Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Years

From all of us at the Tacoma Fire Department - Happy New Years. During this years holiday festivities, please remember the following:

- City ordinance prohibits the use of Fireworks in the City of Tacoma - including on New Years Eve. Violators of the fireworks law are subject to a $257 dollar fine and the confiscation of their fireworks.

- Please celebrate responsibly (no drinking and driving).

From our TFD family to yours, have a safe and healthy New Years and we look forward to serving in 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Owen Beach Rescue

Incident Date: 12/29/2009
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.255.3260
Incident Type: Rescue
Incident Location: In the area of 6101 Promenade Lane

Narrative: At 11:33 a.m. Tuesday December 29th, 2009 5 companies of Tacoma Firefighters - 2 Engines, 2 Medic Units and the Fire Boat Commencement responded to the Owen Beach Area of Point Defiance Park for a person who had fallen down the cliff.

First arriving companies found one patient next to the water on the beach. Due to the remoteness of the patients location, the assistance of a nearby fishing boat was secured and the patient was transferred to the Vashon Ferry Dock area and then transported to a local area hospital.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dispose of your Christmas Trees Safely

Now that Christmas is over, TFD would like to remind you of the City of Tacoma's convenient and safe way to dispose of your tree. Never burn your tree in your fireplace or yard.

Yard waste container
Solid Waste Management encourages you to cut your Christmas tree (unflocked, undecorated) in small enough sections to fit inside your yard waste container so the lid closes flat.

Curbside pick-up
If you’re unable to fit your tree inside the container, and you are a City of Tacoma resident, the City of Tacoma will pick up your tree at no additional charge from Jan. 11 to Jan. 22.
• Remove all decorations and tinsel.
• Dispose of flocked trees in the garbage or at the landfill.
• Take tree out of the stand.
• Cut into lengths no longer than three feet and bundle with heavy twine.
• Place in container or in front of the curb.
A different truck will come along to pick up bundled trees only. Please note that Christmas trees are the only exception to the utility’s rule that no separate bundles are allowed outside of containers.

Landfill drop-off
Single-family residents may recycle their clean, unflocked trees at the Tacoma Landfill (3510 S. Mullen St.) now through Jan. 24. The landfill is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (closed New Year’s Day). For more information on Christmas tree recycling within the City of Tacoma, call (253) 591-5543. Go to for information on tree recycling outside the City of Tacoma.

Diesel Tanker Crash

Incident Date: 12/28/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.255.3260
Incident Type: Motor Vehicle Crash
Incident Location: Frank Albert Rd E & North Levee Rd E Fife WA

Narrative: At 12:02 p.m. Monday December 28, 2009 4 companies of Tacoma Firefighters – 2 Engines (one with the Spill Containment Unit), 1 Ladder and 1 Medic Unit responded to the area of Frank Albert Road E and North Levee Rd E in Fife for an overturned diesel fuel truck.

First arriving companies found a fuel truck carrying approximately 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel had rolled down the side of the levee on the river side of the road. Crews transported one patient (the driver) to a local area hospital. The vehicle is now in the process of being up righted so that the fuel can be transferred to another tanker before being towed. There is no fuel leaking at this time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tacoma firefighter/paramedic honored for helping save four boaters

Tacoma firefighter/paramedic Mike Ferguson was awarded the Coast Guard Public Service Award for his actions in which he rescued four boaters, including two children, from a potentially deadly situation. On Wednesday December 16th, Ferguson attended a ceremony at the Coast Guard's Port Angeles station, at which he was given the award. His dedication and commitment to helping others in need proved to be the difference between life and death.

Monday, December 14, 2009

TFD Annual Christmas Project

Tacoma Firefighters raise $14,000 to brighten the holidays for 140 local families

For the past 20 years, Tacoma Firefighters have brought holiday cheer to the lives of thousands of Tacoma children and their families with deliveries of food, clothing and gifts just before Christmas. This year, firefighters have raised over $14,000 dollars to help more than 140 children and families in need.

“It’s always a great honor to help bring a little happiness to those less fortunate during the holidays,” said project co-founder Lieutenant Jim Lee (other co-founders include Lieutenant Andrea Schroeder and Firefighter Ron Ernst). This year’s contributors include active and retired Tacoma Firefighters, Tacoma Professional Firefighters Local #31, The Tacoma Fire Department and the Office of the Pierce County Council.

