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Thread: Phoenix Firefighter Dies Battling 5-Alarm Fire

  1. #1
    Moderator patries's Avatar
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    Phoenix Firefighter Dies Battling 5-Alarm Fire

    An 8-year Phoenix Fire Department veteran was killed Wednesday while battling a 5-alarm fire at a small southwest Phoenix shopping center.

    Four other firefighters were injured.

    Fire Department spokesman Deputy Chief Bob Khan said 40-year-old Bret Tarver became trapped in debris and ran out of air. He suffered smoke inhalation and burns.

    Tarver was assigned to Fire Station #14. Students from nearby schools stopped by the firehouse Thursday morning, which is not far from the fire scene, to drop off flowers and cards at a makeshift memorial setup to honor Tarver. The flag at Fire Station #14 is flying at half-staff.

    Tarver, a Queen Creek resident, is survived by his wife and three daughters.

    He is the first Phoenix Firefighter to die in the line of duty since 1994.

    At a news conference Thursday, Khan read a statement from Tarver's wife, Robin, that said, "she wanted everybody to know that Bret wouldn't want to do anything else, that he was doing what he wanted to do and that he loved this profession and he loved the Phoenix Fire Department."

    "You know that we're a very close group and when something like this happens to one of our own we take it very hard," Billy Shields, President of the United Phoenix Firefighters, said. "We turn our attention now to taking care of his wife, Robin, his three little girls, mother and father and four brothers."

    The fire at the southwest corner of 35th Avenue and McDowell destroyed a Southwest Supermarket, a clothing store, and an Ace Hardware Store.

    Fire officials said a debris fire was reported next to the store at 4:55 p.m. Several minutes later, the flames spread to the building, engulfing it.

    Four firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation at nearby hospitals.

    The injured firefighters had to be rescued from inside the burning building when wall began to collapse and their air supply ran out.

    It took more than 100 firefighters several hours to bring the fire under control.

    Fire units from several valley cities were called in to help fight the blaze.

    Freeway ramps to nearby Interstate 10 were closed for a while because of the thick smoke.

    Khan says investigators don't have a cause of the fire yet.

    "It was dispatched as an exterior fire. We're certainly investigating that right now, " Khan said. "The investigators will be able to tell if there were any accelerants or if there was an unusual ignition switch, but we need to let them go through that process."

    There also is no immediate dollar loss.

    Services for Tarver will be held Monday morning at 10 o'clock at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Phoenix. Viewing will be held Sunday at the church at 6300 N. Central from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

    According to Southwest Supermarkets' Web site, the store at 35th Avenue and McDowell opened in 1980 and was the first in the chain. It was given the name Southwest Supermarket because it is on the southwest corner.

    A memorial fund in Tarver's name has been established at Bank One. The account # is 49709301.

    A car wash fundraiser has been scheduled for Monday at the Los Olivos Car Wash at 232 E. McDowell from 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. One dollar from every car wash will go to the memorial fund. Donations will also be accepted at the car wash.

    Southwest Supermarkets officials said a company-wide drive to raise funds for Tarver's three children will begin.

    "Southwest Supermarket is doing all it can to assist authorities with their investigation in determining the cause of the fire, " Southwest Supermarkets Chief Executive Tony Gioia said in a statement.

    The firefighters injured were Mark Cagle, Jeffrey Heltzel, Cyrus Joy, and John Tomazin.

    Coogle, Heltzel and Tomazin are assigned to Rescue #3. Joy is assigned to Station #14.

    Phoenix Firefighters killed in the line of duty:
    1929 - Jack Sullivan
    1929 - Ambrose Shea
    1974 - Randy Potts
    1977 - Walter D. Kelson
    1977 - Chauncey Ray, Jr.
    1979 - Dale Lockett
    1984 - Richard Pearce
    1994 - Timothy Hale
    2001 - Bret Tarver

  2. #2
    Moderator patries's Avatar
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    Memorial at Fire Station 14

    A makeshift memorial was started at a fire hydrant located outside Fire Station 14 for Bret Tarver.

  3. #3
    Moderator patries's Avatar
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    five alarm fire

    Phoenix firefighters gather to take a break from fighting a five alarm fire at a west Phoenix shopping center, that sent four firefighters to the hospital.

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    MEMORIAL TO PHOENIX FIREFIGHTER /PARAMEDIC BRET TARVER

    LUIS GUERRERO AGE 10 and
    HIS COUSIN PATY PEREGRINA AGE 9
    HONOR BRET AT STATION 14 PHOENIX
    NHD PHOTO

  5. #5
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Phoenix Fire Patch

    Pray For Brother Bret

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    THANK YOU

    ARIZONA REMEMBERS BRET TARVER

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Phoenix Firefighter Tarver Among Nation's Heroes

    Phoenix firefighter Tarver among nation's heroes


    By Judi Villa
    The Arizona Republic
    Sept. 13, 2002


    It matters least to Robin Tarver that her husband was a firefighter.


    To her, Bret Tarver was a terrific father to three girls, a great husband and a constant source of support.

    "I think Bret would want to know that he touched some people's lives and that they saw in him a good man," Robin said. "He was a lot more than a fireman."

    But it is his work, and his death, as a Phoenix firefighter that will put Bret Tarver into the spotlight again next month when his name is added to a national memorial to firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

    Tarver is among 442 firefighters from 34 states who will be honored Oct. 6 in Washington, D.C., at a national memorial service for those killed in 2001, the deadliest year ever in the fire service. The list includes 347 firefighters who died at the World Trade Center.

    Tarver died in March 2001 after he ran out of air while battling a supermarket blaze. His death led to changes in how Phoenix firefighters train for and respond to commercial fires, and to a city sprinkler ordinance.

    "Bret Richmond Tarver" is the 24th name from Arizona to be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Monument in Emmitsburg, Md. The names of nearly 2,000 fallen firefighters encircle the stone monument, where an eternal flame burns.

    But for his widow, the changes that have been made to keep firefighters safer mean the most.

    "That's important," Robin said, "because his death has saved other lives."
    PHOTO BELOW
    http://www.arizonarepublic.com/arizo...PHXtarver.html


  8. #8
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    Colin

    Not sure if this is the right place, but a friend of mine Colleen Franklin, Mentioned the death of a fireman friend of hers and I am wondering if any of you that read this may have known Colleen?
    She lost her Battle with Cancer in February 2003.

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