Man Rescued from Trench in Gainesville


A delicate rescue in a narrow, 14-foot-deep trench put the skills of a special team to the test late Monday afternoon as they safely retrieved a construction worker after a wall of sand and clay collapsed around him.

The man remained hospitalized with multiple fractures Tuesday, said Ronnie Arnold of R.E. Arnold Construction, his employer. Arnold would not give the name of his employee, and it was not available from fire rescue agencies.

Unstable sand and clay at the construction site of the city of Gainesville’s new stormwater system off Southeast Fourth Street and Depot Avenue collapsed on the worker, who was trapped between a massive concrete vault and the earthen wall, said Gainesville Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Jeff Lane.

“They were digging around that vault to get some grading done and for some reason he went down in there to guide the backhoe. An area became unstable and sloughed off — a huge section of sand and clay sloughed off and landed on him,” Lane said. “It left a concave section where the top part was overhanging on top of the victim and rescuers. It was very precarious, and they had to get him out of there in a hurry.”

GFR got the call at 3:55 p.m., and a crew from its Technical Rescue Team, which is based at the South Main Street station near the incident scene, was there by 3:58 to plan and execute the rescue.

Lane said the man’s co-workers had gotten most of the dirt off him by the time firefighters arrived. The rescuers had to safely get into the trench, assess the man’s injuries, immobilize him and get him out without exacerbating his injuries.

Marion Co. Fla grab

Marion County Fire Rescue based around Ocala, FL was dispatched to a structure fire with entrapment in Oak Run subdivision off of SW HWY 200 at 0258 hours. The caller and resident of the single story residential structure advised her garage was on fire, the house was filling with smoke, and that she and her son could not get her husband out, who is mobility impaired. Crews arrived on scene by 0306 and found a single story residential structure with a fully involved vehicle and attached garage on fire, spreading through the attic, and charging the home with smoke. First arriving engine and truck company made an attack and knockdown of the fire while locating and extricating the victim from the structure at 0309, who was evaluated and later refused transport to the hospital. The victim’s wife and son were able to escape the house under their own power and were not injured.

Chris Lewis FF/PM

Marion County Fire Rescue

Station 21 A Shift



3 Children Rescued from Pond in Maryland


LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Three children were pulled from a sediment pond in Montgomery County Monday afternoon, authorities say.

One child, according to Montgomery County Fire spokesperson Scott Graham, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The conditions of the other two children are not yet known.

Graham tweeted one of the children rescued from the water was reportedly missing.

Rescue units were called to the scene near Reprise Drive in Rockville, Md. — just off Great Senece Highway — around 4:30 p.m.

Officials have not yet released information on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

This story will be updated.

Man Rescue from Tractor Trailer Hanging Off Bridge


Raw Footage:

St. Louis firefighters rescued the driver of a tractor-trailer following a crash on westbound Interstate 70 ramp from the Poplar Street Bridge Monday afternoon.

All lanes of Interstate 70 near downtown St. Louis were closed while firefighters freed the trapped driver. The lanes have now be opened to traffic.

The unidentified driver was transported to a St. Louis hospital in stable condition.

Further details about the crash were not available.

Rescues by LAFD

SYLMAR – Los Angeles firefighters spent 25 minutes putting out an early morning fire at a residence in Sylmar, where two adults and two children were injured, authorities said.

The fire in the 13000 block of Eldridge Ave. was reported at 4:37 a.m., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

Firefighters rescued two adults and two children from the burning residence, Humphrey said. They were transported to hospitals. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Water rescue in Chicago

rivergrab1 Rivergrab2

Jan. 13–A man died, a woman is missing and presumed dead and a third person is hospitalized after all three ended up in the Chicago River early Monday morning.

A 26-year-old man dropped his phone and fell in when he lunged after it and the two people with the man, a 21-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, went in the water after him.

The 26-year-old died at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The Cook County medical examiner’s office isn’t releasing the man’s name because his family has not yet been notified of the death.

The woman is missing and presumed dead. The 23-year-old is in stable condition at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, according to authorities.

