The Niagara Falls Fire Department responded to 278 incidents during the period of July 29 and Aug. 11 bringing the yearly total to 4,089 incidents.
• FIRE: A report of a structure fire in the 1300 block of Cleveland Avenue sent a full assignment from Platoon 4 to the scene at 1:39 a.m. onJuly 31. Upon arrival, crews discovered a 46-year-old woman who had suffered severe third-degree burns from a couch fire that was the result of careless smoking. The woman remains in critical condition at Erie County Medical Center.
• HAZMAT: Platoon 2 responded to the 2400 block of Ferry Avenue for a call of two explosions in a garbage can at 3:11 p.m. on Aug. 5. A local resident had found three two-liter bottles near his backyard that were filled with an unknown liquid and he deposited them in his garbage can. A short time later he heard two explosions in the can. Fire investigators determined that the third bottle was still intact and as a precaution called for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station Haz-Mat team to respond. It was ascertained that the two exploded containers were "drano bombs" and it was decided to relieve the pressure on the third container by puncturing it. Firefighter Gary Pochatko donned full protective gear and used a pike pole to accomplish this. An investigation is ongoing.
• VEHICLE FIRE: Engine 4 and Truck 1 were called to the 400 block of 22nd St. for a vehicle fire at 2:18 p.m. on Aug. 6. They encountered a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer fully involved in fire-initiating from the engine compartment. A mechanical malfunction was determined to be the cause of the fire which resulted in $3500 damage.
• NATURAL GAS LEAK: A vehicle crashed into a house in the 300 block of 80th St. and severed a pipe on the gas meter at 7:06 a.m. on Aug. 8. Platoon 4, under the direction of Battalion Chief Mark Gray,were able to divert the free flowing natural gas safely to the outside of the house until National Fuel could respond and make the necessary repairs. Crews remained on the scene for two hours and damage to the house was estimated at $3,000.