Thursday, December 30, 2010

G Street House Fire

Incident Date: 12/30/2010
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 1607 S. "G" Street
Incident Type: Residential Structure Fire

Narrative: At 4:02 p.m. 6 companies of Tacoma Firefighters (4 engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Medic Unit and Command Staff) responded to a reported residential structure fire.

First arriving companies found a fully involved fire on the first floor of the vacant two story turn of the century house. Crews attacked the fire with hand lines, while conducting vertical ventilation and primary search and rescue.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and there were no injuries to report.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tacoma Residents May Recycle Christmas Trees For Free

Please dispose of your Christmas tree properly - never burn the tree, decorations, or wrapping paper in your fireplace or woodstove (or outdoors). 

Landfill drop-off: Tacoma residents, apartment tenants and businesses in Tacoma may dispose of undecorated and unflocked trees free by bringing them to the recycling center at the City of Tacoma Landfill (3510 S. Mullen St.). Trees may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 26 through Jan. 24. The landfill will be closed Jan. 1. Apartment managers or landlords who collect tenants’ trees may drop them off all at once for free, but are encouraged to call (253) 591-5543 in advance. Tree lot operators and nonprofit groups must pay for disposal.

Curbside collection: Solid Waste Management will collect only trees that have been cut and placed inside the brown yard waste container with the lid closed flat. Trees left next to containers will not be collected. Tacoma residents may recycle Christmas trees free at the Tacoma Landfill’s Recycling Center (3510 S. Mullen St.), Dec. 26 through Jan. 24. Decorated or flocked trees cannot be recycled and must go in the garbage. Customers with questions about Christmas tree recycling may call (253) 591-5543.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

North End RV Fire

Incident Date: 12/22/10
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 4231 N. Whitman
Incident Type: Recreational Vehicle Fire

Narrative:  At 10:34 a.m. 6 companies of Tacoma Firefighters (3 Engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Medic unit and Command Staff) responded to a reported recreational vehicle (RV) fire. 

The first arriving engine company found heavy smoke and flames shooting from the front of an approximately 40 foot 5th wheel style RV.  Crews used attack lines and Class B fire suppressing foam to knock down the fire.  Complicating the scene, was the fire directly impinging on the energized power lines overhead. 

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and there were no injuries to report.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

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

For the past 22 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 for December 22 and December 23. 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.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TFD food drive supports YWCA

An annual event since 2003, Tacoma Fire Department takes great pride in supporting our local YWCA.   Department employees hosted several friendly contests to see which team could bring in the most donations - with the firefighters on "D" shift narrowly edging out the "day shift" staff as top contributors. 

While the internal competition was fierce, the real winner was the residents of the YWCA women's shelter.  Since 1976, this vital organization has been helping women and children overcome the grips of domestic violence.  A long human supply chain of firefighters and YWCA staff helped to unload and stock a whopping 7,400 pounds of non-perishable staples.  "We were thrilled to be able to deliver a record amount of food to the shelter this year" said TFD Training Captain and event organizer Steve Stock.  "We had so much, that we ran out of space in their storage room - that was awesome!"  

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 Holiday Fire Safety Reminder

From our Fire Department Family to yours...

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1,650 individuals and cause over $930 million dollars in damage nationally. Tacoma Fire Department (TFD) encourages you to follow these simple life-saving steps to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

  • Always use candle sticks or non flammable holders.
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
Christmas Lights
  • Do not link more than three lights strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe.
  • Any 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..
  • 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 it plenty of water each day.
  • Dispose of fresh-cut trees properly. Never burn it in a fireplace or wood stove.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

West Slope Garage Fire

Incident Date: 12/8/2010
Issuing Officer: Faith Mueller
Incident Location:  8131 S. 14th Street
Incident Type: Residential Garage Fire

Narrative: At 4:49 a.m. 6 companies of Tacoma Firefighters, 4 Engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Medic Unit and Command Staff responded to a reported residential garage fire.

First arriving companies found a heavily involved detached garage fire. Crews attacked the fire with a 2 1/2 inch hose line and protected nearby exposures from catching on fire.

