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.
• FIRE: On Jan. 7, a fire in an apartment building, at 1:41 p.m., in the 700 block of 10th Street sent firefighters into action. Crews encountered a large pile of clothes on fire in a sixth floor apartment. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The fire was largely extinguished by a sprinkler system. Damage is estimated at $1,000.
• FIRE: On Jan. 8, unattended cooking, at 1:59 p.m., led to a kitchen fire in the 400 block of 20th Street. Platoon 3 responded and quickly put the fire out which had extended to the wall and the kitchen cabinets. Damage was estimated at $2,000.
• FIRE: On Jan. 9, Platoon 4’s busy night cycle continued with a fire, at 9:11 p.m., in a house in the 600 block of 25th Street. The fire extended from the kitchen to the second floor of the home. No one was home at the time of the fire. Damage was listed at $27,000 and evidence was collected by fire investigators who are now processing it.
• FIRE: On Jan. 9, as crews were fighting the fire on 25th Street, another fire call came in, for a blaze in the 500 block of 23rd Street. This fire was also caused by unattended cooking. Damage was set at $4,500.
• FIRE: On Jan. 10, Platoon 2 was summoned, at 11:36 a.m., to the 2400 block of MacKenna Avenue for a structure fire. Firefighters were on the scene for two hours battling the blaze. The fire caused $20,000 damage and was blamed on the improper use of a cheap extension cord supplying a space heater.
• FIRE: On Jan. 11, combustible metals ignited, at 2:12 a.m, at an industrial facility at the intersection of Hyde Park Boulevard and Buffalo Avenue. Platoon 1 responded and encountered heavy smoke from the fire. Police shut down Buffalo Avenue for two hours. Since water cannot be used on combustible metal fires because that would cause a severe explosion, firefighters used specialized chemicals to douse the blaze.
• FIRE: On Jan. 12, a 2005 Cadillac was fully involved in fire, at 2:41 a.m., when Engine 8 arrived at Packard Court. Damage was pegged at $8,500 and the cause remains under investigation.