Category Archives: Fire

Fire breaks out at Fifth Third Park in Grand Rapids (with map, scanner info)

January 3, 2014: Fifth Third Park in Grand Rapids is on fire. Some news coverage from local sources.

Listen to scanner traffic on Kent County Fire North via Broadcastify.

The map shows a blue circle around the traffic camera, with heavy smoke visible, just north of Grand Rapids along highway US-131 at I-96. Two orange diamonds mark where MDOT warns travelers of the fire. Map from WZZM 13.


WZZM 13 has live video coverage –

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) – Several crews are responding to a fire at Fifth Third Ballpark.
WZZM 13’s Hannah Saunders is reporting that the east side stand of the ballpark have caved in.

WWMT coverage –

Dispatchers say that the fire started in one of the suites. The first fire department on scene called in mutual aid from two other departments. We’ve been told that all of the employees were able to make it out safely.

Grand Rapids Press coverage –

UPDATE: The flames are rapidly spreading. Firefighters are exiting for safety concerns and are now battling flames from the outside.

Live video should be available from MDOT traffic cams, select “Grand Rapids”. I wasn’t able to pull up any videos.


Fire in downtown Lapeer, Michigan on the evening of 12 November 2013

As monitored via the Lapeer County Michigan scanner and via Twitter, there is a large fire in downtown Lapeer, Michigan. I’m listening to the scanner and the fire is being actively fought, and there are over 700 people listening to the stream. The PIX Theater is the center of firefighting efforts, as far as I can tell.

This is a snapshot of news coverage at 9:15 pm Eastern on November 12, 2013, and is bound to be updated by local media as details emerge.

The scanner alert reads:


News coverage:

ABC12 (Flint / Saginaw / Bay City television) says they will have footage on their 11 pm news.

LAPEER (WJRT) – (11/12/13) – ABC12 is at the scene of what Lapeer County 911 dispatchers are calling a “major fire in downtown Lapeer City”. They advise people to “please avoid the area” so emergency crews have a clear path.

Click on Detroit – PIX Theater burns in downtown Lapeer (WDIV Detroit Ch 4)

The PIX Theater, a nearby resale shop and another vacant building went up in flames Tuesday evening in downtown Lapeer.

The County Press

LAPEER — Sometime around 7 p.m. Tuesday a fire broke out in downtown Lapeer at Timeless Treasures, reportedly starting in the apartments above Timeless Treasures, the former Michele & Co. store between the PIX Theatre and Burke’s Flowers.

Lapeer Area View has nothing.

Flint Journal, covering Lapeer County:

The fire started at about 7 p.m. in an apartment building and spread to the nearby PIX Theater, witnesses at the scene said. Neomi Buchanan of Lapeer who was in the theater building when the fire started next door said firefighters evacuated the theater before the fire spread to the structure. Her theater group was rehearsing its Christmas production at the time, she said.

On Facebook, this report from a Rusty Thomas:

Right now there is a fire raging in downtown Lapeer, right in the block where the PIX theatre is located. Please join me in sending prayers up for our friends in the Lapeer Community Theatre….the roof has just collapsed at the PIX!!! My heart is breaking for them right now!!!

Twitter details:

Tune in to the scanner for current details.

A map of the October 2013 wildfires in New South Wales, Australia

Bush fires are burning in New South Wales, Australia in October 2013. If you are near the fire, you must find a more accurate and timely source of information than this blog post.

A BBC report quotes from a local official:

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher told the BBC that “the speed and the ferocity” of the fires was something “not seen for many, many years”.

As of this writing, the Sydney Morning Herald report is that more than 100 homes have been lost.

Alongside him on Sunny Ridge Road, RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons describes the epic scale of these fires: 86,000 hectares burnt; fire perimeters stretching 400 to 500 kilometres; 94 fires still burning at 2.20pm, 27 uncontained and two with emergency warnings, one on the central coast and one nearby, threatening Springwood High School.

Google’s crisis map of the New South Wales fires is a mirror of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service map. The original map is easier to use if you know the names of the fire locations, but the Google map has a few more overlays that can be helpful.



Listening to the Yosemite “Rim Fire”

I’m listening to the Tuolumne County Sheriff, Fire, and Police scanner feed via Broadcastify. The scanner chatter includes the usual traffic reports but also the distinctive cadence of firefighting operations – calls for “Charlies” (?), water tenders, and other fire equipment, and a fire coordinator asking a crew leader what additional resources they need.

This webcam photo from within Yosemite shows the intense smoke that characterizes this fire.


Screen shot 2013-08-25 at 11.03.37 PM

Much more information about the Rim Fire, including maps, is available through InciWeb system. The August 25 update reads as follows:

> The Rim Fire continues to burn on the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, Bureau of Land Management and State responsibility land. The fire is exhibiting continued growth to the northeast and east. On the western side of the fire, crews successfully conducted firing operations to bring the fire line down to the Tuolumne River in efforts to keep the fire from spreading to the west toward the Highway 108 corridor. Aerial resources continue to be effective in reducing the spread of fire toward the Highway 108 corridor. Crews continue to construct line construction where accessibility and safety allows. In addition, structure defense and contingency planning continues in the Mather area.

On Friday, August 23, California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Francisco, noting that the fire threatens both power and water resources for the city.

