So here I am at work and What should I see? Plus comments on the Fatal Seattle Fire

I am working today. We had an eventful morning running about 5 calls in about 4 hours. Mostly the usual and a pickup truck on fire on the interstate. Needless to say that people CANNOT drive!

After lunch and a little bit of training I was trying to tie up some loose ends and I took a step into the watch room. I nearly lost my lunch when I walked in and found one of our Firefighter/Medics reading…..

Yes… You got it right. There he was reading STATter 911. You know, the fire service news blog run by the recently unemployed retired Dave Statter.What the hell am I chump change? Actually, this guy is a class act and keeps up on the fire service news pretty well!

It is hard to admit, but I am glad he was reading it. He filled me in on a fatal fire in Seattle that took the lives of 5 people.

People are pointing to response times. I must say that 5 minutes from the first call to the first engine being on scene is acceptable.

The firefighters were unable to get the engine into pump gear after several attempts.

What got my attention was this excerpt from the Seattle times article on the fire:

Asked Sunday why firefighters from Engine 18 didn’t then try to enter the burning unit to try to rescue the victims, Dean said crews are not allowed to enter burning buildings until water is being poured on a blaze.

“Having flames and fire on the first floor, they cannot proceed onto the second floor until they have got that fire out,” Dean said. “If you don’t put that fire out, you will have that fire follow you and burn you and your hose and remove your escape route also.” Read the entire article

I am certain that the firefighters on scene are beating themselves up. Equipment failures are going to happen. At times like these those failures CAN prove to be fatal. However, there may not be any way of knowing if any other actions would have had a better outcome.

As I have always said, the public will NEVER understand what we do.

Read the article on STATter911 here. It includes video, photos, and articles on the fire.