April 94 0205 hours

On April 11, 1994 at 0205 hours, firefighters were called in for a fire outbreak on the ninth floor of a high- rise apartment structure. The first response was a snorkel company and an engine company that arrived 3 minutes later at 0208. The engine unit took command. The first five firefighters that came from two different companies came into the building from the entrance of the main lobby. Somebody radioed in there was thick smoke coming from the 9th floor, so this is where they headed. All five fire fighters proceeded and entered the elevator to head up to the 9th floor. Four fire fighters exited the elevator, while the fifth stayed on, and held the elevator door with his foot. A problem occurred with his SCBA equipment and his foot slipped and took him down to the 1st floor. 

scbaThe other 4 fire fighters also struggle with their SCBA. One of the guys was having a problem with his SCBA and wanted to go to the stairwell. The other fire fighter grabbed him and guided him to it. Later another fire fighter heard air leaking from his SCBA and started to cough. 2 of the other firefighters tried to go down one of the hallways, but turned around after saying there was no visibility due to the thick black smoke. A male resident saw a firefighter, and attacked him and removed his facepiece. These two guys took the resident, broke a window, and brought in fresh air to keep him calm. All three had to be rescued by a ladder crew.

At 0209 hours, more firefighters arrived on scene and brought a hotel pack and more SCBA cylinders up to the ninth floor. With a fire house, they moved down the smokey hall halfway down it before the heat wouldn’t allow them to move further. The firefighters became loopy and couldn’t see the exit door.

Another firefighter came from the initial engine company, found the two firefighters struggling, and took them to safety.

fire rescue teamAt 0224 hours, the rescue squad arrived on site. They went to the ninth floor fire exit and saw a fireman down 9 feet away who was caught in cables and was on the floor due to the heat. He was unresponsive and the rescue saved him and took him down a floor where they began life support.

Another firefighter was located by the rescue team and found another firefighter kneeling unresponsive where he was saved and life support procedures began. Both victims died at a a hospital due to the smoke and carbon monoxide. There were no alarms that went off when the firefighters stopped moving.

These are the dangers that firefighters face, and new regulations and procedures are brought up to try to prevent these situations from happening and further protect the firefighters. What do you guys think could have been done in this situation to help protect the firefighter’s lives?