Restaurant Fire Claims the Life of Two Career Fire Fighters

Report Date: February 2001

In 2000 in Texas, two firefighters lost their lives in a restaurant fire. The first crew arrived with fire showing from the roof, and there was a hidden oxygen depleted fire smoldering in the attic space. The firefighters were operating a hand line on the main floor when the fire intensified and the roof collapsed. The firefighters were unable to escape the collapse. NIOSH determined a main contributing factor to be an insufficient initial and continuing size-up. NIST used their Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) to provide insight on the thermal conditions that may have occurred. 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 of Standards and Technology

    The NIST Fire Research Division develops, verifies, and utilizes measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment. This work involves integration of laboratory measurements, verified methods of prediction, and large-scale fire experiments to demonstrate the use and value of the research products.

    Through its programs in measurement, prediction, systems integration, and the dynamics of fire and its interactions with the built and natural environment, the division provides leadership for advancing the theory and practice of fire safety engineering, fire fighting, fire investigation, fire testing, fire data management, and intentional burning.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Restaurant Fire Claims the Life of Two Career Fire Fighters - Texas. Morgantown, WV: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH Report # F2000-13, 2001. Print. 

Vettori, Robert L., Daniel Madrzykowski, and William D. Walton. Simulation of the Dynamics of a Fire in a One-Story Restaurant – Texas, February 14, 2000. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute for Standards and Technology, NISTIR 6923, 2002. Print.

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