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Potentially Deadly Mobile Home FirePotentially Deadly Mobile Home Fire
Story by Captain Don Delucia, PIO; photos by Investigator Pam Summers.. Posted on December 9th , 2008

These are some photos taken by IV-5 (Pam Summers). This mobile home fire appeared to be small and not anything unusual. It turned out to be quite a scene that could easily have been a disaster for numerous firefighters who were at the 4 am fire. The entire mobile home site at 5793 Tiffany Pl, WPB, was barricaded with locks, chains, cables, metal bars and two by fours. It took over four minutes alone to get through the gate to get into the property. No one knew the single-wide mobile home was a potential bomb. The owner, who was found inside the bedroom, had committed suicide after setting fire at one end of the mobile home. He poured somewhere between 20 and 30 gallons of gasoline throughout the trailer and had the equivalent of five propane tanks turned on, inside and outside by the stairs.

At one point, over a dozen firefighters had been in or near the structure trying to get in to locate a possible victim. Luck was with all of them due to the fact that the atmosphere inside was so rich, it couldn't conduct combustion for very long let alone explode. This was one for the memory books of PBCFR. Media coverage made a point of showing how dangerous our jobs can be.

Units on scene included E23, Q29, E24, E34, R24, EMS10, DC10, BC9.

Spahls Serve a Cup of Closure for CommunitySpahls Serve a Cup of Closure for Community
Posted on December 8th , 2008

If you recall the media blitz surrounding 5 year old autistic girl, Kaitlin Bacile, who strayed from her home only to be found in a nearby canal in Wellington, it was a sad tale to experience: especially for neighborhood residents.

But when it came to the community pulling together to try and help the family, volunteers showed up by the hundreds while the search for the little girl unfolded. The sudden news of Kaitlynn's death was almost too much to bear. That's when 9 year old Dillan Spahl, son of Firefighter/Paramedic Eric Spahl of R23, decided that he would raise money for the family by serving lemonade at the neighborhood corner.

Eric, his wife and his family of four are not only involved with their community but Dillan is a member of Pack 165 of the local Boy Scouts. Together they caused the community to pull together once more as motorists pulled up for their cup of lemonade and a small piece of closure. Within hours over $3,300 was raised for the family with the help of Cub Scout Pack 165 members.

The generosity of the community can only be matched by the initiative of the Spahls in the way that they provided the means for countless neighborhood folks to channel their emotions and offer closure to a community in mourning.

The Customer Service TEAM continues to recognize our fire rescue members that "go the extra mile" whether they are in uniform or not. That's what makes the fire service so special ... we're never off duty especially when it comes to serving our community!

We would like to offer special thanks to Eric, Dillan and the entire Spahl family for stepping up when people counted on it the most!

Commercial Structure Fire in PahokeeCommercial Structure Fire in Pahokee
Story by Capt. Craig Prusansky, photos by DC Curtis Rice, Capt. Craig Prusansky, and Driver/Engineer James Ebenhack. Posted on December 1st , 2008

On Saturday, November 29, 2008, at 11:59 am, units from Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue stations 72, 73, 74, 24, and 29 responded to a commercial structure fire in the City of Pahokee. Crews arrived to find some fire and heavy smoke coming from the windows of a single-story office building. No one was inside of the building at the time of the fire.

Due to the old construction of the building, it took the crews about an hour to contain the fire. The building sustained major fire and smoke damage. The preliminary cause of the fire appears to be electrical in nature, and although it is being investigated by the Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Bomb/Arson Investigations Division, it is not labeled as suspicious.

Units on scene: E72, E73, E73B, E74, T72, Q29, LA24, R73, R74, BC7, DC7, EMS7, IV4

Apartment Fire in Belle GladeApartment Fire in Belle Glade
Photos from Capt. Craig Prusansky. Posted on November 10th , 2008

On Saturday, November 8, 2008, at 11:19 am units from Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Stations 73 and 74 responded to a reported apartment fire in the southwest section of Belle Glade. Crews arrived to find heavy fire coming from a first-floor apartment. Sheriff Deputies had evacuated the adjacent apartments before the crews arrived.

The first-in crews extinguished the fire before it was able to spread into the adjacent apartments. The apartment sustained extensive fire and smoke damage. No one was injured during the fire. The cause of the fire had been determined to be as a result of some wiring in a bedroom that had shorted out.

Units on scene: E73B, E73, E74, R73B, DC7, EMS7, IV4

Head On Crash in PahokeeHead On Crash in Pahokee
Photos from Capt. Craig Prusansky. Posted on November 10th , 2008

On Saturday, November 8, 2008, at 4:01 pm, units from Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue stations 72 and 73 responded to a motor vehicle crash in the City of Pahokee. Crews arrived to find a car with heavy damage, and two patients, one seriously injured.

The passenger was taken to the Trauma Center via TraumaHawk Air Rescue helicopter, and the driver was taken by ground to a local hospital. The driver in the other vehicle was not injured.

The crash is being investigated by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Units on scene: E72, T72, R73, R73B, EMS7, TH2.

