Friday, August 26, 2011

On my way home yesterday northbound on I-35 service road, I saw a small plume of smoke. I looked over to the southbound service road (Pflugerville-Round Rock TX) and saw a brush fire growing with heavy fuel and light wind gusts propelling the fire. No PD of FD on scene yet. Given the amount of smoke and the fact a brush unit was putting out a fire on the other side of the highway, I assumed 911 had been called. I noticed it was close to involving a cabinet company showroom and manufacturing plant.

The staff of the cabinet store were trying to keep the fire back with garden hoses and fire extinguishers. I also saw a large propane tank. I quickly turned arouud to the southbound service road , parked my car in a safe spot, and told the PD that there was a propane tank involved and to relay to incoming units and keep . I shouted to the people to get away from the fire, their methods were futile, and come to the front of the building to safety. The owner let me know that there was another large propane tank in the back of the facility. Upon arrival of the first due engine, I let the officer know about this, and they made maneuvers to keep the fire away from the building as much as possible. They did not have a water supply besides the onboard tank, and later on in the incident mutual aid engines had to relay pump with 5 inch hoses for about half a mile, to the nearest hydrant south of the fire. Until then, most departments relied on their booster tankers. Round Rock FD, an urban department, has a tanker that responds with its brush truck. This water was used efficently enough to protect the building. Star Flight, our EMS-Fire-Rescue helicopter, provided aerial surveillance to the IC, and then initiated water drops. As of this writing, the fire is  100% contained and out. Numerous departments from Travis and Williamson County were on scene, and did an amazing job of keeping the fire contained despite the size and protecting numerous structures and civilians., and quickly containing the fire and extinguishing it.

I got some photos of these professionals in action, check out the link below to view my photos of the incident: 

Lake Travis and the drought's effect

Lake Travis-Austin TX on 8-15-11...down 50 feet from it's normal level this time of year due to this exceptional drought we are experiencing....I wish Irene would bring her rain here, since the months and months of no rain is also creating a disaster.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Code 3 Collectibles Ceases Production

Very sad news. Code 3 has been dying in the past few years, mainly because of the extremly out of touch "leadership" of the company. They should have kept the original staff, or at least made an effort to, and kept to their enthusiastic original business model.  Instead, they incorporated it into Funrise, forced all the Code 3 leadership and staff out, jacked their prices up beyond the reach of their avergage customer, ceased any type of collector relations, and hasn't done any R&D since at least 2007. Hopefully, someone can pick this up and bring it back to what it used to be.


Code 3 Collectibles Ceases Production

Van Nuys, CA, August 19, 2011 Matrix Holdings Limited, announces that 2011 will be the last year of production of Code 3 Collectible die-cast vehicles. The company, Code 3 Collectibles (, will continue to operate its online business in an effort to sell all remaining inventory until further notice.

Arnie Rubin, founder of Funrise Toy Corporation, launched Code 3 Collectibles in 1997, aiming to ignite the emotional chord between Funrise Toys and the "little kid" in "big kids" - the adult toy collector. Code 3 Collectibles focused on producing high quality, limited edition die-cast replicas of emergency and firefighting vehicles, but also held licenses to create collectibles for Smithsonian Air and Space Products, Star Wars licensed products and a line of 3-D movie posters under the brand Legendary Casts.

"We have been passionate about the Code 3 Collectibles brand since we launched in 1997. During that time, we have had an amazing connection with our collector base. We appreciated their passion and loyalty. Unfortunately, the recent economic downturn has made it extremely difficult to continue the high standards of manufacturing that has made Code 3 Collectibles who we are," said Arnie Rubin, CEO of Code 3 Collectibles.

Funrise Toy Corporation and Code 3 Collectibles are headquartered in Van Nuys, CA, and are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Matrix Holdings Limited. Arnie Rubin is both CEO of Funrise and Code 3 Collectibles, and Vice Chairman of Matrix. "