1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by plisken View Post
    Hey HAZMAT? Why pull so many lines when puting it out with water is impossible.... We got our city crews there to put dirt over it and sprayed water while the cats turned it over, otherwise protect the Vents and Covers(a cool million $ on the tarps) and let it burn, protect the woods.. we had two engines 1 with 500 gal and 1 with 1000 gal with only 2 lines off.... nearest hydrant 3 miles away.... I guess in my mind it is more hazardous to fight it than whats its worth.... Think of the Sh** people throw away.... cover it and then let public works deal with it over time... congrats on the first call though.. atleast you got to put water on something...
    Looking back and what the end result being, (they came and dumped dirt on it) I can see where protecting exposures and travel of fire (surround and drown) could have been an option. I am very new so I was just "going with the flow, doing as I was told". I think next time it'll be a different story, especially, as you said, given the contents. But having said that, I still had a good time!

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    Glad you had fun, so did we.... Just remember, pack up if there is any question...
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
    This is MY OPINION and ONLY MINE.
    Not my Departments/IAFF/WPFF

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    Third-alarm fire yesterday in Oak Creek. I think it was a barn. I was pretty ****ed since I was in a class at the time in Madison. Otherwise I would have gotten paged to come in with South Milwaukee Fire Dept. Would have been my first real fire. Guess I have to wait longer.

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    Hasn't been too much going on lately or small fires I haven't heard too much about, however this was the news from last night. Don't have more details other than what I saw on the news. We had a similar type of fire last year where our crew was first in. Would have been the same here except we were off.

    From the Green Bay Press gazette:

    About 70 people were displaced Tuesday night when a fire forced evacuation of an apartment complex on Green Bay’s west side.
    The fire at Colonial Court Apartments, 125 S. Platten St., was reported at 11:25 p.m. It apparently started on the second floor. The 28-unit building was evacuated and residents taken to local motels. No one was injured.

    Apartment complex manager Sheryl Kunze, who lives on the first floor, was home at the time of the fire. She said when she walked in the hall, she immediately knew it was bad.
    She knocked on doors to help alert other residents.
    She said that neighbors in the area were very helpful when they saw residents out on the street, many in their nightclothes.
    “People had blankets and clothes for us,” she said, and “one guy gave me the socks off his feet.” Later, she said a maintenance worker gave her his jacket.
    Green Bay Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Mandich said one person was still unaccounted for -- the person lives in the apartment where the blaze is believed to have started. The apartment was searched, however, and fire officials did not find the person.
    Fire crews were on the scene this morning assisting Brown County fire investigators in trying to determine the cause of the fire. The Lakeland Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting residents.

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    40 years ago today - July 30, 1967


    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=639476

    Racial tension in summer of 1967 fueled deadly violence

    Thomas Crosby walked out of the St. Francis Social Center, at N. 4th and W. Brown streets, into chaos.

    Crosby, then 17, and fellow members of a local rhythm and blues band were loading instruments into his father's station wagon around midnight July 30, 1967, when a fight broke out in the parking lot of the center, where black people came on weekends to dance.

    A crowd gathered to watch. Moments later, Crosby said, Milwaukee police cars appeared, and people started throwing rocks at the police vehicles. Soon after, more police came wearing riot gear.

    The entire incident developed too quickly to be coincidental, Crosby said. The sight of patrons battling police so mesmerized him, he drove his father's car into a hydrant.
    "It blew my mind," Crosby said. "I think the fight was planned to get something started, because everything happened so fast, like people knew something. . . . It felt like someone said, 'Go and incite the people.' "
    The Summer of Love in the United States was also the summer of racial tension, civil disturbances and rioting in some American cities. The mood in Milwaukee was ripe for something explosive.

    Local civil rights activists had turned their attention to fair housing in the city, highly segregated by race and ethnicity. NAACP Youth Council members spent the early weeks of the summer picketing homes of aldermen who continued to vote against a proposed ordinance to outlaw racial discrimination in home sales and rentals.

