Confirmed: DC ambo fires caused by poor maintenance; not intentionally set
Union says mayor should apologize for "accusing firefighters of untoward acts"
By EMS1 Staff
WASHINGTON — A six-week investigation into fires aboard three D.C. ambulances in August found no evidence that they were intentionally set.
The Washington Post reported that the findings support the conclusions reached by fire investigators within days of the incident. The fires were most likely accidents caused by a variety of engine problems — such as fuel leaks or electrical malfunctions, according to the report.
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul A. Quander Jr. ordered the review to ensure that “nothing untoward” had occurred in what he described as an unusual number of fires in a short time, according to the report.
Although Quander said he was not assigning blame, the head of the firefighters’ union said the mayor’s comments were as if he was accusing firefighters of sabotaging their vehicles during a bitter labor dispute. The union had said the fires were another example of shoddy and poorly maintained equipment, according to the report.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s administration should apologize for “accusing the firefighters of untoward acts,” said Edward Smith, the union’s president.
The full report is scheduled to be released Wednesday.