NORTH PHILADELPHIA – March 2, 2011 (WPVI) — Philadelphia fire officials tell Action News that 9 firefighters and 3 civilians suffered injuries during a blaze inside an 8th floor apartment in the Norman Blumberg Apartments in North Philadelphia Wednesday morning.
Five of the firefighters were treated and released – four remain hospitalized. One of the firefighters was reported to be in critical but stable condition. He was initially taken to Hahnemann Hospital for medical treatment, but was later taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “I pray to God that he’s all right, because they were on the job in here. They were on the job,” said resident Vetima Ruffin.
The three residents who were injured, a woman and two children – a boy and a girl – suffered non-life-threatening injuries. About 150 people were inside the building at the time the fire started. Some people were trapped on the floors above the fire and rescuers had to evacuate them through the fire towers. “We couldn’t get out, we ran to the 13th floor with a wet towel but the smoke pushed us back up,” said resident Janice Brown. “So we ran back upstairs and we got on the balcony and started swinging our towels, telling people we’re stuck up here.” LINK
Lets face a few facts here folks. Some of those most dependent on the fire and emergency services are the poorest and most vulnerable among us: the elderly, infirm, children, handicapped. Others are just victims of circumstances: the pedestrian hit by a car, or the van full of people smashed by a drunk driver, the neighbors next to a house that catches on fire. But in the fire service none of that matters. What matters to us is getting to the scene of whatever the emergency is (preferably before the next fire company steals our work) kidding… quickly, safely and IN TIME to help out. In short effectively.
This means having adequate resources in place for whenever and whatever happens. That’s why it is so baffling why so many Democrats and liberals are crucifying Chris Christie for allegedly not caring about the poor or working families when their policies are KILLING these very same people. Our Mayor has DECIMATED our department. This high-rise fire went for two alarms. That means there was no less than six ladder companies dispatched. Michael Nutter has closed ladder companies at a time when we need more of them. A fire like this leaves the rest of the city dangerously underprotected that is a fact.
We were lucky today even with NINE FIREFIGHTERS (PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ) injured. We were lucky no one was killed. But with closings, cut backs and brownouts we see every day our luck runs out a little more. You can read the terror filled accounts of victims of this fire and make up your own mind about whether Mike Nutter is doing the right thing by closing fire companies.
Then check out how much money this city WASTES on agencies like PHA. It’s your money and your vote.