Tuesday Morning – Shout It Out!
Add this one to the way-too-small-but-growing list of top fire officials who are willing to buck the politicians and publicly tell the truth about the wood chips and glue building construction. This time the truth is coming from Dallas and, instead of the politically appointed fire chief, from a deputy chief who is most likely a career employee. (That's a smart move, I think.)
Dallas Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Michael Price was talking to the press in reference to the 6-alarm apartment fire a week ago Monday that took the life of young Firefighter Stanley Wilson who was trapped beneath a floor collapse and was unable to be promptly located.
Dallas Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Michael Price said part of the problem was that the three-story building was made out of lightweight "engineered building products" instead of wood.
"Fire moves between the floors… it goes from floor through the walls and goes through the attic spaces," Price said. "It fills the building with fire, and the occupants don't even know it."
The building lost integrity within minutes, causing the roof to collapse.
Dallas Fire-Rescue said the absence of strong firewalls let the flames spread quickly.
"There are void spaces between the structure elements themselves. The fire had a tendency to move through those areas," Chief Price said.
This isn't the first fire at (that complex). There have been several over the years, including one about three years ago that caused an adjacent building to burn to the ground. They were bulldozed and never rebuilt.
It's encouraging to see more fire chiefs speaking out about these vulnerable buildings. And Chief Price didn't bore the short-attention-span readers with a lesson in wood chips floor joists. He just pointed out the basics, and that was enough to get the idea planted.
This reminds me of the introduction of the home smoke detector back in the early '70's when a coordinated campaign was launched via the IAFC and the NFPA to step forward and include in all press statements whether a fire building had been equipped with smoke detectors or not. Eventually that tidbit became a standard item along with the who, what, when, and where checklist and now the reporters seek it out when they are gathering their facts for their stories.
Along these same lines, it was about five years ago following a series of near conflagrations up in Alberta that the fire chiefs of Calgary and Edmonton launched an all-out campaign on the Provincial legislature and got some meaningful legislation passed the cut way back on the fire-trap construction techniques.
So let's keep this up, chiefs and fire marshals. Speak out, point out, and inform your citizens. Most of them just don't know.
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And now for something completely different. Switching over to the National Hockey League page, it looks like that upset-in-the-making in Detroit has hit a speed bump.
After winning their first game, the league leaders Chicago Blackhawks went on to drop three straight to the underdog Detroit Red Wings. Facing elimination in game 5, the Hawks knuckled down and won that one. Then last night they traveled to Detroit and took a win from the Wings in their own arena, scoring 3 third-period goals, including a penalty shot, ending up on top 4-3.
Now there are two game-7's coming up out west. Kings and Sharks in L.A. tonight, and the Hawks vs. Wings tomorrow night in Chicago. Got some good tv lined up there.
We've got some apparatus lined up here, so we'd better get it checked out for the day. I'll give the Bunn-O-Matic a test run and then see you back in the day room.
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