For the period of Sept. 24 to Oct. 7, the Niagara Falls Fire Department responded to 232 calls. The total number of service calls for 2012 to date is 4,876.
• FIRE: On Sept. 24, Platoon 3 was dispatched, at 4:56 p.m., to a report of a fire in the 2400 block of Fairfield Avenue. The call turned out to be a large rubbish fire in a backyard that was rapidly extinguished by the crew of Engine 3.
• FIRE: On Sept. 25, Engine 8 and Truck 1 were sent to a car fire, at 11:56 a.m., in the alley of the 2400 block of Willow Avenue. A 2000 Chrysler Concorde was heavily involved in fire when firefighters arrived. After crews extinguished the blaze, fire and police investigators determined it had been intentionally set. Damage was estimated at $3,000 and the fire remains under investigation.
• FIRE: On Sept.25, a full assignment from Platoon 2 went to a structure fire, at 5:04 p.m., in the 3500 block of Hyde Park Boulevard. Flames were rolling out the front windows of the house as the first arriving units pulled up. Engine 3, under the command of Captain Mike Winker, and with Firefighters Mark Reynolds, Steve Hess, and John O'Malley, quickly knocked down the flames with an 1 3/4 hoseline and limited damage to $10,000 to the structure and $3,000 to the contents. Improper use of extension cords was determined to be the cause of the fire.
• RESCUE: On Sept. 28, Platoon 1 sent three crews to the bottom path of the gorge near the Whirlpool to assist a man who had fallen, at around 1:45 p.m., and broke his ankle. After applying a splint to the injured man's ankle, the crews carried him to an area where an Erie County Sheriff's helicopter was able to land and transport him to the State Park parking lot. From there he was transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for further treatment.
• FIRE: On Oct. 2, Platoon 4 sent a full assignment to the 400 block of 18th Street, at 3:06 a.m., for a report of a structure fire. Arriving firefighters discovered bags of garbage on fire in the hallway of the apartment building and their quick response was able to limit the damage to $500. The cause of the fire is suspicious in nature and remains under investigation.
• FIRE: On Oct. 3, a local contractor's van was set on fire, at 4:38 a.m., in the 300 block of Portage Road. Firefighters from Platoon 4 responded to the vehicle, which was fully involved in fire. Fire and police arson investigators were called to the scene to investigate. The van was a total loss and damage was estimated at $21,000.
• FALSE ALARM: On Oct. 4, Platoon 1 was dispatched, at 12:15 a.m., to 901 Cedar Ave. for a call of a general fire alarm in the building. No fire was found, but a security camera captured video of a man pulling the alarm on the fourth floor. This can be considered a felony crime and police are actively investigating it.
• FIRE: On Oct. 7, an electrical malfunction in a dishwasher, at 2:12 p.m., caused a fire at a rehabilitation facility in the 800 block of Cedar Avenue. Damage was pegged at $1,000.
NOTE: This is Fire Prevention Week and this year's theme is "Have two ways out." Just like a rabbit always has two ways out of its warren, residents are reminded to always be "rabbit ready" in case a fire should strike your home. If that happens, your home could be engulfed in smoke and flames in just a few minutes. It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That is why having two ways out of your home needs to be a key part your safety escape plan.