Fire Chief Tim Butler

Fire Chief Tim Butler
Thanks for checking out my web log! My radio call sign in Saint Paul is "Car 1." Join me as we go "On Scene" to the fire stations, training evolutions, emergency incidents, and community events in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Let's share perspectives on the issues facing our Department, our community, and the American Fire Service!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Day 4 - Campus Fire Safety Month

If you watched the Mock Dorm Fire video from yesterday's post, you know how fast and deadly college dormitory fires (any fire, really) can be.  It is hard to imagine how scary it would be to be trapped in a burning dormitory building!  The heat, the smoke, and the darkness make it incredibly difficult to safely navigate your way out.

Last year I read a great book entitled, "After the Fire:  A True Story of Friendship and Survival," by Robin Gaby Fisher.  The book describes a January 2000 fire in a dormitory building on the Seaton Hall University campus.  The fire - started as a prank when several students lit a banner on fire - killed 3 students and injured 58 others.  Among the burn victims who managed to escape the fire were two close friends and roommates who were severely burned:  Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos.

The book describes their harrowing escape from the fire, the months they spent in the burn units healing from their disfiguring and painful burns, the exceptional dedication and compassion of the burn unit doctors and nurses, and the investigation of the cause of the fire and the eventual prosecution of the ones who set the fire.

Shawn and Alvaro's story will leave a lasting impression.  The books graphically illustrates the real "cost" of dormitory fires...costs tallied in lives, pain, and the loss of both relationships and self-esteem.  Their story also showcases the incredible strength of friendship and the shining triumph of the human spirit.

Check out "After the Fire" for a great read and a close up encounter with a dormitory fire and it's aftermath.

Until next time....

Take Care and Stay Safe,


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