Special deliveries from a fire engine, medic unit and Santa Claus are scheduled to start on Dec. 19 through Dec. 21. This year’s recipients were identified through the Tacoma School District Head Start Program, YWCA Women’s Shelter, the Sharing House and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

For additional information regarding this event, contact Lieutenant Jim Lee at (253) 381-0851.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Do’s and Don'ts of Frozen Pipes

During this record breaking cold weather streak, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) has responded to nearly 20 calls a day for bursting water pipes and water related problems. As the water in pipes freezes it expands - causing the pipes to crack or burst. You won’t often know there is a problem until the temperatures warm enough to melt the ice and allow for water to flow. If you are experiencing the unfortunate dilemma of frozen or busted water pipes – here are a few things you need to know.
• Most importantly, know where and how to shut off your main water supply before you have a problem. There should be a main valve for your house (usually located in the basement or crawl space) and one at the water meter pit.
• The pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, such as outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas such as basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
• Make sure pipes located in exterior walls, or in floors over unheated spaces (such as a bathroom above an attached garage) are insulated and protected. Keep your garage door closed.
• Remember to never use an open flame torch (fire danger) or boiling water (will cause the pipes to burst) when thawing pipes. A hair drier on low setting works well.
• Select a licenced plumber to assist you in making any necessary repairs.
• Make sure that any exterior piping is insulated and hose bib’s are covered.
• Increase the building temperature to prevent freezing (particularly warehouses – storage facilities).
• Fire Sprinkler systems that go out of service require you to institute a Fire Watch until the system is operable.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Duplex Fire

Incident Date: 12/8/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.255.3260
Incident Type: Residential Structure Fire
Incident Location: 5034 S “G” St.
Probable Cause: under investigation
Damages: unknown at this time
Injuries: None

Narrative: At 2:18 p.m. Tuesday December 8th 2009, 7 companies of Tacoma and Puyallup Firefighters – 4 Engines, 2 Ladder Companies (1 from Puyallup) 1 Medic Unit and 2 Battalion Chiefs responded to a reported residential structure fire at 5034 S. “G” Street. The first arriving units found heavy smoke and flames showing from the second floor apartment of the two story, two unit residence.

Crews attacked the fire with hand lines, conducted primary search and rescue and contained the fire to the upper unit. The occupants of the building (4 adults) escaped unharmed and are receiving relocation assistance from the Red Cross.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Fire Safety

Each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million dollars in damage nationally. Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) reminds you to remember these simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

- December is the peak month for candle fires.
- Always use candle sticks or non flammable holders.
- Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.

Electric Decorations
- Cords and plugs are the leading type of equipment involved in the ignition of Christmas trees.
- Any string lights with worn, frayed or broken cords or loose bulbs should not be used.
- Always unplug tree lights before leaving home or going to sleep.

- Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S..
- When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range.
- If you must leave the kitchen while preparing food, set a timer or carry a pot holder to remind you that food is cooking.

Christmas Trees
- Keep your tree away from fireplaces, portable and baseboard heaters.
- Try to keep fresh cut trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water each day.
- Dispose of fresh-cut trees before becoming dry to the extent
that needles are falling and the color is fading.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

TFD Media Release - Recovery Operation

Incident Date: 12/2/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.255.3260
Incident Type: Body Recovery
Incident Location: 6100 Block of North Levee Rd, Fife WA

Narrative: At 8.32 a.m. Wednesday December 3rd 2009, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) and Central Pierce Fire and Rescue (CPFR) units responded to a reported body in the water in the Puyallup River.

First arriving units confirmed that there was an unidentified body lodged in a wooden snag area approximately 15 feet from the bank. CPFR Swift Water Rescue Team and the Pierce County Sheriff's Department Dive Team were called to recover the body during this multi-jurisdictional response. Fife Police Department continues as the lead agency for this incident and will release any additional details as they become available.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Safety Reminder

Thanksgiving is the peek day for home cooking fires across the nation. According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. firefighters responded to roughly 1,300 home fires involving cooking equipment on Thanksgiving 2007. The Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) would like to encourage you to add the following cooking safety tips to your Thanksgiving recipes this holiday.

Cook with Caution
• Never leave cooking food unattended.
• Keep all combustibles away from the cooking devices.
• Keep children away from the cooking areas to reduce the risk of burns and fires.
• Do not wear clothing with loose sleeves while cooking.
• Ensure that you have a fire extinguisher and a working smoke alarm on each level of your home.
• Remember to handle, prepare and cook food safely.

