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Firefighter Union Official Questions ‘Brownout’ Role In Fatal Olney Fire

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two children were killed in a fire in the city’s Olney section Tuesday, and now an official from the firefighters’ union is questioning if Philadelphia’s cost-cutting “brownouts” of fire companies played a role.

A 7-year-old and a 9-year-old were pulled from the row home on the 100 block of Sparks Street once firefighters were able to knock down the flames.

The engine that would have been first on the scene, Engine 61, was browned-out, or closed for the day, as part of the city’s cost-cutting measures.

Fire Department Lt. Mike Grant said, “Engine 51 took over for them, they got here in good order.”

On the other hand, Mike Kane, with Philadelphia Firefighters Union Local 22, says Engine 61 could have been on the scene in half the time.

“Whether that Engine 61, being browned out, if that company was in service, they would have made a difference? Nobody can answer that, because we don’t have a crystal ball. What we can say is, maybe if they were there, they would have had a shot. Maybe them kids would have had a shot,” Kane said.

In addition to the two children who died, four other children were injured, along with four adults.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. Fire officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio

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One Comment

  1. reason says:

    a million welfare programs that have all failed and hundreds of foriegn aid packages for countries that hate us and we cant afford to staff FFs cops and fix the damned pot holes…..I think its clearly time to start firing politicians we dont need to raise taxes or cut essential services we need to stop wasting money on stupid cr@p!

  2. DC says:

    Whew… At least we have Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, and Lee.

  3. DarrenP says:

    I do not live in Philadelphia, but I do have access to There I found that the distance from Engine 51 to 100 Sparks Street is 2.06 miles (5 turns) and the distance from Engine 61 (the closed station) to 100 Sparks Street is 3.18 miles (7 turns). I know that math is tough for those that attended Philadelphia public schools, but it adds up to Engine 51 is closer and another union goon opportunist is trying to make political hay out of this tragedy.

    1. DC says:

      I stopped reading at “Mapquest.” And my Netscape internet browser is acting up again.

    2. Obscenejesster says:

      DarrenP, your either flat out lying or you just don’t know Mapquest isn’t a good map routing website. Check Google Maps and it will show you that Engine 61 is in fact over 1/2 mile and 2 minutes closer.

      YOUR WRONG!!

  4. Fanny Forbes Franklen says:

    How can we give foreign bankers trillions of dollars and short change the American people? Sounds like treason to me.

    1. jabusse says:

      The bankers actually invest money and pay taxes to us. The people you think are short changed do nothing for us. There must come a time where everyone pulls their own weight with their own labor. I for one am sick of paying for people to occupy projects, use precious resources and do nothing but have children they can’t support.

  5. Jack Kinch(1uncle) says:

    So much of Philly was born on welfare and is maintained on welfare,
    can Philly afford that and fire stations too ?

  6. Vethov says:

    Good work. You should’ve been the reporter on this but then ya probably would have been fired for not being biased enough.

    1. Vethov says:

      The above post was to a Poster who looked at Mapquest and found the distance between the two fire stations reversed and less turns. It has since been pulled, odd. At least I can’t find it and my post does not link to it.

      1. DarrenP says:

        They don’t like facts pointed out to their reader or listeners at CBS. Here is my post they believe needed to be censored:

        I do not live in Philadelphia, but I do have access to There I found that the distance from Engine 51 to 100 Sparks Street is 2.06 miles (5 turns) and the distance from Engine 61 (the closed station) to 100 Sparks Street is 3.18 miles (7 turns). I know that math is tough for those that attended Philadelphia public schools, but itadds up to Engine 51 is closer and another union goon opportunist is trying to make political hay out of this tragedy.

  7. jabusse says:

    and if there were a fireman on every floor of the building fully equipped and ready to go there might not have even been a fire. What do you do when you are in debt. Cut the services that give you the most political bang for the buck. You need to look at the council members to see what they cut first. If they cut fire first then they need to be fired. If they took an even hand to the cuts then this is the best they could do with the money they had. Money doesn’t grow on trees and people need to take some responsibility for themselves, like having working smoke detectors. It is not the fireman’s fault they were not working, it wasn’t the building owners fault, it was the occupants fault. it is their lives on the line and they need to take some responsibility for themselves.

    1. strongteamaker says:


      It should be called Detroit, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is just another Black city.

      1. Obscenejesster says:

        Why not Baltimore, Pennsylvania?

  8. Larson4Liberty says:

    Regardless of whether the city’s $7.7m in fire department cuts caused these tragic deaths or not, there is no doubt that the city could have made other priorities. I explain how at

  9. Erin Berger says:

    you all fighting over benefits is hilarious! my generation has been told since we were in elementary school that we wont see a penny from ss and we accept the knowledge as fact and plan accordingly! we pro mmj for a reason fools

  10. steve says:

    The price of years of Democrat corruption continues to rise.

  11. HARMCITY says:


  12. Philly Born says:

    PA: Of course, the city is bankrupt because of the pensions and benefits. It is not because we gave Jeff Lurie a billion dollar stadium as a gift, or that we paid for Citizens Bank Park. What propaganda.

    1. Walter Woodland says:

      Hate to interrupt your inane drivel with a simple economics lesson but the revenue generated by those two sports facilities and the activities that go on in them (beer sales, parking, wage taxes etc, ad nauseum) represent two of the smartest business decisions ever made by the Keystone Cops routine going by the Dems in Philly and Harrisburg. Do some math first….

