Recall -- Fires Created Heartache Across Country

As the week draws to a close, two communities are struggling to deal with the loss of 11 lives – seven children -- due to fires.

In Pennsylvania, a fire that claimed the lives for four children sparked outrage – at firefighters.

At least two people were arrested during a heated protest outside a local fire station after residents complained the children died because it took firefighters too long to get there.

Fire department officials defended the response, releasing 911 calls and time logs.

It appears the fire started on a sofa on the porch of the house.

Meanwhile, a Lowell, Mass. police officer on routine patrol spotted flames coming from a three-story apartment building early Thursday morning. While some residents leaped from windows, seven didn’t make it out. Among them were three children.

The investigation into the cause of the deadliest fire in Massachusetts in two decades is continuing.

Although the non-sprinklered building had an alarm system, no one heard a warning.

 In other somber news this week, personnel found themselves offering a final salute to colleagues who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

  • Newport Beach, Calif. Lifeguard Ben Carlson, who drowned while trying to rescue a swimmer.
  • FDNY Lt. Gordon Ambelas died after suffering multiple injuries while on the 19th floor of the 21-story building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
  • Glencoe, Ky.  Fire Chief Robert 'Bud' Glenn Webster Sr., 64, was responding to a crash in July 2006 when he lost control of the fire truck. He was ejected as the rig overturned, and was pinned underneath.
  • Daniel Groover, 46, a 21-year veteran of the Houston Fire Department, was the fifth firefighter to die in the line of duty in the last 13 months, bringing more grief to the department.
  • Richard Marchman, a volunteer firefighter for the Indian Peaks Fire Protection District and the Allenspark Fire Department, collapsed after assisting in the midday rescue of a hiker with a broken ankle about 2.5 miles up the trailhead from Blue Lake.

Also, this past week, a veteran firefighter has moved up through the ranks to become the new Boston Fire Commissioner.

Deputy Chief Joseph E. Finn was hailed for his actions during a double LODD blaze in March.

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