Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tragedy in Riverside

A twin engine Cessna 310 crashed shortly after take-off from our local airport a few days ago. It
struck two houses before coming to rest in a third home. Five people were on board, three were killed and two were critically injured.  Miraculously, no one on the ground was hurt, though two houses were destroyed.
As usual, I got there after the main fire was knocked down. Knockdown was no easy feat, as the plane appeared to be well fueled at the time of the crash. Speaking with friends who were on the first alarm, it was utter chaos when they arrived. Two fully involved homes, huge traffic issues and live rescues presented themselves to the first-in engine. 
There's plenty of video of it out there, some of it is spectacular. I spent two or three hours there and shot about 200 photos. I kept about 75 or so and submitted them to the department. They selected 15 and posted them on Facebook. The photos below are those. To get the best viewing experience, click on the image to enlarge.

The IC and the first-in Captain.

The Fire Chief, Police Chief, Rep from 
AMRand one of our BCs having a
 con-fab. This was a big deal.

A couple of guys working on a car that was in one
of the demolished homes. It, too had a bit of fuel in it.

They ended up using a rotary saw to cut away some
of the steel garage door keeping them from getting
to the car. Sparks were not an issue, the fuel was 
already on fire.

More fun with the car.

A couple of hours in, this guy needed
a quick break. He is a friend of mine
and is no slacker. I'll bet he had gone 
through five bottles or so by then.

There was bad ugliness in that room.
I am grateful I didn't have to see

He had to see it.

Boy, did they go through bottles.

The ICP. The guy in the white hat is the other BC,
My brother without a lid is the IC. The poor bastard
in the blue shirt is on light duty and is basically
the BC's errand boy until he heals up.

What goes down, must be loaded
up. There was a mile of hose on the
ground, a lot of it off of E5 - the
first-in engine.
Ray-Ray, our lead investigator. I remember when
he was new. It makes me feel old.

The huddle. Always a must-shoot for me.

Three hours in, eating subs. I think 
these were the guys who pulled one
of the victims out of the bedroom.
I'll say it, heroes in my book.

God bless these guys. CERT team
members who brought out some
Chief's being chiefly.

Chief's being even more chiefly.

After a bit, it was determined that
any further disruption of the crash 
would be detrimental to the invest-
igation, so the hose-lines were pulled 

The department had units out there for another day at least, along with the media, FAA, NTSB, and several other agencies. I stayed home and mowed my lawn. I was real proud of the actions taken by the "Kinda Big FPD" on this day, they did a great job under trying circumstances.

Thanks for reading,


  1. I noticed at the huddle all but four are paramedics

  2. Kind of like rats, the medic population has steadily increased and have promoted up through the ranks. I think we have a couple of medic BCs, on Medic DC and a bunch of medic captains and engineers. I'm not sure if all of the medic chiefs are maintaining their certs, but they were medics for a long time.

  3. Great stuff, Schmoe. Question: who or what are the CERT with the chow table?

  4. CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team.They are primarily composed of civilians who, in the time of disaster, provide initial response including basic first-aid, suppression of small fires and real basic rescue. Think major disaster like an earthquake or large tornado, one where all of the emergency services are committed and no help is available to the community.

    They attend an "academy" of sorts, over several week-ends and are issued vests, helmets and gloves. In our department, they, on occasion, provide support to large incidents such as these.

    Thanks for the comment!