    2. Nik says:

      Actually the city is doing pretty good and is stabilizing, nutter is about to announce it in his budget

    3. strongteamaker says:

      I grew up in Philly 40 years ago when it was part of the America. Its now a Haitian style Detroit. The Blacks have done to Philly what they did to Detroit, Chicago, Camden, LA, etc.

      Philly must now change its name to Detroit, Pennsylvania. Both cities can share the same ZIP Codes.

  13. Philly Born says:

    Dear John: No pun intended. When we get rid of fire fighter pensions for fifty year olds, I suggest that we place the seventy year old fire fighters in your neighborhood, not in mine. The average life expectancy for a Philadelphia cop is 57 years. Some gold-plated retirement. I do not have the numbers for fire fighters. What is wrong with you people? When did these guys become the enemy? I always revered them. What is going on in this country?

    1. Cory says:

      You brought up a good point. Cops and firefighters retire at 55 because after that point it costs more to keep us there then to get rid of us. We have a saying in law enforcement that the cops get older and the criminals stay the same age. Can you imagine a 65 year old cop fighting a 19 year old parolee? It’s not just about staying in shape, but they retire us at that age for a reason.

    2. strongteamaker says:


      You cannot save a people who do not want to be saved. Our only hope is the Division of America into to two separate nations; one free and one slave.

      1. JM in San Diego CA says:

        … and the slaves are all volunteers. They’re willing slaves to the Welfare Office. Sad — so much potential, so few results.

  14. Michael Green says:


    I’m replying to your comment below that starts:
    “thats not what i’m saying. Smoke detectors are a great aid, ”
    I read the entire thing and I hear your impassioned pleas. They make sense. I support you in them.

    If I have any point, it’s that this particular fire isn’t the poster child for your case. The headline is wrong and it’s wrong for the writer of the original article to lead us in this direction. Cutbacks have almost nothing to do with these deaths.

    1. Cory says:

      Mike, I guess it won’t let me reply to one of your posts. I agree social security needs to go and something more feasible needs to be started. But I always argue with people that if social security was operated like my states retirement system we would be in better shape. I’m not saying that we don’t have our problems or that issues within the pension don’t need to be addressed, but 75% (the other portion-9% comes from employee and 14% from employer) of the income that pays our pension and retirements comes from investment returns, not tax payer money whereas social security is generated by taxes. Does our pension have a corresponding burden on the local governments because of the employer contribution, yes, but nothing compared to social security. As a public employee I pay more towards my retirement than the average person pays towards social security. The whole issue at stake, at least where I am, is not that the pension is such a burden, it’s because there is actually money in the fund. State governments want to tap into these funds because there’s no where else to tap into. I guarantee if there was no money in these funds none of what is going on would even be happening and there would be no issue.

  15. Michael Green says:

    Here’s some interesting information from the FireSafetyCouncil (

    Fewer people die in home fires when a smoke alarm/detector is present and activates:
    – Smoke Alarm Present and Activated: 12 deaths/1000 home fires
    – No Device / Alarm Did Not Activate: 17 deaths/1000 home fires
    In some cases, people die in fires even though the smoke alarm activated. Here are the explanations:
    13% – suicides/homicides
    21% – clothing fires
    26% – device not in area of origin
    20% – victim is physically challenged
    16% – alcohol a factor
    1% – victim re-enters fire scene
    1% – unattended infant
    2% – unknown

    The 12 people per 1000 that die with smoke detectors fall into some very interesting categories of which only the bottom 2 categories seem to apply in THIS CASE. The math on that is that 3.6 people will die in 10,000 fires for unknown reasons.

    The math should kill the rhetoric. These children died because their guardians failed to provide a safe home.

    And about all that cost cutting? Remember, in that lake of money that keeps the parks open and the politicians paid was a small amount for FREE smoke detectors for all who ask.

    If you REALLY want to save lives, then shout it from the rooftops that these people died because they didn’t have smoke detectors, and pray to God that the family on that block goes and gets smoke detectors instead of hoping the fire that consumes them will happen when their department is open.

    1. Nik says:

      I guess we will never really know though if the 2-3 mins from the cost cutting measures of fire closings could of confined the fire to a small portion of the home, saving lives and property regardless of smoke detectors

  16. jake says:

    Wow!! Maybe if they cut the firefighter pension by one percent they could effort the open like fifty new station. There pensions are out of control.

    1. Cory says:

      No, your social security is crippling this country more. How about we take your retirement away from you?

      1. nik says:

        exactly, cops and fireman dont get to collect social securty when we retire like you. and you know, that whole 70 percent we get to collect at age 55 (thats if we got on at age 20) will be almost around 2k a month to live on!

      2. Michael Green says:

        you got me all excited Cory. I PRAY they cut social security. Cut it ALL!

        That is an awesome idea and one that would save this country from the brink of failure.

  17. ProVFD says:

    “but firefighters won’t do the job if they’re not paid”…

    Volunteer firefighters work for free. Maybe rather than closing that station, they should ramp up their volunteer firefighter program, or start a program if they don’t already have one.

    According to USA Today, the number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania has dropped from 300,000 to under 80,000 over the past few decades.

