WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Officials Suspect Foul Play In Pair Of D.C. Ambulance Fires Tuesday

Play associated audio
The first of two D.C. ambulances that caught fire Tuesday was out on a call.
Photo via International Association of Firefighters Local 36
The first of two D.C. ambulances that caught fire Tuesday was out on a call.

For the D.C. Fire department, the past few months have been riddled with troubling incidents involving the city's fleet of ambulances. The latest scandal has the Gray administration and fire department leadership asking if sabotage may be involved.

The story spread like wildfire and quickly emerged as a symbol for the fire and EMS department's decrepit fleet: two D.C. ambulances catching fire for no apparent reason.

Now Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander is asking the police department to investigate whether the fires may have been deliberately set.

"Since you have been in the District of Columbia, how many instances are you aware of where two fire engines or fire apparatuses caught fire on the same day within a three hour period?" Quander says.

Quander says he wants all of the facts and isn't accusing anyone. But the ambulance fires have emerged as the latest battle between the fire department brass and the rank and file membership.

Immediately following Quanders' statement, the fire fighters union president Ed Smith blasted the decision to bring in MPD and the implication that the fires were set deliberately.

"Casting loose and broad accusations is the standard response from fire department leadership," Smith says. He wants the National Transportation Safety Board brought in to investigate the entire fleet of vehicles.


'Never Crossing The Botox Rubicon': Amanda Peet Explores Aging In Hollywood

NPR's Kelly McEvers speaks with actress Amanda Peet about her Lenny Letter essay, "Never Crossing The Botox Rubicon," and how to navigate aging in the image-obsessed entertainment industry.

When It Came To Food, Neanderthals Weren't Exactly Picky Eaters

During the Ice Age, it seems Neanderthals tended to chow down on whatever was most readily available. Early humans, on the other hand, maintained a consistent diet regardless of environmental changes.

#MemeOfTheWeek: The Woman('s) Card

Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton was playing it this week. And then it seemed the entire Internet joined in the game.

Apple's Lousy Week Could Signal Times Of Trouble For Tech Giant

Apple got hit with a lot of bad news this week. First, the company posted its first quarterly revenue drop since 2003. And then billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn revealed that he has dumped all of his shares in Apple. NPR explores whether the company is really in trouble or if is this all just a bump in the road.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.