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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mississippi Fire Dept. Tanker Apparatus vs SUV - Leaves Child Dead, Mother And Father Hurt

Fire truck involved in fatal Rankin wreck

A child is dead, and his two siblings and parents are hospitalized following a wreck Sunday

Terrible news out of Mississippi. A child is dead after an apparatus vs SUV crash this afternoon involving a fire truck on Mississippi 43 in Rankin County, near Jackson.

 Initial reports are that a Lake Harbor Fire Department tanker collided with a Ford Escape in or near an intersection sometime before 1445 hours. Two firefighters were in the tanker truck, and a mother, father and their three children were in the vehicle.

Higuillermo Perez, 10, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other two children and both parents were transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center as were two Firefighters who had NLT injuries.

The father, Hernan Perez, 27, is in stable condition. The mother, Mireya Montreo, 33, is in critical condition. Herman Perez Montreo, 4, and Jacqueline Perez Montero, 4 months, were both airlifted to UMMC and are in critical condition.

Facts on exactly what happened are not out yet. Our hearts go out to all affected. KTIYP's.
Source: The Secret List

  Water Trucks and Water Tenders

Friday, March 18, 2016

2 Okla. firefighters injured in tanker rollover

The firefighters had to be extricated from the rig and were transported to a hospital

WAUKOMIS, Okla. — Two firefighters were injured after the tanker they were in ran off the road and overturned Thursday afternoon. reported the Waukomis firefighters were responding to a controlled burn that got out of control. Both firefighters had to be extricated from the rig and were transported to the hospital. They were treated and later released.
Fire Chief Clarence Maly said the rig was a total loss. Two neighboring fire departments assisted in battling and controlling the fire.
The crash is under investigation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Water truck renters suspected of illegal water withdrawal from Sacramento fire hydrant #CAWater #CALaw

Water truck renters suspected of illegal water withdrawal from Sacramento fire hydrant

Drivers of a rental water truck are facing tough questions after officers observed its hose connected to a south Sacramento fire hydrant. | Hector Amezcua


 Shortly after noon Wednesday, Sacramento police officers decided to question the men after seeing a excess of water in the roadway and a BlueLine Rental water truck connected by hose to a city fire hydrant on the 8100 block of Elder Creek Road, said officer Justin Brown, a spokesman for the department.

Brown said the city’s utility officials were called to the scene and they would determine whether the pair was stealing city water. Utility officials were not immediately available for comment.

Because one of the men was “unlicensed,” the police department planned to tow the rental truck, Brown said. (WTF?) Brown did not specify the licensing concern.

BlueLine offers 2,000 and 4,000 gallon water trucks.

Read more here:

Friday, January 30, 2015



We regret to pass on to you that Firefighter Leslie "Les" Fryman, 58, of the Rosendale VFD (Wisconsin) died in the Line of Duty while responding on a run.,
Firefighter Fryman was a passenger in a tanker/tender responding to a mutual aid structure fire when he went unresponsive. Fellow members treated Fryman and transported him to a local hospital. Firefighter Fryman was subsequently transferred to another hospital where he succumbed to his injury seven days later. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be officially reported. 

Our condolences to all affected. RIP
Via The Secret List

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

LODD: Oregon Firefighter Water Tender Rollover

Big Windy Complex - Urgent Press Release

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 – 3:00 p.m.

It is with great sadness that we inform you of a firefighter fatality that occurred this morning at approximately 7:20 a.m. on the Big Windy Complex. The firefighter, 19 year old Jesse Trader, was returning from the evening shift when the water tender he was driving hit the embankment and rolled over on the Bear Camp Road near Soldier Camp. Firefighters in vehicles driving behind Jesse immediately stopped to assist. An advanced life support ambulance arrived on scene within minutes and life flight was quickly launched; however, all efforts to save Jesse were unsuccessful.

The loss of Jesse affects many people in so many ways. From the immediate suffering experienced by Jesse’s family and loved ones, to his close friends and the local communities who know and love him, to the firefighters who were the first responders, as well as the larger firefighting community; we are grieving for our fallen comrade. Please keep Jesse’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

An accident investigation team from Josephine County and cooperating law enforcement agencies arrived on scene shortly after the accident. Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency for public notifications. All agencies associated with the Big Windy Complex will be assisting and cooperating in all manners possible regarding this tragedy while continuing with the suppression work on the Big Windy Complex.