    Well trained volunteers, combined with career firefighters, is the most cost-effective program. The community benefits greatly by these programs.

  18. Michael Green says:

    Lots of political rhetoric here, but I would like one firefighter to stand up and tell us that smoke detectors would not make a difference IN THIS CASE.

    I get the anger over pensions. I can see your point. You can be for unions, or against them, but firefighters won’t do the job if they’re not paid, and pensions is part of that payment. Just like I don’t expect the government to pay for everything, and I want personal responsibility, I can’t live in a world without firefighters and i don’t expect you to work for free.

    This particular situation is, however, unique. It’s being used as an argument in the debate of the risks and values of closing fire stations. I don’t think this case is a good example.
    If what an earlier poster said was true, then we know two things about THIS CASE that are important:
    1) the closest fire station was 2 minutes further away than the closed station
    2) the house did not have smoke detectors.

    Would some honest firefighter please address what he thinks the likely cause of death is? Isn’t it, IN THIS CASE, the smoke detectors?

    1. Nik says:

      Honestly, I am not posting in a political view, I don’t care about politics when it comes to life. As a US Marine and city firefighter, I can honestly say yes, smoke detecters are an aid and could of made a difference, however, the biggest factor in the fire service is response time and manning. Response time is key. Seconds matter because of fire patterns. Not everyone can find an exit with early notification. Go to and watch the fire video. Phila firefighters moral is at an all time low, and we are sick and tired seeing are neighbors suffer. Response time is key not only for containing a fire to that room, mow every fire in this city spreads to 2-3 homes, just like this one and the 3 others last night but response time is key for car accidents, house collapses, gas leaks, and ems issues. Any heart attack victim/gun shot victim knows what 30 seconds can do for survival. It’s upsetting that money is just over lives. Things need to be cut and the public has spoken, they would rather see city pools and libraries open than firehouses. One thing to city does know however, no matter what we always give 100 percent and crawl down the hallways doing a search regardless of smoke detectors

      1. Michael Green says:

        Thanks for your comment. I haven’t read all your posts, but I gather you are saying you are a firefighter.

        You are speaking general terms, and bringing politics into the dialog. My question remains unanswered and I really hope you will address it. The way you are characterizing smoke detectors, I’m beginning to think their protection value is a myth, if not a lie. Sure they help, but barely, almost to the point of being a waste of money. (your generalizing, leads me to generalize, but I’m certain you are really just trying to make a point about people speaking and cuts being made).

        IN THIS CASE:
        Would 2 minutes been more valuable than smoke detectors?

      2. Michael Green says:

        I’ve just watched “Why Seconds Count” at the link you posted. It’s very interesting, but lacks a very important milestone… when did the smoke detectors go off? how much time would the people in the house have, in this video, assuming they are in the room, or in other rooms, to get out of the house, IF there were alarms?

        I think this video supports smoke detectors, by the simple fact that they were excluded from the presented information.

      3. nik says:

        thats not what i’m saying. Smoke detectors are a great aid, they do save lives. I have them in my house just like you should. Im not saying they don’t and the family should be responsible for not having them. This is what i’m saying….The Philadelphia fire dept is cut to the bone. 8 firehouses closed in less than 2 years, the brownouts which is 3 more closed per night and the staffing. They haven’t hired in years. Response time is key. What we are trying to say is that before these cuts, a house fire, with smoke detectors or not would be confined to the single bedroom or part of the ktichen due to the fast response time. Now, which has been happening every day now, the same small fire is now turning into fully involved houses spreading to the house on the left and right. Every night this is happening and its happening over a few millions and 2 small minutes in response time. Also people forget about ems issues and other issues that require a fast response time.. As for volunteers, i appriciate them very much, they are just as good as any city firefighter, however, volunteering in this city is almost impossible due to the poverty and poplulation and run volume. Ben Franklin started the first volunteer company in America in Philadelphia, he admitted it couldn’t be done in a safe manner to protect citizens. Also that same company Ben Franklin started in the 1700’s was recently closed by the mayor, it was at 4th and arch

    2. Dave Graupmann says:

      A lack of properly working smoke detectors definitely played a part in this.

      I am a firefighter/EMT

      Also on that note there are thousands of firefighters throughout the US that do it without pay or benefits

    3. mel says:

      Firefighters won’t do the job? Where I live lots of communities rely on a volunteer firefighting force and they do a great job. Rely on yourself, your neighbors, your community, not the government.

      1. Chicago63 says:

        I am a Chicago firefighter and agree that have WORKING SMOKE ALARMS save lives but unfortunately many homes in low income areas do not have them due to dead batteries, expired detectors or batteries removed to be used somewhere else. Also some slumlords don’t change the batteries twice a year. What does save lives in homes that have NO WORKING SMOKE ALARMS is response time just like the old days before smoke alarms were required in all homes. If you are so keen on this issue then petition the fire dept. to hire more fire prevention inspectors, oh I’m sorry they need wages in order to eat so your back in the same boat.

