For the period of Dec. 2 to 8, the Niagara Falls Fire Department responded to 110 calls. The total number of service calls for 2013 to date is 6,051.
• FIRE: On Dec. 3, a fire in a restaurant in the 7400 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard at 5:26 a.m. sent a full assignment from Platoon 2 to the scene. The fire started in a deep fryer and, after attempts by employees to put it out were unsuccessful, firefighters arrived. Engine 7's crew, consisting of Capt. Anthony Quaranto and Firefighters Mark Reynolds, Jan Krupa, and Jerel Welch, used portable fire extinguishers to put the fire out. Damage was not extensive, but contamination of food products, due to smoke, caused the restaurant to be closed for two days.
• FIRE: On Dec. 3, Engine 3 responded at 12:28 p.m. to the 1500 block of North Avenue for a report of a vehicle fire. Firefighters discovered a fire in the engine compartment of a 2004 Chrysler and after extinguishing the flames, damage was listed at $1,000. The fire was determined to be accidental, caused by a malfunction of an electrical motor under the hood.
• RESCUE: On Dec. 3, Platoon 1 sent 17 firefighters to the Niagara River gorge, at the base of the Vanderbilt steps at 2:10 p.m., to treat and transport a 33-year-old man who had fallen and injured his ankle. The crews found the victim approximately one half mile north of the base of the steps, treated and packaged him and carried him the approximately 200 feet up the trail to the top. This rescue was made even more difficult by icy conditions on the trail, which had to be chopped and salted enroute. The patient was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.
• ACCIDENT: On Dec. 4. an elderly woman accidentally drove her car into an apartment building at 12:30 p.m. in the 400 block of 95th Street. Engine 9 and Truck 2 were dispatched to the scene and treated the woman for injuries she sustained and also to evaluate the stability of the structure. A building inspector was called to the scene to consult about repairs.
• NOTE: One of every three Christmas tree fires is caused by a short in the electrical lights on the tree. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 40 reported Christmas tree fires results in a death. A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in six Christmas tree fires. Open flames from nearby candles or fireplaces are also a common fire starter. Well-watered trees are not usually a problem, but a dry and neglected tree can be.