NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Residential basement fire claims the life of career lieutenant - Pennsylvania.

Tarley J; Lutz V
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 F2004-05, 2005 Jan; :1-12
On January 9, 2004, a 45-year-old male career lieutenant (the victim) sustained serious injuries after he partially fell through the first floor while fighting a residential basement fire. The victim was among the first on the scene, and he reported light smoke coming from a two-story, middle row town home. The victim entered the structure without his self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to investigate, and reported to the Incident Commander (IC) that it was a basement fire. The victim exited the structure to assist his crew in advancing a 1 3/4-inch hoseline into the structure through the front door of the first floor. The victim's crew protected the first floor and looked for fire extension as another crew attacked the fire through a rear entrance into the basement. The victim exited the structure a second time, presumably for air, and spoke to another member who was conducting ventilation. The victim went back into the structure and was trapped on his third attempt to exit when he partially fell through the floor. Rescue crews found and removed the victim within minutes and he was transported to an area hospital where he died from his injuries seven days later. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should: 1. require, and all officers should enforce the requirement, that all fire fighters wear their SCBAs whenever there is a chance they might be exposed to a toxic or oxygen-deficient atmosphere, including during the initial assessment; 2. ensure fire fighters are trained to recognize the danger of operating above a fire; and, 3. ensure that team continuity is maintained with two or more fire fighters per team.
Region-3; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injury-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Fire-hazards; Fire-safety
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
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