    Activists predicted that Milwaukee's racial discomfort could lead to disorder similar to what had just erupted in July in Detroit and Newark, N.J., where a combined 66 people were killed and almost 1,900 injured.
    "We need fair housing legislation in Milwaukee," Father James E. Groppi told the Common Council on July 25, 1967. "Unless something is done about the uninhabitable conditions that the black man has to live in, Milwaukee could become a holocaust."
    Violence broke out five days later - lootings, brawls, shootings and fires. A few hours after the earliest disturbances occurred, Mayor Henry W. Maier proclaimed a state of emergency, and the city was under curfew for the next nine days.

    In the end, the riots left four dead, 100 hurt and 1,740 people arrested.
    Most accounts of Milwaukee's riots don't point to a single incident as a starting point. After-hours brawls on and around N. 3rd St. - now N. King Drive - and a sniper shooting on Center St. were factors in Maier's decision to activate the National Guard on the night between Sunday, July 30, and Monday, July 31.

    Just two months earlier, Maier's office had developed a riot control plan, created in part as a result of picketing and demonstrations in Wauwatosa the previous summer.
    "There were some rumors that something was going to happen," said LeRoy Jones, who was then a 39-year-old Milwaukee police detective - and one of 18 black officers in a department of 2,056.
    "We did know there was going to be a riot. The Police Department knew - one to two weeks ahead - that something was planned. It was predicted that it would be on 3rd Street," Jones said. N. 3rd St. was the neighborhood's business district.

    Fred Bronson, then NAACP Youth Council president, said he, too, recalled chatter in barbershops, bars and gathering spots frequented by black residents of "something going down." On Saturday, July 29, Bronson said, rumors intensified as some youth council members reported hearing similar theories.
    The question - one that's still unanswered today - was: Who was behind such a plan?
    Demonstrations at aldermen's homes and Father Groppi's statement to the Common Council - which some perceived as a threat - led Milwaukee Police Chief Harold Breier to think the youth council was planning the insurrection.
    That wasn't true, former youth council members said.
    "There was never any discussion of rioting," said Margaret (Peggy) Rozga, a youth council member who married Groppi in 1976. "Even if any of us thought something like that, we didn't say it to anyone, because we certainly knew we would probably be blamed for anything that happened."
    Besides, Bronson said, a riot would have gone against the youth council's non-violent approach.
    But there were people who felt otherwise - others who were not members of the youth council, Bronson added.

    July 31, 1967

    The lot at 134 W. Center St. is vacant now, but the home that once stood there was the site of the bloodiest event in Milwaukee's civil disturbance.
    Just before 2 a.m. on the hot night, residents of the mostly black neighborhood around N. 2nd and W. Center streets gathered and talked outside. A white man drove by slowly in a white station wagon.
    He doubled back and yelled a racial slur.
    He reached for something. Someone shouted, "He's got a gun in the glove compartment."
    People ran. A shotgun blast came from the house. The car was hit. The man inside the car, Milton L. Nelsen, an ironworker, was shot in the face. Hannah Jackson, who lived next door, was also hit by gunfire.
    Seconds later, an unmarked squad car pulled up. LeRoy Jones was in the squad. His boss at the time, Capt. Kenneth Hagopian, had asked him to work that night.

    "There was nobody outside at all," Jones said. "This guy was shooting out of the basement window, but you couldn't see him. So as we pull up, all (the shooter) saw was Hagopian, who's white, and another person, Harry Daniels (a police detective, also white). When we pull up across the street from (the house) he started shooting. Hagopian got hit first."
    Hagopian was wounded in the face and neck. Jones was shot in the leg and right arm.
    Jones gave this account to a Milwaukee Journal reporter: "I jumped out of the car. Just then, the captain did. He got hit and went down. I got off four or five shots. I felt my right hand weak. I couldn't pull the trigger."
    In the next hour, a flurry of gunfire and flames followed as police converged. Patrolman Bryan Moschea, 24, ran into the Center St. house, thought to be held by a sniper. Police lobbed tear gas inside.