    4. billy martin says:

      michael green

      it is a simple fact that the sooner a fire engine gets water on a fire the sooner it goes out. the old saying is that we save more people with water than with ladders…….i was at a fire a few years ago and 9 people died and6 were kids….no smoke detectors and they didnt notify nyc 911 for many minutes…detectors may have notified the kids but that doesn’t mean they know what it is……most kids hide anyway…….in my humble opinion aside from terrible parents these kids died because the firemen were further away than they should have been.
      billy martin fdny

  19. smokehouse56 says:

    Like all big cities, Philly are inhabited with liberals, progressives and blacks and governed by them. They are backed with ultra liberal newspapers like the Inquirer. They are voted into office time and time again. Check out Chicago yesterday. Check out Washington, DC. When was the last real Republican in charge in Philly? So now you have to live with little or no money. The available money goes to welfare, illegals and the unions. It goes to fund abortions. It goes for all liberal, decayed causes. It goes there for one purpose. To get re-elected. To get another liberal on the council. Live with it. You people earned it.

  20. PeggyMO says:

    The solution is clear: we should pay for even more fire stations. If there was a fire station on every street corner, including the corner near this tragedy, “maybe them kids would have had a shot.”

    We simply can not spend money we do not have. If we do, all of our children will suffer a different tragic fate: a future burdened with so much debt they can not breathe. Debt used for us, so we can live beyone our means and stick our children with the burden. Enough is enough.

    1. Nik says:

      Nah, no need to over do it now. How about keeping the ones that exist open, I mean 8 fire companies were closed 2 years ago, so really it’s about choices. City pools or firehouses. Libraries or firehouses. Jazz fest or firehouses.

  21. catblue says:

    Let’s see teachers pay,benefits & pensions go up every year (along with our taxes to pay for them) and yet the children lack in an education more and more every year … Now the police/firefighters get better at their jobs and they are the ones that are cut!
    Oh yeah I forgot it takes a village of teachers to raise a child but only one fire or one drive by bullet to… you get the idea.

  22. Rob says:

    In 2000 all my friends laughed at me, because as a firefighter in Phoenix I was making $36,000 annually. That said they actually feel sorry for me. I put my life on the line for the same amount of money they make in just 3 real estate commission checks.
    Now the economy sucks they are all out of jobs and guess what? MY PENSION IS KILLING THE ECONOMY AND I’M AND EVIL! It sure was a lot easier when nobody gave a rats as$ what the poor fireman were doing. Just keep listening to hate radio and TV. What’s next? Those GREEDY teachers who qualify for food stamps on their salaries? Oh wait you guys are already talking about them.

    1. Nik says:

      A family of 3 in the Phila fire dept in the 90s qualified for food stamps and did go to the clinic for medical. It’s the same when I was a Marine in Afganistan, I was told I was a sucker and slapped in the face just like now.

  23. Nik says:

    Have a heart attack, kids drank some cleaner, diabetic, fell down flight of steps, hit by a drunk driver, stab victim??? Tell the firefighter how a smoke detector saved your life and don’t be upset it took us 6 mins instead of 3 to save your mommy. No one talks about the abused, understaffed ems in the city. I guess you are all right, depend on smoke detecters and not firefighters. And to be fair, let me take my family to the clinic to now on and go on food stamps. Cops and fireman have to work 35 years to get 70% of their pension at age 55. Ya, real golden plated since most will get cancer from the job anyways, which is a fact, google it

    1. Cory says:

      Nik, well said. It’s amazing the ignorance that is shown by people out there regarding pensions and retirements. We aren’t the enemy people. We don’t have these luxurious retirements that people assume we get. Where I work I pay into my own pension and medical. Our pension is self sustaining, yet 57 % of the federal budget is directed towards paying social security and retirement medical. So where is my tax money going? I don’t even get to collect social security when I retire yet most of my tax money goes to pay for these programs. How do you think I feel? And all these morons out there calling for an end to our collective bargaining say we are the ones bankrupting this country? Seriously people? It’s amazing the state we live in when we blame the cops, firefighters, and teachers for the problems and take their ungolden retirements. Yet, no one cuts the benefits to all the free loaders that are collecting welfare or all the illegals which are draining billions of dollars from our country. Yeah there needs to be reform in how things are done! But don’t worry people, as a cop receiving this lavish retirement you assume I get be all over within five years of my retirement since I’ll be dead and unable to collect it anyway. Yes cops have an average five years until death following retirement because of the stress of that job and the elements we are exposed to. The sad reality is that unless cops and firefighters are given comparable wages and benefits no one will do the job! Trust me If being a cop paid minimum wage I’d be a door greeter at Wal-Mart instead since there is no stress and thinking required.

  24. Greg says:

    Listen up people. There is only so much money to go around. Stop paying for people to sit on the couch watching TV and we would have more money to pay for police and fire crews. You can’t keep paying welfare and public servants with the same dollar. Cities have to make a choice and most cities are run by Democrats and they side with the voter not the police or fireman who are usually conservative. Its a vote and they made the choice to go with the welfare programs not the fire company. live with it.

  25. Buddy says:

    These problems are a direct result of the unions and government being in bed together for the last 50 years and the union solution is of course to spend more money!

  26. Squid says:

    FireFighters are a terribly under paid in today’s age. Most can’t even support a family on their salaries…I think this is something that needs to be looked at in depth…change is needed for these brave men and women who risk their own life every day…

  27. Mike says:

    go to check out the video see what happens in about 2 minutes in a fire. Everyone say a prayer for the victims of this tragedy.

