Remembering the Marco Polo Fire 9-10-89

Today marks the anniversary of Captain John Hager’s LODD. Take some time to view the video and share these lessons.


LODD Squirrels Nest Fire

“Squirrels Nest Lane Fire”

Captain Robin Broxterman 

Firefighter Brian Schira

April 4th, 2008

Colerain Township, Ohio


Broxterman and Schira were assigned to Engine 102 along with a fire apparatus operator and another firefighter. Their unit was dispatched along with other firefighters to the report of a fire in a residence. Engine 102 was the first unit on the scene and laid a supply line up the extended driveway to the residence. Broxterman reported moderate smoke showing and established command at 0623hrs. While donning her PPE, Broxterman was advised by her driver that the home’s resident said that the fire was in the basement. Schira advanced a handline to the front door. Broxterman and Schira entered the structure with a dry handline and called for the line to be charged. Engine 102’s other firefighter entered the interior after checking the deployment of the supply line. At 0627hrs, Broxterman radioed that E102 was making entry into the basement and reported heavy smoke. After a request for water, the handline was charged at 0629hrs. At 0634hrs, the second firefighter from Engine 102 told another officer that he could not find his crew. The officer reported this fact to command and mayday operations were initiated. A second alarm was requested and a rapid intervention crew was deployed. Broxterman and Schira were located buried under collapsed structural components and were declared dead at the scene. The cause of death for both firefighters was smoke inhalation.


Reports/Links and Articles:

Remembering the Charleston 9


“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

“On June 18, 2007, nine career fire fighters (all males, ages 27-56) 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.

He observed fire inside the structure when a door connecting the rear of the right showroom addition to the loading dock was opened. Within minutes, the fire rapidly spread into and above the main showroom, the right showroom addition, and the warehouse. The burning furniture quickly generated a huge amount of toxic and highly flammable gases along with soot and products of incomplete combustion that added to the fuel load. The fire overwhelmed the interior attack and the interior crews became disoriented when thick black smoke filled the showrooms from ceiling to floor. 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.”

NIOSH Report
Phase 2 Report

Please, Do yourself a Favor and dive into this incident. There were MANY Lessons learned, and there are some great resources and information out there on this incident.

Thanks for taking the Time,


Remembering the Worcester 6, LODD 12-3-1999




16 Years ago today was the Worcester Cold Storage Fire, in Worcester, MA, that left 6 firefighters Dead. That Fire, as well as many others, still has MANY Lessons that apply today.

That’s all I will say, PLEASE go through all the Links, and Personally Do Something About It!!!

NIOSH Report 

Learning From the Worcester Tragedy 



The Perfect Fire HERE

Video HERE 

Articles from Command Safety HERE , HERE, and HERE 


A bunch of Articles from FireHouse HERE

Video HERE 

NJ Learning From Worcester HERE 

A Cultural Transformation HERE 

A lot more HERE 

Also Check out the Book 3000 Degrees


Remembering the 23rd Street Fire


Today is the anniversary of The 23rd Street Fire. FDNY, 10-17-1966

Do YOURSELF A Favor to and Lear Some of the Lessons that came from this fire.

Killed in the line of duty:

  • DC Thomas A Reilly, Division .3
  • BC Walter J Higgins, Battalion. 7
  • Lt John J Finley, Ladder 7
  • Lt Joseph Priore, Engine 18
  • Fr John G Berry, Ladder 7
  • Fr James V Galanaugh, Engine 18
  • Fr Rudolph F Kaminsky, Ladder 7
  • Fr Joseph Kelly, Engine 18
  • Fr Carl Lee Ladder, 7
  • Fr William F McCarron, Division 3
  • Fr Daniel L Rey, Engine 18
  • Fr Bernard A Tepper, Engine 18

Some Articles HERE, HERE, HEREHERE, and HERE

HERE is a Podcast from Vinny Dunn Who was at the Fire. LISTEN TO IT!!

RFB- Thanks for Taking the Time,

Remembering John Nance LODD Columbus, Ohio 7-25-1987

Lt. John Nance, Columbus Division of Fire.  Killed July 25, 1987 while fighting a fire in the Mithoff Building at 151 N. High St.
Lt. John Nance, Columbus Division of Fire. Killed July 25, 1987 while fighting a fire in the Mithoff Building at 151 N. High St.

