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Friday, October 24, 2014
China Grove fire chief resigns    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Jeff Gledhill this week resigned his position as China Grove fire chief for personal reasons, according to Mayor Don Bringle. Bringle said Gledhill turned in his resignation Monday, effectively immediately. Gledhill called town manager Ken Deal to tender his resignation, according to Bringle. “I wish Jeff the best,” Bringle said. When asked, Deal said Gledhill cited personal issues as the reasons for his resignation. Until town selects a new chief, Bringle said Mike Zimmerman, the Bostian Heights fire chief, would serve in an interim fire chief role. “We’re in the process of trying to make sure we have the coverage necessary,” Bringle said. “We met with full-time and part-time firemen to ensure it’s business as normal.” The move to name Zimmerman as the interim fire chief could help in a potential consolidation of the China Grove and Bostian Heights fire departments, Deal said. “We have been in conversation with Bostian Heights to consolidate or merge and are reviewing the process and likelihood of it happening,” Deal said. “It would be a win-win situation for all the citizens. Mike (Zimmerman) is a very qualified chief and does a good job. Naming him the interim chief just made things simple.” Bringle said the town has not begun the process of looking for a new fire chief.
Salisbury Post

Oak Island firefighters practice forcible entry    view comments tweat me share on facebook
When a fire breaks out, emergency officials need to be able to get into homes and buildings as quickly as possible. After a long day of training, firefighters in Oak Island are now better equipped to keep their community safe. Forcible entry is a big part of a firefighter's job, but officials say that it's often taken for granted. On Thursday, nearly two dozen firefighters were taught the proper techniques to get into your home or business when an emergency happens. Breaking down a steel frame door to help those inside, is not as easy as it looks in the movies. Charlotte Firefighter Joe McBryde says, that's when forcible entry training comes in handy. "If you become proficient in getting doors open quicker it saves lives," McBryde said. "The faster we get in and get people out, then we're able to save those lives that much faster." McBryde says it may look easy to break down a door, but it actually takes a lot of skill. "There's a lot of science behind it," McBryde said. "You don't want to knock it totally off with an uncontrolled break because that affects the fire spread." The exercise simulates the initial response to a fire or rescue. First, firefighters must check to see if the door is unlocked. If it's locked, they can't kick in the steel frame so they use tools to pry it open. The training helps minimize damage and keep firefighters safe in the process. Captain Jack Baker with the Oak Island Fire Department say that's something that is unfortunately taken for granted sometimes. "A lot of times we don't have the equipment to practice this stuff," Baker said. "We don't have a lot of fires so getting this is a good way to practice." A full day of work, practicing the art of saving lives, and preparing the next generation of firefighters to be ready when they get the call.
WECT-TV Channel 6

West New Bern Fire Department donates old truck to high school    view comments tweat me share on facebook
An old equipment truck has a new home. On Thursday, the West New Bern Fire Department donated an equipment truck to New Bern High School. "It’s got about 60,000 miles on it. It’s a 1991, so it's still got years left in it,” said West New Bern Fire Department Chief Justin Sawyer. The truck will be used for training purposes in firefighting technology classes starting this spring. New Bern High student Matthew Monette is already signed up and excited for the course. "I think it will be a good learning experience for all of us. We get to learn about all the public safety and firefighter technologies," said Monette. The class, along with the truck, will give students a head start on their firefighting careers. The school's firefighting technology teacher Edward Bader said, "The students will be able to graduate high school, and they might have to take few classes to complete the program, but they’ll be ready to go. The department can take them in, show them the way they operate and pretty much give them a free pass to walk in the door and take off running.” The class begins in spring semester of 2015, but Monette already made plans for when he completes it. "I'd probably like to volunteer a little bit for a fire department," said Monette. New Bern High School is accepting donations of firefighting and first aid training equipment to use for the class.
TWC News - Triad

Blaze challenges Dana firefighters, destroys mountaintop home    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A man living on a mountain in the back country of Deep Gap Road had just stepped out of his garage at around noon Thursday when he saw flames and smoke coming from his house. He called 911. When firefighters arrived, the one-story brick ranch with a basement at 1129 Laurel Mountain View Road was fully engulfed in flames and its roof had caved in, said Deputy Fire Chief Ben Lanning of Dana Fire & Rescue. The house — perched nearly two miles up a narrow gravel road at the top of another tricky, inclined driveway — became a challenge as firefighters looked to get water to the scene. Lanning said they drafted water from Hungry River and used a tanker shuttle to transport it to the fire. “Tankers had to pull past the house and back up the driveway,” he said, to get water to a portable tank used to fight the fire at the scene. The blaze spread nearly five feet into the woodline near the house, Lanning said, but the fire was under control by about 2:30 p.m. The house was a total loss and very little, if anything, was salvageable. The American Red Cross is assisting the homeowner. Fire and rescue departments from Blue Ridge, Mountain Home, Edneyville and the city of Hendersonville assisted Dana at the scene, along with the Henderson County Rescue Squad, Henderson County EMS and the N.C. Forest Service.
Hendersonville Times

