• Structure Fire - 01/16/05 - Bayfield, CO
    Upper Pine River Fire Protection District firefighters responded to a house fire six miles east of Bayfield, Colorado in the Deer Valley subdivision around 5:30 a.m. Sunday, January 16th, 2005. The house, still under construction but near completion, was uninhabited. Its owners were staying in a motor home parked in a garage that was adjacent to the house and was undamaged. Recent winter storms in the area left roads in the subdivision icy and snow packed. The temperature at the time of the incident was hovering around 10º F. The subdivision has no water system for fire protection and a tanker shuttle was utilized to supply fire suppression efforts. Firefighters attempted to salvage part of the house, but the heat was too high to go inside, said Kevin Griego of Upper Pine Fire. The blaze was extinguished shortly after sunrise.

  • Mutual Aid Live Fire Exercise – 09/28/05 - Middlesex County, NJ Fire Academy
    On September 28th, 2005 I found myself back in New Jersey and hearing that my brother Don and his crew from the Millburn Fire Department were scheduled for some live fire training, it was time for a photo op. Fire departments from Millburn, Montclair, and West Orange had been scheduled to participate in a Mutual Aid Training exercise at the Middlesex County Fire Training Academy in Sayreville, NJ. The weather conditions were great and the three departments seemed to operate seamlessly.

  • Structure Fire - 02/04/06 - South Orange, NJ
    On February 4, 2006 at approximately 1:30 a.m., firefighters from the South Orange Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a working fire at 138 Irving Avenue. An initial mutual aid request was made for an Engine Company to respond to the scene from the Maplewood Fire Department. The stubborn basement fire occurred in a large three-story, tutor-style home and required additional mutual aid companies to control the incident. At least one animal rescue was made by firefighters. While the bulk of the fire was contained to the basement, second and third-alarm companies were assigned to open up walls, void spaces, and vent the three upper floors to keep the fire from gaining headway. Mutual aid companies from Maplewood, Orange, Millburn, West Orange, Irvington, East Orange, and Livingston responded to the scene, and additional units provided "move-ups" to cover departments committed to the fire.

  • North Jersey Fires - February of 2006
    The series of photos from the Northern New Jersey area were shot over three consecutive weekends in February of 2006. None of the shots would have been possible without the assistance of Scott Wentworth of the Belleville, NJ Fire Department (FMBA Local #29). Scott was kind enough to act as a “guide” on our fire buff’s tour of New Jersey. Scott is a member of the New Jersey Metro Fire Photographers Association and his work can be viewed at OnScene HotShots (both the NJMFPA and Scott's site are on my links page). I am in his debt for allowing me to tag along with him. Fires here include a neon sign that burned at 780-782 Newark Avenue in Jersey City on 02/04/06, a fatal fire that occurred in Hackensack, NJ on 02/10/06, and a residential fire in the Township of Union, NJ on 02/17/06. While we did not catch the “Big-One in Newark” that I was looking for, all three weekends provided various levels of fire activity. I also had the “pleasure” of being in NJ for the Blizzard of ’06. The two feet of snow provided an interesting trip back to the National Fire Academy, but no fires to speak of. It was, however, a delight to be back in an area of the country that fire buffing is still alive and well. The night of February 17th (and the wee hours of the morning of the 18th) was fairly active for buffing opportunities. Other photos in this slide show are from a vehicle vs. building accident in Springfield, NJ on 02/17/06, a fire in a large residential structure in Cedar Grove, NJ on the same night, and a job in a 2-story wood frame in Union City, NJ on the morning of 02/18/06.

  • Building Fire - 02/19/06 - Belleville, NJ
    The night of February 18th, 2006 was uneventful in North Jersey, but we did make the trek into Brooklyn, NY for a 3rd Alarm fire. I also found out that if you let your digital camera sit in the cold it will suck the life blood out of your batteries (that is why you don’t see any FDNY shots). As Scott and I parted company that night, I thought that was the last we would see of each other on this trip. Since he was working a 24 hour shift on Sunday, the idea of getting some rest beforehand seemed like a good one. On Sunday morning around 0900 the Belleville Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire at 119 Washington Avenue. First arriving units reported smoke showing from a 3-story residential (over a commercial) building. The fire was rapidly extending to the upper floors, prompting the IC to strike a second alarm, and several mutual-aid companies responded to the scene. As the building started becoming heavily involved, command requested an evacuation and exterior operations commenced. The perfect end to the buff’s tour!

  • North Jersey Fires - April of 2006
    At about 2000 hours on April 7th 2006 Newark firefighters were dispatched to 729 Ridge Street for a report of a house on fire. Truck Company #7 arrived to find heavy smoke coming from a vacant 2.5-story wood-frame structure at that location. Battalion 3 transmitted a Signal 11 (working fire) and the first-alarm assignment had the fire under control in short order. At approximately 2100 hours, the Carlstadt Fire Department was dispatched for a report of a fire on the porch of 317 Madison Street. Units arrived to find fire on the porch with extension to the A-side of the building. After the visible fire was knocked down, mutual aid companies assisted Carlstadt firefighters with overhaul and checking for extension. At around 2300 hours that same night, firefighters with Newark’s 4th Battalion were dispatched to 66 Cypress Street for a report of another structure fire. This incident occurred in a vacant, 3-story wood-frame residence, just off Fabyan Place. Deputy 1 transmitted the Signal 11 and the fire was controlled with the resources assigned on the first alarm. A second alarm was "struck" in Summit at approximately 0730 hours on April 8th, 2006. A fire in an outside fireplace that was built into the rear of an attached garage at 86 Hobart Avenue had extended into the building. Mutual aid companies from Millburn and Springfield were called to the scene and assisted with checking for extension and overhaul. In Caldwell a general alarm was sounded at about 1500 hours for a fire that occurred in a large 3-story wood-frame structure at 8 Hanford Place. Caldwell firefighters, along with numerous mutual aid companies, fought a stubborn fire in the rear and on the third floor of the building. Command ended up calling for a defensive attack at one point to get the bulk of the fire knocked down, and companies spent the remainder of the afternoon moping up hidden pockets of fire. I again owe a debt of gratitude to Scott Wentworth of the Belleville, NJ Fire Department (FMBA Local #29). Scott was kind enough to allow me to tag along with him and buff most of these fires.

