosted the pressure in the area to let firefighters flow sufficient streams on the heavily collapsed building. Mutual aid from Sayreville, South Amboy and Woodbridge Township assisted at the scene and provided coverage for the city during the incident.

Photo by Keith Addie/