Finally, check out the following information from the Underwriters Laboratory regarding deep fat frying turkeys and turkey fryers. There are so many hazards related to these devices, the UL won’t certify any turkey fryers for use and TFD strongly recommends you do not use them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

TFD Media Release - Rope Rescue

Incident Date: 11/19/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.255.3260
Incident Type: High-Angle Rope Rescue
Incident Location: 4500 -5000 block of Marine View Drive near Herron Ridge Dr NE

Narrative: At 10:17 a.m. Thursday November 19th 2009, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a reported vehicle over an embankment in the Herron Ridge area off of Marine View Drive in North East Tacoma.

After assessing the location of the vehicle, the first arriving companies quickly called for a technical rescue operation. Approximately 21 firefighters and command staff conducted a High-Angle Rope Rescue (due to the very steep slope) using a Stokes Stretcher to rescue one patient from the vehicle.

The patient was transported to a local area hospital.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Focus on Fire Safety - Home Heating Equipment

According to the National Fire Protection Association home heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires during the months of December, January and February, In fact in 2006, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 64,100 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 540 civilian deaths, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $943 million in direct property damage. Given these sobering statistics, the Tacoma Fire Department encourages you to check your heating systems and watch how you heat as winter approaches.
Make sure your fireplace and wood stove have a clean chimney.
Portable Heaters
Remember, keep combustibles three feet from the heat.
An annual inspection is key.
Barbeque's and carbon monoxide poisoning
Never use a barbecue indoors for heating due to winter storms and extended power outages.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Residential Structure Fire

Incident Date: 10/29/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.573.2588
Incident Type: Residential Structure Fire
Incident Location: 2329 South “L” Street
Probable Cause: Curling Iron
Damages: $75,000
Injuries: None

Narrative: At 6:04 a.m. Thursday October 29th 2009, 7 companies of Tacoma Firefighters – 5 Engines, 1 Ladder, and 1 Medic Unit responded to a reported residential structure fire at 2329 South “L” Street. The first arriving units found smoke and flames showing from a second floor bedroom.

Crews attacked the fire with hand lines, conducted primary search and rescue and used a Thermal Imaging Camera to check for fire extension and hot spots once they had the main fire contained. The occupants (2 adults & 4 children) escaped unharmed and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

UPDATE: Fire investigators have determined that the cause of the fire was a curling iron next to combustible materials, resulting in an estimated $75,000 damage to the building and its contents.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Smoke Alarms...

Change Your Clock. Change Your Battery

Tacoma Fire Department would like to remind everyone to take a few moments to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms this weekend.

Smoke alarms most often fail because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries, so maintenance is a simple and effective way to protect your family and reduce home fire deaths.

According to the Washington State Fire Marshal, 82 percent of fire deaths in our State occur in homes without working smoke alarms and the peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. - when most families are sleeping.

For best protection, it is recommended that people install alarms utilizing both (ionization and photoelectric) technology and ones that have long life 10 year lithium ion batteries.

Visit the United States Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association for additional information regarding smoke alarm types, installation, maintenance and safety.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spotlight on Safety...

Narrative: On Saturday, October 24th, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) presented an informative class on boat and marina safety to liveaboard residents and boats owners at the Foss Harbor Marina. Boat fires are particularly dangerous and a fire on one boat can turn quickly turn into the loss of numerous boats or even a whole marina. Participants at today's class learned about:

*The proper use of marine-approved cord sets.
*Smoke Alarms and CO2 detectors.
*The proper use of portable Fire Extinguishers.
*General Fire and Life safety precautions.

The Fire Boat Commencement was also on scene and provided tours of one of our most unique pieces of firefighting equipment. Visit the US Coast Guard for additional information about boating safety.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Commercial Structure Fire Update

Incident Type: Commercial Structure Fire
Incident Location: 220 S. 27th Street
Probable Cause: Undetermined
Damage Estimates: $45,000 Building $35,000 Contents
Injuries: None

UPDATE: Fire Investigators have concluded that the cause of today's fire at the Teamsters Hall & Offices at 220 S. 27th St. is undetermined. The damage estimates for the building and contents is approximately $80,000.

Commercial Structure Fire

Incident Date: 10/20/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.255.3260
Incident Type: Commercial Structure Fire
Incident Location: 220 S. 27th St.
Probable Cause: Undetermined
Damages: Undetermined
Injuries: None

Narrative: At 2:57 a.m. Tuesday October 20, 2009, 9 companies of Tacoma Firefighters - 5 Engines, 2 Ladders and 2 Medic Units responded to a reported commercial l structure fire at 220 S. 27th Street. The first arriving units found heavy smoke and fire showing from the first floor of the local Teamsters Hall & Offices.