A press conference is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. today at the Grants Pass Interagency Office at 2164 NE Spalding Avenue in Grants Pass.

Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Related Information
Big Windy Complex Urgent News Release (PDF 118 kb)



We regret to advise you that around 0830 yesterday, 19-year-old Jesse Trader was killed Tuesday morning while working the Big Windy Complex Fire about 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass in Josephine County.

 Initial reports are that he lost control of the water tender/tanker vehicle he was driving, down a hill, lost control and went over the edge of a cliff. Rescue medics arrived within minutes but he could not be saved.

Jessie was a contractor FF was operating in the area of the big windy complex fire (one of five major forest fires in the region) was killed in the Line of Duty in a truck crash

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says Trader was driving a water truck around 7:20 a.m. along Bear Camp Road near Soldier Camp when he lost control and slammed into an embankment.  Gibertson estimates he might have been going 30 to 40 mph at the time of the accident.  Life Flight got to him right away but it was too late.  Trader was coming off his overnight shift.

He was a 2012 graduate of West Albany High School.

 The southwestern fires were ignited by lightning late last month. They are burning in some of the state's most difficult mountain terrain, fed by vegetation parched by a widespread drought. 

Our condolences to all-RIP.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Best Practices for Water Tender Operations (Water Tanker Back East Till They Catch Up) #CaFire

 Frequent training and review of safety concerns is a must to ensure safe operation of fire tankers

North Tree Fire Water tender After Rollover Accident Leaving California Wildfire
Use of fire service Water Tenders (also called water tankers back east)  is on the rise due to growing urban sprawl. More people are building houses in the wildland/urban interface and in areas that we once thought of as farmland—areas that don’t have the benefit of a fixed water supply system. But these properties still require high fire flows.
One of the only effective methods we have to get water to these locations is to haul it in using tankers and to establish a water tender shuttle operation using drop tanks or a nurse tanker operation, where the water is pumped into or connected directly to the first-arriving units.

Although we once only considered water tenders a rural apparatus, many of America’s fastest growing cities—like Charlotte, Phoenix and Fort Worth—are including them in their operations due to growth and annexation into areas without hydrants. But this increased use is cause for concern. Compared with other apparatus, tankers are associated with a disproportionately high number of accidents and firefighter deaths. In fact, as early as 2003, the U.S. Fire Administration recognized this threat, and responded with a report, “Safe Operation of Fire Tankers,” which remains a valuable resource today.
With this in mind, it’s never a bad time to review tanker driving operations. Following are a few recommended best practices that can be used for training purposes or when reviewing standard operating procedures (SOPs) related to water tender use and operations.

Use Experienced Drivers
Relegating the 
water tenders duties to one of your least-experienced driver/operators is an accident waiting to happen. You wouldn’t assign them to drive your newest engine or the aerial ladder, so why would you let them drive the tanker? Most tankers are oversized and very heavy, with high centers of gravity, making them difficult to operate—so use the best driver/operators for the job.
Stations that house water tenders should provide additional training to those members assigned tanker-driving duties. Training should include the dangers associated with tanker operations and a review of tanker SOPs.
Slow Down
Because of their size and weight, 
water tenders don’t handle or drive like other apparatus. Speed is considered one of the leading causes of tanker-related accidents. Being watchful of your speed is especially important when operating in areas where roads are narrow or have soft shoulders. Remember: Posted speeds on curves are applicable to passenger vehicles during ideal weather conditions, not for a tanker carrying 3,000 gallons of water.

Determine the Appropriate Response Mode
A clearly written SOP should cover the conditions that warrant when a 
water tender should respond to an incident in an emergency mode. Tankers often serve in more of a support role by supplying water to initial-arriving companies. Before each tanker response, ask yourself whether the tanker needs to respond with lights and sirens to make a difference in the operation.
The incident commander should make every effort to request tankers to support the operation as early as possible, so that tankers can have ample time to arrive on scene before water supplies become critical to the operation’s success.

Limit Off-Road Use
Use caution when taking 
water tenders off-road to support wildland fire suppression or other activities. The weight of the unit and its high center of gravity on uneven terrain increase the risk of mishaps. Also be aware of soft ground and parking lots during hot weather where the apparatus may become stuck due to its weight.

