Mike Wilbur


As previously posted, on Sunday, November 22, 2020 at approximately 1310 hours the Cleveland FD was dispatched to an explosion/structure fire at 560 Zackary Way.

While units responded, the Johnston County 911 center received numerous calls reporting a working fire. Cleveland Engine 1 requested the Johnston County Tanker Task Force with an Alarm Level 2, which provides 10 additional tankers. This notification was smartly made because the subdivision is served by a private water system and there are no fire hydrants.

Upon arrival, units found a 2-story residential home with heavy fire showing on the first and second story. Crews were able to contain the blaze and marking the fire under control at approximately 1425 hours. The resident were not home at the time and no one was hurt at the scene. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Cleveland Engine 3 responded to the fire with three Firefighters onboard. A Firefighter on Engine 3 was donning his SCBA when parts of the SCBA became entangled in the seatbelt. The Firefighter temporarily removed his seat belt just as the apparatus was approaching the intersection of North Shiloh and Cornwallis Rd. While making the turn onto Cornwallis Rd. the Firefighter lost his balance and fell against the door hitting the latch, resulting in the door opening. The Firefighter fell onto the roadway, but luckily received only minor abrasions and bruises. The firefighter was transported to Wake Med as a precaution and treatment and has been released.

A MESSAGE FROM CFD’s Chief Chris Ellington.
“Today we got another reminder of something fire departments around the country, including us, have learned…seatbelts save firefighters’ lives.”….. “We are extremely lucky this Firefighter wasn’t seriously hurt or even killed. The CFD has a strict policy concerning seatbelt usage however our Firefighter wanted to be ready to respond the second they arrived. Even a few minutes without a seatbelt can be dangerous and it is not worth the risk. I will personally be speaking to all of my firefighters and to the leadership of neighboring departments…this is a powerful example of the importance of buckling up and staying buckled up at all times.”

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