Crews attacked the fire with hand lines, conducted primary search procedures and checked for fire extension into the second floor of the building. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and there were no injuries to report.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Commercial Structure Fire Response

Incident Date: 10/17/2009
Issuing Officer: AC Faith Mueller
Incident Type: Commercial Structure Fire
Incident Location: 306 East 26th Street
Probable Cause: Undetermined

Narrative: Tacoma Fire Department responded with 35 personnel to the report of fire and smoke at 306 East 26th Street on both floor 1 and floor 2. . First arriving companies encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions in a 50 foot by 100 foot business/apartment occupancy. Fire crews battled diligently to extinguish the blaze and ensure there were no occupants in the business and apartment dwelling. The blaze was contained just after midnight with no reported injuries.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vehicle Extrication Training

Training Update: Members of the Tacoma Fire Department participated in a valuable vehicle extrication training exercise this week. The purpose of this training was to enhance our ability to remove people trapped in vehicles at the scene of motor vehicle crashes.

The training included scene safety, basic vehicle stabilization, tool proficiency and numerous extrication exercises. The skills practiced during these drills increases our firefighters level of readiness for this type of low frequency/high risk response.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanks For Participating...

This past weekend, well over 1,000 people attended Fire Station Open Houses in honor of National Fire Prevention Week and learned how to perform the life saving skill of CPR at our mass training classes on CPR Sunday at the Tacoma Elks Club.

We appreciated that so many of you stopped by to visit your neighborhood fire station and learn about fire safety. Congratulations to all of you who completed the CPR training (over 550 registered) - you now know how to use an Automatic External Defibrillator and can perform CPR! Thanks for helping make our community safer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fire Boat Lends Assistance

Narrative: At 5:19 a.m. Friday October 9th 2009, the Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a mutual aid call for a marina fire at Steilacoom Marina at Saltar’s point. The facility housed several non operative boats and suffered extensive damage. The crews from Fire Boat Defiance assisted in the attack from the water side as well as protected an adjacent pier.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Technical Rescue Demonstration

The Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) Technical Rescue Team provided an informative demonstration of a High Angle/Stokes Stretcher/Patient Rescue at the 58th Annual Governor’s Industrial Safety and Health Conference held today at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The conference is one of the largest in the nation, featuring dozens of workshops and the latest technology and product exhibits.

Tech rescue crews simulated rescuing an injured window washer who was hanging precariously from the side of the convention center - approximately 45 feet above 15th Street. The conference participants enjoyed the demonstration and were impressed by the technical skills and professionalism displayed by the team.

Monday, October 5, 2009

You're Invited...

Tacoma Fire Department Hosts Open Houses!

Residents of Tacoma and Fircrest can celebrate Fire Prevention Week by visiting six neighborhood fire stations from 1-4 pm this Saturday, October 10th. This year’s theme, “Stay Fire Smart – Don’t Get Burned” encourages everyone to team up and spread the message that fire safety saves lives!

Equipment will be on display and firefighters will answer questions about escape planning, fire safety and disaster preparedness.

The following six stations will host open houses:

Station 3 - 206 Browns Point Blvd, NE Tacoma
Station 4 - 1453 S. 12th (Earnest S Brazil St), Hilltop
Station 11 - 3802 McKinley Ave., McKinley Hill
Station 13 – 3825 N. 25th, Proctor
Station 16 – 7217 6th Ave., Skyline/West End District
Station 17 – 302 Regents Blvd., Fircrest

For more information on the activities hosted at each station, call the Tacoma Fire Department Fire Prevention Bureau at 591-5740.

Free CPR Training

CPR Sunday is a free community training being held this Sunday October 11, 2009 at the Tacoma Elks Club. Classroom presentations include information about 911, patient assessment, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automatic External Defibrillators (AED's). Instructors will also utilize CPR Manikins and AED's to provide students with an opportunity to practice their classroom learning. In the last 9 years, over 4,000 participants have attended this valuable safety class.

Our instructors are certified Basic Life Support (CPR) Instructors.

