Wisconsin News

Friday, February 15, 2019

Madison firefighters explore cancer-preventing benefits from sauna therapy

VIDEO: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health performed a multi-year study which found firefighters have a nine percent greater risk at being diagnosed with cancer and a 14 percent risk of a cancer related death. The study was completed in late 2015 and included nearly 30,000 firefighters who were employed at any time between 1950 and 2009. Since then, fire departments across the country have explored ways to combat the deadly disease. The Madison Fire Department has researched sauna-therapy as a way for fire fighters to sweat out the dangerous cancer-causing toxins they absorb when out fighting a fire. “Research has shown that sauna therapy can actually be impactful in leeching those chemicals back out of the skin,” said Chief Steven Davis of the Madison Fire Department.
WMTV-TV NBC 15 Madison

Celebrating Fire Station 14: Madison’s newest station to hold grand opening Friday

VIDEO: It's been almost one year to the day since crews broke ground on Fire Station 14, Madison's newest facility. Now, the station is preparing for its first celebration. Friday, Feb. 15, Fire Chief Steve Davis, Mayor Paul Soglin, District 16 Alder Michael Tierney, and former District 16 Alder Denise DeMarb will attend the official grand opening of Station 14 on the city's southeast side. Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony, which will include a ceremonial uncoupling of the fire hose, free station tours, cake, and refreshments. The celebration begins at 1 p.m. at Station 14, located at 3201 Dairy Drive.
WISC-TV Channel 3000.com Madison

Three Lakes diner on fire, multiple crews on scene

VIDEO: The stretch of shops on Superior Street in the Three Lakes form a tight knit business community. Wednesday night that community supported workers at 3 Lakes Diner, as they watched the place they work go up in flames. Superior Street was filled with fire trucks as firefighters worked to contain the flames and save what little was left of the building. "There was black smoke billowing out the back side of the diner," said Luann Avery. Avery was helping a customer at her shop, White Deer Wine & Spirits, when she noticed the smoke coming out of 3 Lakes Diner across the street. "It just kept getting worse and the smoke started billowing out underneath the eaves," said Avery. Firefighters arrived to flames that were already out of control. To Jo Pfeiffer, the diner was more than just a building. It was the place where her daughter, son, and grandchildren worked with her.
News 12

We Energies to build large windscreen to combat coal dust issue in Oak Creek

We Energies plans to build a massive windscreen to address a coal dust issue plaguing residents living near their Oak Creek power plant. The city's plan commission unanimously approved plans Tuesday, Feb. 12, for a vertical windscreen, in excess of 4.5 acres, which will surround the southern and eastern portions of the large coal pile at 10770 and 11060 S. Chicago Road. City Planner Kari Papelbon said the screen will be mounted on 100-foot poles and a special fabric stretching 2,000 feet around the pile. In March 2018, wind gusts brought coal dust to a number of neighboring homes. Since that time, residents have complained about the issue and We Energies has enacted some measures to combat the coal, including planting about 200 trees and building up berms. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Kressuk said the fire department has a “significant concern” with the coal dust issue. He said this new structure is designed to solve the problem and the fire department doesn’t see any issues with it.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Thursday, February 14, 2019

First responders line the procession route for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner

Overpasses along I-794 were lined with firefighters, community members and locals who paid their final respects to Officer Matthew Rittner. Along the Whitnall overpass, firefighters with Milwaukee County Fire Department arrived two hours before the procession started waiting for the moment that the hearse would pass underneath them. As it did, firefighters stood at attention and saluted their fellow brother. Although Officer Rittner worked with Milwaukee Police, the firefighters said they are all one unit made of dedicated men and woman who are committed to serving their community. "We are all thinking about them. We have all taken some time to reflect and to remember and to show our respect. We like to think of them as brothers and sisters in what we do and when something like this happens, we all feel it," said firefighter Taylor Collins.
Today's TMJ4

Oconto man injured in house fire

An Oconto man was injured after a fire broke out Wednesday at his residence in the city of Oconto. The Oconto Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched at about 11:52 a.m. to 445 Jefferson St., for a report of a burning structure with smoke and flames visible. Crews found smoke coming from the eaves and gable vents and a visible fire in a window of the one-story, wood-frame home. The man, the lone occupant, was already outside. Firefighters knocked down the fire through a broken kitchen window. They encountered zero visibility caused by heavy smoke when they entered the house. The man was transported to the hospital for injuries sustained while attempting to extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived. The cause of the fire in the home remains under investigation. Fire Chief John Reed said the man declined assistance from the Red Cross, saying he had a place to go.
Green Bay Press-Gazette

Extinguishing Tuesday’s blaze at Chippewa County restaurant provided multiple challenges, deputy chief says

John Andersen, deputy chief of fire prevention, has served in the Chippewa Fire District since it was formed in 1978, and he’s seen plenty of challenging fires. Andersen says the blaze at The View tavern on Lake Wissota on Tuesday might be the most challenging in his four decades of service. “This is probably the worst weather conditions I’ve been in,” Andersen said Wednesday morning, noting he was at the scene for 12 hours on Tuesday, then returned overnight to assist in extinguishing more small fires that kept popping up. “We had five people overnight, just putting out hot spots,” he said. “It’s almost like playing ‘whack-a-mole’ in fighting a fire. It’s the best analogy I can come up with. You think you got it, then you don’t.” Besides the snow, there was a steady wind, which provided oxygen to the flame, helping it grow.
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

Eau Claire firefighter terminated by city’s Police and Fire Commission

A 12-year member of the Eau Claire Fire Department was fired Wednesday by the city’s Police and Fire Commission. Brian Mero was terminated based on charges made by Fire Chief Chris Bell of misconduct, dishonesty, false reporting and using improper means to report alleged misconduct by his supervisors. After the commission terminated Mero Wednesday morning, Bell said “it’s never fun” to let somebody go. “It’s something that you only do if it’s absolutely necessary. It’s the things that are necessary for the good of the organization,” Bell said. “For firefighters, we have to be honest and truthful in what we do,” he said. “The public expects that and I expect that.” Mero could not be reached for comment. According to the 15-page termination order approved Wednesday by the commission: Mero performed his job duties acceptably and even commendably at times.
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram

Discarded cigarettes starts fire at Madison home

A fire that caused $12,500 worth of damage to a Madison home was the result of improperly discarded cigarettes, according to a news release from the Madison Fire Department. Fire crews responded to a home in the 10 block of North Franklin Avenue around 2:55 p.m. Tuesday. When first responders arrived on the scene, the homeowner told them the fire was already put out. Firefighters reported a significant fire had taken place in the kitchen area and appeared to have originated in the nearby pantry. The homeowner said the he'd thrown some cigarette butts and their ashes into a garbage can in the pantry. The garbage had refuse inside that included paper products.
WISC-TV Channel 3000.com Madison

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