LODD Anniversary: Firefighter Killed in Collapse at North Carolina House Fire

A firefighter was injured and subsequently died and a captain was injured when the floor collapsed.
Front of structure involved in incident, D-side. (NIOSH photo)

Remember the fallen with the lessons learned

NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program

On March 4, 2002, a 22-year-old male career fire fighter (the victim) was injured and subsequently died and a 25-year-old male Captain was injured when the floor collapsed while they were fighting a residential fire.

Read the Report:
One Career Fire Fighter Dies and a Captain Is Hospitalized After Floor Collapses in Residential Fire

The Captain was transported by ambulance to an area hospital where he was admitted overnight for first- and second-degree burns.

The victim was conscious and was transported by medical helicopter to a State medical center where he died 2 days later.

NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should

  • ensure that each Incident Commander conducts a size-up of the incident before initiating fire-fighting efforts, after command is transferred, and continually evaluates the risk versus gain during operations at an incident
  • ensure fire fighters are trained to recognize the dangers of searching above a fire
  • ensure that an Incident Safety Officer, independent from the Incident Commander, is appointed
  • ensure that ventilation is closely coordinated with fire attack
  • ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team is established and in position immediately upon arrival
  • ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to operate safely and effectively

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