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Firefighters refuse to battle blaze, but watch
Tribune Chronicle ^ | 1/16/04 | JOHN GRANT EMEIGH

Posted on 01/16/2004 4:32:24 PM PST by mylife

Firefighters refuse to battle blaze, but watch

By JOHN GRANT EMEIGH

Tribune Chronicle

McKINLEY HEIGHTS - Firefighters from Niles watched a Weathersfield house burn for about 20 minutes Thursday afternoon without attempting to put it out because the fire occurred outside the city limits. Jason Radcliff said most of the items in his home at 2782 Robbins Ave. may have been saved if the Niles firefighters had acted immediately.

Instead, the Niles crew waited for the Weathersfield Fire Department to come and put out the blaze. Radcliff said Niles firefighters had three firetrucks at the scene and could have easily put out the fire.

''You don't just sit there and watch someone's livelihood burn,'' Radcliff said.

Capt. Randy Ciminero of the Niles Fire Department confirmed his firefighters mistakenly were dispatched to the scene because the fire originally was thought to have been in Niles.

Since the fire was not in the city's jurisdiction, Ciminero said his firefighters just waited to make sure no one was injured.

Radcliff, whose house was no more than 200 yards from Niles city limits, was angry the Niles firefighters didn't help.

''Don't call yourself a firefighter if you do something like that,'' he said.

The Niles firefighters said they would have done something if there was someone trapped in the house, but Ciminero said his department was not obligated to fight the fire.

Ciminero said he didn't want his firefighters tied up with this fire when they could have been called out to a fire in Niles.

''I'm paid by the city of Niles. I'm paid to protect the property of the people of Niles,'' he said.

Radcliff, who has rented the house for the past five years, said the fire was contained to one room when Niles firefighters arrived. However, the fire spread by the time firefighters from the Weathersfield station arrived.

It takes Weathersfield firefighters longer to respond to fires because it only has part-time firefighters who usually are not at the station when called.

The Niles department was dispatched to the fire because the 911 call was made from a cell phone, and all cell phone calls go to the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Southington. The patrol dispatcher mistakenly notified the Niles department about the fire because Robbins Avenue also runs through Niles.

Firefighters from Weathersfield's Station No. 40, who were eventually called about 1:10 p.m., put out the fire. An official from the Weathersfield department said the fire was contained to a room and part of the attic.

The cause of the fire was undetermined, the Fire Department reported.

One Weathersfield firefighter was taken to a local hospital after suffering breathing problems and was treated and released that day.

Weathersfield Fire Chief Randall Pugh was not available for comment.

Radcliff said he and his fiancee and their three children will have to stay in a hotel.

jemeigh@tribune-chronicle.com


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: fire; firefighters; followingrules; idiots; notmyjobman; ohio; union; youngstown
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Im from this area, I'll bet a buck that these guys are union.
1 posted on 01/16/2004 4:32:25 PM PST by mylife
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To: mylife
This happens all the time. Sometimes people are shocked to learn in this way that they are not inside city limits, although when it came time to pay property taxes they were highly cognizant of the slightest detail on their tax statement.
2 posted on 01/16/2004 4:34:28 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: mylife
These firefighters are an insult to the brave NY 9/11 firefighters.
3 posted on 01/16/2004 4:37:27 PM PST by Drango (NPR is the tax funded propaganda wing of the DNC.)
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To: mylife
How many went to volunteer in NY after 9-11, but they wouldn't drive 200 yards outside the city limits? I'll bet they sure like that hero label and the extra attention they get with it as well....
4 posted on 01/16/2004 4:37:53 PM PST by shotgun
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To: mylife
Ciminero said his department was not obligated to fight the fire.

If they feel this way, I question their "dedication".

Not my job, man.

Yep, sounds like union mentality.

I feel for the ex-home owner / renter.