> WHEREAS the wildfires that started in Tuolumne County have caused damage to electrical infrastructure serving the City and County of San Francisco, and now threaten damage to property, equipment, and resources of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department; and

> WHEREAS the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been forced to shut down transmission lines with the result that the City and County is affected by the wildfires in the County of Tuolumne and is likely to be further affected should the fire cause additional damage to the City and County of San Francisco’s water and electrical assets in Tuolumne County, including the possible temporary interruption of electricity and/or water delivery;

A view from space:

My thoughts go out to all of the firefighters who are fighting this fire – and all of the 100+ fires burning across the west.

Related articles

Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy reservoir still in path of unchecked Rim Fire
San Francisco Power Supply Threatened By Fire Spreading In Yosemite
Yosemite fire now the size of Chicago
Rim Fire Threatening San Francisco’s Power, Water Supply

Arson on Mary Street? The Michigan Daily is on it, the not so much

Two reports of a fire on the 900 block of Mary Street on Saturday at around 3:00 a.m. The sirens woke me up.

The story notes that a 3 car garage was destroyed and gives the “we don’t know very much” report:

The cause of the fire was not immediately known. The cost of the damage is unknown.

The Michigan Daily story gives more details, including a photo from neighbor Raymond Brokowski, and has this disturbing detail: it’s being investigated as arson.

Two individuals were seen running from the scene. The crime alert describes them as 5’11” to 6’0”, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts and blue jeans. No further description is given.

UPDATE Monday: The followup story has more details, at least a little; it took them a full two and a half days from the time that the incident occurred until they ran the followup.

Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said police and fire personnel were sent at 3:20 a.m. Saturday to an alley behind the 600 block of Packard Street for a report of a fire. Bush said the resident of a home in the 900 block of Mary Street, who reported the incident, saw a fire in a recycling container full of cardboard.

The photo from Brokowski was sent out via Twitter, here’s the news as it happened.

Related articles

Apartment fire at 1310 Packard, Ann Arbor injures 6
Downtown Ann Arbor fire at 401 S Division St

Yarnell Hill Fire (Yarnell, AZ): 19 firefighters dead – worst incident since 1933 – with map

19 firefighters have died fighting the Yarnell Hills fire in Yarnell, AZ, about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, AZ. 

Wundermap fire layer map for Yarnell, AZ


Multiple news sources have confirmed this tragedy. 

CNN: Official: 19 firefighters dead in Arizona. Quotes Wade Ward with the Prescott Fire Department.

Prescott, AZ Daily Courier: BREAKING NEWS: 19 die in Yarnell fire; 18 were Prescott firefighters Quotes State Forestry Division Spokesman Mike Reichling.

Prescott, AZ Daily Courier had a profile of the Prescott Fire Department Granite Mountain Hot Shots crew fighting a previous fire. 19 firefighters dead in Yarnell Hill Fire. With live television coverage from 12 News.

New York Times: 19 Firefighters Are Killed Battling Arizona Wildfire

“The entire hot shot crew had been killed by the fire,” Fire Chief Dan Fraijo of Prescott told The Associated Press. The firefighters had to deploy their emergency shelters when “something drastic happened,” he said.

Wildfire Today: Arizona: Yarnell Fire. Good maps and detailed weather reporting.

Wildfire Today: Multiple firefighter fatalities on the Yarnell Fire in Arizona. “The is the worst multiple wildland firefighter fatality incident in the last 80 years, since 1933.”

Inciweb: Yarnell Hill Fire. Contact: Mike Reichling.

Facebook: In Memory of Prescott Firefighters Lost 6/30/2013. Almost 85,000 likes.

Yarnell Hill Fire from Congress, AZ from Matt Oss on Vimeo.

The names of the firefighters:

• Ashcraft, Andrew - Age: 29
• Caldwell, Robert - Age: 23
• Carter, Travis - Age: 31
• Deford, Dustin - Age: 24
• MacKenzie, Christopher - Age: 30
• Marsh, Eric - Age: 43
• McKee, Grant - Age: 21
• Misner, Sean - Age: 26
• Norris, Scott - Age: 28
• Parker, Wade - Age: 22
• Percin, John - Age: 24
• Rose, Anthony - Age: 23
• Steed, Jesse - Age: 36
• Thurston, Joe - Age: 32
• Turbyfill, Travis - Age: 27
• Warneke, William - Age: 25
• Whitted, Clayton - Age: 28
• Woyjeck, Kevin - Age: 21
• Zuppiger, Garret - Age: 27

Singapore haze map for 24 June 2013

The BBC World Service has reporting on the dense haze that’s covering Singapore and parts of Malaysia as a result of land-clearing fires in Indonesia. The map below is from the Meteorological Service Singapore. The Indonesian president has apologized for the haze, notes the Straits Times.

Singaporeans are advised to wear masks when going outdoors, and to stay indoors if at all possible. SingPost has issued masks for postal workers.


Related articles

In Battle Against Haze, Indonesia Turns to Helicopters and a Plane
Indonesia Says Singapore ‘Behaving Like a Child’ Over Haze
Singapore PM Says Haze from Indonesia Fires May Last for Weeks
The horrible HAZE in Singapore is bad for…
Singapore blanketed with worst ever haze