Prepare for Poor Roadways
Roads in rural or recently annexed areas may not be as good as those in the more developed parts of your response area. These roads may be in poor repair, with large potholes, tall crowns and soft or non-existent shoulders. They can even be unpaved. Use caution and drive appropriately for the conditions.

Beware of Bridges
In areas where 
water tenders must operate, preplan routes to avoid bridges that won’t support the weight of the tanker. The rated capacity of load-zone bridges should be clearly marked and followed.

Don’t Overcorrect
One of the leading causes of 
water tender related accidents is due to the driver overcorrecting after allowing the right-side tires to drop off the road. Overcorrecting the wheel to get the unit back up on the roadway may cause the truck to go into oncoming traffic or to roll because of the weight and high center of gravity. If the rear wheels leave the road, reduce speed and slowly bring the water tender back onto the roadway; resist jerking the wheel to help correct the vehicle’s direction.
Wear Seatbelts
water tenders have been involved in a high number of rollovers. The DOT says that nearly 80% of all fatalities in truck rollover accidents involved the ejection of an unbelted occupant. Follow your state laws and department SOPs on seatbelt use; better yet, just wear your seatbelt at all times.

Drive Safe
Fire service 
water tenders are an important part of many departments’ operations. Recognizing the dangers and unique operating characteristics of these large and heavy apparatus is the first step toward their safe operation. Take time to review the USFA guide, “Safe Operation of Fire Tankers”—and hit the road safely!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1997 Peterbilt 8,000 gallon tanker 1,250 gpm

South Bowers Fire Co. Kent County Delaware: 1997 Peterbuilt 8,000 gallon tanker 1,250 gpm Hale pump has seven five-inch discharges two inch-3/4 pre-connects on the rear fender.

WATER TENDERS: 2005 Peterbuilt 535 hp 1500 GPM 3000 Tank

Jay Griffin’s photo of TA-46, a 2005 Peterbuilt 535 hp 1500 GPM 3000 Tank.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Arkansas State Police cite fire chief in Pea Ridge rolled a tanker truck accident.

PEA RIDGE, Ark. — Arkansas State Police say the fire chief in Pea Ridge rolled a tanker truck while rounding a curve when on the way to a fire.

The Wednesday accident resulted in Fire Chief Frank Rizzio with being given a written warning by a state trooper.

The Benton County Daily Record reports ( ) that Rizzio was driving the county-owned, 4,000-gallon tanker on U.S. 62 and rolled it onto its right side when turning onto Rose Street in Avoca.

Rizzio was treated and released at a hospital.

The warning was for failure to maintain control.

A tow truck from Tontitown hauled the damaged tanker away.
HERE IS THE USFA training document: Safe Operations of Fire Tankers: The above manual provides excellent information regarding the safety practices and principles of fire tanker vehicles for fire departments. Safe Operation of Fire Tankers provides information related to human performance (driver training, operations, etc), technology (vehicle design), to enhance the safety of fire tanker operations. 

The manual also examines past incidents of crashes involving fire tankers that have killed Firefighters with a focus on how these fatalities could have been prevented. Fire departments will find Safe Operation of Fire Tankers a valuable resource providing information related to the current and applicable federal standards and regulations as well as national-level consensus standards and guidelines. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

From the Secret List: Water Tender involved in single vehicle LODD

Banner 2010

The Firefighter who died in the Line of Duty early this morning in a crash on the way to a fire, has been identified.
21-year-old Gore Volunteer Fire & Rescue (Frederick County) FF Zachary Whitacre died after being taken to Winchester Medical Center. Chief Dennis Linaburg says a tanker that hauls two people, was involved in that single vehicle accident.

Whitacre had been a firefighter with Gore Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department for about a year.

The crash happened on Route 50 West just over the West Virginia line as the pair was heading to Capon Bridge to pick up water before responding to a reported structure fire in Hampshire County.

Making this horrible Line of Duty Death even more tragic is that the driver of the tanker was Donald Whitacre, Zachary's father. He was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The Gore Fire & Rescue station has been placed out of service and is being staffed by firefighters from Winchester.

Chief Linaburg understandably described it as one of the saddest moments in Frederick County's history. Our heartfelt condolences to the Whitacre Family, The Gore VFRC, Frederick County Fire Rescue and all those affected. RIP.