    Officer John Carter, a 25-year-old patrolman, entered the home, too. He recalled seeing a flash. He was shot in the face. That's all he remembers.
    Moschea's body was found in the burned-out building, killed by a shotgun blast to the chest.His father, Kenneth, a lieutenant in the Fire Department, fought the blaze and learned later his son was inside. Annie Mosley, a white, 77-year-old widow who lived in a rear flat on the first floor, also was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. She had returned to the burning building to turn off the television in her apartment. Four other officers were shot, with Carter and Hagopian the most seriously wounded.

    A year later, John Oraa Tucker, who lived in the house, was found innocent of murder and attempted murder but guilty of six counts of endangering safety of police men. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and was paroled after serving nearly 10 years.

    Under curfew

    It was after the conflagration on Center St. that Maier instituted a round-the-clock curfew - the strictest in a city rocked by riots.
    Maier had gone to City Hall just before midnight and asked Gov. Warren Knowles to put the Guard on standby. A rash of small fires and false alarms grew, as did reports that firefighters were being stoned.
    Breier, though, told the mayor he didn't think the Guard was needed. "He (Breier) figured, let the people know that the police department can handle anything," Jones said.
    But at 2:26 a.m, 11 minutes after the mayor received word that police officers were shot on Center St., Breier agreed it was time to call out the Guard.

    At 3:40 a.m. a round-the-clock curfew took effect, closing down taverns, liquor stores, gas stations. People were ordered off the streets. Roadblocks went up and Milwaukee became a blockaded city.
    Trauma center
    Officers drove Hagopian to Mount Sinai Hospital at N. 12th and W. State streets. He was first seen by Shirley Orndoff, a registered nurse called in to work that night.
    She recalled getting odd instructions from her supervisor: "She said, 'Now Shirley, don't ask questions. I can't tell you the answers until you get here. Do not take the side roads or come down Wisconsin Avenue. You don't want to be on the streets. You need to take the freeway,' " Orndoff recalled.
    The city was not yet under curfew, but Orndoff could see that it was shutting down.
    "I was the only car on the entire freeway," she said. "I didn't see anyone coming in my direction. Nothing. And it was so quiet, that it almost made me sick. . . . The houses all had their lights out."
    Orndoff parked close to the hospital and checked in. "OK, Shirley. Get back and get into your scrubs," her boss said. The dressing area was down a long hallway lined with tall windows. One more instruction: "On your hands and knees. Crawl. And don't let your butt stick up."
    "Why?" Orndoff asked her boss.
    "We're in the middle of a riot, Shirley," she recalled of the response. "There's gunshots all over the place. Do what I just told you. Crawl."
    She crawled to the dressing room, changed and started to crawl back.
    "But when I got to the end, against all orders, I looked around the corner and I saw St. Anthony's Hospital on 11th and State," she said. There, she saw three officers armed with rifles. "But they didn't stand up straight, you know, like targets. You could just see their heads bob up, and then one would come out a little bit later."

    The supervisor told her to get to the emergency room immediately - even though she had never worked in the E.R. "I didn't know what was there, so I grabbed a bunch of extra sponges and I put them in my blouse top," she said.
    Four police officers, two on each side of the table, held down another officer on the table. That was Hagopian.
    "I took a package of sponges - I didn't even wait for gloves," she said.
    "I put a sponge on his face to see how much damage had been done. One of the officers brought over a bucket."
    Orndoff had never seen a gunshot wound before.
    She found his pulse, talked to him, told him she was a nurse and would be getting help. She asked if he wanted anything at that moment. "He shook his head kind of. He was responding anyway . . . his skin was so torn up that you couldn't really see what was damaged," she said.
    According to a 1996 article, surgeons removed 126 pieces of lead from him. But Hagopian returned to work, and retired as a high-ranking police inspector in 1987.

    Guard on patrol

    For the most part, the unrest in Milwaukee was concentrated in an area roughly from W. State to W. Burleigh streets and N. 1st to N. 5th streets, with most of it happening along N. 3rd St. But a look at the police log from that night shows shooting and unrest throughout the city:
    "Cars being set on fire at 16th and Vliet."
    "We've got a large group of punks who need some attention at 1301 (West) Center."
    "More looting Woolworth's at 13th and Vliet."
    "Windows smashed at television store, 27th and Atkinson."