Rescue workers had pulled the two men from the water near 429 E. North Water Street, about 100 yards west of Lake Shore Drive in the Streeterville neighborhood. Police found the 21-year-old woman’s purse near where she fell in.

Witnesses reported the people in the water just after midnight but authorities turned the rescue effort into a recovery operation about 1:30 a.m. The search was suspended some time after 3 a.m., Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

Both the men pulled from the water were taken to area hospitals in serious-to-critical condition, Chicago Fire Department Chief Juan Hernandez, a department spokesman, said.

About two dozen police officers, firefighters and paramedics were at the scene. Two boats helped with the rescue efforts — Chicago Fire Department Engine 2, a large boat, and a smaller one from the Chicago Police Department’s marine unit.

Early in the rescue attempt, a Chicago Police Department marine unit diver slid out across the ice from his boat, attached to a rope, and dropped into the water.

Chicago Fire Department divers also entered the water from above by climbing down a ladder into the river. Firefighters and police above shoveled or kicked snow off the ledge into the water and poked at ice slabs with a long pole.

Three Chicago Fire Department divers also rotated in and out of the water, one at a time, in their search for the woman. Each diver made at least two trips into the water, Hernandez said.

The rescue attempts stopped about 1:30 a.m. and the operation turned into a recovery effort.

“We continued efforts for over an hour rotating divers, searched for the final victim were unsuccessful,” Chicago Fire Department Chief Linda Parsons said. “Now the scene is turned over to Chicago police for recovery. Our operation is terminated at this point.”

Check back for updates.

WGN-TV contributed to this report.

Man Rescued by LAFD

Firefighters today rescued a mobility-impaired male resident from a house fire in the Eagle Rock area of Los Angeles, a fire official said.

The man, who was on the first floor, suffered some smoke exposure and was in good condition, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Firefighters were dispatched at 11:31 a.m. to the two-story home at 4226 Scandia Way, and reported that one room on the second floor was on fire, Humphrey said.

It took 34 firefighters 12 minutes to put out the fire, which was confined to one room on the northeast corner, he said.

A cause of the fire and damage estimates were under investigation.

Man Rescued from Between Walls

santa wall


Santa Barbara firefighters were called out early Sunday to rescue a 23-year-old man who found himself — literally — in a very tight spot.

The man, who was fairly intoxicated, had somehow wedged himself between a building and the block wall of an adjacent utility area behind the 99 Cent Only Store in the 400 block of State Street downtown at about 1:45 a.m., fire Capt. Steve Berman said.

“It was one of those calls I’ve never had in my career,” Berman said.


The space was only about 10 inches wide, Berman said, and the man was lying down about 15 feet in, making it impossible for rescuers to go in after him.



“We were trying to figure out the best way to get him out without getting him hurt,” Berman said.

santa wall1


An additional heavy-rescue crew was called in, Berman said, and firefighters fashioned a rope system using ladders from above. Then, a firefighter was able to lasso the man’s foot, and he was hoisted to safety.


The man, who Berman said “was pretty shook up,” was examined by paramedics, but was uninjured.

“The police decided he had been through enough, and there was no need to press charges,” said Berman, who added that he did not known how the man, whose name was not released, had gotten into the predicament in the first place

Rescues in Yonkers



YONKERS — About 70 people were displaced Tuesday night in separate fires that injured at least three residents and nine firefighters, who battled the blazes for hours in freezing conditions.

The first fire started on the top floor of 461 Riverdale Ave. about 6:45 p.m. Two men were in critical but stable condition after being rescued from the three-alarm blaze, officials said.

The two, who were semiconscious, suffered burns and smoke inhalation and were taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, officials said.

Assistant Fire Chief Chris Maher said crews rushed to bring the fire in the apartment under control before it could spread into the attic and compromise the entire building.

“It was key to get (firefighters) here as quickly as possible,” Maher said.

Residents alerted one another to the blaze, banging on neighbors’ doors.

The American Red Cross worked alongside the city’s Office of Emergency Management to assist those affected by the fire, said Red Cross spokeswoman Carolyn Sherwin.