Today we remember the Line of Duty Death of John Nance in Columbus, Ohio 7-25-1987

On Saturday July 25, 1987 (3-Unit),F.F. John Nance was the Acting Officer on Engine No. 3. An alarm was reported at the Mithoff Building located at 151 N. High St. in downtown Columbus, OH. At 10:40 Assistant Chief Mills upgraded the assignment to a 2nd alarm. The Companies were fighting the fire with heavy smoke conditions. Firefighter Nance fell into the burning basement thought a hole burnt into the store floor. Ladders and ropes were lowered into the floor opening and many other rescue attempts were made to save John W. Nance. All proved unsuccessful. This was determined an arson fire and John’s death was ruled to be a murder.

From John’s Death comes the “Nance Drill” (See Below Story and Links)

Excerpt from “Firefighter Rescue and Survival” By: Ray Hoff and Bob Kolomay Pg: 195-198

“Firefighter rescue from a lower grade, confined area, collapse voids, where basement situation can be one of the most difficult rescue efforts to perform. As was revealed in a firefighter fatality instant in Columbus, Ohio involving fire for you John Nance, the difficulty of raising the unconscious weight of a firefighter (approximately 200 to 300 pounds) vertically is extremely difficult and dangerous to both victim and rescuers. The following case study provided humbling experience that awakens the fire service to the need for improved training firefighter rescue and survival.


Having been a firefighter for the Columbus (OH) for the department for more than 27 years, John Nance, was 51 years of age at the time and was also planning on retiring during the early months 1988. But on July 25, 1987, those plans changed forever. The 8:00 p.m. start of a 24-hour shift started as any routine shift with normally started. Station #2, when Nance was assigned, housed 16 firefighters who are assigned to Engine #2, Engine #3, Ladder #1, and Rescue #1. According to the Saturday night tradition, the cook was given a day off, and it was declared “pizza night!” Dinner arrived around 9:30 p.m., which was later than normal due to a volleyball game. At 10:10 p.m. the tones dispatched Station #2 companies to an old building downtown called the Mithoff Building at 151 North High Street. An arsonist had spread a flammable liquid in the basement and ignited a fire. John Nance, the acting lieutenant on Engine #3, along with driver Marvin Howard and firefighters Tim Cave and Don Weldon departed for the fire scene. 


Companies arrived within two minutes and saw smoke coming out of the ground floor of the four-story, 11,500 ft building. As the command post was set in the front of the fire building, the first arriving Engine forced open the glass door and advanced a hose line. As Nance positioned his company in the rear, he then reported heavy smoke coming from the first floor shoe store. As Engine #3s line was charged, Nance, Cave, and Weldon geared up to enter the rear storage room of the shoe store to search for the fire. Following Nance and Engine #3s crew were Ladder #2 and Engine #2, now totaling 10 firefighters in all. 


Within about 11 minutes the IC had requested a standby second alarm to fill the staging area with additional equipment and personnel. As the interior companies were having difficulty in locating the fire and the fire conditions were worsening, the IC then upgraded to a second alarm response. Battalion Chief Jerry Lindsay responded on the second alarm and took command of the rear sector. He noticed that the smoke was becoming thicker and was from floor to ceiling. The heavy smoke conditions and the size of the building hampered the interior companies. The firefighters in the front had poor visibility–less than the 3 ft with hand–held flashlights. SCBA cylinders now started to run low, and the heat could be felt through the floor indicating it to be a basement fire. Battalion Chief Lindsay had noted during his size–up that the fire conditions were “ominous,” giving him a very uncomfortable feeling based on his past experiences with basement fires.


Although the engine company in the front of building had located a stairway into the basement of the building, the companies in the rear of the building above the shoe store could not find anyway into the basement. Feeling heat coming up through the floor and have been used up much of their SCBA air, Nance and his crew left the building and refilled their air. Chief Lindsey stated he saw Nance and his crew start to enter the building for the second time. Lindsey stated that, “I started to talk to John, I said I wanted him to take a rope with him. I wanted him to tie off a rope, a lifeline, and take it in with him. “I remember him saying, “Can’t we just follow the hoseline in?” I replied, “No, I want you to take a rope.” Nance followed the Chiefs orders. Shortly after that, Chief Lindsay ordered several other firefighters to take power saws into the building to cut the basement floor for ventilation and to open a vantage point so as to put water on the fire. No one knows how John Nance fell into the shoe store basement, but fire department officials felt he was searching for an area to cut the floor when he fell into a section of weekend floor about 70 ft. from the back door entrance. Firefighter Wilson from Engine #10 crawled in from the front of the shoe store and had proceeded through an interior door that led into the storage room and had also fallen into a hole grabbing for any possible handhold as he went down. The heat in the hole was intense with heavy smoke and an orange glow could be seen as his legs would be burned causing him to desperately pull himself to safety. As he pulled himself out, he heard Nance screaming for help. 


