02/01/14 727 W, 3 I - + 2 - 4 UPDATED: Four Firefighters Injured at Four Alarms in Greensboro

February 1
This MyFox8 story quotes a Deputy Chief as saying Captain Suddarth was doing well Friday morning and even talking. The Greensboro Fire Department also posted this update on Thursday, on their Facebook page:

Have received word that Captain Suddarth is alert at Baptist. We so appreciate everyone's prayers and continued support! It looks like all four will make a full recovery. Thanks to all the fire companies on scene, as well as all the Police officers who were on scene.

Photographer/videographer Matt Cross was at the scene and has shared these photos, which we've posted. Believe the photos start about three-and-a-half hours forty-five minutes into the fire. The incident details are sparse and perhaps expectedly so. Here's what we've gleaned thus far, with some updates from the above MyFox8 story and other news reports.

Four-alarm commercial structure fire at 811 S. Elm Street. One-story warehouse-type structure, automobile repair shop, with 13,664 square-feet. Built 1959. Reported as car fire at about 12:45 p.m.

Fire spread prior to arrival, with flames showing through the roof. Crews made an interior attack, and subsequently experienced a roof collapse. A mayday was issued, which resulted in additional units. Crews helped firefighters escape from the building, and four were injured and transported to Moses Cone Hospital. 

Six employees were inside the building at the time of the fire, all escaped without injury. Exterior operations included multiple master streams, with as many as five ladders operating at one time. The fire burned before sixteen hours before it was extinguished. Crews remained on scene into Friday morning, rotating in four-hour shifts to combat hot spots. 

Investigators (including GFD, GPD, SBI) determined that gasoline leaked onto the floor from a vehicle on a lift. The fuel ignited when a worker accidentally dropped a portable light. The intense heat from the raised vehicle hastened the damage to the structure of the roof, which resulted in a collapse.

Units on scene included E1, E4, E5, E7, E8, E11, E17, E56, E61, L5, L7, L10, L11, L14, L43, L52, R5, B1 (and certainly others), Air 1, Mobile Support Unit, Command Post Unit, Safety Officer, Investigator(s), as well as Guilford County Fire Services R50, and Gulford EMS units including the Medical Evacuation Bus. No word on coverage and move-ups.


Matt Cross photos

January 31
When a major fire or critical incident is underway in these parts, where's the best place to find updates? If you have a wide enough circle of friends (and/or are following their updates), Facebook can provide excellent peer-to-peer information. More dependable for my money is Twitter, and particularly FireNews.net on Twitter. They transmitted a series of excellent and informative updates yesterday, as a commercial structure fire in Greensboro progressed.

The fire at an auto repair shop escalated to four alarms, and suffered a roof collapse that injured four firefighters. The crews had only been inside the building for moments, reports this News & Record story, when the "mayday" was called. They were transported to Moses Cone Hospital, with one firefighter taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment of burns and other injuries. None of the four suffered life-threatening injuries.

We're trying to find a list of companies at the scene, and a list of move-ups and relief companies. Viewers of the news saw as many as five aerial streams operating. Both Salisbury and Charlotte fire departments sent peer teams to Greensboro, to assist with critical incident street debriefing. Here's a News & Record story that includes photos and video. Readers can add other links, and other incident details. (Not finding a ton of notable incident photos, however. Do they exist?)

Here are the details on the injured firefighters, from Firefighter Close Calls as primary source. Shown left to right, top to bottom are:

Thanks for posting the photos! I really enjoyed checking them out. It’s neat to see FD’s from outside of our area in operation.
Jason Thompson (Email) (Web Site) - 02/01/14 - 21:24

It’s good to hear the injured are doing better
Charlie - 02/02/14 - 05:49

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