Category Archives: Memorable Fires & Other Emergencies

Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio about MAYDAY Incident

In case you missed it here is the Fire Engineering Blog Talk Radio Traditions Training Tuesday where we talked about the fire at #87 Herrington Drive in PG County Maryland that put my friend Danny McGown in the burn center. Listen in as those who were there go over just what went down, step by step, and hopefully it will help you prepare incase you are placed in that position, God forbid.

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Also, here is the Radio Transmissions from that fire:


The following is a repost from for the fire we had last tour. A bunch of interesting talking points came out of this fire so I will try to post some stuff up in the next week or so. My helmet cam footage as the Tillerman is pretty dark so I doubt I will have anything video related.

Fire Showing from Side C-Charlie

The East End Crew with Chief Del Balzo on what might be his last fire with DC

Story from 30 Engine:

Just after 2100 hrs units with the second and third battalion were alerted for the report of a building fire at 5105 F St. SE. Engine 30 arrived on the scene and reported a 3 story garden style apartment building with smoke showing from the roof area. Truck 17 arrived just behind them and were greeted by several residents stating that there were people trapped on the upper floors. As the Engine crew advanced the 200ft 1 1/2″ preconnected handline into the building Truck 17s crew worked to ladder the building and vent the structure. Interior crews located a room off in an apartment on the second floor (although labeled 102) and made quick work of it. Rescue Squad 3 removed one patient with smoke inhalation from a top floor apartment (labeled 204). Although a second alarm was requested it was quickly returned as the incident was deemed under control. Truck 17 with the help of Engine 30 and Engine 8 (RIT) threw 175′ of ground ladders to the building with Truck 16 and Engine 27 laddering the rear with additional ladders. Great job by all crews involved especially Battalion Fire Chief #2 Del Balzo who celebrated his retirement just that very afternoon with the fellas of East End.



Here is a good one, just got back into the station as the Rescue Engine was on the air. First Due house fire and the Rescue’s pump was busted. Brought the Mini-pumper for the fellas and they knocked her down very nicely.

Below story as seen on Kentland 33:

As early signs of tropical storm Nicole made their way through the DC Metro area, the volunteers from Kentland answered several calls aboard the Rescue Squad before heading over to Barlow Rd for fuel. As the 6th gallon made it’s way into the tank, the crew along with other units from surrounding areas were alerted for a investigation of a chimney at 2205 Matthew Henson Ave, just blocks from their location. The Rescue Squad responded with 5 volunteers and arrived to find a 1 story duplex with smoke showing from the rear and attic area, passing command. With no crew in quarters for an Engine company the Squad crew immediately worked to complete a primary search, position ladders without venting and hold the fire in check as long as possible with water cans. With the on scene report communications upgraded the assignment. Just moments later, Mini-Pumper 33 and Chief 33arrived on scene, establishing the Matthew Henson Command. Members from the Mini-Pumper and Rescue Squad 33 advanced the 1 ½ attack line from the mini-pumper into the home, knocking down all visible fire in the back rooms and porch area. With fire extending into the attic the crew worked quickly to pull ceilings and knock down any remaining fire in the space. As other units arrived they went to work opening up the roof and void spaces and deploying back up lines, stopping the fires extension. With the fire under control the assignment was scaled back to the units from Kentland to assist the investigators. After overhaul units returned to service.        

 Side C
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Coming back to Kentland from a dinner out I get a text message alert for a house fire on East Forest Road. I was only a few streets away, pulled up to find the back of the house off. Got dressed in my throw down set of gear from the bed of my truck (don’t leave home without it;) ) and went in with 9 when they got there curtesy of the wagon drivers facepiece and pack. Good times.

Story from Kentland

Just before midnight, a box alarm was transmitted for the house on fire at 8403 Oglethorpe Street in East Lanham, Maryland. Engine Company and Truck Company 33 responded on that alarm with 10 volunteers. The Engine from 33 arrived to assume the 3rd due Engine Company responsibilities, laid a supply line in and staged per Command. As units were released, an additional box alarm was transmitted for 7213 East Forest Road in Company 33’s first due. Since units from 33 were still assigned to the initial box alarm, they were not originally due on the East Forest Road run. Crews quickly readied themselves and requested to respond on the first due alarm. Permission was granted and companies headed back to Kentland. Knowing that the Engine Company would be unable to arrive first, the OIC prepared to be placed 3rd due. Within minutes first arriving units reported a two-story “double” with fire in the rear. Truck Company 33 was the first arriving special service and operated accordingly. The interior crew began a search of the fire address and opened-up in the process. The outside crew placed portable ladders and ventilated sides “A” and “B”. Engine Company 33 arrived and completed the third due Engine Company responsibilities, laying a secondary supply line and advancing an attack line to the rear. Once in the rear, the crew assisted with extinguishment, checked for a basement entrance and made entry into the exposure. The crew advanced to the second floor and found extension in the roof area and pipe chase. All visible fire was knocked down within 15 minutes. Within 30 minutes, Command held Companies 33, 9 and 8. All members returned to service within two and a half hours.

