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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 170249213 - Employee Dies Of Smoke Inhalation When Lost In Fire

Accident: 170249213 -- Report ID: 1055320 -- Event Date: 09/10/1989
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
11159708409/10/19898631Seattle Fire Department
Employee #1, a fire service officer, was fighting a multiple-alarm arson fire of an unoccupied lumber company warehouse. Employee #1 and his partner became separated inside the burning structure. The partner was able to escape from the building, where he emerged in a severely hyperthermic and fatigued condition. Approximately 2 hours later, a search and rescue was implemented for the missing officer. Employee #1's body was uncovered 1 1/2 hours later beneath more than two feet of rubble inside the building. The official cause of death was smoke inhalation. Since the fire is believed to be arson, the medical examiner classified the death as a homicide. There are indications that hyperthermia may have played a contributing role in the fatality. There was no tracking of fire fighters inside the structure, which accounted for the lack of a timely search and rescue. The lack of required radio monitoring equipment and a required dispatcher at the scene contributed to Employee #1's call for help not being heard.
Keywords: firefighter, respiratory, work rules, fire, buried, communication, smoke inhalation, high temperature
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 111597084 Fatality Asphyxia Firefighting occupations

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