The Houston Fire Department 1980-2014
$38.65 Sale Price
Following the previously published book that covered 1895 – 1980, this book contains thirty four years of Houston Fire Department (HFD) history. During the time frame covered, not only has firefighting changed, but so has the City of Houston. This book demonstrates the changes and its impact on the HFD. More »
Following the previously published book that covered 1895 – 1980, this book contains thirty four years of Houston Fire Department (HFD) history. During the time frame covered, not only has firefighting changed, but so has the City of Houston. This book demonstrates the changes and its impact on the HFD.
The HFD, a paid department since August 1895 and the 4th largest fire department in the USA, located in Harris County, Houston, Texas. The HFD is responsible for protecting 2.19 million people within an area almost 600 square miles. Houston has over 4,000 firefighters, 92 active fire houses and a daily count of 840 firefighters on duty firefighters.
In the 1980's there were four major fires which are featured:
The Seven Alarm Woodway Square Apartment Fire, which occurred in July 1979, is included since by January 1, 1980, the fire still had an impact on the citizens of Houston. Six minutes after the call came in the incident commander; District Chief 110 arrived and called for a second alarm. It was later determined that upon arrival the chief was looking at 10,000 square feet of burning apartment roof.
Another incident from the 1980's was the Bordens Ice Cream plant located on one city block in downtown Houston. An early Sunday morning report of an ammonia leak turned into a major disaster nearly killing several firefighters and one plant security guard. This city block is now ironically occupied by HFD Fire House 8.
In 1988, an early morning fire in grain elevator, just west of downtown Houston, escalated to a five alarm response by HFD. The 1903 structure suffered massive damage.
The 1980's ended with HFD responding to a major chemical plant disaster in nearby Pasadena, Texas. A process gas unit of the Phillips 66 Company exploded killing 24 and injuring 314 employees. HFD responded as a member of the Chemical Industries Mutual Aid group.
The 1990 Section features a 7 alarm fire at the Houston Distribution Center, which was a very large building complex that stored various chemicals. HFD managed to save half of the complex only to return two weeks later when the rest of the building was on fire and this time a 4 alarm fire destroyed the remaining complex.
The 2000's saw many changes: equipment, building construction, new energetic rookie firefighters, new technology and the onset of domestic and worldwide terrorism which significantly changed operations of the Houston Fire Department.
Less than two months into the new millennium HFD suffered the loss of two firefighters while they were fighting a fire at a local McDonalds. The first Houston female firefighter death occurred at this fire.
One of the fires that defined the decade occurred on March 28, 2007. A fire in a midrise building on the northeast side of town took the lives of three civilians. Several HFD ladder trucks made multiple rescues of civilians trapped on the upper floors. One HFD fire captain was rescued after he became trapped on the fourth floor of the building.
May 21, 2009, a well-known philanthropist and furniture store owner, "Mattress Mac" lost the warehouse behind his main show room to a 4 alarm fire. Due to the efforts of the HFD his show room was saved and he was able to remain in business after the fire.
The author’s emotional driving force for this book was the May 31, 2013 Southwest Inn 5 alarm fire. The book is dedicated to the four firefighters who lost their lives that day, including the second HFD female firefighter line of duty death. As a special tribute, each family was given two pages for photos and text to memorialize their loved ones. The Southwest Inn Fire Section comprises a significant portion of the book and includes images from the fire scene as well as the memorial service.
The last section covers "In Memoriam" and includes the names of all of HFD's line of duty deaths since the department went from volunteer to a paid department in 1895. Also included are various HFD firefighter funeral and memorial service photos.
All copies are autographed by the author.
224 pages hard bound, all color, 9 1/2" by 11". It contains 380 HFD photos many never seen before. The front of the dust cover was painted by my friend Harold Coats, Texas artist. A photo taken at a HFD fire was used as a model.
Firefighters Bookstore Item # 6898