Career Fire Fighter Dies in Wind Driven Residential Structure Fire - Virginia

Report Date: May 2008

On April 16, 2007, a firefighter lost his life while performing search and rescue operations during a wind-driven, residential structure fire. An initial size-up determined that there were likely people inside the involved building. Due to water supply issues, the victim and an officer entered the structure without the protection of a hoseline. Initially, the crew encountered light smoke. While the crew was searching a bedroom, the conditions suddenly deteriorated to black smoke and then flashed over. With winds reaching 48 miles per hour, wind-driven fire and smoke engulfed the building. The officer was able to exit the room and attempted to direct the victim out. Several attempts to rescue the victim by other crews were unsuccessful due to the fire conditions, and the victim succumbed to thermal injuries. This NIOSH report details the events of the incident and provides recommendations based on the investigation. These investigations should be used to learn from tragedy in an effort to avoid similar losses in the future.

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  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

    Each year an average of 100 firefighters in the United States die in the line of duty. To address this continuing national occupational fatality problem, NIOSH conducts independent investigations of firefighter line of duty deaths. This web page provides access to NIOSH investigation reports and other fire fighter safety resources.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Career Fire Fighter Dies in Wind Driven Residential Structure Fire - Virginia. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Report #F2007-12, 2008. Print. 

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