LVM

5 posted on 01/16/2004 4:39:40 PM PST by LasVegasMac (I can't drive...55...or 65...in my SUV's..........)
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To: mylife
I saw this happen when I lived in Las Vegas. The house burned down completely and the LV city fire dept just watched. The owner borrow a shotgun from a neighbor and blew severals holes (about 3 separate shots)in the side of the fire truck then pointed it at the chief. They started to put it out when the county truck arrived. The man was charged but not convicted by a jury. This was in about 1961 or so. The house was a total loss and
6 posted on 01/16/2004 4:40:51 PM PST by bedolido (I can forgive you for killing my sons, but I cannot forgive you for forcing me to kill your sons)
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To: RightWhale
The Niles department was dispatched to the fire because the 911 call was made from a cell phone, and all cell phone calls go to the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Southington. The patrol dispatcher mistakenly notified the Niles department about the fire because Robbins Avenue also runs through Niles.

Firefighters from Weathersfield's Station No. 40, who were eventually called about 1:10 p.m., put out the fire.

You talk about people being cognizant of every detail on their property tax statement ... sounds like the 911 dispatcher and the State Highway Patrol (which depend on tax revenue for their existence) could be held civilly liable for the loss. And it also sounds like it's just too bad that there wasn't a private fire company that the person could call, who was their client, and who would come put out the fire - instead of depending on multiple levels of government functionaries to do so.

7 posted on 01/16/2004 4:41:35 PM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: coloradan
You talk about people being cognizant of every detail on their property tax statement ... sounds like the 911 dispatcher and the State Highway Patrol (which depend on tax revenue for their existence) could be held civilly liable for the loss.

I agree. Sue the pants off them. Sad to say, but it's the only way left to get back at the government for stepping on you.

8 posted on 01/16/2004 4:43:52 PM PST by Timesink (I'm not a big fan of electronic stuff, you know? Beeps ... beeps freak me out. They're bad.)
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To: mylife
I guess maybe it would haave been a good thing to be in the city and pay the taxes.

Life is a bout choices and responsibility for those choices.
9 posted on 01/16/2004 4:45:02 PM PST by bert (Have you offended a liberal today?)
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To: RightWhale
How about these apples - I was robbed at gunpoint when I worked at a convenience store.

The way the town I worked in was drawn, some parts are city of Houston, and the rest is Harris County.

From previous experience, I knew that 911 goes to city, but that we are in county.

So, when I called the Sherriff's office, they told me to hang up and call 911 so they could have me on record.

When I told them why I couldn't, they said "well, then, it is just going to take longer for us to find you"

Thank God I wasn't hurt.

But it was a good lesson that 911 doesn't always work

10 posted on 01/16/2004 4:45:08 PM PST by PurVirgo (Here's a tip - Never weedeat the dog pen with your mouth open)
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To: coloradan
There will be a number of problems with E-911. Use of a cell phone probably exonerates 911 since cell phones are not in the system. The city firefighters are not allowed to fight fires outside their district unless so directed since they must be ready to respond to an emergency within their district.
11 posted on 01/16/2004 4:46:01 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: mylife
I can just picture it......A big shiny fire truck, and a crew of firefighters just sitting idly by while someones house is burning down. Just dont make much sense.

"When you are dealing with people, you will find that it is a whole lot better to go..not so much by the book.......but by the heart"

Sheriff Andy Taylor
12 posted on 01/16/2004 4:46:11 PM PST by backtobasics
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To: Skylight
The house burned down completely and the LV city fire dept just watched. The owner borrow a shotgun from a neighbor and blew severals holes (about 3 separate shots)in the side of the fire truck then pointed it at the chief. They started to put it out when the county truck arrived.

I guess he must of felt strongly about the situation.

13 posted on 01/16/2004 4:50:15 PM PST by mylife
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To: mylife
It is much more complicated then that... it depends on what kind of agreement they have with the local community; And never ever under estimate the power of lawyers to keep firefighters from taking any unnecessary actions.

Besides, in general, sawdust plywood houses are just left to burn.