Wilson had noted that the hole was about 12 ft deep. Wilson stated, “I answered him (John) and then I radioed that we had a man in the basement yelling for help.” Communications became very difficult after Wilson transmitted his request for help three times. Companies in the flower shop next to the shoe store did not realized the basement below have been divided into two separate rooms thereby making it making accessibility to Nance impossible. By this time, Wilson‘s air had begun to run out.


At this point Tim Cave left his hoseline and came to the hole with the light. According to Cave, “I found the hole and my arm went down. I asked John if he could see my light. He replied in a very calm manner that he could see it, like he was just standing there waiting for me to get him out of there.” At this point, a very important lesson in firefighter rescue was learned as firefighter Cave extended his hand to grasp the hand of trapped firefighter Nance. Cave asked Nance ”Can you reach my hand?” Cave noticed that as Nance reached up to grab his hand, he must have been standing on some stock because the basement was deep. Attempting to pull Nance out, Cave realized that he was slipping into the same hole. At that point Cave told Nance, “I can’t pull you out.” Nance calmly replied, “Ok, give me my hand back.”


Inside the building things became confused as the fire conditions became increasingly worse and the other firefighters learned that a firefighter was trapped. Rescue attempts by other firefighters who had reached the whole them commenced. The first strategy was to run a hoseline to provide protection and cooling for Nance, but the hose would not reach and had to be extended. Next, after finding the rope that Nance brought into the building, the rescuers decided to lower it into the whole to pull Nance out. Once Nance grabbed the rope, with the help of three rescuers he was pulled up to within 3 ft. of the whole, but then slipped, falling back into the basement. Realizing the amount of weight that had to be hoisted up, an additional call for help around the hole was made. A second rope rescue was then attempted by tying a bowline loop in the line to give Nance a better grip on the rope. Once the rope was lowered, Nance tied two more additional knots in the rope himself. However, even with two additional firefighters on the rope, the rescue attempt still failed as Nance had fallen off the rope when he was only about halfway up.


Nance was becoming exhausted and low on SCBA air. The suggestion to send a ladder into the basement through the hole was announced. Nance was in full agreement with this suggestion as many ladders were moved into the area of the hole. One of the ladders was lowered into the hole only to find that the hole was too small to allow a firefighter to fit through it with the ladder in place. Once the ladder was pulled out of the hole, rescuers worked desperately to enlarge the hole. In the meantime, the fire conditions were quickly worsening throughout the building as well as around the hole. The heat coming from the hole is becoming more intense, and Nance was running out of air, as several firefighters heard him say, “I need air.” 


While the hole was being opened up and the ladder was being positioned back into the hole, and air bottle was lowered into the basement. Nance then started to climb up to the hole. Unfortunately, he proceeded up the underside of the ladder which resulted in him striking his head several times on the floor joists. As a rescuer reached in and around the ladder while fighting the extreme heat venting out of the hole, he tried to pull Nance around to make it through the whole. After repeated efforts, Nance suddenly fell again to the floor. Heat and smoke levels around the whole we’re becoming intolerable and some visible fire was apparent. Firefighter Wiley attempted another rescue effort by entering the hole, but the hole was still not large enough for him to fit through. After entering the hole, the hole was enlarged again. Entering the hole again, and taking the hoseline with attempting to knock fire back as he descended, he found an unconscious Nance  at the bottom of the ladder. Wiley fought back the fire and grabbed Nance with one hand dragging him with the idea of trying to lift him up the ladder. The heat conditions, the spread of fire, and Nance’s weight would not allow Wiley to rescue him from the basement.


Totally exhausted and almost out of SCBA air, Wiley had to get out and allow another rescuer a chance. Firefighter Brining attempted the same type of rescue. Once in the basement, he discovered that Nance’s low air SCBA alarm had quit ringing and that he could not find him in the heavy smoke. Brining also had to leave the basement for the same reasons, still without Nance. At this point, Battalion Chief Lindsay approved one last interior attempt for a rescue. However, fire was showing out of the upper floors and the fire conditions had severely changed.


Consequently, all personnel were then ordered out of the building. The fire had gone to the four alarms and was finally contained 5:07 a.m.  the next day. Nance’s body was removed from the building Sunday afternoon. The Franklin County corners office determine the John Nance died of asphyxiation with a Carbon Monoxide level of 64.7%, whereas 6% is enough to cause death. We cannot say for sure what the outcome would have been if the rescuers had been aware of the Handcuff Knot rescue, but perhaps John Nance may still have been able to retire in 1988 as he originally planned.”
Pain of that Terrible Night Remains for Firefighters

The Murder of John Nance

Training Days- John Nance Drill

What Happened to John Nance?

