Alleged assault between firefighters investigated

May 7, 2010 4:08:51 PM PDT
Inspectors with the city are investigating an incident between two Houston firefighters -- an alleged assault at a local fire station. The city of Houston is not saying much about this incident at this point. We know there was some sort of fight between two firefighters inside fire station #60 back in April. There is a criminal investigation now underway by the Houston Police Department's Office of Inspector General.

The alleged assault is said to have occurred on April 5, at the fire station near Jeanetta and Clarkcrest. Fire officials will not tell us what led to that incident. They initially called it roughhousing.

"There was an injury sustained by one firefighter that resulted in some loss of time," said Houston Fire Department spokesperson Patrick Trahan. "But both firefighters are active and on duty."

This incident comes at a time of transition within the Houston Fire Department, as it looks for a new chief. The previous chief stepped down in part because of an incident at a different fire station where racist and sexist graffiti was found scrawled on a wall.

Firefighters Jane Draycott and Paula Keyes discovered the hateful slurs written inside dorms there. Neither the city nor the FBI could determine who was responsible. Draycott has sued the fire department, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining.

And now this, an allegation of assault that allegedly occurred inside fire station #60. The fire department says by law it cannot tell us the names of the firefighters allegedly involved. They say the police department is looking into the matter. We're told that there should be some conclusion to this probe within 180 days.

Mayor Annise parker declined comment, as did Council Member Ed Gonzalez. He is vice-chair of the city's public safety committee. We were not able to reach the chairman of that committee, Council Member Melissa Noriega, for comment on this matter.


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