Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Prayers for a fireman

Firefighter David Curlin Injured When Wall Collapses


Monday, January 4, 2010 11:14 PM CST
The cause of a fire in downtown Pine Bluff Sunday was still unknown and an injured firefighter remained in intensive care in a Little Rock hospital Monday.
A Sunday fire destroyed Clements Office Center at 604 S. Main St. and left a Pine Bluff Firefighter in critical condition at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services crews were back at Clements Office Center at 604 S. Main St. Monday morning to douse spot fires and to allow the fire marshal to conduct his investigation.

Meanwhile, Lt. David Curlin was listed in critical but stable condition in the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center where he was transferred from Jefferson Regional Medical Center Sunday.

Curlin was injured when part of a wall fell on him Sunday.

“He made it through the night, and they were supposed to reassess him today,” Lt. Shauwn Howell, fire department spokesman, said Monday morning.
Curlin received multiple injuries including a concussion and severe internal bleeding after one of the walls collapsed while firefighters from throughout the city battled the blaze, which was reported at 4:45 a.m. Sunday, Howell said.

Howell said Curlin, who is in his 14th year as a firefighter, is a lieutenant assigned to Station 3 at 30th Avenue and Ash Street.

“He’s an instructor and has been a deputy fire marshal,” Howell said. “He’s been very involved on the training side and is one of our really good guys.”

Initially, four fire companies and both ladder trucks responded to the fire, but Howell said at various points, personnel from all seven stations, an estimated 25 firefighters, were on the scene of the fire, which was finally extinguished about six hours after the first call.

Howell said volunteer fire departments from Watson Chapel and White Hall assisted in fighting the fire.

No damage estimate was available Monday but Howell described the building and its contents as a total loss.

Currin Nichol Jr., who maintained an office in the building, said it was built by members of his family in 1918, and replaced a house and mule barn that his grandfather, Charles Alexander Nichol, had constructed in the 1800s.

The building formerly housed one of the first Safeway grocery stores in Pine Bluff, Bowen’s Buffeteria restaurant, a store that sold refrigerators, a lawn service and a Western Auto store, among other businesses, Nichol said.

The office supply store moved there after their former location across the street was acquired as part of the business incubator project by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in 2006.

“It’s a devastating thing for Main Street, but we will just have to make something positive out of it,” said Joy Blankenship, executive director of Pine Bluff Downtown Development.

Blankenship said she could envision another building, a parking lot or even a mini-park with green space at the site where the building stood.

“Pine Bluff is fortunate in having a good collection of older, viable buildings that other cities don’t have,” she said. “This one of course had a lot of history behind it and it was not only a viable building, it was adding wealth to our community.

“I believe that something good can come from something that right now looks so bad,” Blankenship said.

Monday night, Pine Bluff Fire Chief Dannie C. Smith told the city council that he visited Curlin and his family in the hospital Monday morning and other Pine Bluff firefighters have been rotating spending time with them around the clock.

The fire department will be conducting an “after action review” in the coming days, something officials do when there’s an injury — to try to identify and learn from any mistakes to avoid them in the future, Smith said.

Smith also mentioned the David Curlin Fund has been set up with Simmons First National Bank for anyone wishing to make contributions.

There will be a blood drive in Curlin’s name at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Fire Station One (downtown). North Little Rock and Little Rock fire fighters are also organizing a blood drive, Smith said.

This is a friend of my brothers and I was just wanting to ask prayer for him. 


gayle said...

Praying and pass info along. My son is a full time firefighter!!