    Across the city, people closed their doors and followed the curfew. "I'll never, ever forget the feeling of hearing gunshots in the background, in the night," says Roz Huber, then 17. Her brother Jimmy and her dad, Jim Cuda, went through their house on N. 72nd St. and drew the drapes. Her father got out his deer hunting rifle.
    "I remember him saying not to be afraid - he and my brother would be up all night long," Huber recalls. "I remember him walking around checking the windows and doors. He would check the house, make sure everything was OK before we went to sleep. Not that I slept."
    She adds, "A couple of neighbors did the same. Everybody was afraid because you just didn't know. You didn't know at the time whether or not anybody would come into our neighborhood and come into our house, ransack it. You'd see the National Guard driving by."

    Hours after Orndoff, the nurse, was called to work, Bill Graham, then a guardsman and student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, heard reports of trouble.
    "I decided to take a ride and see what was going on . . . and someone threw a brick through the back window of my station wagon," said Graham, who lived on E. Randolph Court just west of the river. "So I decided that maybe that was not a good time to go out riding around."
    He later learned that his Wisconsin National Guard unit, based in Oconomowoc, was being called up.

    Because Graham was assigned to officer candidate school, he was given a position of responsibility.
    "I was given a special weapon, a military issue shotgun. It had a very long, pointed bayonet on it. It looked more like a Civil War bayonet. And it was used in prisons if there was a riot," he said.
    "And my job was to neutralize snipers. Kill them. Or shoot them. Or you know, suppress the snipers," he said - though he never fired a shot.
    Guardsmen and police patrolled together. "The tactical units had all their riot helmets on and they would drive around with all their weapons pointed out of the car, and they were very intimidating," he said. "And I'm sure that's the image they wanted to project. . . . And that was coming from black and from white officers."

    Graham, who had handled civil disturbances in Madison and Lake Geneva as a guardsman, today believes the Guard was "a neutralizing, calming force between the police and the community."
    Graham's first patrol assignment was at N. 5th and W. Walnut streets.
    As the night began, Graham gazed to the second floor windows of a red brick apartment building and saw shadows. Curtains moved.
    The people in the houses looked at him. He looked at them. "We had no idea what they were doing," Graham said. "They had no idea what we were doing."
    "There was minimal light, so you'd just see the shadows. And that's what you'd look for, the shadows. Shadows and sudden movement."
    It was quiet until daybreak, Graham said, when an older African American man came out of his home.
    "He wanted to know if they were going to lift the curfew, because he wanted to go to his job. It was one of the big heavy industry companies. And he said he really, really needed to get to work because he was concerned about losing his job.
    "The guard is citizen soldiers. Two days before, we were going to work like everybody else," Graham noted. "And I could identify with this man that couldn't get to work."
    He and the other guardsmen went up the chain of command to see if the curfew was lifted and the guy could get to work. "And the answer was no," says Graham.
    The city had settled down some, but the violence was far from over.
    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=637352#main

  6. #31
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    On my way back from Oshkosh Airventure today i saw a good sized brown plume of smoke coming from a wooded area near the highway.. upon investigation, i discovered a brush fire about 1 acre in size with 2 structures in immediate danger. I found the fire number, called 911, reported the fire, passed on IC to the chief and asked the AC if he needed a hand.. He said yeah, so i dressed out in my wildland gear and grabbed an indian pack and helped out with extinguishment and mopup.

    lol.. i've got more fire ouside of the base while on deployment than on base.. lol

    -Damien

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    -------------
    Last edited by POWERSLADDER2; 08-26-2007 at 09:03 PM.

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    Default From Firehouse>com Frontpage

    MILWAUKEE --

    Four children were rescued from a house fire Friday morning at Holton Street and North Avenue.
    Milwaukee police Officer Todd Johnson and his partner, Roy Horn, were flagged down to the scene of the burning building.
    At first, they tried to get in the front door but the smoke and heat kept them back.
    While Horn cut his hand trying to find another way in, Johnson raced to the alley where he saw four children leaning out a window gasping for breath.
    "The baby dropped out the window (and) hit the air conditioner on the way down. The father and I were lucky we caught him before he hit the ground," Johnson said.
    Witnesses said Johnson and the father dove to catch the little boy.
    While they got him out of harm's way, firefighters broke through the flames up front and pulled the other three children to safety.
    The children were all 2 to 9 years old.
    The fire itself was put out pretty quickly, WISN 12 News reporter Brendan Conway said.




