23 February 2008

KingCast presents the Truth about firefighers Cahill, Payne and proposed Robert Taylor's Law to protect tenants.

Note: Imageshack sucks, so the pictures I had of the actual fireball are no longer hosted. You can see their shadows creep across the screen though, nice.


In the tragic Tai Ho fire investigation (See Boston Herald Story) Boston Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser has challenged the Board of Inquiry over the toxicology reports of fallen firefighters Paul Cahill and Warren Payne. Ordinarily I would applaud without reservation, but there's someting more going on here that the mass media and public don't know about.

But I do.

See, when you want the truth about a situation involving firefighters, ask a firefighter involved in the tragedy, because he'll set you straight quick, fast and in a hurry. Details of my interview with Firefighter X from the rescue squad that day will follow tonight in the comments section, but in short you should know that while it is obviously improper to be drunk on the job (Cahill), and while trace amounts of marijuana and cocaine were in Payne's body, there's no causal connection between those facts and their deaths.

Hint: In the first picture, that's a flashfire caught at that exact moment that Firefighter Payne died. Read the comments for more on this.

So this means the city needs to shell out for all of the benefits owed to the families, and meanwhile that doesn't excuse the lack of a contract between the city and the firefighters' union for more than a year, either. That having been said, if there is substance abuse occurring on the job then that most certainly DOES need to be addressed, but the current policy is woefully inadequate, as noted in the comments.


Firefighter X and I continued our discussion into the Gloucester tragedy in the Lorraine building (owned by 80 Middle Street Partners, LLC), and naturally talk turned to the Taylor legislation supported by the Gloucester Times as proposed by Crnilovic & Phillips Law Office, where I worked on that case, drafting legislation now pending before the Senate. There's an organizational meeting on 28 Feb. 2008 at the Mayor's office on that, with State Senator Tarr and Representative Verga.

In sum, he's all about that legislation, particularly because it puts the consumer in a position to enforce the law right up front because it would require a landlord to inform a tenant of the code violations/lack of inspection more than 30 days out.

"In Massachusetts the fire department doesn't do the inspections," said Firefighter X. "So the cities are left to try to deal with it.... We need to be in there to make it right."

KingCast: Civil Rights with a vengeance.


Christopher King said...

Says Firefighter X about the fired in what they call a "taxpayer" building.

"A flash fire occurs when the oxygen molecules stop burning and explode.... it shot down from the top and everything that orginally was not on fire -- is on fire RIGHT NOW [Payne] walked right into that..... and the two guys right next to him survived but with major burns.

This fire had been burning for an hour before we got it, because the guys who caused it called it in late and ran off."

[KingCast note: There's supposed to be legislation about that but it never happened]

"And Cahill was trapped when the ceiling fell down in the kitchen, and pinned him in the corner.... what they didn't tell you is that the back door out of there had been locked shut, too."

Christopher King said...

Firefighter X went on to say that the Drug testing right now is bullshit anyway because it gives a 30 day before or after your birthday window so it's not random at all.

The Boston Globe concurs.

Andrew said...

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your interview. I am a firefighter for a medium sized department in Texas. I am currently attending a college credit fire tactics course. With your permission, I will be using your interview in my up coming presentation. Once again thank you, and if you have any other information regarding this unfortunate fire I would appreciate your correspondence. Andrew FF/EMT

Christopher King said...


Yah, go for it.

I've got a lot more to share with you about fire cases, actually.

Shoot me an email at


Meanwhile run a word search on the blog for "Robert Taylor's Law" and follow the links about some legislation I put forth that Mass Senator Bruce Tarr is running with in the new term.


BTW I lived in Dallas and one of my sisters and her family is still there in Colleyville.

Check the plates.