Scuttlebutt 3/13

Firehouse World Honored

Cygnus Business Media’s Firehouse World trade show was among Tradeshow Executive’s Fastest 50 Award winners, recognizing the 50 fastest growing events internationally for 2012.  Firehouse World was recognized for its attendee growth from the 2011 event to the 2012 event.  Firehouse World, held each February in San Diego, CA, is one of the leading fire-service conference and trade shows.

“Recognition like this is incredibly gratifying, and it’s even more rewarding when it comes from your industry peers,” said Ed Nichols, Vice President of Events for Cygnus Business Media and the Firehouse Events.  “We brought this team in two years ago precisely for this reason, to develop opportunities and execute against plan to deliver growth in our products – which are the buyers we deliver at our events.” 


New On Bookshelves

The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder, and the Agony of Engine 57

When the jury returned to a packed courtroom to announce the verdict in a capital murder case, every sound – even a chair scraping or a door opening – cracks loud. That's how it was at the trial of Raymond Lee Oyler, accused of murder for setting Southern California's Esperanza Fire, which in the fall of 2006 fatally burned five men on a U.S. Forest Service engine crew.
John Maclean, award-winning author of three previous books on wildfire disasters, first visited the site of the fire in 2007, the spring after it occurred, and he has returned many times since. He covered the lengthy Oyler trial in Riverside, CA, and he details both the trial and the fire in his new book, The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder, and the Agony of Engine 57 (Counterpoint Press, Hardcover).
The Esperanza Fire marked the first time that an entire engine crew was killed by fire, and the first time that an arsonist was successfully prosecuted for murder for setting a wildland fire. The
swift capture and lengthy trial are detailed for the first time in Maclean's book, which confronts the reader with a true villain who receives the maximum penalty for his crime.


Killer ShowThe Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert 

On February 20, 2003, the deadliest rock concert in U.S. history took place at a roadhouse called The Station in West Warwick, RI. The story of the fire, its causes and its legal and human aftermath is captured in Killer ShowThe Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert (University Press of New England; Hardcover), the first comprehensive exploration of the chain events leading up to the fire, the conflagration itself and the painstaking search for evidence to hold the guilty to account and obtain justice for the victims.

Killer Show was written by John Barylick, who for seven years was a lead attorney investigating and prosecuting wrongful-death and personal-injury cases arising from the Station fire. Throughout the book, Barylick offers multiple story arcs to demonstrate how greed and negligence sparked the horrific fire, and how courage and heroism elevated and bound together survivors, families and rescuers, alike. Part disaster story, part legal drama and part human-interest story, Killer Show offers unprecedented access and shocking detail as it lays bare the entire heartbreakingly tragic story of the Station nightclub fire. 


St Petersburg Fire & Rescue Announces Promotions

On January 3, three of St. Pete’s finest stood tall in front of the many co-workers, family and friends who gathered to witness their promotion and badge pinning ceremony. Steven Knight, a 16-year veteran, was promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of EMS; Robert Basset, a 23-year veteran, was promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of Operations; and Michael Domante, a 23-year veteran, was promoted to Fire Marshal. Knight is a third-generation firefighter and Bassett is a second-generation firefighter. Fire Chief James D. Large conducted the pinning ceremony.


Helping Those in Need

On Feb. 2, 2013, the Carlsbad, CA, FD participated in the 4th Annual 5K Run/Walk for the Mitchell Thorp Foundation. Each year the firefighters, bronze-level sponsors of the event, come out to cook food, hand out drinks and support the community in any way they can.

The nonprofit organization was started by Beth and Brad Thorp after the loss of their 18-year-old son Mitchell, who had suffered from an undiagnosed illness for five years before succumbing. It aims to give hope and support to families whose children suffer from life-threatening illnesses, diseases and disorders and raises funds through a variety of sponsored events and benefits. For more information, please visit


This Month in Fire History


March 4, 1908, Collingwood, OH

Lakeview Grammar School fire kills 175


March 5, 1770, Boston, MA

A false alarm leads to confrontations that result in the Boston Massacre


March 10, 1941, Brockton, MA

The Strand Theater fire roof collapse kills 13 firefighters


March 17, 1631, Cambridge, MA

The first fire prevention legislation passed


March 18, 1951

Sparky the Fire Dog is “born”


March 19, 1896, New York, NY

Insurance groups form a committee to design what will become the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)


March 25, 1911, New York, NY

The Triangle Shirtwaist fire kills 145


March 25, 1990, New York, NY

The Happy Land Social Club fire kills 87


March 31, 1954, Cheektowaga, NY

Cleveland High School Fire kills 15


Courtesy of NFPA


For details on fires that occurred 100 years ago this month, turn to Paul Hashagen’s “Rekindles” on page XX.