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First-floor collapse during residential basement fire claims the life of two fire fighters (career and volunteer) and injures a career fire fighter captain - New York.

Tarley JL; McFall M
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE F2002-06, 2003 Jan; :1-14
On March 7, 2002, a 28-year-old male volunteer fire fighter (Victim #1) and a 41-year-old male career fire fighter (Victim #2) died after becoming trapped in the basement. Victim #1 manned the nozzle while Victim #2 provided backup on the handline as they entered the house. After entering the structure, the floor collapsed, trapping both victims in the basement. A career fire fighter captain joining the fire fighters near the time of the collapse was injured trying to rescue one of the fire fighters. Crew members responded immediately and attempted to rescue the victims; however, the heat and flames overcame both victims and eliminated any rescue efforts from the garage entrance. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. ensure that the Incident Commander is clearly identified as the only individual responsible for the overall coordination and direction of all activities at an incident; 2. ensure that the Incident Commander conveys strategic decisions to all suppression crews on the fireground and continually reevaluates the fire condition; 3. ensure that Incident Command conducts an initial size-up of the incident before initiating fire fighting efforts and continually evaluates the risk versus gain during operations at an incident; 4. ensure that fire fighters from the ventilation crew and the attack crew coordinate their efforts; 5. ensure that fire fighters report conditions and hazards encountered to their team leader or Incident Commander; 6. ensure fire fighters are trained to recognize the danger of operating above a fire .
Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Region-2; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries
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Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division