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Paid-on-call fire fighter killed by exterior wall collapse during defensive operations at a commercial structure fire - Illinois.

Merinar T; Loflin 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 F2011-15, 2011 Dec; :1-34
On June 17, 2011, a 22-year-old male paid-on-call fire fighter received fatal injuries when he was struck by bricks and falling debris during an exterior wall collapse at a commercial structure fire. Crews worked using defensive operations for about 45 minutes attempting to extinguish the fire in the 96 year-old brick and masonry structure that housed an antique store with living quarters located in a rear addition. The victim and another fire fighter were moving a 35-foot aluminum ground ladder away from the Side D (east) wall of the structure when the top part of the exterior wall collapsed. No other fire fighters were injured in the collapse. Contributing Factors: 1. 96 year-old brick masonry structure degraded by fire burning for over 45 minutes. 2. Fire fighters with limited experience entered collapse zone to move ground ladder. 3. Entering collapse zone in close proximity to master stream directed onto roof. 4. Limited visibility at side and rear of structure may have obscured signs of pending collapse. 5. Limited training on structure collapse hazards. Key Recommendations: 1. Establish and monitor a collapse zone when conditions indicate the potential for structural collapse. 2. Train all fire fighting personnel on the risks and hazards related to structural collapse. 3. Train on and understand the effects of master streams on structural degradation. 4. Conduct regular mutual aid training with neighboring departments. 5. Designate a staging area for all unassigned fire fighters and apparatus. 6. Implement national fire fighter and fire officer training standards and requirements.
Region-5; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-responders; Accidents; Injuries; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Training; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Safety-equipment; Surveillance
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-F2011-15; B01182012
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
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