NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Volunteer lieutenant dies following structure collapse at residential house fire - Pennsylvania.
Tarley J; Lutz V; Berardinelli S
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 F2002-49, 2003 Nov; :1-13
On November 1, 2002, a 36-year-old male volunteer Lieutenant (the victim) died after being crushed by an exterior wall that collapsed during a three-alarm residential structure fire. The victim was operating a handline near the southwest corner of the fire building where there was an overhanging porch. As the fire progressed, the porch collapsed onto the victim, trapping him under the debris. Efforts were being made by nearby fire fighters to free him when the entire exterior wall of the structure collapsed outward and he was crushed. The victim was removed from the debris within ten minutes, but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1) ensure that Incident Command (IC) continually evaluates the risk versus gain when deciding an offensive or defensive fire attack; 2) ensure that a collapse zone is established, clearly marked, and monitored at structure fires where buildings have been identified at risk of collapsing; 3) establish and implement written standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding emergency operations on the fireground; 4) develop and coordinate pre-incident planning protocols throughout mutual aid departments; 5) implement joint training on response protocols throughout mutual aid departments; 6) ensure that an Incident Safety Officer, independent from the Incident Commander, is appointed and on-scene early in the fireground operation.
Region-3; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Fire-safety; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Occupational-safety-programs; Accident-prevention; Injury-prevention; Injuries
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
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