The cause of the fire was malfunctioning heating equipment, resulting in approximately $44,500 damage to the property and its contents. There were no injuries to report.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fatality Semi-Truck Fire

Incident Date: 12/2/2010
Issuing Officer: Jolene Davis and Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 424 E 19th St
Incident Type: Fatality Semi-Truck Fire

Narrative: At 2:09 a.m. 4 companies for Tacoma Firefighters, 3 engines, 1 ladder and command staff responded to a reported semi-truck fire with explosions.

First arriving crews found a semi-truck and trailer fully involved in fire. Firefighters used hose lines and Class B foam to contain the fire to one vehicle. After the fire was extinguished, crews found one deceased person in the cab of the truck.

Tacoma Police and TFD fire investigators are currently working to determine the cause and origin of the fire and what caused the fatality.

A positive identification of the deceased person, as well as the cause and manner of their death will be determined by the Pierce County Medical Examiner.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Industrial Accident - Tide Flats

Incident Date: November 30, 2010
Issuing Officer: Jolene Davis
Incident Location: 2502 Marine View Drive
Incident Type: Technical Rescue

Narrative: At 7:41 a.m. 6 companies of Tacoma Firefighters, 1 Engine, 2 Ladders, 2 Medic Units, the department's Technical Recue Unit, and command staff responded to a reported industrial accident.

Crews conducted a technical rescue of a person who had been injured atop a 30 foot tall wood chip hopper. One person was transported to a local area hospital as a result of the incident.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Frozen Water Pipes

As the recent cold snap comes to an end - many homeowners and businesses will be dealing with yet another hazard - broken water pipes.  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.
  • If you are a Tacoma Water customer, and you have a water leak emergency, call the trouble line at (253) 502-8384. 
  • 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.

Thanksgiving Fires Are Preventable

As you prepare for the Thanksgiving Holiday, Tacoma Fire Department encourages everyone to follow this "tried and true" recipe for a safe celebration.   

According to data from United States Fire Administration, an estimated 2,000 Thanksgiving Day fires (in residential buildings) occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of five deaths, 25 injuries and $21 million in property loss each year. The majority of these fires are related to making the wonderful holiday feast.

When it comes to cooking:

  • Keep a close watch on your cooking. You should never leave cooking food unattended.
  • Keep oven food packaging and other combustibles away from burners and heat sources.
  • Heat cooking oil slowly and watch it closely; it can ignite quickly.
  • Don't wear loose sleeves while working over hot stove burners - they can melt, ignite or catch on handles of pots and pans spilling hot oil and other liquids.
  • Have a "kid-free zone" of at least three-feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.
  • Keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cool.
  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Transit Bus Rollover Crash

Incident Date: November 22, 2010
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: S. 19th and S. Jefferson Street
Incident Type: Transit Bus Rollover

Narrative: At 10:40 a.m. TFD units were dispatched to a reported Pierce County Transit Bus Rollover accident. First arriving companies found a bus that had slid off the road, struck a retaining wall and rolled on its side at one of the entrances to the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

Approximately 15-20 people were on the bus at the time of the accident, and medic crews evaluated and transported 10 of those passengers to local area hospitals as a result of their injuries.

No students or by-standers were injured in the crash.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 15th Wind Storm

Incident Date: November 15, 2010
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: Area Wide
Incident Type: Wind Storm

Narrative: At approximately 9:00 p.m., a wide spread high wind storm swept through the greater Tacoma area causing numerous power outages and knocking several trees down. TFD relied on it's back-up generators to power several fire stations and our dispatch center, during the outage. Tacoma Fire Communications Center dispatched units to 47 incidents (in Tacoma's response area) between 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

The majority of these calls were for downed power lines and fallen trees, but they also included calls for people trapped in elevators or offices, and a boat house that broke loose in the narrows marina and drifted into a dock.  Fortunately, there were no injuries to report to citizen's or firefighters.

Storms like these illustrate the value of having a family disaster preparedness kit and remember that in the event of an extended power outage, use flashlights instead of candles (fire hazard) for light and never bring your barbecue indoors to heat or cook with (carbon monoxide poisoning).

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Bird Stuck in A Tree?

Tacoma Fire Department recently responded to a request for assistance for a "bird stuck in a tree...".  How could a "bird be stuck in a tree" you ask?  Upon arrival, the crew from TFD's Ladder 3 had their answer.

