The annual observance of the Fallen Firefighter Memorial will be held Thursday, 10 October, at 10 AM at the Memorial located on the grounds of Fire Station # 1, 611 Liberty Street.
The Westside was the scene of our first Second Alarm fire for this month as firefighters responded to the 6900 block of 103rd Street - the location of a construction site for a multiple-story woodframe hotel nearing completion. Flames could be seen from some distance away, with ash and similar particles descending down from the sky as the huge structure was discovered to be fully involved when the first crews arrived on scene at approximately 3:30 AM. Following a thirty minute skirmish, complete with deck guns and an aerial attack, the 70-odd firefighters were able to breathe a sigh of relief as the blaze was called under control with no injuries reported. Evaluating the fire as suspicious, Incident Command summoned the State Fire Marshal's Office to the scene to perform the corresponding investigation.
A few days after the event described previously, the Westside once again was the scene of a structure fire and, once again, it would be the former Bennigan's restaurant located at 8440 Blanding Boulevard. Just before 5:30 AM on Wednesday, 23 October, units arrived on scene with flames visible through both the roof and front entrance. Although faced with a heavy fireload incorporating everything from tongue-in-groove to heavy beams and a huge interior wooden bar, the blaze was subdued by the nearly fifty firefighters on scene and called under control following thirty minutes of their concerted suppression effort. Even in the wake of the fire and corresponding hot spots involving multiple crevices and metal flashings in need of prompt attention, no injuries to any of the emergency responders would be reported from the incident. Naturally the cause of the fire was determined to be suspicious and the State Fire Marshal's Office was yet again summoned to a Westside fireground in the aftermath of another successful firefighting endeavor.