Remember the fallen with the lessons learned
On April 16, 2007, a 24-year-old male career fire fighter (the victim) was fatally injured while trapped in the master bedroom during a wind-driven residential structure fire.
Read the Report
Career Fire Fighter Dies in Wind Driven Residential Structure Fire
Prince William County Technician I Kyle Wilson LODD Report Information:
Report Fact Sheet (29.3 kb)
Investigative Report (9.16 mb)
Report Presentation (6.65 mb)
At 0603 hours, dispatch reported a single family house fire. At 0609 hours, the victim’s ladder truck was second to arrive on scene. Fire was visible at the back exterior corner of the residence. Noticing cars in the driveway, no one outside, and no lights visible in the house, the lieutenant from the first arriving engine called in a second alarm. A charged 2 ½” hoseline was stretched to the front door by the first arriving engine crew. The engine crew stayed at the door with the attack line while the cause of poor water pressure in the hoseline was determined.
The victim and his lieutenant, wearing their SCBA, entered the residence through the unlocked front door. With light smoke showing, they walked up the stairs to check the bedrooms. The victim and lieutenant cleared the top of the stairs and went straight into the master bedroom. With smoke beginning to show at ceiling level, the victim did a right-hand search while the lieutenant with thermal imaging camera (TIC) in-hand checked the bed. Suddenly the room turned black then orange with flames. The lieutenant yelled to the victim to get out. While verbal communication among the crew was maintained, the lieutenant found the doorway and moved toward the stairs. He ended up falling down the stairs to a curve located midway in the staircase. The lieutenant tried to direct the victim to the stairs verbally and with a flashlight.
- ensure that standard operating procedures (SOPs) for size-up and advancing a hoseline address the hazards of high winds and gusts
- ensure that primary search and rescue crews either advance with a hoseline or follow an engine crew with a hoseline
- ensure that staffing levels are sufficient to accomplish critical tasks
- ensure that fire fighters are sufficiently trained in survival skills
- ensure that Mayday protocols are reviewed, modified and followed
- ensure that water supply is established and hoses laid out prior to crews entering the fire structure
- ensure that fire fighters are trained for extreme conditions such as high winds and rapid fire progression associated with lightweight construction
Additionally, municipalities should:
- ensure that dispatch collects and communicates information on occupancy and extreme environmental conditions
Although there is no evidence that the following recommendation could have specifically prevented this fatality, NIOSH investigators recommend that fire departments:
- ensure that radios are operable in the fireground environment