The Alexandria Fire Department is continuing to make preparations for memorial events scheduled this week to honor AFD Paramedic Joshua Weissman, who fell from the roadway and died from his injuries last week during an emergency response to a car fire on I-395.
All information related to the memorial service events is posted online at If you or your group plans to attend the visitation, funeral, or repast scheduled onFebruary 15-16, please fill out an online form to RSVP for these events as soon as possible. Fire or police department groups planning to bring apparatus, equipment, or color guard units should provide their contact information on this form. Honor guard units are not needed at this time.All participants are urged to carpool and use public transit to attend memorial events. Parking will be extremely limited and road closures or traffic delays will make it difficult for participants to arrive at events. By Tuesday, February 14, the City will post locations online where public parking is available, and provide a shuttle service schedule for groups that are parking at designated locations off-site.If you need assistance filling out the form, have questions, or require additional information, please call 703.746.HELP (4357).  Take Care-BE CAREFUL
Billy G
The Secret List 2-13-12 / 1341 hours

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pennsylvania: Tanker lands in ditch

MEHOOPANY - A fresh water tanker headed for a gas well site being fracked in Wyoming County was involved in a one-vehicle crash around 1:30 Monday afternoon.

Richard Lane, 51, of Sayre, was traveling east on John Sheehans Road in Mehoopany Twp. when the Peterbilt vacuum water truck he was driving was facing a tanker usually used for hauling sand in the opposite lane.

According to Meshoppen Police Chief John Krieg, Mr. Lane pulled his water tanker over the road's shoulder to allow the other vehicle room.

But, Chief Krieg said that in doing so, Mr. Lane overestimated the amount of shoulder available and the tanker went into a ravine, partially tipping the truck on its side.

Mr. Lane was driving for Clarendon firm Thomas Trucking, and was headed to Chesapeake's Wooten gas well pad which is currently being fracked less than a mile from where the accident occurred.

Chief Krieg said the driver was taken away by ambulance but he did not know to which hospital nor did he have an update on his condition. He said Mr. Lane would be cited.

Chief Krieg said that because the truck landed in a ravine with about a foot of water he called for Wyoming County EMA review which gave the all-clear for the tanker to be towed from the scene.

The road was fully reopened after about two hours.

Read more:

 Water Trucks and Water Tenders

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Arizona: Fatal Water truck crash

1 killed after semi lands on water truck in Peoria

PEORIA, AZ – One person was reportedly killed in a wreck at a construction site in Peoria this morning.

Police and fire crews responded to the accident near Lake Pleasant and the CAP canal around 7:30 a.m.

A semi truck reportedly drove off a dirt road, over an embankment, and landed on a water truck.

One person was killed, but it is unclear whether that person was in the semi or the water truck.

Stay with for updates.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Afghanistan: Water station Bomb kills Six

Bomb kills 6 from same family, including 4 children, in eastern Afghanistan

Initial reports indicated the bomb had been beneath a water truck, but officials later clarified it was planted beneath a water tank in the water station

11/24/09 4:20 AM PST

KABUL — A remote-controlled bomb planted in a water station exploded in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing six members of a family, including four children, authorities and a relative said.

The victims were caught in the blast as they traveled in a car on a shopping trip ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid this weekend, relative Qimat Khan told Associated Press Television at the scene in the eastern province of Khost.

Taher Khan Sabari, deputy provincial governor, said the dead included a 1-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl. The other children were older, he said.

The Interior Ministry initially said two children and a man had been killed and another three people, including two children, wounded in the Tuesday morning attack in the Matun area of Khost city. Khan, the relative, said the wounded later died.

Police official Amir Hassan said the water station was built by the rural rehabilitation ministry to distribute water to local homes.

Wazir Pacha, a spokesman for the provincial police chief of Khost, said authorities were investigating what the target might have been.

Taliban violence against U.S. and NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians continues to rise.

A U.S. service member was killed Monday in an insurgent attack in the south of the country, NATO said Tuesday. The death comes a day after NATO announced four U.S. service members died in separate attacks — three Sunday and one Monday.

The latest death brings to 16 the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this month. October was the deadliest month for the U.S. military in the eight-year war with 58 service members killed.

Military officials and others expect President Barack Obama to make a decision soon to deploy 32,000 to 35,000 more U.S. forces. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has asked for about 40,000 extra U.S. troops to be sent to Afghanistan, in addition to the roughly 68,000 already in the country.