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Here is a video and fire that I had to edit (see if you can find what I added) in response to the overwhelming amount of cowards gracing todays internet impersonating firemen. I was driving the truck on this one so I didn’t get much, but the fellas that did sure did it well. FIRES ARE SUPPOSED TO GO OUT!! THATS OUR JOB!

Story as seen on

Around midnight, the box alarm was transmitted for the house on fire in the 4600 block of Davis Avenue in Boulevard Heights, Maryland. This assignment brought Truck Company and Chief 33 with seven volunteers. Duty Chief 800 was the first fire department unit to arrive and reported fire showing “from pretty much everywhere”. Rescue Squad 27, Truck Company 37 and Engine Companies 26 and 8 arrived next and went to work. Chief 33 arrived seconds later and was assigned to work with the crews on division one. Two hand lines were positioned on side “A” and an aggressive, coordinated attack was carried out to quickly extinguish the fire. Truck Company 33 arrived as this was being carried out and assumed the Rapid Intervention duties. The crew placed portable ladders, assured egress points and developed a rescue plan for the home. Volunteers from Kentland operated for approx. 35 minutes before the incident was scaled back.

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Driving the Tower Ladder as we specialed to DC.

Story from

Just after to 2200 hours, Prince George’s County Fire Communications contacted Kentland Station 33 and advised the members that Tower Ladder 33 was being requested to transfer to District of Columbia Fire Department Truck Company No. 16. The crew of five proceeded to Southeast Washington, D.C. Shortly there after and while en-route to the Irving Place firehouse, the Tower Ladder began to respond on miscellaneous emergencies. At 2258 hours, the Tower Ladder was special called to the fire ground at 1100 Martin Luther King Avenue, S.E. Upon arrival, Command advised Tower Ladder 33 to obtain a position in the front of the building. After completing this task, one of the DCFD Deputy Fire Chiefs was taken via “the bucket” to the roof area. Progress of the fire extinguishment was evaluated and the members stood fast for an additional assignment. Tower Ladder 33 remained on the scene for approx. one-hour before returning to service. The crew returned to Kentland at approx. 0030 hours. All photos are courtesy of retired District of Columbia Fire Department Dispatcher/Supervisor Elliot J. Goodman.

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Just after 0200 hours, the box alarm was transmitted for the house on fire at #87 Herrington Drive in the Kettering section of Largo, Maryland. The assignment consisted of Engine Companies 46, 37, 33 and 8, Truck Companies 5, 26 and Rescue Squad 33. Engine 331, Rescue Squad 33, Chief 33 and Chief 33A responded on the run with a total of 11 volunteers. Engine Company 46 arrived within minutes to find an auto on fire with extension to a two-story home…

To read the rest of this story CLICK HERE

Side C- Charlie of Herrington Drive


As seen on Kentland

Just after 0200 hours, Prince Georges Fire Communications began to receive 911 calls reporting that a house was on fire on Fairwood Road near Cooper Lane in Landover Hills. Within seconds, the Box Alarm was struck out including Engines 301, 332, Res. Eng. 33 and Engine 92, Tower 33, Truck 28 and Truck 9. After the initial alarm was sounded more calls came flooding in about the house fire, communications came back and advised now reporting numerous persons trapped. Engine 301 arrived and reported heavy fire showing and confirmed that people were trapped. Units from Kentland arrived right behind the Engine from 30 and rapidly went to work. Tower Ladder 33 (with 6 Volunteers) arrived as E30 was stretching the initial attack line. Firefighter Joe Brown (barman TW33) entered the heavily involved living room (from the front door) without protection of a hoseline and made his way to the rear bedroom area. Just after FF Brown entered the structure the fire enveloped the doorway and extended down the hall removing the firefighter�s primary egress. Unable to enter the structure from the front, the remaining Tower Ladder crew took ladders to the rear to gain access to the trapped occupants. After a quick sweep, FF Brown located an unconscious 6 year old child in a rear bedroom. The outside vent crew from the Tower Ladder threw a 24-foot ladder to the same area that Firefighter Brown had located the victim. Firefighter Brown took out the window and handed the child out to Tower Ladder 33 Firefighter James Carpenter and Lt. Roger Steger. The child was then rushed to EMS personnel. As that rescue took place the crew from Engine 332 advanced their 400-foot preconnect to the front door while the Rescue Engine pulled a back up line. The crew quickly made entry and knocked down the heavy fire conditions in the home and protected firefighters searching for occupants in the rear bedrooms. During the fire, another child was found in the original fire room and pronounced priority 4 (D.O.A.). Two other occupants (one child and one adult) were also seriously injured. Chief 33 (Mattison) as Battalion Chief 1 had the Command. The fire is still under investigation and as of the time this article was published, the rescued 6 year old is still alive but in critical condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the child and his family.  View a local news story about this incident here. Command : Command

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