A massive house fire broke out Thursday in the Bronx, injuring eight firefighters and blazing “like hell opened up,” fire officials and witnesses said.
The flames started in an Olmstead Ave. home, near Haviland Ave., in Soundview at about 3:40 p.m. and spread to six other houses. Two were so badly damaged they need to be demolished, FDNY Chief of Department James Leonard said.
Nicholas Luckhai, 18, was alone in his bedroom, when the blaze sparked inside his home.
“When I opened my bedroom door I could see the flames come right through my house,” the Lehman High School senior said. “I tried calling 911 but the windows started shattering. The flames started spreading to the porch next door with the wind. Smoke was everywhere but I couldn't see through the flames. I was in a panic. I didn't know what to do.”
New York Daily News
After several delays to try and attract more FDNY candidates, the filing for the city’s upcoming firefighter exam has finally closed — with historic gains in the number of African-Americans, Asians, Latinos and women who applied.
The FDNY had planned to close filing on April 25 for the highly competitive firefighter entrance exam that will be given in the fall.
But in an effort to boost the diversity of candidates, it extended the deadline several times, until declaring June 9 the drop-dead cut-off date.
The last-minute push appeared to bear some fruit for the department, which is under the eye of a federal judge as part of its 2014 settlement with black firefighters, who brought a landmark discrimination case against the agency.
New York Daily News
Family and friends said their final farewells to Massapequa Firefighter and Port Authority Police Officer James Kennelly in Seaford on Thursday.
“He was a fantastic father, fantastic firefighter, fantastic police officer,” former Massapequa Fire Department chief Steve Zimmerman said. “This guy was the best. The best there is to offer.
Kennelly's funeral was held at Saint James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford.
He died of 9-11 related cancer at 37-years-old.
“He was a dedicated volunteer fireman, I know he was a dedicated police officer. A loving husband, loving father to his daughter. So dedicated,” said former Massapequa FD Chief Tom Pendergast.
FiOS1 Long Island
The Auburn City Council voted unanimously to approve police, firefighter and assistant fire chief contracts before the previous contracts expired, a stark difference from previous rounds of contract negotiations in 2013, which dragged on into the next year.
The council approved five-year contracts for all three parties during Thursday night's city council meeting, which will go into effect July 1, 2017. Each contract included salary raises for the employees, offset by health insurance cost decreases for the city.
City manager Jeff Dygert said five-year contracts "give the city stability" when it comes to planning the city budget each year.
A Levittown firefighter has been honored for decades of work trying to improve safety for his fellow firefighters.
Earlier this week, Tom Cuff, 85, was given the 2017 Fire Achievement Award from the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.
“Tom has been working nonstop for more than 60 years to put the safety and needs of his fellow firefighters and their families front and center,” association President Kenneth Pienkowski said.
“I really appreciate the career I had,” Cuff said Thursday. “... I’m just a straight, old fireman.”
Cuff, who spent 64 years in the fire service, has long been an advocate for residential sprinkler requirements, better fire and building codes, and enhanced benefits for the families of firefighters killed in the line of duty, the association said.
NewsDay.com - Metered Site
Members of the Tompkins County Council of Governments on Thursday heard some details – and statistics – outlining an impending “collapse” of community-based, emergency service providers in Tompkins County.
Lee Shurtleff, Director of EMS Services in Tompkins County, presented an overview of statistics compiled with the assistance Cornell students analyzing the status of Emergency Medical Service resources in Tompkins County, an overarching assessment of everything from staffing levels to the needs and demographics they handle. Essentially, as staffing levels have been strained (a third of volunteer providers, Shurtleff said, have been lost since 2013), demand has gone up, an issue compounded by a lack of volunteers, the need for taxpayers to start paying for services (and already pained local budgets), increasing call volumes and increasing expectations of the services first responders should provide.
Firefighters are still on the scene of a three-alarm, multiple building fire on North Manning Boulevard.
The blaze began at 71 N. Manning Blvd., an abandoned building, and spread to three nearby homes, according to Albany Fire Chief Warren Abriel.
No one was injured, but Abriel said 26 to 30 people have been displaced from their homes as a result of the fire. The first call came in at 6:21 a.m., according to Abriel, and when fire crews arrived on the scene three minutes later they found heavy fire across the back of three buildings. Adjacent houses at 69 and 73 N. Manning were also damaged, and while crews battled the blaze people were evacuated from seven buildings.