    Nice job MFD. Jasper, were you in on this one?

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Nice job MFD. Jasper, were you in on this one?

    No, I wasn't, and they did do a spectacular job. Truck 5 was first due, just by dumb luck, and actually crawled thru fire to get to the kids. Engine 21 arrived shortly there after, and this is the part of the story that is getting no publicity, mostly because of the 'hero cop' angle; the boss on engine 21 suffered burns to his hands that are now being called career ending. 21's extended themselves on their push because the brothers from truck 5 were still operating above the fire. I only put this in here because there has been zero coverage on this part of the story.

    Nothing against the police, but they never entered the structure, and the burned firemen aspect of the story is getting no coverage that I have seen.
    Of course though, I'm sure there are plenty on this forum who think the guys should have waited for a line.

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    I had my first working structure fire last night in Pewaukee. It was a two-story machine shop. I think the upper half was all rooms though. It went pretty well. I was the first in engine and made an attack. Our camera broke though and we couldn't find a wall. The first in Ladder(quint) made an attack on the other side of the building. No one could find the fire so we all just started hitting hot spots. Overall, I thought it went well. Now that I finally got a fire, I know this is the job for me. haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    No, I wasn't, and they did do a spectacular job. Truck 5 was first due, just by dumb luck, and actually crawled thru fire to get to the kids. Engine 21 arrived shortly there after, and this is the part of the story that is getting no publicity, mostly because of the 'hero cop' angle; the boss on engine 21 suffered burns to his hands that are now being called career ending. 21's extended themselves on their push because the brothers from truck 5 were still operating above the fire. I only put this in here because there has been zero coverage on this part of the story.

    Nothing against the police, but they never entered the structure, and the burned firemen aspect of the story is getting no coverage that I have seen.
    Of course though, I'm sure there are plenty on this forum who think the guys should have waited for a line.


    I hope that E-21's boss recovers and can stay on the job. Sounds like the crews did a hell of a job. I concur with the waiting for a line comment and that hindsight is 20/20. What the safety sallies fail to see is that the kids are alive because of the efforts of the truck crew and the truck crew is alive because of the efforts of the engine crew. This is an example of teamwork working and the job getting done.

    In fire school the comment was always made, we will risk a lot to save a lot, a little to save a little. You have kids out of the structure, because it was confirmed, after all the cops were there. It is still part of our job to take those risks to save the other ones still inside, hoseline or not. I would truly hate to see the civilian death statistics if we always waited for a hoseline.

    Anyway, I hope the boss recovers and again great job by the MFD.
    BTW Jasper, are you with a truck or engine company?

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    Quote Originally Posted by clark918 View Post
    I had my first working structure fire last night in Pewaukee. It was a two-story machine shop. I think the upper half was all rooms though. It went pretty well. I was the first in engine and made an attack. Our camera broke though and we couldn't find a wall. The first in Ladder(quint) made an attack on the other side of the building. No one could find the fire so we all just started hitting hot spots. Overall, I thought it went well. Now that I finally got a fire, I know this is the job for me. haha
    I heard about that one on the Scanner you guys brought in a fair amount of help for that one. Must have been kinda big. What station are you at over there. one of the Guys from Station one is also a member of Ashippun.

