For the period of Dec. 30 to Jan. 12, the Niagara Falls Fire Department responded to 278 calls. The total number of service calls for 2013 was 6,433. That is an all-time record number of calls for city firefighters.
• FIRE: On Dec. 30, Platoon 4 was sent, at 9:23 a.m., to the 2400 block of Niagara Avenue for a stove fire. Arriving firefighters discovered a stove fire in a third floor apartment. After extinguishing the fire, investigators determined that the cause was a malfunction of the gas control knobs on the stove. Damage to the stove and the structure was estimated at $500.
• INCIDENT: On Jan. 4, firefighters responded to dozens of calls for burst pipes and flooding situations. This was due to the freeze/thaw conditions that developed during the recent polar vortex. One of the more serious incidents occurred at 1:55 p.m. in a hotel in the 100 block of Buffalo Avenue. A pipe supplying the sprinkler system to the second floor of the hotel burst and caused extensive water damage. Platoon 1’s crews, under the direction of Battalion Chief Dan Boland, were on the scene for two hours using water vacuums and squeegees to limit the damage.
• FIRE: On Jan. 6, a full assignment from Platoon 4 was dispatched, at 5:54 p.m., to the 6700 block of Buffalo Avenue for a report of a building fire. Upon arrival, Truck 2’s crew, consisting of Capt. Jeff Benjamin and firefighters Pat Accetta, Frank Mantell, and Eric Abel, had to force their way into a storage room where the fire was located. Once inside, the firefighters were able to rapidly douse the blaze. The cause of the fire remains under investigation and damage was pegged at $1,000.
• FIRE: On Jan. 7, with temperatures at minus 3 degrees, along with bitter wind chills, Platoon 4 was sent, at 3:31 a.m., to the 500 block of 26th Street for a house fire. The fire caused the death of resident on the second floor of the home. Three residents living on the first floor of the home were able to escape safely after being alerted by smoke alarms. It was determined that this was an accidental fire and the cause continues to be investigated. Damage to the structure and contents was listed at $35,000.