14 posted on 01/16/2004 4:50:23 PM PST by Porterville (I am Hispanic and Republican a old but growing political force.)
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To: PurVirgo
That's right 911 wasn't perfect and E-911 should be better, but it won't be perfect either. It's new tech and I don't see why it should be so difficult but it is.
15 posted on 01/16/2004 4:50:43 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: backtobasics
I can just picture it......A big shiny fire truck, and a crew of firefighters just sitting idly by while someones house is burning down. Just dont make much sense.

My local newspaper once ran a photo of a bunch of smiling firefighters posing in front of a burning house. But those firefighters had an excuse: the house was being torched as part of a training exercise, and the firefighters were waiting for the fire to reach the proper level before going in to put it out.

17 posted on 01/16/2004 4:53:10 PM PST by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: PurVirgo
Thats why we need to take our rights and responsibilities away from the government.
18 posted on 01/16/2004 4:53:13 PM PST by mylife
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To: Budapestbum
You know what would have happened if something went wrong, he would have sued the Town claiming that the firefighters jumped in when they had no legal right to do so.

You forgot about NIASH and OSHA.... there are many bastards in the world, that are not the ground troops.

19 posted on 01/16/2004 4:53:26 PM PST by Porterville (I am Hispanic and Republican a old but growing political force.)
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To: Drango
You think the owner of that house has nice things to say about firefighters right now? I don't think so. I used to be in a volunteer fire company. Many brave men and women died VOLUNTEERING to go to the 9-11 fireground without a thought of getting paid for anything. I agree with you.
20 posted on 01/16/2004 4:54:00 PM PST by cyborg (feed marmite to the prisoners and they'll never go there again)
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To: RightWhale
By e911 you mean cellular?

you're absolutely correct. It should be the most accurate considering how it employs sattelite triangulation to find you.

Human error is still the missing link in eliminating error, and they will happen.

But that doesn't excuse those feckers from putting out a fire. I just can't believe that was a top-down order to not put it out.

21 posted on 01/16/2004 4:54:31 PM PST by PurVirgo (Here's a tip - Never weedeat the dog pen with your mouth open)
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To: mylife
LOL - if only it was that easy. Chevron's policy against bringing a hundgun to work would have prevented me from shooting the bastard too
22 posted on 01/16/2004 4:55:30 PM PST by PurVirgo (Here's a tip - Never weedeat the dog pen with your mouth open)
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To: mylife
Im from this area, I'll bet a buck that these guys are union.

This probab;y is not a union issue. It's probably because of a lack of a mutual aid agreement between the two fire departments. In Washington State, these agreements provide such broad-ranging coverage that this type of incident could never happen. Fire fighters would respond and take action even if the call came from two cities away.

23 posted on 01/16/2004 4:57:20 PM PST by scooter2
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To: PurVirgo
I just can't believe that was a top-down order to not put it out.

Yes, there is. This has been settled. First time I saw such a thing was at least 20 years ago, and it was a beaut. Turned out that house was in no fire district at all. All his neighbors were, but district boundary lines went around. Everyone was surprised, and there was much reading of legal descriptions, but the decision stood.

24 posted on 01/16/2004 4:58:17 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: Drango
These firefighters are an insult to the brave NY 9/11 firefighters.

No they're not. No fire department puts out fires outside their Jurisdiction. Fire fighting is extremely dangerous. No one demands that fire fighters risk their lives when it's not their responsibility. Remember these's guys made sure everyone was safe. But it's not their job to risk their lives to protect property outside their jurisdiction. And the "brave NY 9/11 firefighters" would have done exactly the same thing. Because the Firefighters on 9/11 didn't enter those towers to protect someone's D$@% property. They enter to save lives and you are wrong to compare these two events.

25 posted on 01/16/2004 4:59:38 PM PST by Sci Fi Guy
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To: RightWhale
The city firefighters are not allowed to fight fires outside their district unless so directed since they must be ready to respond to an emergency within their district.

Fails the laugh test: so they just stand around and watch it burn, doing nothing except blocking the way for other fire trucks?

