Recall: A Look at What Made News This Week


Firefighters in North Carolina, Michigan and Alabama are reeling following the loss of a colleague this week.

On Monday, New Hanover County, N.C. Capt. David Heath, 48, collapsed and died during a training exercise.

Despite efforts from fellow fire and EMS personnel, Heath could not be revived.

He was assigned to the Professional Development Division.

Read about his untimely death.

On Tuesday, a Michigan community was left without a fire chief when John Allison passed away.

The Custer chief was well-known for his firefighting knowledge and skills. He was also the assistant chief of the Mason County Rural Firefighters/Chiefs Association. On one of his last alarms, he helped save a trailer.

And, on Thursday, a small fire department in rural Alabama was shaken to the core with the death of Jantzen Frazier.

The rookie firefighter with the Oden Ridge, Frazier was driving an engine to a fire when it veered off the road, flipped and hit a pole.

A decorated Army Ranger, who served two tours in Afghanistan, Frazier had only been with the department for a few months. When he saw his neighbor's house on fire, he dashed to the station to get the fire truck. 

He is survived by his wife and four young daughters. 

Also this week, fire department leaders – both career and volunteer – were in the news.

A Tennessee chief chose the conclusion of a memorial service was a good time to unpin his badge and hand it over to the mayor.

Dyersburg Chief Bob Veal, who had been under fire from the local IAFF, took off his Class A uniform jacket and placed it on a table near the podium. He then unpinned his badge, walked over and handed it to the mayor.

He concluded his speech: “…I’m done brother.”

In New Mexico, after eight of 11 volunteer chiefs in one county quit, officials fired another.

In addition to ordering the removal of Malaga Fire Chief Raymond Rios, they sent deputies to lock down the firehouse and seize all records. Drugs also were taken off the ambulances housed there.

Meanwhile, a former Minnesota fire chief was indicted for setting fires in the Superior National Forest and attempting to start one at a resort.

Babbitt Chief Ryan Scharber resigned on his own last December.

In Lexington, three firefighters who handled a brush fire last month say they were just doing their jobs, and didn’t expect to be recognized.

But, they were. The all female crew made history -- and fire officials duly noted it. 

In Maine, a judge tossed out the confession of a boy who admitted to setting a building fire in downtown Lewiston.

Police questioning the boy didn’t read him his Miranda rights until nearly two hours into the interrogation.

It was the first of three fires that hit the downtown area.

In Maryland, crews doing a search of the area around a massive house fire found a man suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Investigators determined the man planned his funeral and painted messages on his house and pool before torching the house and shooting himself in the head.

Court documents showed the man's divorce had been finalized hours earlier.