Three Firefighters Die in Pittsburgh House Fire   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Three Pittsburgh firefighters died on February 14, 1995, when they ran out of air and were unable to escape from the interior of a burning dwelling. The three victims were all assigned to Engine Company 17 and had advanced the first hoseline into the house to attack an arson fire in the basement. When found, all three were together in one room and had exhausted their air supplies. Three other firefighters had been rescued from the same room, which caused confusion over the status of the initial attack team. This incident illustrates the need for effective incident management, communications, and personnel accountability systems, even at seemingly routine incidents. It also reinforces the need for regular maintenance and inspection of self-contained breathing apparatus, emphasizes the need for PASS devices to be used at every fire, and identifies the need for training to address firefighter survival in unanticipated emergency situations. This incident also reinforces a concern that has been identified in several firefighter fatality incidents that have occurred where there is exterior access to different levels form different sides of a structure. These structures are often difficult to 'size-up' from the exterior and there is often confusion about the levels where interior companies are operating and where the fire is located. In these situations it is particularly important to determine how many levels are above and below each point of entry and to ensure that the fire is not burning below unsuspecting companies."

Report Number:
U.S. Fire Administration/Technical Report Series: USFA-TR-078/February 1995
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Media Type:
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