  28. John says:

    Who cares if there aren’t enough firehouses? The important thing is that firefighters continue to retire at 50 with gold-plated benefits.

    We have to keep perspective. Citizen lives are only important insomuch as they make the union lifestyle possible.

    1. Nik says:

      John, cops and fireman can retire anytime they want just like you, but they don’t start receiving their 70% pension check till 55 and that’s it they worked 35 years.

      1. John says:

        >>> they don’t start receiving their 70% pension check till 55

        Ooooh, 55. Such an advanced age. Try working til 70 like the rest of us.

        Btw, my uncle was a lifelong fireman in the Bronx, so I know what goes on. The typical fireman’s day is a lot of tv, computer games, cards, magazines and a LOT of cooking and eating, courtesy of the taxpayers. Then once a week go put out a dumpster fire for 10 minutes.

    2. Rob says:

      Actually we usually die of cancer in the first 8 years of our retirement. That’s a statistical fact. So don’t worry I’ll die and the city can have my pension money back to pay mayors and city council members pensions. The same ones who want to cut my pay and close down our fire stations. See, now you can be happy John.

      1. John says:

        Save it for the newspapers, nobody believes that bs. If it’s so dangerous, quit. Come one, get a job here in the real world, I dare you. One where you don’t get two months of paid time off. I don’t even get two weeks!

  29. Hatters88 says:

    I respect firefighters and what they do and my heart goes out to the victims but as many have pointed out, where is the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY? The failure of smoke detectors is more to blame than location of the firefighters.

    And by the way, do a google map and get directions to 100 Sparks Street Philadelphia, PA from 5334 Rising Sun Ave compared to from 5931 Old York Rd. We’re not talking a difference of 20 minutes, we’re talking 2 minutes. Yes 2 minutes or even 2 seconds could save a life but where do you draw the line?

    The brownout reason is great shock media and politics, but that’s about it.

  30. Big Frank says:

    As a retired Fire Captain from a large northeast city I can attest that company location , staffing , and training are very important to overall Fire Dept. performance. BTW according to the NFPA standards, in the state of NJ none of the paid professional Fire Depts. are sufficantely staffed, equipped, or are lacking in some capacity. In many cases the towns have the money but feel that it should be spent on other services.

    1. Michael Green says:

      Big Frank,

      There were no working smoke detectors in the house. Which problem do you think more likely contributed to the deaths of those two children? No smoke detectors, or the distance the fire department had to travel?

  31. Kyrie_Eleison says:

    How many of these tragic stories always have this in common? “Fire officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.” Engine 61 being open woud not change the irresponsible behavior of the adults in that home. They failed to provide a safe environment for those children, not the fire department.

  32. dr.d says:

    Fire officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

    Firefighter UNION Officially questions… How ’bout they officially question the role NOT HAVING A WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR IN THE HOUSE played?!

    It’s like some dude is laying on the ground full of bullet holes and the investigator say “I think high blood pressure played a role in this man’s death”

    Only the Union would blame brown-outs and not the lack of a working smoke detector.

  33. PA says:

    Think about it, the city is bankrupt because of the huge pension and medical contributions it has to make to the City worker unions INCLUDING THE FIREFIGHTERS! Do you realize that in Philadelphia it takes 178 monthly pension payments from current city employees to pay for just one retired firefighter. 178!!!!!

    Maybe if the unions and their democratic cronies in the Philadelphia City Council and Mayors office hadn’t been so greedy there would be brownout’s!

    Let’s put the blame where the blame is due. Unions are bankrupting this country and thank god there are politicians finally starting to see this!!!

  34. marie says:

    sooo, cutting things like fireengines are okay, but not cutting uniion benefits??? maybe this is why public sector employees shouldn’t be forced to donate to unitions!!!

  35. Al Cerrato says:

    What a bunch of Morons those city leaders must be. Brown out saves what? How much is a life worth. I would sue your ass for sure.

  36. Michael Green says:

    once again everyone seems to want to focus on the politics and not the personal responsibility. Read the entire article again and you’ll see that there is no way to be sure that a closer fired department would have saved those two lives. But, you are blinded by your politics when you blame the closure and not the smoke detector. Had there been a working smoke detectors, we KNOW, by way of statistics, that the survivability of the inhabitants SKYROCKETS. I THINK, I do not KNOW, that if there were detectors in the house, that the inhabitants would have learned of the fire sooner, and the fire department would have been called sooner. I’m guessing, when I say that the time lost because of the closure could have been made up by the earlier detection.

    Where has our personal responsibility gone? What parent has children in a house in the year 2011 and doesn’t have smoke detectors? THEY’RE FREE for crying out loud! You know there’s a budget crisis. You know the brownouts are happening. Why don’t you take steps to increase your chances? Why do we blame the politicians that we elect?

  37. phillysmart says:

    Municipal unions don’t work…they pay to keep democrats in and the democrats reward them with lavish benefits…when the taxpayer can’t sustain it the democrats cut services or ask you and me to pay more to support these families….public employee unions are extorting money from the tax payer and breaking the bank in the process…we are getting less service because they are overpriced…its up to us “their boss” to put a stop to it …its not working wisconsin has it right

    1. nik says:

      get rid of collective barginning and give us the right to strike like the rest of the US. So lets level the playing field, and see what will bring us down first, crime and out of control fires or money. either way it doesn’t look good

  38. BobNY says:

    The fact of the matter is, uncontrollable spending by politicians are leading to the deaths of innocent bystanders. People, you elected these politicians. You allowed them to throw your tax dollars to the wind. Now everyone is paying the price.

