September 11, 2015 |
Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said Wednesday that he had launched an investigation into a video of an ambulance driver texting while driving. The video, posted by 6ABC, was taken by Ebony Clarke, who was in the ambulance with her son en route to a hospital for a head injury last month, the station reported. Sawyer said the department learned of the video through the TV station. He said he was "shocked" by the video. "Not only is [texting while driving] against department policy, but it's against Pennsylvania state vehicle codes," he said.
September 6, 2015 |
A small, smoky fire, quickly put out by firefighters using an extinguisher on Wednesday afternoon, has led to the immediate closure of 915 Spring Garden St., a large old Reading Railroad building that has held about 100 artist studios for more than three decades. The fire, caused by a refrigerator on the fourth floor of the five-story building, led to minimal damage, but inspectors from the Fire Department and the Department of Licenses and Inspections toured the building Thursday morning and ordered immediate evacuation, stunning artists who have used the building without incident for years.
September 2, 2015
I'VE LIVED in Philadelphia all my life, and I can say with reasonable certainty that the solutions to our city's social ills can't be found in academic studies. Try as they might, researchers will never right our ship using phone surveys or focus groups. They won't find answers in science labs. Nor will social answers come through social media. There's only one way for us to find the solutions to our social problems, and that is to socialize. I don't mean fake socializing, either.
August 22, 2015 |
As Philadelphia suffered through the recession and its aftermath, the city fell behind in replenishing old and battered emergency vehicles. As a result, precious minutes often were lost by firefighters rushing to fires and accident victims being taken to hospitals. At one point in 2012, the fund to replace aging ladder trucks, pumper trucks, ambulances, and other vehicles sank to $98,000. Considering that a new ladder truck can cost 10 times that, it's important that the next mayor continue Mayor Nutter's plan to invest $36.5 million over the next five years in new emergency equipment.
August 17, 2015 |
The Philadelphia medic noticed smoke rising from the engine just as he steered his ambulance off I-95. He and his partner were on their way to a medical emergency when their ambulance began to smoke. Then, a bang - a "loud explosion," the medic remembered. They pulled over and scrambled from their seats as the smoke grew heavy and thick. On the side of the road, they watched as flames licked up the side of the ambulance. In the year since that fire in 2014, sources and records obtained by The Inquirer indicate that accident wasn't an anomaly - that an ambulance bursting into flames is just an extreme example of the deteriorating, sometimes dangerous fleet operated by the Philadelphia Fire Department.
August 8, 2015 |
Robert J. Ruff, 73, of Philadelphia, a retired deputy chief and fire marshal who served the city's Fire Department for 45 years, died Sunday, Aug. 2, of cancer at home. Mr. Ruff's life centered on family and work. Former Fire Commissioner Harold B. Hairston said Mr. Ruff had "a way about him that demanded excellence and attention to detail. " In the field, Mr. Ruff was respected and loved by the firefighters, Hairston said. When the commissioner asked Mr. Ruff to become a fire marshal and work out of the department's headquarters in 1997, he initially didn't want the assignment.
July 11, 2015 |
A 54-year-old homeless man has been arrested in connection with a four-alarm fire that heavily damaged four businesses in a 69th Street strip mall, Upper Darby police said Thursday. James Morris, who police believe was on the second floor of the building housing the Payless shoe store, where the fire started, was charged Tuesday with criminal trespassing and theft. Police do not believe the fire was set intentionally, Michael Chitwood, the Upper Darby police superintendent, said at a news conference.
June 21, 2015 |
A woman was found dead inside a house that caught fire early Friday in the city's East Germantown section, the Fire Department reported. At 1:03 a.m., firefighters were called to the 5600 block of Bloyd Street, where they found a two-story house with smoke coming from the first floor, Deputy Commissioner Jesse A. Wilson said. Firefighters tried to search for anyone trapped inside, but "it was impossible to make entry because there was so much debris," possibly because of a hoarding situation, Wilson said.
June 15, 2015 |
AN EARLY-MORNING blaze in Somerton yesterday left one woman dead and another critically injured. The fire broke out about 7:30 a.m. in a two-story home on Avon Street near Jeanes, Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said. When firefighters arrived, they found one woman, 76, near the home's front door. She was taken to Aria Health's Torresdale hospital, where she remained last night in critical condition, Sawyer said. It took about 14 minutes to extinguish the fire, which started in the dining room.
May 13, 2015 |
IT WAS HOT yesterday morning on Kensington Avenue. And the muggy, pre-summer weather was only partly to blame. Just after 6 a.m., a fatal fire tore through a three-story apartment building on the busy thoroughfare near Willard Street as the El roared overhead, officials said. The early morning blaze roused the neighborhood, with nearby residents scrambling to rescue those trapped inside. Fire Department officials say the blaze was "incendiary. " That's the technical term for "set intentionally.