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Career fire fighter dies in residential row house structure fire - Maryland.

Bowyer-M; Berardinelli-S
NIOSH 2007 Dec; :1-14
On October 10, 2006, a 40-year-old male career Fire Fighter (the victim) was fatally injured during a residential structure fire. At 0222 hours, dispatch reported a residential two-story row house structure fire with possible parties trapped. Battalion Chief #1 was the first on scene and assumed Incident Command (IC). Squad 11 (SQ11) arrived followed by Engine 41 (E41) as heavy black smoke poured out of the front of the residence. A civilian jumped from an A-side second story window and another confused civilian was walking around on the sidewalk; both were attended to by fire fighters. Two E41 fire fighters (the victim and ff#1) led a Squad -11 fire fighter (ff#2) into the residence with a 1 attack line. They entered a narrow hallway and passed through a door to the foot of the stairs that lead to the second floor. The E41 Lieutenant entered the structure and requested the building be vented due to the heat. At 0228 hours, Battalion Chief #2 (Rear IC) arrived on scene and reported to the C-side of the structure per the request of the IC. The victim advanced to the top of the stairs when conditions became extremely hot. Shortly after hearing that the fire's origin may be in the basement causing the crew to back out, the victim feeling the intense heat ran by ff#1 and into ff#2 (from SQ11) knocking them both to the floor with the front door closing behind them and pinching the hose line. FF#2 struggled to get his arm out the crack of the door while ff#1 was trying to get the victim off of ff#2. Officers and fire fighters were outside trying to pull the fire fighters out and were able to get ff#1 and ff#2 out through a partial opening of the door. The victim could not get out until the door was removed. FF#1 and ff#2 were pulled out at 0232 hours and the victim was removed at 0235 hours. Immediately, paramedics on scene attended to the two fire fighters and the victim. The victim was given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and transported to the hospital. FF#1 and ff#2 were transported to the hospital and treated for severe burns. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. ensure that thermal imaging cameras (TIC) are used during initial size-up; 2. ensure that ventilation is coordinated with the interior attack; 3. ensure that tools such as door wedges are utilized to prevent water flow and escape problems; 4. ensure that a Rapid Intervention Crew (RIC) is on scene prior to an attack crew entering a hazardous environment; and, 5. ensure that department policies and procedures are followed.
Region-3; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Fire-fighting-equipment; Ventilation; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Burns; Surveillance
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health