  39. Slappy says:

    Watch Waiting For Superman. The unions are the problem.

    Unions served a purpose once, over 100 years ago. Since then, they’ve served as criminal, corrupt, violent, abusive organizations that serve only suck up more cash for less service. They’re the ultimate self-licking icecream cone.

    Why not smash the unions and let their members compete for jobs like the rest of us? Why shouldn’t their members have to work for their pay and earn their benefits and raises like the rest of us?

  40. phillysmart says:

    Municipal unions are destroying our local and states government like they did with many of our iconic industries…they are gredy and self serving…its not the teachers or fire crew or police …but their union leaders keep paying off democrats to give them more money and the tax payers can’t afford it….they are overpaid and causing the city and states to go broke…or moron democrats to cut basic services to pay….we need to reorganize …government employees should not be holding the tax payers hostage …its not private industry

  41. dejordy says:

    So we need a firehouse on every corner–then we would be safe.

  42. Brian says:

    Since when are our teachers, firefighters, EMTs, and police officers the public enemy? Stand fast Walker? I agree that unions must change and recognize the new economic landscape, but they did not cause the financial crisis.

    When will people realize that this is class warfare? My wife is a teacher and does not make enough to support a family. I am sure it is the same for most public servants. I wish we could pay them more – their jobs are very difficult! Where the “change” is needed is in making sure a great big union does not exist simply to protect a few workers who are not performing. I think this is where the public is frustrated with unions. But, unions do play an important role in society.

    Who will counterweight the powerful and wealthy money flowing through government? Think about this: government wants to cut discretionary spending and has targeted unions to do so, but the Army’s sponsorship of NASCAR is not even considered for cuts?

    Start thinking for yourself… what Governor Walker is trying to do is a lot deeper than simply balancing a budget. Dig into his campaign supporters and you will find where is loyalties lie! These governors/politicians are being “hired” with corporate money to create an economy based on corporate capitalism. Do you think a corporation cares if two kids die in Philadelphia? Do you think they care if you have a good paying job? They have no allegiance to any nation state, or democracy!

    I urge you to sit down and really think about the events that led us to our current affairs. Focus on the primary reasons we are in dire straits, and work towards the solutions. There is no “blame” just problems that need fixed. Unions can be changed, just like at GM. If we do not allow workers to organize for their rights, then we are handing all the power over to corporations instead of community!

  43. nik says:

    where is the greed at? we have closed 8 fire companies in the last 2 years. We have now a rolling brown out policy. This was supposed to balance the budget. We have an out of control abused ems system which runs out of medic units every single day. We are short staffed by hundreds with no new class in sight and also in the new contact which was appealed with the mayor it has less holidays, no pay raises for 4 years, more to health care and more to pension…what else should be give back? we firefighters tried notifing the public of the closures and rallied when at the closed stations but it fell on deaf ears…so don’t blame the help, we can only do less with less. Don’t depend on us, deoend on your smoke detector

  44. nik says:

    i believe, yes, everything, must be cut across the table evenly. Philadelphia police and firefighters have to work way over 20 years. 55 is the cutoff date so many firefighters have to do 35 yrs and also since the city doesn’t fund the pension anyways like they are supposed to whats the point. Also many depts. are giving furoulgh days (probably spelled that wrong) . Phila fire dept has closed 8 fire companies in the last 2 years which has make things more dangerous for everyone, this was supposed to help balance the budget but it wasn’t enough. Now we have roliing brown outs, short staffed by hundreds and an out of contol abused ems system. The city each and everyday runs out of medic units. This is all to help the budget. So where does it end in short of workning for free?

    1. AeroJack7 says:

      Very well written, even with the typos.

  45. hargen64 says:

    I’m questioning whether it was union greed and excess that caused two children to die If they would have negotiated pay like the rest of Philly’s citizens there would have been more fireman to respond to this incident.

  46. AeroJack7 says:

    Blame the deaths on the unions and the politicians that enabled them to destroy city/county/state budgets. Go Wisconsin! Governor Walker has to stand fast.

  47. m says:

    Any time something tragic happens you can always trust a union leader or politician to use it to their advantage. You can also trust the media to publish their demands for more. Will the public buy in again?

  48. David B says:

    This is how dems roll. They see cuts to govt on the near the horizon and they cut teachers, cops, firefighters. But not school board members or bureaucrats. Then the dems pray for a fire. All to maintain their sick power status quo. Dems order of importance Party, Power, Special Interest, Country? Family? God? Conservative order of importance God, Family, Country. For lib/dem/socialist/anarchists The Party is God. The Party is your family. And the County sucks.

  49. Jane says:

    this is crazy that some people on here turn the death of two babies into politics these kids died as a direct result of the fire house closing. don, marcus,and the rest of the misinformed kids get scared hide under beds and in closets! the smoke alarm is not gonna carry them out or put out the fire! firemen do that! you cowards couldn’t hold a firemen jock strap all you care is about the crooked politicians and fire administration. this isn’t about unions. by the way don’t they deserve a good health insurance since they have a health risk job?