What you will learn:
• What happens when you call 9-1-1
• Patient Assessment
• General Medical Illness Assessment
• One Rescuer Adult CPR/Obstructed Airway
• Automatic External Defibrillators
• Foreign Body Airway Obstruction
• Home First Aid Kit
• Information List for Home & Wallet

For additional information about CPR Sunday and to register for the class visit CPRSUNDAY.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fire Prevention Week 2009

Tacoma Fire Department would like to remind you that next week, October 4-10th, is National Fire Prevention Week. This years theme is "Stay Fire Smart - Don't Get Burned". Check out the following video for some great tips on how you can prevent fires and avoid getting burn injuries. For more information about Fire Prevention Week visit the National Fire Protection Association and as always - be sure to check the batteries in your smoke alarms and make sure they are in working condition.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Early Morning Structure Fire

Incident Date: 9/21/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke 253.255.3260
Incident Type: Structure Fire
Incident Location: 6505 Pacific Hwy E. Fife WA
Probable Cause: Undetermined
Damages: Undetermined
Injuries: None

Narrative: At 6: 51 a.m. Monday, September 21st 2009, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a reported structure fire at 6505 Pacific Hwy East Fife, WA 98424. The first arriving units found a 2 story boarded up abandoned house with smoke and flames showing from the upstairs area. After crews initial investigation, a defensive firefighting mode was established due to the deterioration of the building and the heavy fire load. Approximately 20 firefighters extinguished the fire and there were no injuries to report.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Campus Fire Safety Month

September is National Campus Fire Safety Month and Tacoma Fire Department would like to remind everyone about this important safety topic.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are approximately 18 million students enrolled in over 4000 colleges and universities across the country. Approximately 2/3 of the students live in off-campus housing.

Data compiled by Campus Firewatch, shows that over 8o percent of the more than 100 campus-related fire fatalities across the nation (since January 2000) have occurred in off-campus housing. Four common factors in a number of these fires include:
· Lack of automatic fire sprinklers
· Missing or disabled smoke alarms
· Careless disposal of smoking materials
· Impaired judgment from alcohol consumption

In other words, the same factors contributing to all fire fatalities, apply to college students as well. Make an informed decision about your housing - especially if you’re living off campus.

For more information about prevention strategies and questions to ask about your living arrangements visit or USFA - fire safety for college students.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fire Destroys Van

Incident Date: 9/11/09
Issuing Officer: Medical Services Officer Toryono Green
Incident Type: Car Fire
Incident Location: 1101 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma -WA

Narrative: At 12:50 p.m. Friday, September 9th, the Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to reports of a car fire at 1101 Tacoma Ave S. Responding fire units reported a large column of black smoke from a distance and arrived to find a late model conversion van fully engulfed in flames.

The owner of the van stated that he noticed smoke coming from the vehicle when he parked. After getting out to inspect, he discovered that his vehicle was on fire. Nearby business owners assisted in attempting to extinguish the fire. The owner stated that his vehicle's transmission had recently been repaired. There were no reported injuries.

Thank You...

Tacoma Fire Department would like to thank all of the citizens and first responders who attended our September 11th Remembrance Ceremony.

"We have not forgotten"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Your Invited...

Tacoma Fire Department’s September 11th Remembrance Ceremony

Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) and Firefighters Local 31 will host its Annual September 11th Remembrance Ceremony at 9:00 a.m. (prelude begins at 8:45) at the Tacoma Firefighters Memorial located at 3301 Ruston Way, Tacoma WA.

This event will be part of a nationwide salute to firefighters, police, EMS workers and civilians who lost their lives that day. The ceremony will include comments from the Mayor of the City of Tacoma Bill Baarsma, TFD Deputy Chief Jolene Davis and TFD retired Battalion Chief Dave Jackson, as well as performances by the Honor Guard and Pipes and Drums.

Join us as the Nations keep its' solemn vow "We have not forgotten".

Friday, August 28, 2009

Firefighters Rescue Occupant from Burning Apartment

Incident Date: 8/28/09
Issuing Officer: Assistant Chief Dan Crotty
Incident Type: Apartment Fire
Incident Location: 518 S 7th St., Tacoma – WA
Probable Cause: Smoking material
Damages: Confined to one apartment
Dollar Loss: Estimated at $10,000
Injuries: One

Narrative: At 8:29 p.m. Friday August 28th, the Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a reported apartment fire at 518 S. 7th St. The first arriving company reported they could see smoke coming from a second story window in a six story apartment building.

Firefighters extended a hose line to the second floor to attack the fire while other crews began searching for possible trapped occupants. One person was rescued from the apartment where the fire started. Firefighter/Paramedics provided initial treatment at the scene and transported the occupant to a local area hospital.

