News: House fire disaster averted by alert fire inspector; Officials stress calling base emergency number
Story by Joseph P Cirone
WASHINGTON – An alert fire inspector at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (JBAB) helped avert what could have been a disastrous outcome on Oct. 9 when smoke filled a house on March Lane on JBAB.
Naval District Washington Fire and Emergency Services Central Battalion (NDW F&ES) Battalion Chief John McDonald said the JBAB emergency number was not called, resulting in a delay dispatching firefighters.
While one occupant was asleep in a third floor room of the home and two other occupants were outdoors decorating for Halloween, heavy smoke filled the second and third floor, according to a fire department report.
Smelling the smoke outdoors, one of the residents rushed indoors and removed the sleeping occupant. Once safely outdoors and the three residents were accounted for, one of them called 9-1-1 on a cellular telephone at approximately 11:39 a.m., which alerted the District of Columbia Fire and EMS (D.C. FEMS) department.
NDW F&ES Fire Inspector Tim McCoy noticed D.C. FEMS Engine Co. 33, located a distance from JBAB, responding to an emergency at JBAB and alerted the NDW Regional Emergency Dispatch Center. Dispatchers communicated with D.C. FEMS dispatchers and learned of the emergency situation.
As additional D.C. FEMS units were responding to JBAB and the original D.C. FEMS unit continued its response, two NDW F&ES pumpers; an ambulance and two chief fire officers, were dispatched and responded to the scene.
NDW F&ES District Chief Mark Hendley, said, “Once again we need to emphasize to the residents and base population, the importance of utilizing the base Emergency Number for all Police, Fire, EMS and related emergencies.”
“We have a fire department on base,” Hendley stressed.
A total of 53 Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel, staffing seven pumpers; two ladder trucks; one rescue truck; two ambulances; four chief officers and two additional units from the NDW F&ES and the D.C. FEMS departments responded to the emergency.
An additional NDW F&ES pumper, ladder truck and Haz-Mat unit were on another emergency call nearby. One additional D.C. Fire and EMS pumper also responded to JBAB, but was returned before arriving at the scene.
JBAB-based NDW F&ES Engine 41 was the first fire suppression unit to arrive at the scene. McDonald, the first arriving chief officer, assumed command at the scene.
The pumper’s crew quickly established a water supply at the nearest fire hydrant; deployed a fire attack hose line, entering the structure and performed a search to ensure all occupants were safety evacuated from the building.
D.C. FEMS units and NDW F&ES Engine 42 (based at the Washington Navy Yard) combined efforts to help Engine 41’s crew to quickly locate the source of the smoke at a stove; contain the situation and remove the smoke from the dwelling. There were no injuries as a result of the emergency, McDonald reported.
The cause of the emergency was determined to be items left unattended on the stove. Oct. 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week. In addition to remembering to call the base emergency number for any emergency at JBAB, the NDW F&ES emphasizes that items should never be left unattended while cooking.
The NDW F&ES Central Battalion Headquarters is located at JBAB. JBAB’s NDW F&ES assets include at least one pumper, ladder company, ambulance, chief officer and a foam unit. Two additional NDW F&ES pumpers, and a Haz-Mat unit are located nearby at adjacent and contiguous naval installations.
Additionally, JBAB has fully-trained DOD police officers and military security personnel; Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics, safety and emergency management personnel, helping to ensure the safety and security of its residents, workers and visitors.
NDW F&ES units responding included: E41, E42, A41, BC41, Chief 41 and Inspector 5. D.C. FEMS units responding included: E2, E3, E13, E23, E32, E33, T7, T16, R1, A33, BC5, Special OPS BC and WS53. JBAB DOD Police and the PIO also responded.
This work, House fire disaster averted by alert fire inspector; Officials stress calling base emergency number, by Joseph P Cirone, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.