    1. m says:

      Glad to see you didn’t turn this political Jane!!!

    2. Dan says:

      Jane: They are firefighters not firemen, a fireman is someone who runs a boiler!

      These kids died because there were NO SMOKE DETECTORS… Smoke detectors and carbon Monoxide Detectors along with teaching kids to get out will save more than any firefighter!! They do this in every school in America yet parents fail to follow these same principals at the home where kids spend most of there time!!

      1. Re Re says:

        Exactly! Every year there’s a campaign in the city where they give out free smoke detectors to the “lower” class citizens. Funny, but these same citizens who get the freebies never seem to understand that you have to change the batteries every once in a while. From the report, there seems to have been an awful lot of people living in that house, but the media won’t address that. Instead, they’ll blame it on the fact that there were no fire stations on every corner in the city.

  50. wialter says:

    While tragic, this is the shape of things to come. Public unions want more money and benefits for their members than federal and state governments can supply. Unions are going to have to either accept reduced salaries and benefits, or have their members do more with less people. Taxpayers are simply going to have to get used to the fact that services they’ve had in the past will not be as prevalent.

    1. Joe says:

      My fire station has no Union.
      Some fire fighters aren’t union members.
      Did you even notice?

  51. longun45 says:

    The blame rests not with the city but with the two families, and the over use of space heaters and extension cords. With that many people in a very small house why did they not grab the kids on their way out. I can bet they did not wait for the fire department inside the house. When will the people start taking care of themselves and each other. I hope. God has those kids safely in his hand. When will they learn that Unions only look out for unions, not people. Union officials only want their cut, and like any good liberal will dance in the blood of others to advance their cause. Even the blood of children. They know no shame.

    1. Nik says:

      Smoke alarms save lives, smoke alarms confine and put out fires, smoke alarms carry people and children out to safety through smoke filled hallways. Once your alarmed from a smoke detector that there’s a fire in your house, you are very naive if you think it’s easy to crawl down a smoke filled room to exit the building, that’s where an early response from firefighters kick in to save people. The union didnt close the firehouse down, the corrupt politicians did. They put money over lives. And if we in the unions are so money hungry why are city firefighters with families once again so very close to being able to qualify for welfare.

      1. JOE says:

        I am a fire fighter, I hate the financial rules we play in, but the politicians ( who in my locality treat us like the red-headed step children) while I feel they are stupid, are not acting with any malice. Public dollars pay for my station and my fire house. I do wish they would give us what we need to do the job better, but the only place there is any money is the schools. and when they want money they get it. (oh an I am on the east coast, not the department in the article)

  52. WilsonBGoode says:

    Are people willing to claim that before the brownouts, NOBODY perished in a house fire? Here’s an idea: put down the crack pipe, get a job, and some batteries for the FREE smoke detectors that are given out.

  53. Joe Peep says:

    The kids should have evacuated the building before the FD arrived. The blame is with the adults who didn’t have smoke detectors working in the home. The liberal left media is quick to blame cost cutting rather than expose who is really responsible.

  54. RHB says:

    My brother was in Rescue in the Syracuse Fire department. The arrived at the scene, entered the structure before any water was put on the fire. If the story is true, shame on the PFD!

  55. Kevin says:

    The teachers need to be paid. Nothing else matters in this feminized, nanny-state nation….

    1. Jekyll Isle says:

      So paying teachers to take care of our children is not a nanny state action?

      Competition needs to be put in place to insure that there are decent options available for education, paying a teacher is not the answer

    2. Joe says:

      Kevin is right, schools get more money, they must be more important.

  56. mel says:

    So the real important part and what the headline should read… No working smoke/fire detectors working kills 2 kids. Is it really to much to change the batteries once a year and test it every few months. Do what I do and whenever changing the filter in the central air system, test your detectors. Then change the batteries at the start of heating season even if they still work. Find something to remind you, most people have cellphones add a reminder to your calendar and have it repeat. But for godsake stop blaiming other people for the truly responsible peoples faults.

    1. Nik says:

      Also Mel, with all due respect, you are wrong. Smoke detectors and an escape plan are great aids, however, firefighters are the ones that crawl down the hallways to make rescues and confine a fire. A smoke detector will awake you in the middle of the night, but will do nothing for your life when you open up that bedroom door and see nothing but black smoke.

      1. Jekyll Isle says:

        So smoke detectors & alarms are only a good option if a firefighter is not living in the house?

        So when there is smoke and possibly a fire even though the alarm goes off we should wait for the firefighter to “crawl down the hallways” before leaving the building?

        I get it now Nik you are idiot

      2. cluelessinky says:

        Most smoke alarms detect smoke and give the occupant sufficient time to take proper actions. As for hallways with black smoke – this is where preparation comes into play. Knowing what to do whent he alarm sounds, having more than one exit , and meeting at a predetermined place is what preparation and self-relaince is all about. Citizens waiting to be rescued is what katrina was all about!

