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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

USFA: Owego New York Firefighter On-Duty Death

"It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the Owego Fire Department announces the Line of Duty Death of Captain Matthew Porcari while battling a house fire last night. Injured in the blaze was Firefighter Daniel Gavin, who was transported to a local hospital and then transferred to the burn unit at Upstate Medical in Syracuse NY. All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Porcari and Gavin families in this tragic time."

Captain Matthew J. Porcari and another firefighter after respomding with the Owego Fire Department Company #3 to a mutual aid call were performing interior attack on a structure, and fell through the floor of the structure.

Both firefighters were transported to separate facilities. Captain Porcari, 34, succumbed to his injuries shortly after arrival to the hospital.  The other firefighter received burns. 

Our condolences to the Porcari Family & Friends, the Owego Fire Department, and to all affected by Captain Matthew J. Porcari's passing. 

To date, 1 firefighter fatalities has been reported to USFA in 2013. Year-to-date monthly and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) Fatality Notices page.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

One Firefighter Death & One Firefighter Injured at Newark Valley NY Structural Fire 01.22.2013

A structure in Tioga County was gutted by a fast-moving fire.

The blaze on Chamberlain Road in the town of Newark Valley was reported around 10:45 Monday night.

About a half-dozen Tioga County fire departments battled the fire for several hours. Fire crews remained on the scene this morning.

At 12:10 a.m., Newark Valley called for all available crews from Campville. Newark Valley, Berkshire, Maine and Owego fire departments were also on the scene. Union Center was called later in the morning.

A request for a medical helicopter at approximately 11:40 p.m. was denied because of the weather. 

An Owego firefighter is dead and another was injured while battling a fire in Newark Valley. 

Owego Deputy Fire Chief Bob Williams said Owego firefighters Matthew Porcari and Daniel Gavin were in the building when the floor collapsed. Porcari died in the fire. Gavin was taken to Wilson Hospital with burns before being transferred to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

State fire investigators were at the Owego Fire Department Tuesday morning.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

December, January, February peak months for heating fires...

While a warm home and a hot meal on a cold winter’s day may conjure up thoughts of safety and security, the unfortunate reality is that winter is the leading time of year for home fires in the United States. That’s why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) have teamed up to help prevent home fires in the winter months.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA there are more house fires during the winter than any other season.

Through a jointly sponsored initiative – Put a Freeze on Winter Fires – NFPA and USFA are working collaboratively to tell the public about ways to stay fire-safe this winter. The effort targets home heating and cooking, which represent the two leading causes of U.S. home fires. Both types of fires peak in the winter months.

“The use of heating equipment largely contributes to the peak in U.S. home fires during the winter months,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The USFA reports that nationally, on average, winter residential fires result in an estimated 945 deaths, 3,800 injuries and $1.7 billion in property damage. However, the USFA said there are simple things you can do for these next few, cold months to maintain a fire-safe home.

It said winter fires happen more often mostly because of an increase in cooking and heating fires, and winter storms that knock out power cause people to turn to alternative heating sources, raising their risk.

Winter Fire Safety

According to NFPA’s most recent report, “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment,” home heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported home structure fires, 490 civilian deaths, 1,530 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage in 2010.

Stationary and portable space heaters accounted for one-third (32 percent) of reported home heating fires, but 80 percent of the home heating fire deaths, two-thirds (67 percent) of associated civilian injuries, and half (52 percent) of associated direct property damage.

“Space heaters clearly present the greatest risk of home heating fires,” said Carli. “No matter what type of heating system people may use, we can all reduce our risk by taking simple safety precautions.”

Below are tips for safely heating your home this winter: 

* All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater. 

* Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

* Never use your oven to heat your home.

* Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

*Have heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned each year by a qualified professional.

* Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

* Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.

* Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

*Test all smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries once a year, or when they begin to chirp, which means the batteries are running low.

* Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Test the alarms monthly.

For more winter fire safety tips from the USFA:

For additional tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

Checklist for safely preparing for the heating season: 

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Two Alarm Fire in Binghamton - Old 'Pa's Woodshed' Burns

A 2-alarm fire broke out on 115 Montgomery Street in Binghamton, New York. The fire, as firefighters battle massive flames, has closed off several blocks in the area, that can be seen across Interstate Route 81.

Upon arrival firefighters found three buildings in flames and immediately called for additional units. Crews from Vestal, Port Dickinson and the city of Binghamton were called at approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to 115 Montgomery St., according to Binghamton Fire Chief Daniel Thomas.

Another immediate need was a water supply. One fire hydrant was found two blocks away to which, firefighters had to run a 5-inch line from the fireground to the lone fire hydrant to supply water.

"Just with the large volume of fire and really no exposures, it reached the point of just the safety of the firefighters and keeping them and the equipment back," said Fire Chief Thomas.

Chief Thomas said crews were forced to take a defensive approach to fighting the fire, meaning they'll allow it to burn itself out, while ensuring it doesn't spread to other buildings. Chief Thomas said the fire could burn well into Thursday morning.

It was the only approach, Chief Thomas said, because of the fire's intensity and the building's location. Just one road leads to the warehouse. 

Fire Chief Thomas said there were reports of people inside the building squatting but didn't think there was anyone inside at the time of the fire. 

"When the first crews arrived there was heavy smoke," said Binghamton Fire Marshal Daniel Eggleston. "They could barely even see the building last night when they arrived. We found some dead hydrants that were down here at the end of a dead end road. There were definitely water supply issues."

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

(The usual disclaimers: I am not a journalist; This is a blog that expresses an outlook and is not conclusive in any shape or manner.)

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