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Retired opinionated old fart
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wanted to update the event at my home recently. I requested the Houston Fire Department report for the call. The District Chief remarks are:

Dispatched to house fire and upon arrival saw what was thought to be smoke coming from roof vent. Neighbors stated that resident was not home and worked nights. They also stated that he was very hard of hearing. Crews made forceable entry to the structure and found no evidence of fire. The resident was indeed home after forcible entry was made to the location. Damage was incurred to the front door, a glass pane and while checking the attic area a firefighters foot went through the sheet rock in the ceiling area. This was a smoke scare that incurred damage to the residents home.

Now here is the kicker. I contacted the Houston Legal Department and was told that the city in this case is immune from liability. I contacted the Fire Department and was sent a form that I must file a "COMPLAINT OF EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT." My guess is that the answer will be that no misconduct occurred, that they were doing their job. I am thinking it time to go to channel 2, 11 and 13 to find out if any are interested in the other details on the report. To find "no evidence of fire", per the report, there were 9 fire department vehicles and 28 fire department employees from 5 different stations at my home!!! Yes folks, 1 ambulance, 1 squad vehicle, 2 district chief vehicles, 3 regular fire engines plus 2 ladder trucks. Yes, 2 district chiefs, 5 other senior captains, 8 engineer ops, 11 firefighters plus 2 probationary firefighters responding to damage my home with "no evidence of fire." And I live in a single story home so small I am embarrassed to admit. Per the attorney, they would have been liable if they ran over you on the way to my home. They are only liable for damages caused with motorized vehicles.

Also, I got in trouble from the refinery I work at for my missing work a few hours later to secure my home. Good old HR at work! Many of you know where I work; it is an old 'dinosaur' of a refinery in Houston on the Pasadena line. HR won't change its mind even after giving them the fire department report and pictures.

You see when I write this? Yep, I should be asleep. But it is hard to under the circumstances.
 

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Retired opinionated old fart
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19,892 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There was no smoke. Smoke is caused by fire. There may have been steam or water vapor or fog. Notice the report said "what was thought to be smoke ". It also says "found no evidence of fire."
 

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Sea Hunt Triton 188
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I am sorry for the stress. Bad things happen to good people. I'd want to fight it, but it would be better if you could let it go. Also, I hate HR.
 

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INFIDEL to Some, but Loves my Saviour
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Yep, IMO, you're barking up a tree without a squirel. All city svcs. and LEOs are basically immune from such libilities. We do have at least one retired Hazmat, 2 Cooler, who might chime in...
 

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I'm.not going to bad mouth another department because I realize that everybody makes mistakes but, I would be highly ticked off by that response from the city. I only hope that they make it right but I wouldn't hold my breath. I can't believe your HR department is handling it that way. I know in our place HR quit working for the employees several years ago but that kind of response is ridiculous. Good luck getting this mess straightened out.

Sent from my SCH-I510 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Whoever invented work couldn't fish
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When I read your original post, I was wondering who would be responsible for the damage, but in this "politically correct" world, I didn't ask the question. I would certainly pursue the various city departments, but I don't think you're going to get much relief in the way of covering the cost of repairs. Your best bet might be one of the local news stations. I hope you get it sorted out WBF and good luck to you.
 

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Live Like No One Else.
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I would like to see Fire Department/City take care of this but most likely your insurance or you that will be taken care of the repairs.
 

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******* Rebel
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Man this is a tough one. Probably gonna get ragged for my opinion but...

I'm not a fire fighter or LEO but I have to believe that property damage is the least of their concerns when called to a potential dangerous or life threatening situation.
I agree that under the circumstances, some entity should be responsible and pick up your insurance deductible for the repairs, but that would be all I would personally hope for. If it was me, I don't know that I would contact the media and raise a stink, I'd be concerned that I might really need assistance sometime... just sayin'.

I personally would be more upset if my insurance company raised my rates for turning this in then anything else, and of course your HR department, what a bunch of insensitive jerks they are! Don't think I'd worry much about using every sick day to my advantage...

Again, it's a tough situation and I wish you the best WBF.

-LP
 

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I would like to see Fire Department/City take care of this but most likely your insurance or you that will be taken care of the repairs.
Probably right they will keep giving you the run around and cost you more in lawyer fees than the repairs will cost.

A bad day of fishing beats a good day of anything else!!!
 

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Retired opinionated old fart
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think I can win, and don't want to shoot myself in the foot. I don't feel animosity against the firemen.

The fact that HR hates it's employees and considers them vermin is not new.

Maybe I should just be glad I can afford the repairs.
 

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******* Rebel
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Maybe I should just be glad I can afford the repairs.
That sir is something to feel very fortunate about!
There are a lot of folks out there that can't afford any type of addition to their budget, some don't even have jobs and have been without one for awhile.
Those of us that aren't in these situations should feel very blessed.

-LP
 

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Maybe I should just be glad I can afford the repairs.[/QUOTE said:
If you can't handle the repairs your self, I am sure there is some one on 2cool that can. (that person not being me)

Good Luck
 

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Sorry to hear WBF. On the other hand it could have been alot worse a fire and you lost everything including yourself. And you have neighbors that care and did the right thing. Maybe a 2cooler has an extra front door they are not using anymore and will donate it to you.
 

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Not able to give WB any advice on the City Legal side.

As a Retired Member, i can explain the response.
If there was a fire, our primary concern is Life Safety, that means getting everyone out hopefully alive. Then our second concern is property conservation, we would attempt to cover items in home with "salvage covers" (tarps), however we do some damage when making entry and investigation. If there had been a fire we work in temperatures over 1200 degrees wearing over 100 lbs of protective gear. That means in August temperatures we have to take breaks to cool off, etc. The protective gear also makes it difficult to move so that may explain why a fire fighter stepped through the sheet rock.

The number of units responding is a "standard" box and that is as much for the fire fighters safety as the residents. Federal rules required for entry just like in your "Plant".

Good luck with the City and don't blame the Fire Fighters for the "Cities poor planning, they want to take our pensions too.
Retired Hazmat
 

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I understand your concern about the damage. My question is how upset and/or concerned would you be if there was a fire and the department did not show up? In my opinion I would be happy they came and give my insurance company a call.
 

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Retired opinionated old fart
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have made the decision to just pay for it and go on in life. Just making the decision has helped.

Old sayings got to be old sayings because they are true. The one I refer to now is that "You can't sue City Hall." I am not about to hire a lawyer on this either.

Another thing the city did was quickly send me a form to fill out "Complaint of Employee Misconduct". That really disappointed me. The city seems so ready to throw down their firefighters? Since I have worked in a refinery 21 years, I have worn the Scott air packs and all the bunker gear and it is not fun. Manning a large fire hose with a few others and advancing on the fire really brings on the pucker factor. Of any of our public servants, firefighters are far and above the rest. In a refinery fire, we stop the flow of fuel to the fire, spray water to keep equipment cool, and let the remaining fuel burn itself up. These firemen go inside! I wish that any city official who made decisions about FF benefits would have to bunker up first and feel the heat. Firefighters have it in their blood the way we do fishing. Thank goodness there are those out there that like it!

END OF DISCUSSION
 

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Retired opinionated old fart
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19,892 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have a couple used metal 36" front doors (not real purdy but solid) I use for make ready jobs--U R welcome to one free if U need one for ur front door kick in.

Just give me a call on my cell if u need it--

swampus/Robby 832-687-4053
I really appreciate the offer Robby, but I will be just fine.
 
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