Arizona News

Friday, May 18, 2018

Suspect, witnesses detail confrontation in Tempe firefighter’s shooting death

VIDEO: When Hezron Parks woke up on Feb. 4, he saw on local television news that the man he had fatally shot during a road-rage incident 10 hours earlier in downtown Scottsdale was a Tempe firefighter. Parks thought, according to a transcript of a police interview, he should go to police and explain why he felt justified in shooting Kyle Brayer, a 34-year-old Tempe fire captain and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who had been with six other people in the bar district. But Parks, 21, had reservations about talking to police. He thought investigators wouldn't believe his assertion that a firefighter was the aggressor, the police interview shows.
Arizona Republic, & KPNX-TV NBC 12 Phoenix

Phoenix firefighters control 1st-alarm fire that spread to 2nd home

VIDEO: A huge house fire is now under control in west Phoenix thanks to firefighters early Friday morning. Fire crews received multiple reports of a house fire near 107th Avenue and Indian School Road. When they arrived just after 1 a.m., firefighters found a working fire at the home, primarily in the back bedrooms, said Phoenix fire Capt. Rob McDade. Due to the close proximity of the homes in this neighborhood, the fire began to spread into the attic of the home located next door. Crews were able to gain control of the fire in the original home and confirmed that all occupants were out safely, said McDade.

Former Show Low fire chief sentenced

Former Show Low Fire District Chief Ben Owens will pay $124,656 in restitution to the SLFD after pleading guilty to three felonies in connection with his daughter-in-law Natalie Bingham. Bingham stole about $1.8 million when she was district administrative manager, an amount likely to be the largest embezzlement from a special taxing district in Arizona history. According to the Arizona Auditor General’s Office, she embezzled a little less than $1.8 million in 474 checks written to herself, Owens (her father-in-law) and her fianceé. Owens was the Show Low fire chief for 15 years, from 1998 to 2012, when he retired June 30 of that year.
White Mountain Independent

Update: Verdict For Death Of Off-Duty Daisy Mountain Firefighter

Brandon Draper was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of an off-duty Daisy Mountain Firefighter. Draper was arrested in January 2017 for an incident at a Phoenix strip club that resulted in the death 37-year-old firefighter Luke Jones. During an altercation Draper, who was a bouncer at the Centerfold Cabaret in Phoenix, allegedly pushed Jones to the ground and hit him in the head multiple times on January 21, 2017. Jones, who was in an arm brace due to a previous injury, sustained critical injuries and was taken to the hospital in Lyft ride-sharing vehicle, according to police.
Foothills Focus

Woods Fire conquered in short order

A final update on the Woods Fire northwest of Woods Canyon Lake near Forest Service Road 195 on the Mogollon Rim indicates that the fire is still at 103 acres with 25 percent containment. Woods Canyon Lake on the Black Mesa Ranger District is a well known and popular fishing and camping destination in Arizona that is typically crowded during warmer months. The really good news coming out of the fire that started May 11, likely from a human cause (but still under investigation), is that firefighters have a line all around it and are in mop up mode. The fire was downgraded after firefighters gained significant ground against it Friday, May 11 allowing management to be turned over to Black Mesa Ranger District Type 4 Incident Cmdr. Joshua Salazar.
White Mountain Independent

Tucson woman arrested for arson and animal cruelty after setting dog on fire

VIDEO: Police arrested a woman last week for intentionally setting a dog on fire. According to the Tucson Police Department, the incident happened on May 7, 2018, around 12:49 p.m. at a home near Kolb and Stella. TFD was first on the scene after reports were made that flames were coming from the home. Crews were able to quickly contain the fire and keep it from spreading to the exterior. TFD says that one teenage resident suffered minor injuries and the family dog was transported to Valley Animal Hospital. Officers arrived on scene and learned that one adult female resident, 39-year-old Dean Sherfield Finley, intentionally set fire to the family dog and the home.
104.1 KQTH Tucson's News and Talk

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fort Mohave Mesa board considering plan to boost firefighter pay

Fort Mojave Mesa firefighters could be in line for a raise. One budget proposal being considered by the fire district’s governing board would have the starting firefighter salary increased from $37,369 to “substantially above” $40,000, Fire Chief Bret Scholz said at Wednesday’s meeting. A preliminary wage and benefit package discussed at the meeting would begin phasing out longevity pay and increases based on education. Board member Keith Parker, part of a management group that met with union representatives on the package, said the goal was to raise the FMMFD’s starting salary and make the department more attractive to potential employees, as well as improve its retention success.
Mohave Valley Daily News

1st-alarm fire in Phoenix likely started by squatters, fire department says

Squatters may be to blame for a first-alarm fire that was put out by Phoenix firefighters late Wednesday night. Approximately, 30 firefighters controlled a small fire at an abandoned four-story commercial building near Interstate 17 and Camelback Road, said Phoenix fire Capt. Larry Subervi. When firefighters first arrived, they had a challenging time locating the source of the fire due to a large amount of smoke traveling through the building. This caused fire crews to request additional resources, balancing the fire to a first-alarm.

Ammunition goes off in shed during house fire in south Phoenix

A house fire call in south Phoenix got even more dangerous when ammunition in a shed started to go off on Wednesday night. Crews were called out to a home near Third and South Mountain avenues, which is south of Baseline Road. Firefighters said the fire started in the backyard and then spread to the attic. But then flames spread to a shed that had ammunition in it and they started going off. Additional resources were called in just in case the ammo injured a firefighter or caused the fire to grow, the fire department said. Thankfully, no one was hurt. It's unclear how badly the home was damaged.

Eloy firefighter accused of stealing explicit photos off cell phone

An Eloy firefighter is accused of stealing naked pictures off a patient's phone and then sending them out. According to Eloy Police, Captain Scott Roninger of the Eloy Fire District found a cell phone that had been left behind in an ambulance. Police say the phone belonged to the girlfriend of the man being transported. Instead of returning the phone right away, Roninger allegedly went through it and found sexually explicit photos of the patient's girlfriend. Roninger is accused of stealing the photos and sending them out. 12 News tried to reach Roninger at his home, but nobody answered the door.

Woman, 81, killed in 7-vehicle crash in Tucson intersection

PHOTO: A woman was killed and several people were injured in a seven-vehicle crash that shut down the intersection of North Flowing Wells at West Wetmore roads for several hours Wednesday, Northwest Fire said. Nine people were treated in the wreck, including six people who were taken to the hospital, Northwest Fire said there. Shirley Taylor, 81, was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, said Deputy Cody Gress, a Pima County Sheriff's Department spokesman. Everyone else was treated for injuries deemed minor, Gress said. No further information about the multi-vehicle crash has been released.
Tucson Arizona Daily Star

Fountain Hills Fire Station #2 taking form

After extensive site work that included three levels of retaining walls the new Fire Station #2 is beginning to come out of the ground. The new facility is being built on Fountain Hills Boulevard just north of Shea Boulevard. Fountain Hills Rural/Metro Fire Chief Dave Ott said they have had to coordinate with several other entities including EPCOR Water and Salt River Project to relocate utilities. SRP still has some minor work to do. The station will share access off Fountain Hills Boulevard with EPCOR to allow the water company to get to a treatment plant backflush site. Ott said they also had to make a slight design modification to allow the new, larger ladder truck to get inside the bay.
Fountain Hills Times

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