Approximately 29 firefighters responded to the call. Damage from the fire was confined to one apartment. A preliminary investigation listed the probable cause as a smoldering cigarette left in a couch.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Puget Gulch Rescue - Media Release

For More Information Call 253.255.4857

Issuing Date: August 25, 2009
Issuing Officer: Toryono Green
Incident Type: Rescue
Incident Location: 3101 N Proctor St

Narrative: At 08:31 a.m. Tuesday August 25, 2009 Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a potential rope rescue in Puget Gulch near the Proctor District. TFD’s Technical Rescue Team responded but determined there was no need for a rope rescue. The patient had slipped the previous evening while walking on the gulch trail, sustaining minor injuries that prevented the patient from walking further. The next morning, another walker found the patient wrapped in plastic bags to stay warm.

The patient was carried out along the trail in a Stokes stretcher and transported to a local hospital.

Firefighter Response: 16

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Winthrop Apartment Fires - Media Release

For additional information call 253.255.3260.

Issuing Date: 8/20/2009
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Fire and Malicious False Alarms
Incident Location: 776 Commerce Street

Narrative: Over the past two weeks the Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) has responded to a series of malicious false alarms and small fires at the Winthrop Apartments. Fire crews, residents and a sprinkler activation have contained 4 small fires in trash storage areas and in a laundry room and numerous pull station false alarms have frustrated crews and residents. The property management team has increased security and surveillance measures and the incidents are currently under joint investigation by the TFD and Tacoma Police Department. If you have any information regarding these incidents, please contact Crime Stoppers at 253.591.5959.

Probable Cause: 2 fires undetermined, 2 fires open flame device
Fire Disposition: Suspicious
Damages: Trash Storage areas and Laundry Room
Dollar Loss Estimates: $2,500 and $15,000

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

July 2009 Fires

During the month of July, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to 317 fires causing an estimated $1.3 million dollars of property damage. (TFD's response area includes City of Tacoma, City of Fife, Fire District #10 and City of Fircrest). Of those fires, 235 were hot weather-related outdoor fires involving materials like dry grass, bark, trees and shrubs. This represents a significant increase in the number of fire incidents as compared to recent years (see chart) and record breaking dry and hot weather undoubtedly contributed to the problem. Residents can help us reduce the chance of outdoor fires the remainder of the summer by following a few simple steps:
  • Remove weeds and keep grass cut.
  • Try not to place plants too close to structures and under overhangs or eaves.
  • Provide adequate water to keep plants healthy and green.
  • Trash and debris should be disposed of properly. If you have concerns about excessive debris on someone else’s property check with Tacoma Cares.
  • Store flammable liquids properly.
  • Always dispose of cigarettes in ashtrays.
  • Safely dispose of barbecue ashes.
  • Observe burn bans.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Early Morning Blaze - Media Release

For more information please call 253.255.3260

Incident Date: 8/5/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Residential Fire
Incident Location: 2508 S. 76th St.

Narrative: At 2:42 a.m. Wednesday August 5th, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a reported residential fire at 2508 S. 76th St. The first arriving engine company found a fully involved detached garage fire with extension to a second seperate garage a crossed an alley. Crews controlled the exposure fire and protected the nearby houses initially and then concentrated their efforts on the main garage fire. The storage of numerous automotive parts and flammable liquids contributed to both the intensity and the degree of difficulty in extinguishing the main garage fire.

Approximately 27 firefighters battled the blazes. The fire damaged two garages and several collectible automobiles. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is suspicious in nature and Tacoma Police Department has been called in for further investigation.

Probable Cause: undetermined
Fire Disposition: Suspicious
Damages: Two garages and collectible automobiles
Dollar Loss: unknown at this time

National Night Out 2009

August 4th 2009.

Tacoma Fire Department was honored to be a part of numerous Neighborhood celebrations throughout the city of Tacoma last night. The 26th Annual event was designed to promote neighborhood spirit and heighten awareness to crime prevention efforts. Last year, over 37 million people participated in the event nationally. This year TFD was invited to 101 neighborhood events throughout the city during Tuesday night’s festivities. Thank you for all who helped makes it a great evening.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Camp Blaze 2009

Tacoma WA - August 4, 2009

Narrative: With a flurry of activity and shouts of encouragement, campers enthusiastically began their drill rotations this morning at the Tacoma Fire Department Training Center. Camp Blaze, hosted by Tacoma Fire Department and Seattle Fire Department attracts 16-19 year old females from across the United States. This years 24 participants got to try out several firefighter skills today, including climbing a 100 foot aerial ladder, repelling down a building out of a fourth floor window and cutting the roof off of cars with the “jaws of life” hydraulic tool. Campers are building their skills each day of camp, culminating in "live fire" exercises at the end of the week.

