Arizona News

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Mayor who led Prescott after 19 Yarnell Hill firefighters’ deaths dies at 86

Marlin Kuykendall, the former mayor of Prescott whose tenure included the tumultuous months following the deaths of 19 firefighters in a 2013 wildfire, has died. Prescott city officials confirmed on Tuesday that Kuykendall died Sunday at his home. He was 86. His son, Patrick, told the Daily Courier that Kuykendall had been dealing with cancer for the past three years. Kuykendall, a local businessman, served on the Prescott City Council in the '70s and '90s. He became mayor in 2009 and was re-elected twice more. It was his campaign for a third term in 2013 that was his toughest. Kuykendall and the city faced harsh criticism daily over their refusal to extend full benefits to the families of all the firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire that summer. Thirteen of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were classified as temporary employees, which does not include full survivors' benefits.
Arizona Republic, & KPNX-TV NBC 12 Phoenix

Glendale firefighters use new filter to prevent COVID-19 spread

PHOTO: Every day, firefighters risk their lives to keep us safe. COVID-19 has only made that risk even greater. Just ask Glendale Fire Department Captain Anthony Valverde. "If you're having a hard time breathing, and I know you're positive for COVID, I'm still gonna do anything I can," said Valverde. He went from helping patients fight COVID to fighting the virus himself. "It was scary," said Valverde. "It was something that I never experienced before." He believes he caught COVID while working. Captain Ashley Losch says he's not the only one. "We're at about 250 sworn members that are working in the field, and 85 have been positive," said Losch. "It's a huge percentage of our workforce." Crews are usually transporting several COVID patients each day, coming very close to the virus.

Column: Peoria firefighter’s death stills a towering voice for firefighters

He wrestled with kidney cancer for a decade, fought like a demon, but finally Dave Rehnke took his last breath on Jan. 11. Rehnke worked for 26 years as a firefighter in Peoria, rising to the rank of captain. He loved his city, his peers on the frontlines and the job – though it was firefighting that killed him. I met Rehnke five years ago at the Arizona Legislature, where the state’s firefighters – clients of mine – were pushing to expand the roster of cancers presumed to be caused by their profession. Rehnke, newly retired from Peoria, was five years into being eaten alive by renal cell carcinoma, a cancer undoubtedly caused by his line of work with its smoke, soot and burning poisons. He testified before a legislative committee about how the disease metastasized into his lungs and the debilitating effects of chemotherapy; about how just one of his drugs cost $90,000 a year; about the months he had spent in court suing to get the workers’ compensation he so clearly deserved.
Ahwatukee Foothills News/Chandler Connection

Three dogs dead, 1 man injured in Tempe mobile home fire

PHOTO: A fire at a mobile home in Tempe killed three dogs and injured their owner early Tuesday morning. According to the Tempe Fire Department, the fire broke out at about 6 a.m. at a mobile home near Kyrene and Baseline roads. Firefighters said one man was home at the time. He was taken to a hospital with serious burn injuries and a laceration to his arm. Tempe FD said his three dogs died in the fire. Investigators believe the fire started from a "smoking incident," but they are still working to determine the exact cause. No other details have been released.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Bails of cardboard, paper spark two-alarm fire at Phoenix recycling plant

PHOTO: Investigators are trying to determine what sparked a two-alarm fire at a Phoenix recycling plant Sunday morning. Crews were called out to the area of 65th Avenue and Buckeye Road at about 10 a.m. According to Captain Rob McDade of the Phoenix Fire Department, “large bails of recycled cardboard and other paper materials” were burning, causing the flames to spread quickly. McDade said firefighters went up to the roof of the large building to open skylights to vent the smoke. Crews knocked down the fire and were dealing with hotspots in the building less than two hours after the first call. The Phoenix Fire Department escalated the call to a second-alarm, which means more firefighters and resources were sent to the scene, “because of the size and contents inside of the structure,” McDade explained.

Mesa apartment fire leaves multiple people displaced

VIDEO: An apartment fire reported near Main Street and Dobson Road in Mesa left several people displaced Monday afternoon. The Mesa Fire Department said firefighters responded to a report of a bedroom on fire. Crews arrived at the scene and found a fire coming from a balcony and a bedroom window of a second-floor apartment. Once firefighters were able to control that fire and search the apartment for any residents still inside, they found that the fire had reached into the attic, according to fire officials. Around 60 firefighters were called to help contain the fire and stop it from spreading to other units. The fire damaged eight apartment units, with multiple people being left displaced. No injuries were reported due to the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
KNXV-TV ABC 15 Phoenix

Residents escape unharmed after Glendale home goes up in flames

PHOTO: Everyone made it out safely after a Glendale home caught fire Sunday afternoon. When fire crews arrived at the house near 59th Avenue and Cactus Road, the home's four occupants had already gotten out. Firefighters say they encountered a heavy volume of fire and smoke and began a "rapid attack." In a short time, they were able to gain control of the flames and began dousing hot spots. No one was hurt. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Sour Fire has charred 1,200 acres in Yavapai County

Firefighters responded to a smoke report on Sunday, Jan. 17, that turned out to be one of Yavapai County’s first major wildfires of 2021. As of early Monday, Jan. 18, the Sour Fire has charred 1,200 acres in an area north of State Route 169 and just east of Cherry Creek Road, according to Prescott National Forest. The fire is burning brush and grass and is also only about four miles west of I-17. It is 20% contained. Firefighters from Prescott National Forest, Copper Canyon Fire Department and Central Arizona Medical and Fire worked until 10 p.m. Sunday conducting burnout operations east of Cherry Creek Road, south of Forest Road 96 and north of State Route 169. This was an effort to keep the fire from moving north of Forest Road 96 toward the community of Cherry. Monday, the U.S. Forest Service said, firefighters will continue to reinforce and secure the black line along the perimeter of the fire.
Verde Independent

Tucson firefighters stop blaze in abandoned buildings from spreading to nearby home

The Tucson Fire Department is investigating a fire at some abandoned buildings north of downtown. The fire happened Monday night, Jan. 18, in the 1200 block of N. 13th Avenue, near Speedway Boulevard and Main Avenue. Several abandoned buildings were involved in the fire, but firefighters extinguished the flames before they spread to a nearby home. No injuries were reported.
KOLD-TV CBS 13 Tucson

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