  • Wildland Fire - 05/20/06 - Durango, CO
    The prediction of an active wildland fire season for Southwest Colorado came true on May 20th, 2006. This fire, driven by warm temperatures, low humidity, and gusty winds forced the evacuation of a Durango, CO neighborhood. At approximately 1332 hours, Durango Fire & Rescue Authority units were dispatched to the area of Highland Avenue & Glenisle Avenue on a report of a brush fire. EMS Supervisor Randy Black, the initial IC for this incident, arrived on scene and reported that he had trees torching in a wooded area behind the homes in the subdivision. While Durango Firefighters started an initial fire attack and set up to provide structure protection, an area evacuation was initiated. Air attack resources were called for early in the incident and were provided by the Mesa Verde Helitack Crew stationed in Hesperus, CO.

  • Wildland Fires - May/June 2006 - SW Colorado & NW New Mexico
    The prediction of an active wildland fire season for Southwest Colorado came true on May 20th, 2006. A fire occurred in the Spring Creek Area of the Los Pinos Fire District. This incident required the resources of the Bureau of Indian Affairs–Southern Ute Agency Fire Crew and the Mesa Verde Helitack Crew stationed in Hesperus, CO. On May 24th, 2006 the Los Pinos Fire District made an automatic mutual aid response to a report of a wildland fire on County Road 4020, located on Middle Mesa in New Mexico. This fire was about ¼ of an acre and was extinguished by the initial responders. The Black Ridge Fire occurred in the DFRA District, on Southern Ute Indian lands and the photos were shot on May 25th, 2006. The incident eventually was controlled by fire agencies from both Colorado and New Mexico. On May 27th, 2006 the Los Pinos Fire District responded to Navajo Dam, NM on a mutual aid request from San Juan County, NM for a 20 acre wildland fire on County Road 4600. This incident was turned over to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fire Crews out of New Mexico. The last fire documented here is the “Garcia” Fire that occurred on June 6th, 2006. Los Pinos, Navajo Dam, and BLM fire units responded to a 50 acre fire off the 29 mile marker of New Mexico State Road 511. Air attack resources were used here to stop the forward progress of this fast moving fire.

  • Vehicle Accident - 08/14/08 - Bayfield, CO
    On August 14, 2006, at approximately 10:00 a.m., the Upper Pine River Fire District responded to a report of a Car v. Semi-Truck accident in the 40,000 block of US Highway 160. Fire units found an automobile with extensive damage, and the driver, who had suffered massive traumatic injuries, had died prior to their arrival. One other person was transported by ambulance to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. Based on initial reports from dispatch of a serious MVA with multiple patients and entrapment, Upper Pine Fire Chief Rich Graeber had called for mutual aid ambulances from the Los Pinos Fire District and the Durango Fire Rescue Authority. After sizing-up the scene, the mutual aid units were canceled. A protection line was deployed as firefighters worked to abate the hazards from the destroyed vehicle. US Highway 160 was shut down in both directions in the initial stages of the operation.

  • Vehicle Accident - 08/31/06 - Bayfield, CO
    On August 31st, 2006 at approximately 2122 hours the Upper Pine Fire District was dispatched to a report of a vehicle fire in the 38,000 Block of US Highway 160. First arriving units encountered a fully involved Isuzu Trooper that had been involved in a motor vehicle accident with an oil field service truck. Command requested additional units while firefighters went to work extricating the driver of the service truck and extinguishing the SUV fire. Care Flight’s Medical Helicopter out of Mercy Regional Medical Center was dispatched to the scene and transported the driver of the service truck after he was removed from the vehicle. The driver of the Isuzu was pronounced dead at the scene. Along with the UPFD units, the Colorado State Police, LaPlata County Sheriff’s Office, Bayfield Marshal’s Office, and the LaPlata County Coroner’s Office were on the scene. The accident resulted in the closure of US Highway 160 in both directions for several hours. This same stretch of highway was the scene of another fatal accident on August 14th, 2006.

  • Live Fire Training - 12/09/06 - San Juan County, NM
    San Juan County firefighters conducted a large scale live fire exercise on December 9th, 2006 in the area of State Highway 516 and County Road 350. As part of a Company Officer training class, students participated in the burning of an old 5000 square foot commercial building that had been slated for demolition. While the condition of the structure did not lend itself to any interior fire attack training, students were able to apply their skills in determining needed fire flow, water supply, exposure protection, fireground communications, and Incident Command concepts. The training, conducted by Captain Chris Shay of San Juan County Fire, stressed the importance of fireground safety and provided the opportunity for the students to observe some of the fire behavior associated with a well developed building fire. Prior to starting the exercise the needed flows were calculated; students received team assignments, reviewed a NFPA 1403 checklist, and took part in a safety/accountability briefing. After water supplies were established and protection and backup lines were put in place, radio communications and PPE were checked and the building was ignited. The fire provided demonstration of fire department operations for local area residents and a unique learning opportunity for the class. A post-training critique was held and made available the chance for the students to discuss and reinforce the concepts that were practiced on the fireground.