Separately, the Interior Ministry said police seized a weapons cache with 174 mortar rounds in the far northeastern province of Badakshan.

The Defense Ministry said 21 suspected insurgents were arrested by the Afghan army and international forces in separate operations in Khost and the southern province of Kandahar in the past 24 hours.

Source: - Article link

Water Trucks and Water Tenders

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Colorado News: Denver: Evergreen Fire Rescue - Sweet 1969 Pontiac Firebird versus 48,000-pound Water Tender

Denver: Evergreen Fire Rescue - Sweet 1969 Pontiac Firebird versus 48,000-pound Water Tender

40 year relationship is over
When Shelbi Vickery went out to her father's driveway outside Evergreen, the vintage car could barely be seen. (Vicky Gits, Canyon Courier)

Driving home, fighting off the shock, Bill Vickery tried to imagine what his sweet 1969 Pontiac Firebird would look like with a 48,000-pound firetruck sitting on top of it.

Then he pulled into the driveway next to his mountainside home outside Evergreen, and it looked just about exactly as he imagined it would.

Bent. Twisted. Crumpled.

"It's gone everywhere with me since I was 16," Vickery said Wednesday afternoon, staring at the remains of his pride and joy. "It's basically spent two-thirds of my life with me."

The relationship, however, is over.

Full story at: CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS: Denver: Evergreen Fire Rescue - Sweet 1969 Pontiac Firebird versus 48,000-pound Water Tender: .

Original Source: Denver Post - Link

Sunday, May 17, 2009

1963 reo 1,200 gallon water truck for trade

1963 reo 1,200 gallon water truck trades:
1963 reo 1,200 gallon water truck it runs and drives good it has a strait six gas motor
and a 10,000 pound winch eveything works im open for some trading call 406 214-6748 thank you
Things i would trade for:
ford cop car
chevy hot rod
cash and trade
  • Location: stevensville
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
image 1174656746-0 image 1174656746-1
image 1174656746-2 image 1174656746-3
PostingID: 1174656746

California: North Tree Fire Water Tender rollover

CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS: North Tree Fire Water Tender rollover

North Tree Fire water tenderNorth Tree Fire water tender


A North Tree Fire water tender was involved in a rollover crash on I-5 and Lambert Road in South Sacramento County while returning from the Jesusita fire in Santa Barbara County.

The North Tree Water Tender rolled several times down an embankment at the over crossing coming to rest on his wheels.

The driver was the only occupant and he was able to self-extricate prior to the FD arrival. A Strike Team of Type 3's from AEU came up on the incident and assisted local responders in getting the driver up the embankment and securing the scene.

The operator suffered moderate injuries, He is at Sacramento Medical Center.
The water tender is a total loss.

First lesson learned: Driver was wearing a seat belt and survived....

Sources: - Link Hotlist- Link

Photo credit: Capt Jim
Photo credit: Capt Jim"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

West Virginia Firefighter Hurt After Fire Truck Plunges 75 Feet over Hill

Thursday, March 12, 2009
- WAYNEVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A 20-year veteran firefighter is recovering after he was hurt in a fire truck rollover accident early this week in Webster County.

It happened at about 5:32 p.m. Monday on Erbacon Road near Wayneville.

According to a news release from Richard Rose, OES Director for Webster County, 53-year-old Daniel Tharp was driving a 2,000 gallon tanker alone when it somehow went over a hill, landing 75-feet below on railroad tracks.

Tharp was thrown from the truck as it rolled over. He was flown via HealthNet to CAMC General in Charleston, where he's currently listed in stable condition.

Tharp is a member of the Erbacon Fire Department.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the Webster County Sheriff's Department.

Crews from the Erbacon Volunteer Fire Department, Cowen Volunteer Fire Department, Webster Springs Volunteer Fire Department, Webster Memorial EMS, West Virginia State Police, West Virginia Fire Marshal's office, and Webster County Sheriff's Department all responded to the scene.

