President Biden declared Tuesday that Delaware firefighters nearly died combating a tiny fire in his kitchen in 2004 — even though a local fire chief said at the time that the incident was swiftly controlled.
During his virtual remarks at a fire prevention meeting, Biden made the remark while attesting to the bravery of firemen, another one of his often-controversial biographical claims.
Biden described the fire that broke out at his Wilmington, Delaware home as follows: “I was doing ‘Meet the Press,’ when lightning struck a little pond behind my house, came up through the earth into the air conditioning system, and ended up generating thick black smoke.” And everything was destroyed from the cellar to the attic on the third floor.
The president said, “And the kitchen floor — we almost lost a couple firefighters, they tell me, because the kitchen floor was — the burning between the beams and in the home, in addition to, it almost collapsed into the basement.”
When speaking to victims of Hurricane Ian in Florida last week, Vice President Biden was criticized for giving a shortened version of the narrative and declaring, “We know the sensation” of having substantial property damage.
Lightning hit, and while we didn’t lose the house entirely, we did lose a lot of stuff,” Biden explained.
At the time of the incident at Biden’s home, Cranston Heights, Del., Fire Company Chief George Lamborn told The Associated Press, “Luckily, we grabbed it very early. The blaze was contained in 20 minutes.
The Post’s attempts to contact Lamborn and the Cranston Heights Fire Company were unsuccessful.
Biden’s comments from last November, “I know, having had a house burn down with my wife in it — she got out safely, God willing — that having a significant portion of it burn, I can tell: 10 minutes makes a hell of a difference,” add to the years of scrutiny cast on the president’s account of the house fire.
Critics often criticize Biden’s mental acuity; attention was drawn to his health last month when he sought for the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) at an event, after openly lamenting her death eight weeks earlier. Biden will turn 80 next month.
But for decades, Biden has made a habit of giving fake biographical facts in an effort to develop a personal connection with his listeners.
Last week, while speaking to an audience in Puerto Rico, Biden said, “I was sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community at home, politically.” Biographies of him don’t include the 2,000 or so Puerto Ricans that called Delaware home when he was just starting out.
At a meeting with Jewish leaders in September 2018, after the worst anti-Semitic massacre in US history, Biden recalled “spending time at” and “visiting to” the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Eleven people were killed in that attack. The synagogue stated he never came and the White House later indicated he was thinking about a 2019 phone call to the synagogue’s rabbi.
Later that month, Biden informed an audience in Idaho that Boise Cascade, a small lumber and wood products company, had extended him his “first employment offer.” The corporation claimed they were unaware of his claims.
While speaking to students at Atlanta’s historically black colleges in January, Biden claimed, without providing any evidence, that he had been arrested several times while participating in civil rights protests.
At the May graduation ceremony, Biden recalled how the late Senator J. Caleb Boggs appointed him to the Naval Academy in 1965. (R-Del.). Boggs’s files were combed for any sign of the appointment, but nothing was found.
And Biden has told a story about a former Amtrak conductor that involves a time jump at least eight times as president to emphasize his love of passenger rail, most recently last month when he hosted union negotiators in the Oval Office to celebrate the apparent aversion of a big rail strike.
Biden revealed last month to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that “I wasn’t arrested” going to visit Nelson Mandela during the apartheid era, despite saying so at least three times in 2020.
The president’s reputation for spreading untruths about his life goes back to at least the 1980s. He ended his first run for president in 1987 after a plagiarism issue involving his speeches and a law school paper surfaced.