Station 72 Wraps up Fire Prevention Month with Fire Safety PresentationStation 72 Wraps up Fire Prevention Month with Fire Safety Presentation
Story by Capt. Craig Prusansky, photos by District Chief Gary Burroughs, Capt. Craig Prusansky, and center staff.. Posted on November 3rd , 2008

On Thursday, October 30, 2008, Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue and Palm Beach County Emergency Management Division conducted a fire safety presentation at the New Hope Charities Day Care Center in Pahokee. This was done in conjunction with the end of Fire Prevention Month.

The children were taught various aspects of fire prevention and safety, shown the gear that firefighters wear and use, and were given a tour of a fire engine. It seems that the children really enjoyed the presentation.

Sr. Jake Hits 33 at 33!Sr. Jake Hits 33 at 33!
Story and photos provided by Lt. Doug McGlynn. Posted on November 3rd , 2008

Congratulations to Buddy Yarbrough for completing this milestone shift this past Saturday! Thirty-three years of service, all at Station 33! That's tremendous, especially when you take into account that 33 used to run as many as 20 calls per shift and travel as far west as Twenty Mile Bend.

Buddy started at Southwest Fire Control District #6 back in 1975 at Station One (Old Station 33). Years later, Southwest opened Station Two (currently Station 25 in Wellington). Buddy never left the original station which was located at 1108 S. Military Trail and is currently a local laundrymat. It wasn't until four years after consolidation into Palm Beach County Fire Rescue that Old 33 was moved to it's current location off Kirk Road. Buddy's annual salary was $7,600 at a time when the price of gas was only $0.57 cents per gallon. Buddy's father also served for Southwest Fire District along with Buddy's uncle Rodney Yarbrough.

Some folks might remember stories where early firefighters did all their own station maintenance and yardwork, but the Yarbroughs-along with other fire department members-actually built the fire trucks! In fact, they event built the fire station that housed those original trucks. They didnít contract the work out! They built Old Station 33 with their own tools and their own hands.

Times sure have changed since Buddy's rookie year as a firefighter, but as the Sr. Jake and DO on one of the department's hottest engine companies it is Buddy who has stood the test of time. He is a mentor, a leader and one of the most respected members of Fire Rescue!

Congratulations, Buddy, and thank you for your dedication and love for the job!

For more history on Station 33 "The Fire Factory" please visit www.firefactory33.com.

Belle Glade Firefighter of the YearBelle Glade Firefighter of the Year
Story and by Battalion Chief Mike Arena and Lt. Al Sierra, photos by Lt. Al Sierra. Posted on October 30th , 2008

On Tuesday evening, October 28th, District Chief Stephen Rice was recognized as the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce's Firefighter of the Year. Chief Rice joined a list of distinguished recipients, and was recognized for his tireless contributions to the fire service over the past 28 years.

Chief Rice's commitment to the Glades citizens was exemplified post-Hurricane Wilma when Belle Glade's fire station was untenable and he moved all of the department's personnel to his home so they could continue to provide service to the citizens.

Chief Rice was one of the key players who helped bring regionalization of Fire Rescue services to the Glades. Since merging with PBCFR he has assisted with all preparation activity ensuring nothing was left to chance.

In closing, Chief Rice's long-term commitment to the fire service is exemplified in every facet of his job performance.

Congratulations, Chief Rice, on a job well done.

Townhouse Fire in Royal Palm BeachTownhouse Fire in Royal Palm Beach
Story and photos by Capt. Don Delucia, PIO. Posted on October 29th , 2008

A morning fire in a townhome in Royal Palm Beach on Oct 29th left a family of three without a place to live. Units from station 28 could see smoke while enroute to the fire at 112 Conaskonk Cir. When they arrived, Lt. Shaw from E28 said heavy smoke and flames were coming from both the front and back of the residence. Crews were able to isolate the fire to the one townhome and kept the fire from spreading to the attached unit.

Units on scene included: E28, Q29, E21, E26, R28, EMS2, DC2, PI1, IV3, BC2, E22, Volunteers.

Garage Fire in Belle GladeGarage Fire in Belle Glade
Story and photos by Capt. Craig Prusansky. Posted on October 28th , 2008

On Monday, October 27, 2008, at 8:49 pm, units from Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Stations 72, 73, and 74, responded to a reported garage fire in the southeast section of Belle Glade. Crews arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the garage of the single family residence.

The first-in crews were able to quickly extinguish the fire and contain the majority of the damage to the garage but the entire house sustained minor smoke damage. Two cars parked inside of the garage also sustained some moderate damage.

The cause of the fire was determined to be a pair of 6-volt "lantern" batteries stored in the garage which had made contact with each other and "shorted" out. No one was injured during the fire.

Units on scene: E73B, E74, E72, R74, DC7, EMS7, IV2

House Fire in West DelrayHouse Fire in West Delray
Story and photos by Capt. Don Delucia, PIO. Posted on October 27th , 2008

Units responded to a 911 call for a fire in a two story, 5,800-square foot home in Saturnia Isles today, October 27. The 8:30 am fire at 15970 Mataro Bay required a 2nd alarm response. The fire was under control in approximately 30 minutes but the home suffered major damagage estimated at $650,000.

The owner's German Shepherd was killed in the fire.

The cause is still under investigation. Units on scene included: E42, E44, Q57, E54, E45, R42, EMS4, DC4, PI1, BC4, R54, EMS5, BC5, DC5, BC2, IV6 and LA 24. PBCFR volunteers were also assisting on scene.

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