Overheated cellphone charging dock blamed for Charlotte apartment blaze    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Investigators believe a cellphone charging dock overheated, starting a fire inside a Charlotte apartment Thursday evening. Firefighters responded to the apartment fire in the 800 block of Eastway Drive. The fire broke out at about 6:30 p.m. and was contained to one unit in the small two-story apartment building. Jessica Gregory told Channel 9 she was inside her home with her family when she heard her next door neighbor screaming. “The back of my neighbor’s home was all flames,” said Gregory. “I grabbed my grandmother and my two daughters and ran. I just had to get them out of the house.” Officials said Gregory’s neighbor was cooking when she noticed a fire in her back bedroom. The woman ran out of her home to get help. Gregory called 911 and watched as the flames grew closer to her home. “It was getting to the point where it was right there,” said Gregory. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire before it spread to other apartments. A firewall also helped contain the flames to one unit. Investigators determined a cellphone charging dock that was plugged in and sitting on the bed overheated and sparked the fire. No one was injured.
WSOC-TV ABC 9 Charlotte

Firefighters battle a large garage fire in Cricket    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A large garage behind a home on North Curtis Bridge Road in the Cricket community burned to the ground Thursday afternoon. The garage was owned by Paul Hendrix and was filled with collectable cars, said neighbor John Hayes. A member of the Cricket Fire Department said the structure was already engulfed in flames when he arrived after firefighters were dispatched by the Wilkes Communications Center about 3 p.m. The building essentially burned to its foundation in about a half hour. Smoke from the fire, located less than a hundred yards south of Boone Trail, could be seen from downtown North Wilkesboro. Wilkesboro and Millers Creek firemen also responded to the blaze with fire trucks and personnel. Cricket Fire Chief David Webb and Wilkesboro Fire Chief Jason Smithey were both at the scene. Though there are several homes and another small outbuilding around the burning garage, none appeared to have been damaged by the fire. The collectable cars inside the structure appeared to have been destroyed. No additional details were immediately available.
Wilkes Journal Patriot

Thursday, October 23, 2014
3 families displaced after NE Charlotte apartment fire   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Red Cross is helping three families after a northeast Charlotte apartment complex caught fire late Wednesday night. Firefighters said the apartment building on Elgywood Lane caught fire around 9:30 p.m. No one was injured and investigators have yet to release a cause. Overnight, when a Channel 9 photographer arrived he noticed some of the debris was still smoldering and started burning again. Firefighters came back out to make sure the small fire was extinguished.
WSOC-TV ABC 9 Charlotte

Wilmington firefighters respond to downtown building fire   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Wilmington Fire Department responded before 9 a.m. to a fire at a building at 202 Princess St. in downtown Wilmington. The address is listed for Mugsy's Pub. WFD spokesman Battalion Chief David Hines said the incident commander asked for additional units. Hines said the fire is running through the building, but a search found no one inside. Witnesses tell WWAY they were inside offices above Mugsy's when smoke started coming through the vents. Firefighters say the building on fire is not connected to surrounding buildings, though one other building was evacuated. Emergency crews blocked off Princess Street between N. 3rd and Front streets as firefighters worked. Parts of N. 2nd Street were also reportedly closed.
WWAY-TV ABC 3 Wilmington

Claremont firefighters question dual positions of chief   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A local fire chief faces a slew of allegations from his fellow firefighters. According to complaints made by firefighters at the Claremont Fire Department, Fire Chief Bart Travis is employed full time for the city of Claremont as fire chief and as a captain with the city of Raleigh Fire Department. Michael Hathaway, chairman of the CFD’s Risk Assessment and Membership Committee, said about 12 to 15 complaints have been registered with the committee in the past 90 days regarding Travis. “The complaints are (related to) the administration of the fire department, leadership and other concerns,” Hathaway said. Hathaway said one of the primary complaints against Travis is he is double dipping and neglecting his responsibilities to Claremont as fire chief. According to Claremont City Manager Doug Barrick, Travis has been a full-time employee of the city since Oct. 3, 2013, with an annual salary of $56,000. Meanwhile, the city of Raleigh has employed Travis since Aug. 17, 1998 with a current salary of $62,899.97 for a total of $118,899.97. When asked if there had been times where Travis should have been in Claremont working as chief but was unavailable, Hathaway said that was one of the complaints against him.
Hickory Daily Record

Follow Up: No smoke detectors in Wilmington home where man died   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The Wilmington Fire Department said the home where a man died in a house fire did not have smoke detectors. The cause remains undetermined, and officials said that it will probably stay undetermined. The fire happened at 4308 Peachtree Avenue 10:00 p.m. Sunday. Neighbors say they heard some kind of an explosion. Investigators said Steven Dale Worsham, 54, died in the incident. "I heard a loud explosion and then some pops behind it," Christine Lyons said. "It definitely went up really quick. By the time firefighters got here, it was gone." Investigators said the fire started in the sleeping area, and smoking materials were found. Officials are still working to determine if those materials caused the incident, but they said due to the damage, it's possible a cause will not be found. The home was being renovated when the fire started. Worsham's friend and neighbor, Anthony Parker, said the victim remodeled homes for a living. As for the explosions, officials said the remnants of a gas-powered chainsaw were found inside the home. It's likely the small gas tank could have been what exploded. Arson was ruled out as a potential cause.
WWAY-TV ABC 3 Wilmington

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