About 50 people ranging in age from 3 months to 70 and older sought shelter at the Peter Chema Center at 435 Riverdale Ave., Sherwin said, adding that they would likely be allowed to return to their homes.

Lynn Van Adam, 59, lives with her husband on the seventh floor and said the man living in the apartment where the fire began has been problematic and unruly. She said a complaint was filed against him earlier Tuesday.

Firefighters later responded to a four-alarm blaze about 9:30 p.m. at 164 Beech St., rescuing eight people from the second and third stories of the multi-unit building.

“We seen people running in the street. All we heard was screaming, ‘Get out of the house! Get out of the house!’ ” said 12-year-old Jasmine Tirado, who lives on the third floor of a house behind the building where the fire broke out.

Her brother, Matthew Torres, 20, said he felt the ground shaking. “It was like a little explosion,” he said.

Yonkers Deputy Fire Chief John Darcy said the fire was active on every floor of the three story building when the department arrived.

Rescues in Syracuse

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Syracuse, N.Y. — Choking on the black smoke coming into her room, Anne Woodlen struggled to breathe as firefighters rushed to rescue her, put out an apartment fire at 501 S. Crouse Ave., and save the life of a man having a massive heart attack.

Woodlen, 67, had been beaten back by a wall of smoke in her hallway Sunday that made it impossible to see one foot ahead, much less escape.

Woodlen, who uses a power wheelchair and suffers from pulmonary fibrosis, managed to call 911 and let emergency crews know she was trapped.

Related: Update: Syracuse firefighter, senior resident sent to hospital after University area apartment fire

But firefighters were still dealing with the blaze just a few rooms over. The man in the apartment had apparently gone into full cardiac arrest.

Woodlen started gasping for air. She began to cry. The lone firefighter assigned to stay with her took his oxygen mask off and held it out to her.

“It’s really sweaty,” he said. “I don’t care,” she replied.

The firefighter wiped the mask down and held it over Woodlen’s face.

That helped, but the mask didn’t fit correctly and it was still hard for her to get air. A few minutes later, another firefighter flung open the door holding a large red tote bag.

He had an oxygen tank and a mask that fit. She had air again.

“That was enormously helpful,” Woodlen, who asked not to be photographed during an interview on Monday. “I was OK once I could breathe.”

The other firefighters started checking on their colleague who had brought in the oxygen at the crucial moment. He leaned against the wall and put his hands on his knees, gasping for air.

“A fireman who knew nothing more than that there was a woman trapped on an apartment in the 8th floor and needed oxygen — he ran up eight flights of stairs,”

Woodlen thanked the firefighters for what she called their extraordinary response to the blaze. She’s not sure what would’ve happened without it.

“The fire department performed perfectly, as far as I’m concerned,” Woodlen said. “And that was a blessing.”

Firefighters escorted Woodlen downstairs. Hoping to get away from the mayhem in the lobby, Woodlen went on her wheelchair to the Ronald McDonald Charities at 1100 E. Genesee St. and asked if she could rest.

There, she was turned away. The charity’s mission is to provide a space for families of children being treated in Syracuse area hospitals, said Beth Trunfio, executive director of the Ronald McDonald Charities of Central New York. There’s a screening process to prevent potentially sick people from infecting children at the charity, she said.

The charity’s volunteers offered to help Woodlen find a CNY shelter she could stay with, but she left, Trunfio said.

Woodlen said she was still angered at not being able to stay in the building. The charity should have let her because that’s what good neighbors do, she said.

“It’s important to take care of the people in your neighborhood who need help,” Woodlen said.

Woodlen has been back and forth between a hospital and a nursing home for the last eight months.

501 S. Crouse Ave., also known as the McCarthy Manor, is a high-rise apartment building with 176 units mostly occupied by elderly and disabled people — a “firefighter’s nightmare,” Woodlen said.

Woodlen was sitting in her apartment when she heard the fire alarms go off in her hallway around 3:21 p.m. Sunday. She put on her coat and gloves, got in her wheelchair and opened the door.

“I said, ‘Oh my god! Oh my god!,'” Woodlen said. “I have never seen anything as black as that hallway … It was heavy, acrid smoke that just choked. It was really terrible.”