    Anywho the only thing we have had out here in a while was a M.A. Call to Oconomowoc Aug 31st for a Bar and an upper Apt that was on fire in Downtown. Other than that is has been very quiet around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runn11 View Post
    I heard about that one on the Scanner you guys brought in a fair amount of help for that one. Must have been kinda big. What station are you at over there. one of the Guys from Station one is also a member of Ashippun.
    Yea we had all 3 stations there, Town of Delafield, Sussex, Town of Brookfield, and maybe another one. I'm at station 2 right now, but I'm still a rookie. I was at station 1 for two months and I've been at station 2 for about two. It wasn't that big of a fire. Actually I don't think anyone even saw flames. haha It did burn for sometime though. I'm not exactly sure what happened. After I came out to switch bottles, they sent my crew to an ambulance for rehab. Where exactly is Ashippun? I've never heard of it. I from Milwaukee County though so I don't know a lot of places in that area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clark918 View Post
    Yea we had all 3 stations there, Town of Delafield, Sussex, Town of Brookfield, and maybe another one. I'm at station 2 right now, but I'm still a rookie. I was at station 1 for two months and I've been at station 2 for about two. It wasn't that big of a fire. Actually I don't think anyone even saw flames. haha It did burn for sometime though. I'm not exactly sure what happened. After I came out to switch bottles, they sent my crew to an ambulance for rehab. Where exactly is Ashippun? I've never heard of it. I from Milwaukee County though so I don't know a lot of places in that area.
    City of Brookfield was on standby at your station according to how it came accross on the scaner. Lt. Brandon Spect From station 1 is our EMS LT. Here in Ashippun. We are about 10 Miles North of Oconomowoc. we are the Township in the South East Corner of Dodge County. We cover all 36 Sections of our town, Parts of North West Waukesha Co., Small Part of North East Jefferson Co., and Some of South West Washington County.
    Dispatching for us Can be so much fun sometimes. Got to Love Politics! I also Know an Instructor from Station one. All I know his first name is Andy and he teaches at WCTC. He is a frekin awsome teacher and a Really cool guy!
    Last edited by Runn11; 09-10-2007 at 06:46 PM.

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    Yea I went back to station one for a debriefing after and saw City of Brookfield there. I said I think TOWN of Brookfield was at the fire though.

    You must be talking about our training chief, Andy Norris. You're right, he's a great guy that knows a lot. I went to MATC, so I never had him, but he's taught me a lot at PFD.

    I'm guessing I probably won't be seeing you unless something HUGE happens. Like I said, I'm not too familiar with Waukesha County, but you seem a bit far from us. haha

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    Andy Norris thats it, thats the guy. Yeah He was my favorite. he would push us hard But he would also make it fun. he would pick on me all the time, but it was all in fun and games.

    yeah I doubt we would run in to each other at a Fire. thats is quite a distance. Have you run in to LT. Brandon Spect yet???

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    Don't think so. He's from Pewaukee? If he is, he must be at station 3. I probably saw him, but didn't get to talk.

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    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?n...d=173065&rfi=8

    Run11, there's info about that fire on there.

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    Go to class for a few days and miss three fires, geez.

    Anyway in GB lately there were three fires this week. The latest one was started apparently by a kid playing with a lighter in a balloon frame constructed house. Don't really have the details on the other two, but been a busy week so far. There were a couple fires here and there since my last post, but been awhile since there was a week like this. The fire started by the kid, a rig left the scene of another fire to respond to that one, so a nice back to backer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clark918 View Post
    Don't think so. He's from Pewaukee? If he is, he must be at station 3. I probably saw him, but didn't get to talk.

    I think he is station 1 Not 100%sure though

    But other than that its Been 18 Months since we have had a Fire in our District. so I guess our Fire Prevention program must be paying off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jccrabby3084 View Post
    Go to class for a few days and miss three fires, geez.

    Anyway in GB lately there were three fires this week. The latest one was started apparently by a kid playing with a lighter in a balloon frame constructed house. Don't really have the details on the other two, but been a busy week so far. There were a couple fires here and there since my last post, but been awhile since there was a week like this. The fire started by the kid, a rig left the scene of another fire to respond to that one, so a nice back to backer.

    which class did you go to???

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    Default Barn Fire Northern Milwaukee County

    Just curious on details for a Barn Fire late Monday night/Tuesday morning right on the border of Waukesha and Milwaukee County. It looked like it was rolling really good, the smoke was intense. We got called off just as we were able to see the orange glow.

    Any details?

