Neighbors in Onalaska unleashed their frustrations on fire commissioners Tuesday night. They're upset after a third of the all-volunteer fire department resigned.
Some say small town politics is putting public safety in jeopardy.
Commissioners voted last week to strip Fire Chief Andrew Martin of his title. Commissioner Rich Bainbridge said Martin "was not following our direction."
However, at an evening meeting, Assistant Chief Rhonda Volk said the action taken against Martin was retaliation.
"I refuse to sit back and let commissioners Bainbridge and Kassel hold personal grudges and vendettas against my command team," said Volk.
Nearly two years after a fatal New Year's Eve apartment fire in Everett, fire officials say they're making progress in the push to get fire alarm systems in apartment complexes up to code.
It was December 31, 2015 when a massive fire broke out at The Bluffs Apartments on West Casino Road. The apartment complex, built in the late 1960s, didn't have fire alarms.
As a result, neighbors said they had little warning. Some had no idea the fire was even happening, until they smelled the smoke and saw the flames themselves.
"Yeah I didn't hear nothing until we saw it," said resident Jose Velasquez. "Me and my buddies were hanging out, it was New Year's Eve, and I looked out the window and was like, oh man, that apartment is on fire."
He was one of more than 100 people whose apartment units were damaged by smoke, water, and flames on that night.
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Ecology, firefighters in South King County now have a new tool to help them combat alcohol and petroleum-based fires.
The $100,000 grant was a collaborative effort between the Renton RFA and the Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, fire department officials said in a media release.
According to Puget Sound Fire, the new tool comes in the form of two trailers that each carry 660 gallons of a foam concentrate that, when injected into a fire hose, can coat the surface of flammable liquids and extinguish them if they are already burning, or create an airtight barrier to prevent them from catching fire.
When three-year-old Callaway Norwood visits his grandma's house, he expects two things: a satisfying bowl of Cocoa Krispies and fire trucks. Lots of fire trucks. Toy fire trucks and videos of fire trucks.
Typical boy you might think.
Only in this family, it's not just the boys who love fire trucks.
In 1992, long before she was anyone's grandma, Debbie Powers became just the third woman to fight fires for the City of Olympia.
“People would say ‘Oh you're a fireman?’ and I would go ‘Oh Yeah’,” Powers said. “Fireman, Fire Woman. It didn't matter. I was just happy to be here, to be part of this team, part of this family. Call me whatever you want.”
Jenna Norwood was proud of her mom, even when she showed up in class dressed up as Sparky the Fire Dog.
Grey and rainy skies blanketed the Columbia Basin on Tuesday. The need for a good, warm winter coat was evident from the moment you stepped out into the elements. For some in the community a good winter coat is hard to come by. The Moses Lake Firefighters Local 1258 helped address the need by delivering winter coats to kids at four schools in Moses Lake on Tuesday through their annual Operation Warm program.
The firefighters handed out about 100 coats to students at Larson Heights, Midway, Knolls Vista and North elementary schools. The kids who received coats were hand-picked by Moses Lake School District staff and identified as needing a good winter coat, explained firefighter Jason Koziol.
Columbia Basin Herald