Career female firefighters are serving as instructors/mentors for the week long adventure and their overall goal is to teach leadership skills, teamwork and provide campers with exposure to a potential career in the fire service.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summary Media Release

For more information call 253.573.2588

Incident Date: 7/30/09
Incident Time 6:32 p.m.
Incident Type: Kitchen Fire
Incident Location: 5052 34th St NE

Incident Date: 7/30/09
Incident Time: 6:38 p.m.
Issuing Office: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Apartment Fire
Incident Location: 3931 Mason Loop Rd, Tacoma WA

Incident Date: 7/30/09
Incident Time: 6:39 p.m.
Issuing Officer: Dan Crotty
Incident Type: Residential Structure Fire
Incident Location: 1904 N. Proctor

Narrative: On Thursday July 30, 2009, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) resources were stretched thin as we responded to three reported structure fires in approximately 10 minutes this evening.

The first fire was a reported kitchen fire, with the initial arriving companies extinguishing the minor cooking fire.

The second reported fire was an apartment fire at 3931 Mason Loop Rd. Initial arriving companies found fire showing from the upper corner unit of this 4 unit building and initiated an interior attack and search and rescue.

Approximately 29 firefighters fought the fire and protected adjacent apartment units. There were no injuries to report to occupants or firefighters. Red Cross is providing disaster relocation assistance to two displaced tenants.

Fire Type: Structure Fire
Fire Cause: Undetermined
Damages: Approximately 1850 sq ft to upper units
Dollar Loss: Approximately $230,000

Thirdly, TFD responded to a reported residential house fire. The first arriving unit found a fully involved two story residential structure with the fire threatening additional structures. Approximately 25 firefighters battled the blaze and protected the adjacent house and garage. No injuries were reported.

Fire Type: Residential Structure Fire
Fire Cause: Overheated Barbeque Grill
Damages: Significant damage to house and detached garage
Dollar Loss: Approximately $485,000

Monday, July 27, 2009

2 Alarm Fire - Media Release

For more information please call 253.255.3260.

Incident Date: 7/27/09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Structure Fire
Incident Location: 1602 S. G. St. Tacoma, WA

Narrative: At 1:03 p.m. Monday July 27th, Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a structure fire at 1602 S. “G” Street – Hillside Grocery & Apartment, an approximately 3,484 sq ft 2-story wood framed mixed use building. The initial arriving companies found fire showing from the first floor of the structure and initiated an interior fire attack and search and rescue. Shortly after the initial interior fire attack, it was determined that the structural integrity of the building was compromised. A second alarm was dispatched and a defensive strategy was utilized.

Approximately 60 firefighters fought the fire and protected the adjacent exposures. Ladders companies used aerial master streams and ground crews with hose lines fought the hot blaze. There are no injuries to report at this time.

Fire type: Structure Fire
Fire Cause: Undetermined
Damages: significant structure damage
Dollar Loss: unknown at this time

Hot Tips to Stay Cool...

City of Tacoma opens cooling centers

With record-breaking temperatures forecast this week, City of Tacoma libraries and Metro Park facilities are inviting people to drop in to cool off. These air-conditioned facilities and water based playgrounds can be valuable reprieve from the scorching heat.

Citizens are also encouraged to take advantage of cooler air in other public buildings such as movie theaters, malls and other retail stores with air conditioning. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others and we would like to remind you of the following:

Monitor Those at High Risk

  • Infants and children up to four years of age are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
  • People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
  • People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
  • People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.

Do Not Leave Children or Pets in Cars

  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Use Common Sense
Remember to keep cool and use common sense:

  • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body.

For additional information about extreme heat guidance visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Alling Park Playground Equipment Fire Update - Media Release

For more information please call 253.573.2588

Incident Date: 7-18-09
Issuing Date: 7-22-09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Incendiary Fire
Incident Address: 6001 S. Sheridan Ave. Tacoma, WA

Narrative: At 11:20 p.m. July 18th, 2009 Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a reported playground structure fire at Alling Park. When the engine company arrived they found a fully involved fire in the playground equipment. The crews quickly pulled an attack line and extinguished the fire.

