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Career fire fighter dies when trapped by collapsed canopy during a two alarm attached garage fire - Pennsylvania.

NIOSH 2008 Jan; :1-59
On February 4, 2007, a 27-year-old male career fire fighter (the victim) and a 38-year-old male career fire fighter were trapped under a canopy which collapsed off of a burning residential garage. The victim was pinned under the canopy debris, and was found not breathing while still wearing his SCBA and SCBA mask. The second fire fighter received injuries requiring time off from work. As the fire fighters pulled the hoseline from the garage, the canopy, which was connected to the garage roof rafters by long metal bars, fell on both fire fighters, trapping them underneath. The designated rapid intervention team (who had just arrived on-scene) worked for approximately 10 minutes to extricate both fire fighters. The victim and injured fire fighter were sent to the local hospital by ground ambulance. The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital, and the injured fire fighter was treated for injuries requiring time off from work. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. review and follow existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for structural fire fighting to ensure that fire fighters follow a "2 in 2 out" policy; 2. ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to immediately respond to emergency incidents; 3. establish a collapse zone when structures become unstable; 4. ensure that the Incident Commander continuously evaluates the risks versus gain when determining whether the fire suppression operation will be offensive or defensive; 5. ensure that the first arriving company officer does not become involved in the fire fighting effort after assuming the role of the Incident Commander; 6. ensure that a thermal imaging camera is used during size-up; and, 7. ensure that a separate Incident Safety Officer, independent from the Incident Commander, is appointed at each structural fire.
Region-3; Accident-analysis; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Safety-practices; Training; Fire-fighting-equipment; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2007-08; Grant-Number-T01-OH-008431
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
West Virginia University