      3. Nik says:

        Hey check this out, with all due respect This idiot was crawling down a burning houses hallway last night in Fairmount. Smoke alarms will let you know there is a fire, yes! Then, yes, you have to put your pre-plan into action to escape, however, its a fact and in my experience, most injuries and deaths occur while being overcome by smoke. People panick, open the bedroom door and try to hall butt out to an exit but almost everytime are onecome by the smoke. So yes, in alot of cases, which I do daily, you keep your door closed so smoke and fire don’t enter, open a window and wait for rescue. But you know this already

      4. Mel says:

        What detectors are you using? I have a normal sized two story home. I have 1 detector on the stairwell from the basement to the first floor. One in the kitchen, another one on the main level (for a total of two on the first floor) One at the top of the stiarwell of the second floor. The one in the kitchen goes off if I fry something and hardly create much smoke. If your alarms require a room to be filled then I’d buy new ones. And thanks for the reminder my oldest is now 4 and I need to put on in her room now the one outside her door at the top of the stairs is not sufficient now that she’s old enought to close her door. Probably go ahead and stick one in the two year olds room too just to get it out of the way. Anyway invest in some new smoke/fire/carbon detectors I’d say you must have a bad one or two.

      5. mel says:

        Also, I have a cc permit and carry because I don’t expect a cop to be able to defend/save my family in time if someone tries to break into my home. Somewhat similar situation. I’m sure if the article was about a robber killing someone and taking money they would blame polticians for defunding a police station. Police and Fire are good, but they should not be your first line of defense.

    2. Nik says:

      So Mel, I guess your right, like I said smoke detectors are a great aid just like a gun. Idk, I wonder why the 288 children under 5 last year died in residential house fires with working smoke detectors, I guess they bought the wrong ones too.

      1. Mel says:

        Working and proper amount/placement are not the same. Also can you link to the source of your statistic? Did they also provide a statistic for how many died in house fires with non-working smoke detectors? What is the significance of the age of 5? What area is the statistic for? etc. Lots of unknowns, that statistic does nothing like most statistics. Numbers can be skewed to look how you want them to look. That number also does not prove brown outs caused all of the deaths or any for that matter of those 288.

  57. Mslu says:

    How ’bout the city politians giving up 10% or more of their salaries or bonuses- or reducing city council people instead of firemen or teachers.

  58. Joey says:

    So the Fire Fighters Union is saying that if you don’t restore more Union Jobs in Union Fire Houses…..your house may burn down? Sounds like the next line is…..wait for it…..Bada Bada Bing!

    1. Jekyll Isle says:

      So Nik which union do you work for?

      If we pay taxes our government is contractually obligated to protect us. One of those ways is for firefighters.

      If the government chooses to blow the money on something else then that is not our fault, but theirs.

      Stop with your nonsense about paying more for firefighters it’s childish

    2. Nik says:

      What at you talking about dude? You answered your own question, we pay taxes, when some of us, so we should get the protection we deserve or at least be notified when our local firehouse is closed for the night. Why do blue collared tax payees have to suffer over political mismanagement? I’m a fireman and work in one of oldest fire dept in the country which has also been decimated by corrupt politicians and I’m a US Marine with multiple tours overseas

    3. Nik says:

      So jekyll, you call me names on an open forum for voicing my opinion, which I think I earned being a war veteran and all, what’s you deal? How do you work for? You probly never crawled down a hallway or fought in a battle though thats for sure

    4. Joe says:

      The difference is Fire fighters don’t start the fires. We just risk our lives putting them out. We get paid, some good some bad. We risk a lot.

  59. Josh says:

    Why don’t we then have a combo fire/medical/police station at every street corner? We could save even more people.

  60. Sam Vaughn says:

    Instead of laying off policeman and fireman, which the pols use to hold us hostage. How about laying of administrators first? or better yet cut their bloated salaries and take care of those that actually do something useful, like fireman and policeman…..

  61. cluelessinky says:

    How do you explain the loss of life due to a fire and the fire house is right next to the involved building?
    Since the introduciton of private residency fire/smoke detectors the loss of life due to fires has been reduced significantly. Fire prevention and escape drills also contribute to this reduction. Waiting for a fire engine to save you is too risky: plan, prepare and when fire strikes evacuate.

  62. Nik says:

    It’s over a few million dollars. It’s simple, there are no brown outs in the mayors local or commishs local, mostly only in poor sections of the city where people really don’t have money. Here’s a small example, keep open firehouses or have a 2 million dollar jazz fest every year. But really nobody cares, until your house is competely guted.

    1. Don says:

      What is your proof that there is more coverage for the mayors area? I will bet you that he has a working fire alarm, the real reason for the sad deaths. I am sick of the corrupt union thugs not accepting responsibility to understand the country is broke from all the unions support for people like Obama and the rest of the democrats who stole social security funds and support the union thugs.

      1. Nik says:

        Hey don, with all due respect, the mayors firehouse and commishs firehouse has never been closed, walk into any firehouse in the city and ask for a schedule of the monthly firehouse closings. Also I choose to be a fireman, it’s not about money, it’s about saving lives.

      2. Nik says:

        Hey also don, with all due respect once again, I’m not in this argument politically but if you think the union is corrupt and not almost all present and former politicians than you are way off.

  63. Marcus says:

    Can aybody answer me this, how much does the city save from brownouts. And r people willing to pay more taxes to open up. If so, start bringing money down to city hall or shut up.

  64. Nik says:

    I love how fire officials twist the facts about smoke detectors and these brownouts. I’m sure a smoke detector will pull me out a smoke filled room. What a joke, the people aren’t that naive commish! When will the mayor stand up for his heroes?

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