Behold the power of government services: it's not only not in my job description (the union response) but it's legally prohibited for me to assist you (the government response). So, I'll just stand around, maybe order a pizza or some popcorn and watch. Say, there's a fire here; anyone bring marshmallows?

26 posted on 01/16/2004 5:03:20 PM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: scooter2
t's probably because of a lack of a mutual aid agreement between the two fire departments.

You got that right. Where was the pre-planning for such an event.

27 posted on 01/16/2004 5:03:41 PM PST by Focault's Pendulum
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To: RightWhale
easy killer - I was only 3 yrs old when that happened.

and I've only cared about issues like this for only 5-6yrs now

28 posted on 01/16/2004 5:04:41 PM PST by PurVirgo (Here's a tip - Never weedeat the dog pen with your mouth open)
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To: RightWhale
I hope his tax bill was zero, otherwise he was paying for stuff he wasn't getting.
29 posted on 01/16/2004 5:05:01 PM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: mylife
I know somewhere I lived (can't recall exactly where) they had a policy that they would put out the fire but would bill the owner for the service if it was outside their area.
30 posted on 01/16/2004 5:05:02 PM PST by yarddog
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To: coloradan
so they just stand around and watch it burn

Yes, and make sure the fire doesn't spread to property in their district of responsibility. Nobody is laughing.

31 posted on 01/16/2004 5:05:55 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: Sci Fi Guy
No they're not. No fire department puts out fires outside their Jurisdiction.

Where did you hear that. I used to do it all the time. First truck in was always the attack pumper...regardless of who arrived first.

32 posted on 01/16/2004 5:06:02 PM PST by Focault's Pendulum
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To: bert
I guess maybe it would haave been a good thing to be in the city and pay the taxes. Life is a bout choices and responsibility for those choices.

BULL

The wrong fire department was dispatched because they used a cell phone and the dispatcher made a mistake. This wasn't a choice, it was a tragic error. I could see your point if the fire department that had jurisdiction was correctly dispatched and they bungled the job, but that isn't the case. A mistake was made by the dispatcher and the firefighters had an obligation to at least start fighting the fire until the correct department arrived. This is a travesty.

These sort of petty boundary squabbles are common and wrong. I used to be a firefighter, and we NEVER would have stood by and watched. Mutual aid agreements are a necessity to avoid such occurrances. But even in the absence of an agreement, they should have just done the job they were mistakenly called by another authority to do and argued about it later. I'm certain the other department would have reciprocated if a call had come in when they were engaged "out of their territory".

33 posted on 01/16/2004 5:07:35 PM PST by SteamShovel
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To: RightWhale
Yes, and make sure the fire doesn't spread to property in their district of responsibility.

They could make sure it wouldn't spread by putting it out.

34 posted on 01/16/2004 5:08:16 PM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: coloradan

"I'm sorry, sir, could you repeat that credit card number and expiration date again? And for verification purposes, please state the billing zipcode and the last four digits of your social security number."

35 posted on 01/16/2004 5:08:35 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Cultural Jihad
It works for car insurance, burglar alarm company, banker, your AAA towing company and your cell phone company. At least it works for mine. Do you get all of these services from government too?

Compare that kind of service to that received from social services, getting a driver's license, or going to court. (Sorry, docket's full for two years.)

36 posted on 01/16/2004 5:11:18 PM PST by coloradan (Hence, etc.)
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To: SteamShovel
they should have just done the job they were mistakenly called by another authority to do and argued about it later

I never had a homeowner complain because my engine company was a block or two outside our jurisdiction.

37 posted on 01/16/2004 5:11:21 PM PST by Focault's Pendulum
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To: mylife
''You don't just sit there and watch someone's livelihood burn,'' Radcliff said.

Actually firefighters often sit there and watch someone's livelihood burn. When it's too dangerous, or as in this case outside their jurisdiction.

Radcliff wants these guys to risk their lives to protect his property. But he does not want to pay for the fire department. He decided to live where they have a volunteer fire department. And I'm sure he was happy to pay less in taxes for it. Well he got what he paid for.