Source: - Link

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Water Tankers, Water Tender, Ford F-700 used fire equipment

In this forum Heavy Equipment & Pavement Lawn and landscape business owners discuss heavy equipment used by Green Industry professionals such as dump trucks, bull dozers, tractors and various other machinery
Water Tankers?
The local Fire Department is updating and getting rid of a water tanker, with the hydroseeder now being able to carry more water is big. Not sure I really want another old truck but do like the idea of 2200 gallons in one shot. Has anyone ever priced water tankers out? They are crazy expensive. I did like the one tanker I found, it was an old front discharge redi mix truck with an 6000 gallon water tank on it. I think my slide in tank for a big dump would be better or having a hook. Here's pictures of the old girl. What do you think it's worth? It has a 427 gas with a 5 and a 2.
Attached Images
Nice Ford F-700 Water Tender
Source: - Link

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Construction Water truck: Rollover

Water truck in lucky escape after rolling down hill

Well, my job site, out in the middle of nowhere, saw the most action it’s ever seen today, when a water truck was trying to turn around on top of a large hill, with a 3:1 incline.

Unfortunately for the driver, his judgment was a little off and he drove off the edge of the hill, sending him sliding down the hill. To make matters worse, he turned the wheel, sent himself into a spin and started rolling the truck down the hill.

The incredible part is that there is a small, flat ledge about half way down the hill and he landed with his tyres on the ground at this point and the truck decided not to make another roll and send him down the second half of the hill.

The truck suffered a few dents, scuffs and cracks and the driver is apparently doing OK.

Now all that remains to be seen is how they’re going to get it off the hill…

Skid/ roll marks

Skid/ roll marks

Earth damage and truck

Earth damage and truck

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Engineers try to redirect water

Fiji News: Water trucks will be sent out once the exact areas affected are confirmed while engineers are trying to redirect water from the Tamavua system to the greater Suva area.

This is the message from Works Department Central/Eastern spokesperson Maika Nagalu who said the water disruptions are due to a burst main at Laqere Bridge.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen.

Nagalu said they do not know how long it will take to fix the problem.

Also, the Education Ministry said they have had no notice from schools or the Water Department on the water situation and cannot confirm whether schools that fall in the affected areas will be closed today.

Meanwhile, Interim Works Minister Timoci Natuva said old pipes must be replaced to ensure water disruptions are a thing of the past.

Natuva said most of the pipes still being used have been in place since World War Two and that is why consumers will continue to receive water disruptions adding the replacement of pipes will take a couple more years.
Source: - Link

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Illinois: Empress Casino fire

Empress Casino fire spreads; roof collapses

March 20, 2009

JOLIET — Some 6,000 to 8,000 gallons of water per minute have not been enough to stop the Empress Casino blaze that has spread from the former ballroom east to the entryway.

Water trucks from other area departments are circling in and out of the area, but the fire that started Friday morning has continued to spread. Additional water has been trucked in from as far as two miles away.

Firefighters from Joliet and other departments battling the large fire at the Empress Casino. The fire apparently broke out in part of the casino that is under construction
(John Patsch/Staff Photographer)

Smoke rises from the Empress Casino in Joliet, where a fire started in an area under construction Friday morning.
(Liz Wilkinson Allen/Staff Photographer)

• Casino fire will impact local economy
• Casino in middle of renovation

Fire Chief Joe Formhals said firefighters are concentrating on containing the fire that broke out around 10 a.m. in an area under renovation. Firefighters have four ladder trucks spraying directly into the building, but the smoke keeps pouring out.

General Manager Frank Quigley said it is too soon to tell the extent of the damage and how long it will take to get back the jobs of the 900 casino workers.

The Empress brings in $14 million and $15 million a month.

"This is very disappointing, we were all very excited about our $50 million renovation," Quigley said.

Plans were to add a new French restaurant and a coffee shop.

Joliet City Councilman Tom Giarrante said the fire damage to the Empress Casino is unbelievable and the timing is brutal.

"We are going to have to sit down with the city manager and find out how bad this is going to be," Giarrante said. "We may need to have a special meeting. Thank God no one was hurt. That was a result of a lot of fire drills."

Giarrante had been on the fire scene since 11 a.m.

The renovations may have hampered firefighting efforts with more than one drop ceiling to chop through, which caused the blaze to spread horizontally, Formhals said.

Formhals confirmed that the lack of water has been an issue.

He said an off-duty Joliet firefighter was on the scene around 10 a.m. at the casino on Route 6 when an alarm went off.

The fire started in a kitchen area, Formhals said. Police Lt. Stephen Breen said the fire apparently was started by welders. He says a spark might have hit some grease around the ceiling area, but that it's too soon to say exactly what happened.

