Friday, August 5, 2011

NIOSH LODD Report Released on Fire and Collapse Which Killed Two Chicago Firefighters

NIOSH LODD Report Released on Fire and Collapse Which Killed Two Chicago Firefighters

F2010-38 Two Career Fire Fighters Die and 19 Injured in Roof Collapse during Rubbish Fire at an Abandoned Commercial Structure – Illinois


NIOSH Executive Summary
On December 22, 2010, a 47-year-old male (Victim # 1) and a 34-year old male (Victim # 2), both career fire fighters, died when the roof collapsed during suppression operations at a rubbish fire in an abandoned and unsecured commercial structure. The bowstring truss roof collapsed at the rear of the 84-year old structure approximately 16 minutes after the initial companies arrived on-scene and within minutes after the Incident Commander reported that the fire was under control.

The structure, the former site of a commercial laundry, had been abandoned for over 5 years and city officials had previously cited the building owners for the deteriorated condition of the structure and ordered the owner to either repair or demolish the structure. The victims were members of the first alarm assignment and were working inside the structure. A total of 19 other fire fighters were hurt during the collapse.

Contributing Factors

  • Lack of a vacant / hazardous building marking program within the city
  • Vacant / hazardous building information not part of automatic dispatch system
  • Dilapidated condition of the structure
  • Dispatch occurred during shift change resulting in fragmented crews
  • Weather conditions including snow accumulation on roof and frozen water hydrants
  • Not all fire fighters equipped with radios.

Key Recommendations

  • Identify and mark buildings that present hazards to fire fighters and the public
  • Use risk management principles at all structure fires and especially abandoned or vacant unsecured structures
  • Train fire fighters to communicate interior conditions to the Incident Commander as soon as possible and to provide regular updates
  • Provide battalion chiefs with a staff assistant or chief's aide to help manage information and communication
  • Provide all fire fighters with radios and train them on their proper use
  • Develop, train on, and enforce the use of standard operating procedures that specifically address operations in abandoned and vacant structures
NIOSH Recommendations

  • Recommendation #1: Fire departments and city building departments should work together to identify and mark buildings that present hazards to fire fighters and the public.
  • Recommendation #2: Fire departments should use risk management principles at all structure fires and especially abandoned or vacant unsecured structures.
  • Recommendation # 3: Fire departments should train fire fighters to communicate interior conditions to the Incident Commander as soon as possible and to provide regular updates.
  • Recommendation # 4: Fire departments should consider providing battalion chiefs with a staff assistant or chief's aide to help manage information and communication.
  • Recommendation # 5: Fire departments should provide all fire fighters with radios and train them on their proper use.
  • Recommendation # 6: Fire departments should develop, train on and enforce the use of standard operating procedures that specifically address operations in abandoned and vacant structures.
  • Recommendation # 7: Fire departments should develop, implement and enforce a detailed Mayday Doctrine to ensure that fire fighters can effectively declare a Mayday.
  • Recommendation # 8: Fire departments should ensure that the Incident Commander maintains close accountability for all personnel operating on the fireground
  • Recommendation # 9: Fire departments should ensure that fire fighters are trained in fireground survival procedures.
  • Recommendation #10: Fire departments should ensure that all fire fighters are trained in and understand the hazards associated with bowstring truss construction.
FULL NIOSH LODD REPORT and RECOMMENDATIONS, HERE

The tragic events in the City of Chicago on Wednesday December 22, 2010, when Chicago Firefighter Edward J. Stringer – Engine Co.63 and Firefighter/EMT Corey D. Ankum, Truck Co.34 were killed in the line of duty while operating at a structure fire in an abandoned one-story brick building in the 1700 block of East 75th Street on the City’s South side, exemplifies the demands, challenges and sacrifice that come with responsibilities, duty and sworn obligation that distinguishes the honorable profession of being a firefighter.

The fire was first reported at about 06:48 hours during the night and day tour shift change, with companies arriving at 06:52 hours reporting moderate fire in the buildings northeast corner. The single story commercial structure was vacant, however it was readily known that squatters were known to seek shelter in the abandoned structure especially give the harsh weather being experienced in the city. The fire was quickly contained at approximately 07:00 hours according to published reports, and radio communications, with coordinated suppression, search and rescue and ventilation operations being conduction by companied both within the interior and on the roof.
  • For a comprehensive look at this incident, the report and further details on Bowstring Truss Construction, go to the Buildingsonfire.com HERE

Some additional Insight Materials for discussion from CommandSafety.com and Buildingsonfire.com

Resources:

  • National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System Operational Safety Considerations at Ordinary and Heavy Timber Constructed Occupancies PowerPoint Program developed by Christopher Naum, HERE
  • Informational Support Narrative download, HERE
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2 comments:

  1. Was wondering if the building had a sprinkler system? 

    ReplyDelete
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