A Falconer was training a wild Red Tailed Hawk by tethering it to a very long, thin cord and letting it practice flying back and forth.  Unfortunately on one of the flights, the cord got caught up high in the branches of a large maple tree near the duck pond at Point Defiance Park.

Ladder 3's crew extended a 35' ground ladder allowing a firefighter to climb up, unhook the tangled tether, and re-hook their own rope to carry the hawk down safely. 

All-in all a successful operation, with no injuries to report to the falcon or firefighters.    

Ladder-3 (C-Shift), Captain Tom Zurfluh, Firefighter Ted Wold, Firefighter Zach Prida (on ladder)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cushman Street House Fire

Incident Date: November 4, 2010
Issuing Officer: Jolene Davis
Incident Location: 5401 S. Cushman
Incident Type: House Fire

Narrative: At 3:07 p.m. units were dispatched to a reported house fire at 5401 S. Cushman Street. Five Tacoma Fire Engines, along with one Central Pierce Fire and Rescue Ladder Company, Tacoma Medic Units and Command staff responded.

The first arriving crews found heavy smoke and flames coming from the 2 story house. Firefighters entered the first floor of the home to attack the fire and search the home, but found the stairway to the second floor was burned through. Firefighters had to use ground ladders from the exterior of the building to access the second floor of the structure for fire attack and search and rescue.

As a result of the fire, one person was transported to an area hospital and one pet perished. The fire displaced 6 occupants, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

UPDATE:  Investigators have determined that the cause of the fire was a child playing with ignition materials.  The fire caused an estimated $90,000 damage to the house and it's contents.  

Be Alarmed! Change your Smoke Alarm Batteries 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, the majority of fire deaths in our State occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Furthermore, the peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. - when families are sleeping and most vulnerable!

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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Pair of Early Morning Fires

Incident Date: October 20, 2010
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 302 S. 9th Street
Incident Type: Commercial Structure Fire

Narrative: At 1:17 a.m. 10 companies of Tacoma Firefighters, 5 engines, 2 Ladders, 2 Medic Units and Command Staff responded to a reported commercial structure fire.

First arriving companies found a fire in a back storage room of the Subway Shop located on the ground floor of the three story business occupancy. Firefighters quickly forced entry and mounted an aggressive interior attack, knocking the fire down, containing it to the area of origin and preventing it from spreading to the additional 10 suites in the building.

Fire investigators determined that the cause of the fire was an overheated extension cord that ignited combustible materials. The fire caused an estimated $30,000 damage to the building and contents.

There were no injuries to report.


Incident Date: October 20, 2010
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 1203 S. 96th St.
Incident Type: Garage Fire

Narrative: At 1:55 a.m. 7 companies of Tacoma and Central Pierce Firefighters, 4 Engines, 1 Ladder, 1 Medic Unit and Command Staff responded to a reported garage fire.

First arriving crews found a fully involved garage fire. A defensive strategy was used to prevent the spread of the fire to the adjacent structures. The fire caused approximately $160,000 damage, completely destroying the 1,100 square foot garage, 2 vehicles and its contents.

The cause of the fire was an overheated Chiminea being used to heat the garage. These devices are not designed for interior use.

There were no injuries to report.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fatality Apartment Fire

Incident Date: October 18, 2010
Issuing Officer: Dan Crotty
Incident Location: 5928 6th Ave
Incident Type: Apartment Fire

Narrative: At 8:11 p.m. 10 companies of Tacoma firefighters, 5 engines, 2 ladders, 2 medic units and command staff responded to a reported apartment fire.

First arriving companies found smoke showing from a ground floor unit of the two story multi-unit apartment building.  The fire was contained to the apartment of origin and primary search and rescue revealed that one adult occupant was deceased upon our arrival.

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.  There were no other injuries to report.

UPDATE 10/19/10:  Investigators have determined that the fire started when the occupant accidentally caught their clothing on fire on a burner on the stove.  The fire resulted in $1,700 of damage to the property and contents and did not displace any other tenants in the building.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Exceptional Turnout for CPR Sunday

Nearly 900 participants turned out to learn basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation at our 13th annual CPR Sunday event October 10, 2010. Thanks to the numerous sponsors and instructors who supported the event and a special thank you to all who attended.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Station Open Houses - Thanks for Attending!