Scaffolding and other construction equipment was seen inside the burning wing.

A casino official said smoke more than likely damaged casino walls. Concerns have mounted that the fire might spread to the gaming floor.

Meanwhile, Quigley had told employees they were free to leave. Earlier, Quigley has asked workers to wait and see what developed.

Some employees had purses and keys locked up in the casino. Quigley said the company would provide transportation to those who need it and no one would be allowed inside.

Earlier, Formahals said the blaze was sparked by the construction in an area where new seats were being added. A lot of drywall was being stored in that area as well, he said.

Rarely does the Joliet Fire Department call for assistance but trucks from Troy, Rockdale and other departments started to roll in shortly after noon. Most appeared to be water trucks.

Quigley had spoken to employees who have been gathering under to carport of the hotel.

"All kinds of kudos to you guys for pulling off an extremely professional evacuation," Quigley said. "There were no injuries."

Michelle Bell, marketing director, said there was a $50 million renovation project in the pavilion area with new food outlets under construction.

Smoke from the blaze was visible for miles.

Bob Bennet of Joliet was in the casino around 10 a.m. when a voice came over the PA sytem.

"They told us we had to evacuate because there was a small fire," Bennet said. "Everyone got up and left. It went well, there was no one panicking, no pushing or shoving."

At first, gamblers were told they would be able to get back in after about an hour, but later were informed by security guards that the casino would be closed for the day.

Laura Carter of Orland Park had hoped to cash her $94 voucher but was told the vouchers would be good for about a year.

The 50,000 square-foot casino features 1,100 machines and 20 table games, according to its Web site.
Source: - Link

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Water trucks in Arctic Bay, Nunavut, Canada

Where or where has the water truck gone?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
After three long (and perhaps smelly) days with no water (one of the added perks you can purchase with your Northern Adventure) the water truck finally graced us with an appearance.

I was getting to the point where I was going to start standing in the middle of the road and block its way around town until it stopped to fill up our water tank. It is not fun not being able to have my morning (although quick) shower. Nor is it very fun if Kennie doesn't have her cup of Java in the morning .. makes for a very foul mooded Kennie. All should hopefully start returning to normal ... now all I have to do is make my way through two weeks of laundry ...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WV Firefighter Critical After Tanker Accident

A Webster County Volunteer Firefighter was critically injured in an accident last night (03/09/2009) approximately six (6) miles from the Erbacon VFD. He was critically injured and was sent via Healthnet to CAMC where he is in extremely critical condition with severe head trauma. The person that called me indicated that the firefighter may not survive his injuries.

According to unconfirmed reports, the 2000 gallon Commercial Fire Tanker went off the road on the right, the FF driver over corrected and crossed two (2) lanes of traffic, went through the guardrail, and then down an approximately seventy (70) foot embankment striking a railroad grade.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ghana: No water and firemen 'too old"

From the Ghanian Journal - Link

Fifteen families were last Friday rendered homeless after fire gutted the rooms they were occupying on the upper floor of a two-storey building near the main lorry station at Assin –Fosu.

All their belongings were burnt to ashes, while the roof of the building was destroyed.

Briefing the GNA on the incident at Assin-Fosu on Monday, Mr Alfred Otoo, one of the victims, said there was nobody at home when the incident happened at around 1520 hrs.

He explained that there was power outage in the town that day and that the fire reportedly started immediately after power had been restored and it was therefore suspected that some of the occupants on the floor must have left their electrical gadgets on.

He said personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) in Fosu tried in vain to put out the fire and had to call for assistance from their counterparts in Cape Coast but the entire floor had completely been burnt by the time the team arrived.

Other people living within the vicinity the GNA spoke to, expressed anger that the local personnel of the Fire Service had been unable to put out the fire, because they were “too old”.

When contacted, the Assistant Divisional Officer of the GNFS at Fosu, Mr Tony Abraham, explained that a crew of firemen was dispatched immediately a distress call about the fire was received, but the water in the fire tender was not enough to put out the fire.

He also explained that the township had no fire hydrant so water has to be fetched into the fire tender from a stream in the next village, a distance of about 13 kilometres and that investigations are underway to establish the exact cause of the fire.

ASP Seth Doe, the Assin Fosu divisional crime officer said his office is yet to receive a report from Fire Service for it to carry out investigations into the incident.