Career Fire Fighter Killed by Structure Collapse While Conducting Interior Search for Occupants Following 4th Alarm – Texas

Report Date: November 2014

On May 20, 2013, a firefighter lost his life while conducting a search for occupants during a three-story apartment fire. The fire had gone to a fourth alarm and firefighters were in the second hour of operations. Primary searches and civilian evacuations of the first, second, and third floors had been completed before the building was evacuated to switch to defensive operations due to the large volume of fire. After multiple master streams had been flowing into the building, a crew was again assigned to perform a primary search. Master streams were shut down and the crew entered the first floor hallway. During the search, the second floor walkway collapsed onto the first floor hallway. The victim’s partner was trapped in a vestibule at the side of the hallway, while the victim was caught under the collapse and succumbed to his 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 Killed by Structure Collapse While Conducting Interior Search for Occupants Following 4th Alarm – Texas. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Report #F2013-17, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/pdfs/face201317.pdf.

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