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Hardware store explosion claims the lives of three career fire fighters - New York.

Tarley JL
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 F2001-23, 2003 Feb; :1-15
On June 17, 2001, a 50-year-old male career Fire Fighter (Victim #1), a 46-year-old male career Fire Fighter (Victim #2), and a 40-year-old male career Fire Fighter (Victim #3) died while performing interior suppression and exterior ventilation activities when an explosion occurred in the cellar of a hardware store, causing a structural collapse. Victim #1 and Victim #3 were removed from the debris after the collapse and transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. Victim #2 was recovered from the cellar approximately 4 hours later and was pronounced dead at the scene. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. ensure that pre-incident plans are updated and used on mercantile occupancies; 2. ensure that fire fighters from the ventilation crew and the attack crew coordinate their efforts; and, 3. ensure that fire fighters are trained to know the hazards associated with cellar fires and the precautions that can be taken to reduce serious injury. Additionally; 1. Municipalities and building owners should consider requiring and modifying older structures to meet new building codes and standards to improve safety of occupants and fire fighters; 2. Building owners should consider placing specific building hazard information on an exterior placard; and, 3. Building owners should follow guidelines of the local authority having jurisdiction regarding the storage of hazardous/flammable materials and ensure that all existing safeguards are operational.
Region-2; Fire-fighters; Fire-safety; Emergency-responders; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-practices
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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