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Volunteer fire fighter dies fighting a structure fire at a local residence - Texas.

Mezzanotte-TP; Washenitz-II-FC
NIOSH 2000 Aug; :1-7
On January 27, 2000, a 74-year-old male volunteer fire fighter victim) died while fighting a structure fire. At approximately 1316 hours, Central Dispatch notified the volunteer department of smoke in a residence. The Assistant Chief was first to arrive on the scene and confirmed to Central Dispatch that they had a working fire venting out of the roof. He assumed duties as the Incident Commander (IC) until the arrival of the Chief, who took command. The Assistant Chief confirmed to the Chief that they had fire and heavy smoke, and he reported that no one was inside the house. The first engine to arrive on the scene was Engine 608 with a Captain (the victim), two fire fighters (Fire Fighters #1 and #2), and a chauffeur/engine operator. Engine 608 was positioned on the east side of the structure (see Figure), and the victim and two fire fighters pulled a 200-foot, 1 3/4-inch cross lay from the Engine and advanced toward the structure. The victim took the nozzle, and Fire Fighters #1 and #2 followed as backup, and they entered the structure to perform an aggressive interior suppression attack. As the victim applied water to the fire, the two fire fighters went to the door to pull more hose line so that the victim could advance the line deeper into the structure. As the fire fighters were feeding the victim additional line, they felt the hose line drop. The two fire fighters reported to the Chief, who then ordered the Assistant Chief to form a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) to perform a search and rescue operation. The RIT made four entries into the structure before successfully removing the victim. NIOSH investigators concluded that to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: ensure the department's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are followed and refresher training is provided; ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team is established and in position immediately upon arrival; and, ensure that fire fighters from the ventilation crew and the attack crew coordinate their efforts.
Fire-fighting; Accident-prevention; Accident-analysis; Smoke-inhalation; Region-6; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries
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Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation; Field Studies
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Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health