Tacoma Fire Department would like to thank all who visited their neighborhood fire stations today in support of National Fire Prevention Week.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Residential Fire on S. Verde Street

Incident Date: October 4, 2010
Issuing Officer: Joe Meinecke
Incident Location: 5810 S. Verde St
Incident Type: Residential Structure Fire

Narrative: At 12:56 p.m. 6 companies of Tacoma Firefighters, 4 engines, 1 ladder, 1 medic unit and command staff responded to a reported kitchen fire.

First arriving companies found smoke and flames showing from the rear of the 2 story single family residence. An aggressive interior attack contained the fire to the kitchen and a portion of the attic and roof area.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and there were no injuries to report. The Red Cross was called to provide assistance for the 2 adults and 6 children displaced from the fire.

The cause of the fire was unattened cooking, resulting in an estimated $60,000 damage to the building and contents.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Industrial Fire In The Tide Flats

Incident Date: October 3, 2010
Issuing Officer: Toryono Green
Incident Location: 1902 Marine View Drive
Incident Type: Commercial Fire

Narrative: At 5:00 p.m., 9 companies of Tacoma Firefighters, 5 engines, 2 ladders, 2 medic units and command staff responded to a reported fire at Schnitzer Steel metal recycling yard.

First arriving companies found heavy smoke and flames coming from a large pile of compacted cars. After approximately three hours of firefighting using aerial master streams, firefighters were finally able to extinguish the fire.

The cause of the fire is currently undetermined.  Three people were transported to local hospitals in relation to this event.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fire Prevention Week Open Houses!

Residents can celebrate Fire Prevention Week by visiting six neighborhood fire stations from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, October 9. This year’s theme, “Smoke Alarms: A sound you can live with,” 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. We look foward to seeing you there!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Free CPR Training - CPR Sunday - October 10th

CPR Sunday is an annual community event offered free-of-charge to anyone interested in learning the basic life-saving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). On the second Sunday in October each year, students are taught the fundamentals of CPR and then given the opportunity to practice with CPR manikins and Automated External Defibrillators (AED). Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a Tacoma Fire Department certified CPR card (good for two years).  Over 6,000 participants have attended this life saving class.

CPR Sunday will be held Oct. 10, at Foss High School, 2112 S. Tyler St. in Tacoma.

In order to secure your preferred class time please pre-register at

What Attendees Can Expect

  • More than 50 certified Basic Life Support instructors
  • 1 1/2 hours of classroom training
  • Four class options: 8 am, 10 am, 12 pm, or 2 pm
  • Practical training with CPR manikins and AED's.
What Attendees Will Learn
  • What happens when you call 9-1-1
  • Patient assessment
  • One rescuer adult/child/infant CPR and obstructed airway
  • Automated external defibrillator use
  • Foreign body airway obstruction management
  • Essentials of a home first aid kit
  • CPR-related information/reminder list for home and wallet

Monday, September 20, 2010

Boxing Night a Smashing Success

Many thanks to all of you who attended and supported this years Guns and Hoses Charity Boxing event.  It was a fantastic night of hard hitting action. A special thanks to the men and women of the Fire Service and Law Enforcement that spent months training and gave their "all" in the ring - you put on quite a show!

Congratulations to Tacoma firefighter Marlon Ridgeway and Lakewood Police officer John Babcock for their inspiring performance in the "fight of the night."

TFD (red) Marlon Ridgeway and LPD (blue) John Babcock

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Guns & Hoses Charity Boxing

Saturday evening, local area firefighters and police officers will square off to display their skills and raise money for local charities at the second annual Guns & Hoses Charity Boxing Event.

Several 3 round matches of hard hitting action are scheduled.  Tacoma firefighters Jeremy Marraoquin, Marlon Ridgeway, Jeff Bambrick, Damon Semingson and Debbie Garrison are currently training and set to fight.

All boxing matches will be fought following USABoxing amateur rules and the fights will be:

(3) 2 minute rounds – under 35 yrs old
(3) 1 ½ minute rounds – 35-49 yrs old
(3) 1 minute rounds 50+ yrs old.

Date: September 18, 2010
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Emerald Queen Casino
Must be 21 and older. 

Tickets are available the ECQ or Ticketmaster.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thank You for Attending

Tacoma Fire Department would like thank all of the firefighters, law enforcement, families and citizens who joined us today to honor the memory of the emergency workers and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.