Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Salt Lake Tribune: Two Vacant Houses Burned at Ogden Riverfront

Godfrey denies he'd promised area residents would be notified before the burn

By Curmudgeon

Tuesday's SLTrib is running a story by Kathy McKitrick on the burning of the two Leshemville slum houses that is considerably more detailed than the story that ran Saturday in the SE:
Two vacant houses burned at Ogden Riverfront
The Trib story reports that the Godfrey administration did not inform the Council that the burn would happen, about which the Council leadership is "disappointed." McKitrick reports that no one outside the fire department and the city's risk management people were aware in advance that the burn would take place. Mayor Godfrey said he didn't know when the burn was going to happen either --- he doesn't sweat the small stuff --- and he denied that he'd promised area residents would be notified before the burn.

McKitrick reported the Ogden FD chief insisting that this was both a training burn and a burn to assess the costs of demolition by fire. And she got Chief Mathieu to concede that no water --- no water --- was applied to the two burning buildings. The Trib reporter then went further, not simply accepting the Chief's account as complete. She talked to another experienced veteran fireman, who doubted much worthwhile training happens when firemen do not even enter a burning structure, as they did not in the Ogden burn.

A very interesting story, from several angles, and an illustration of what reporting that goes beyond accepting the word of official spokespersons can do for readers.


In the know said...

Mathieu admits no water was put on the fire so hard to see what kind of training was accomplished. Most of the personnel on site were administrative to satisfy the legal requirements for a live burn. The only inexeperienced firefighters there were brought along to hump hose not receive training. Sad that an opportunity to get something out of these derelict houses was not realized.

what will it cost us said...

Word on the street is that the mayor had a beef with the private disposal dump owner who can charge any rate for construction debris. I guess he doesn't contribute to the mayors election fund. So it was easier to burn baby burn just like Nero burned Rome. Maybe the mayor was hiding behind a tree warching it burn. I would be concerned for the next burn at 3 AM every month till they are all gone.

I'm glad I don't live close enough for the stench coming from Ogden.

No mention of who will pay for the time and equipment used by the city. If they do use water will it drain directly into Ogden river?

More info, please said...

I'd like to know what private landfill owner in Weber County the mayor has a beef with. Is it Randy Moulding? Because Randy gave his old landfill to Ogden City to build their Motocross Park and they should be good friends because of that.

Danny said...

I saw them spraying water from a ladder Saturday. I guess that was after it was over.

Some training. They burned the thing completely. They wanted to just get rid of it. And they lied to Gochnour.

So Gochnour will be less trustful next time . . . .

Yeah, sure she will be.

Fireman Joe said...

The chief's actions unfortunately give the whole department a black eye.

Inside a burning house you are usually down on the floor-anybody out there want to crawl around on a floor that the local transient population has been using as a bathroom for the last two years?

OneWhoKnows said...

Comment bumped to front page

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