38 posted on 01/16/2004 5:13:13 PM PST by Sci Fi Guy
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To: coloradan
I hope his tax bill was zero, otherwise he was paying for stuff he wasn't getting.

Well, yeah. That does happen, too. Municipal GIS is weeding out those problems and there were a lot like that before GIS.

39 posted on 01/16/2004 5:13:20 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: mylife
A classic case of, "you get what you pay for". There are advantages to living in an unincorporated area. This is one of the disadvantages
40 posted on 01/16/2004 5:14:08 PM PST by Damagro
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To: coloradan
Perhaps, but it doesn't take two years for a fire truck to arrive, and no one is barred from starting their own FireBusters franchise, eh?
41 posted on 01/16/2004 5:15:30 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Damagro

A self-governance BTTT.

42 posted on 01/16/2004 5:16:35 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

To: mylife
Also in the fire news today:

Firefighters in California Town Resign to Protest Colleague's Porn Career

Published: Jan 16, 2004


Advertisement

KEYES, Calif. (AP) - Seventeen firefighters in a small volunteer department resigned this week to protest the pornography career of a colleague who allegedly discussed her work at the firehouse.

Firefighters in Keyes, a town of 4,500 south of Modesto, walked off the job to protest Alexa Jones' pornography career, which they said she discussed while on the job with her husband, Assistant Fire Chief Roger Jones.

"We feel pretty strongly that there needs to be a separation between the pornography and the fire service," said Capt. Herb Collier, who was among those who resigned.

Alexa Jones has a Web site that promotes her pornographic material but does not mention her job as a firefighter. She stars in videos under a pseudonym.

"If they're going to be out there, I might as well be making money off them," she said. Her husband added: "It's called freedom of expression, and speech also. It's not illegal."

The resignations leave Keyes with eight firefighters. Nearby stations have pledged to help the department respond to emergencies.

AP-ES-01-16-04 1920EST

Copyright 2003 Associated Press

44 posted on 01/16/2004 5:20:11 PM PST by TheOtherOne
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To: backtobasics
Just dont make much sense "When you are dealing with people, you will find that it is a whole lot better to go..not so much by the book.......but by the heart" Sheriff Andy Taylor

Amen, my friend. Thanks for posting.

45 posted on 01/16/2004 5:20:33 PM PST by LisaMalia (Buckeye Fan since birth!!)
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To: backtobasics
"When you are dealing with people, you will find that it is a whole lot better to go..not so much by the book.......but by the heart"

Sheriff Andy Taylor

"Hey sheriff maybe that isn't always such a good idea"...Mayberry's City Attorney

:)

46 posted on 01/16/2004 5:21:29 PM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: chris2004
they could of forwarded the call to the proper fire department

This is probably done all the time.

47 posted on 01/16/2004 5:26:08 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: Sci Fi Guy; coloradan; Drango
There's more to it than that. This same type of incident happened here and the city firemen could not help even if they wanted to. The city fire trucks don't carry water. They are expected to hook up to a nearby city fire hydrant to get water. That is all the equipment they have. The county fire trucks on the other hand have large tanks and carry pumps to get water out of swimming pools and rivers. The city trucks don't have that capability. Where would the city trucks get water from when there are no hydrants around and they have no pumps?
48 posted on 01/16/2004 5:27:06 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls
Where would the city trucks get water from when there are no hydrants around and they have no pumps

Class "A" pumpers carry 750 gallons of water. While not enough for a fully involved structural....it is oftentimes enough to make a concerted stop using 1 1/4 inch or 1 1/2 inch lines.

Secondly...all pumpers carry hard suction, which allows them to draft from a nearby water supply such as a stream, pond or swimming pool. If the water source is distant, than two or more pumpers set up a relay, called a water shuttle through 2 1/2 inch 3 inch or even 5 inch lines.

49 posted on 01/16/2004 5:35:12 PM PST by Focault's Pendulum
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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