    Thanks,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Runn11 View Post
    which class did you go to???
    Collapse shoring at Volk Field

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    oh ok There was a few people I know that went to Iowa for a F/S Farm rescue tranning that weekend.

    on Seconed note Richfield Had a house fire lastnight. Toned out about 10:30PM lastnight. andup to 5 Dept where there. My co-worker got home at 4:30AM. Cudoes to him for still comming to work at 10:00 AM this morning. I dont think I would have been able to do that.

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    This is from the Green Bay Press Gazette. Plisken were you there for this?



    Superior mourns 4 men killed in landfill pit
    Toxin knocked workers out

    By BRIAN BAKST
    The Associated Press


    SUPERIOR — Two of the four workers killed by toxic fumes in a landfill pit here came from a well-known family that owned the landfill and earned a reputation for working hard, authorities and friends said Friday.
    "These were the type of guys who didn't sit in the office and have people go out and do the work for them. They actually go out and do a lot of it themselves," said Jeff Vito, the director of economic development for Superior and the city's former public works director.


    The men died Thursday trying to fix a sewer in a hole 3-feet in diameter and at least a dozen feet deep at the privately owned landfill, authorities said. The level of deadly hydrogen sulfide fumes inside the pit was so high it would have immediately knocked each worker unconscious, experts said.
    Douglas County Sheriff Thomas Dalbec identified the victims as brothers Joseph P. Kimmes III, 44, and Scott A. Kimmes, 40, along with Harold Tim Olson, 47, and Paul E. Cossalter, 41.

    The brothers' father, Joseph Kimmes II, founded J. Kimmes Construction, which owns the landfill and several other companies.
    Dalbec said Cossalter worked for a contractor. He was not certain about Olson's employment.

    The four men were working with two others, who called 911 after the men ailed to emerge from the hole. The smell of rotten eggs is apparent with even small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, Superior Fire Chief Tad Matheson said.
    But the men might not have understood what the smell signified, as firefighters who pulled them from the hole did not detect any respirators or safety masks, Matheson said.

    It's believed one worker got in trouble and the others went in one at a time, apparently to help, the sheriff said. The men were working at the pit to install a new pump.
    Superior Mayor David Ross said the city was shocked by the tragedy.
    The Kimmes family is prominent in town, he said.
    "They were always the one to roll up their sleeves and make sure things happen," the mayor said.
    "The father has been certainly the leader for many years. He has also been a gracious father who has allowed his sons to take significant leadership roles in their businesses."

    Ross recalled that Joseph P. Kimmes III, the oldest son in the family, was quick to offer the city a piece of construction equipment to help recover some victims of a downtown tavern fire about three years ago.

    "I remember him showing up at the scene with that equipment and just putting everything he had into making sure that we could recover these two fatalities in the fire," the mayor said. "The boys and father are very dedicated businessmen."

    The Kimmes brothers and Olson were from the village of Superior or more rural parts of Douglas County, Dalbec said. Cossalter came from Wrenshall, Minn.
    Seventy-one-year-old Joseph Kimmes said he was not sure exactly what happened at the pit.
    The landfill was for demolition products, such as when buildings were torn down, he said. It does not handle garbage or hazardous materials.
    The sewer was a "big collection tank" that collected drainage and leached water from the landfill before it was pumped into the city sewer system, Kimmes said.

    Kimmes started J. Kimmes Construction in 1989 and four of his sons took over in 2005, he said.
    Vito said he has worked with the Kimmes family for 25 years. They own seven or eight different businesses, including a paving company, a heating oil business and a gasoline station, he said.

    The two brothers killed by the fumes were down-to-earth and hard working, Vito said. "It was pretty standard for them to work 12 to 14 hours a day and they did that six days a week. Typically, they saved Sunday for a family day."
    Both sons who were killed were married, Vito said. The oldest son — often called Joey — had a hobby farm with horses and he had a son who was being brought into the business as a third generation, Vito said.
    Mark Hysell, area director for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said two inspectors arrived at the landfill Friday and started their investigation, which would include interviewing witnesses.
    It could be six months before the final report on the investigation is issued, he said.

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