NIOSH Report Released on Sofa Super Store

by mobrian on February 12, 2009

NIOSH Gives Recommendations for Future Fires

Today NIOSH released the fatality investigation report which outlines the facts of the incident and provides recommendations for the Charleston Fire Department as well as other fire departments across the United States.

The report highlights the need for incident command training, systems, accountability, firefighter tactics, protection of fire department equipment and standardized practices which meet NFPA standards and common fire protection practices.  The NIOSH report summarizes the incident:

On June 18, 2007, nine career fire fighters died when they became disoriented and ran out of air in rapidly deteriorating conditions inside a burning commercial furniture showroom and warehouse facility.

The first arriving engine company found a rapidly growing fire at the enclosed loading dock connecting the showroom to the warehouse. The Assistant Chief entered the main showroom entrance at the front of the structure but did not find any signs of fire or smoke in the main showroom.

The interior fire fighters realized they were in trouble and began to radio for assistance as the heat intensified. One fire fighter activated the emergency button on his radio. The front showroom windows were knocked out and fire fighters, including a crew from a mutual-aid department, were sent inside to search for the missing fire fighters. Soon after, the flammable mixture of combustion by-products ignited, and fire raced through the main showroom. Interior fire fighters were caught in the rapid fire progression and nine fire fighters from the first-responding fire department died. At least nine other fire fighters, including two mutual-aid fire fighters, barely escaped serious injury.

Take time to review the report and see if any of the recommendaitons of findings could take place in your fire department.  NIOSH encourages organizaitons to reduce similar risk so the elements do not repeat themselves.   Look towards implementing change to keep this tragedy to happening to your organization.

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