Based on fire scene evidence, TFD fire investigators have determined that the fire was intentionally set.

The results of this cause and origin investigation have been forwarded to Tacoma Police Department for follow-up. Because the case is now under criminal investigation, no further information can be released by TFD at this time.

If you have any information about this incident, please call Crime Stoppers at 253.591.5959.

Fire Type: Incendiary
Damages: Playground equipment
Dollar Loss: $80,000 (estimate)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brush Fire – Media Release

For more information please call 253.573.2588

Incident Date: 7-22-09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Brush Fire
Incident Address: E. 44th St/E “T” ST

Narrative: At 2:51 p.m. July 22nd, 2009 Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a reported brush fire in the area of E 44th & E “T” street. The initial arriving company found a rapidly growing brush and tree fire and quickly called for a Brush Fire 1-11 (a designation for additional resources) upon initial size-up.

Approximately 30 firefighters from TFD and Central Pierce Fire and Rescue battled the blaze in the heavy brush and timber area east of the Salishan neighborhood. The fire burned approximately 6 to 8 acres at is contained at this time. No structures were exposed to the fire and there are no injuries to report.

Probable Cause: Undetermined at this time.
Damages: Approximately 6-8 acres of grass, brush and trees.
Dollar Loss: Unknown at this time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hazardous Materials Spill - Media Release

For more information please call 253-573-2588.

Incident Date: 7-17-09
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Type: Hazardous Material
Incident Address: 2807 Valley Ave, Fife WA

Narrative: At 2:46 p.m. July 17th, 2009 Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a Hazardous materials spill at 2807 70th Ave E. A 540 gallon tote container of Isobutyl Acetate spilled releasing this commonly used solvent.

The first in arriving engine was on scene within 7 minutes. TFD’s Hazardous-Materials crew’s diked the liquid from reaching storm drains, plugged the leaking container and used vapor suppressing foam to minimize the effects of any fumes coming from the product. The product was contained to the area of the spill – with negligible environmental impact.

One business was evacuated during the incident and there were no injuries to report.

Firefighter Response: 25

Thursday, July 16, 2009


For More Information Call 253.573.2588

Date of Incident: July 16, 2009
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Type of Incident: Rope Rescue
Incident Address: Marine View Drive at Heron Ridge

Narrative: At 11:57 a.m. Thursday July 16, 2009 Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) responded to a rope rescue off of Marine View Drive in the Heron Ridge area. TFD’s Technical Rescue Team performed a medium angle rescue utilizing the Stokes stretcher to rescue the patient.

The patient was transported to a local hospital.

Firefighter Response: 22

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just a Reminder...

All Fireworks are illegal in the City of Tacoma. Violators of the fireworks law are subject to a $257 fine and the confiscation of their fireworks.

Please call (253) 798-4722 to report violations (only use 911 to report emergencies). The Tacoma Police Department will respond to fireworks related call as units become available.

We recommend you attend the Freedom Fair for a fantastic fireworks show!

Finally, for all of you pet owners, prepare now for potential problems with you pets and the 4th. The Tacoma Pierce County Human Society recommends the following.
  • Leave your pet home! Don’t plan on leaving him or her in the car. Home is safest!
  • If you go out, keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Make sure there is nothing around that you pet could chew or that could hurt your pet. If possible, leave a television or radio playing.
  • If you know that your pet is frightened of fireworks, ask your veterinarian about sedatives for your pet.
  • Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain.
  • Make sure your pets are wearing identification so that if they do become lost, they can be returned to you!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Training Burn

On Monday June 29th, numerous residents of Fircrest stopped by to witness the training burn at 542 Electron Ave.

Crews spent several hours practicing sizing up the scene, how to make entry in to a burning structure, search and rescue, ladder techniques and firefighter accountability and safety procedures.

The building is being removed to make way for additional parking for the "Tot Lot and Tennis Court facilities," and it provided firefighters with a valuable opportunity for on the job training.

Thanks to all who stopped by and offered your support.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hundreds Celebrate Station #11 Centennial

Visitors young and old dropped in for for the fun and festivities at the Station #11's Centennial Celebration on June 27th.

Many thanks to all of our neighbors in the McKinley Hill area for making the event such a great success and a special thanks to all of the retired Firefighters who added a special touch with their many stories from days gone by.

TFD Historian Ralph Decker provided an excellent pictorial tour of the station's history and Fire Chief Ron Stephens summed up the spirit of day best - "we look forward to serving this neighborhood for the next 100 years."