Near Miss in Cluttered House

Near Miss 4/2010

Report Number: 10-0000726
Report Date: 04/26/2010

Event Description

We were responding to a mutual aid fire with a neighboring volunteer department. Our first two engines were the first on scene. Upon arrival we found a fully involved attached garage. The first engine company captain made the decision to knock down the fire with a 2 ½” pre-connected attack line. I (the second engine company) made the decision to gain entry into the home and started pulling ceiling to prevent extension. We had a hard time gaining access due to heavy smoke and clutter inside the home which prevented us from going as deep as we would have liked. The ceiling came down on top of us just as we had made it to the area where we were going to start pulling ceiling. This resulted in one member of the crew suffering a line of duty injury.

Lesson Learned

Command should have set up a safety officer who could have seen the roof deteriorating. Maintain knowledge of the time spent inside a building not accomplishing a task. There was lack of communication to command about the status of our crew. (Captain, 2010)
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