Clock Ticking in 28-Year-old Fatal Arson Case HERE

Nance Drill  never_in_vain_0725_154

The Murder of FF John Nance PPT

Firefighter Survival and Rescue PPT Sec09_FFRescue

Reading this information is NOT ENOUGH, Please go out and do the Nance Drill and do some RIT evolution’s today, that is the ONLY way we can truly honor John Nance

Thanks for Taking the Time, Ethan Bansek


Remembering Bridgeport, CT 7/24/10- Double LODD

Remembering Bridgeport, CT 7/24/10- Double LODD

Today we Remember the double LODD of Michael Baik and Steven Velasquez in the City of Bridgeport, CT on 7-24-2010. Do yourself a Favor and watch the video below and read the reports. ALL YOU CAN DO IS BETTER YOURSELF!!!!!!


Much to be leaned from this, as well as all LODD’s!


Thanks, Ethan Bansek

Line of Duty Death 7-16-15

Melissa “Missy” Doll

Fire Police Officer Doll passed away from an apparent cardiac arrest on July 16 after responding to a mutual aid structure fire late the night before.

Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department, Codorus, Pennsylvania

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 41
Rank: Fire Police Officer
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Jul 15, 2015 21:06
Date of Death: Jul 16, 2015
Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death: Heart Attack
Activity Type: Not On Scene

Line of Duty Death 7-15-15

John Whelan

On June 28, while checking for extension from a dumpster fire, Engineer Whelan was critically injured when a skylight collapsed and he fell through the roof of an abandoned building at 3860 Blake Street. Whelan was treated at the scene and transported to the hospital for medical care including several surgeries. On July 15, several days after being released from the hospital to recover at home, Engineer Whelan was taken to St. Anthony North Health Campus with shortness of breath where, less than an hour later, he passed away from medical complications.

Denver Fire Department, Denver, Colorado

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 46
Rank: Engineer
Classification: Career
Incident Date: Jun 28, 2015 19:45
Date of Death: Jul 15, 2015
Cause of Death: Fall
Nature of Death: Trauma

Line of Duty Death 6-20-15

Michael P. Miller

Lieutenant Miller was found collapsed on the floor in the fire station near his bunk in the early morning hours of June 20, 2015, and was quickly attended to by other department members who found no vitals signs present. Lieutenant Miller was pronounced deceased in the location found at 04:55AM. Lieutenant Miller was working a 24 hour shift and had responded to his last alarm, an EMS call, several hours earlier. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be determined.

Green Bay Metro Fire Department
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 45
Rank: Lieutenant
Classification: Career
Incident Date: Jun 20, 2015 04:00
Date of Death: Jun 20, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown
Activity Type: In-Station Duties

Line of Duty Death 6-10-15

Terry K. Sonner

Fire Operations Supervisor Sonner collapsed after he and his fire crew finished physical training at the Hammett Guard Station, Idaho. Fellow firefighters initiated medical treatment on scene but Sonner succumbed to a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.

Boise District Bureau of Land Management
Boise, Idaho

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 33
Rank: Fire Operations Supervisor
Classification: Wildland Full-Time
Incident Date: Jun 10, 2015 09:00
Date of Death: Jun 10, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown
Activity Type: Fitness Activity

Line of Duty Death 6-9-15

Wille O Sensenich

Firefighter Sensenich died from an apparent cardiac arrest several hours after responding to an electrical fire in a residential structure.

North Huntingdon Township Circleville Volunteer Fire Department Station #8, North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 69
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: Jun 8, 2015 20:35
Date of Death: Jun 9, 2015
Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death: Heart Attack
Activity Type: Not On Scene
Emergency Duty: No

Line of Duty Death 6-4-15

Thomas. D Miserendino

Firefighter Miserendino arrived at the fire station on May 25th in full dress uniform to participate in the fire department’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony & Parade. Miserendino officiated over the memorial services at the fire station and then drove fire apparatus in the parade across town where he was scheduled to perform memorial duties during the town’s official ceremony at a local veteran’s park. Shortly after his arrival at the town’s ceremony, Firefighter Miserendino began to feel ill, and other members observed that something was wrong with him. EMS responded and he was transported to a local hospital for care. Miserendino was admitted for cardiac treatment and was discharged the next day. A few hours after returning home, he suffered an apparent heart attack, and was transported by EMS back to the hospital. Firefighter Miserendino remained there for treatment, however, his condition gradually worsened and he passed away at the hospital on June 4th.

Beachwood Vol. Fire Company #1, Beachwood, New Jersey

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 71
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Volunteer
Incident Date: May 25, 2015 11:35
Date of Death: Jun 4, 2015
Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of Death: Heart Attack
Activity Type: Other

Line of Duty Death 6-6-15

Ian Haxton

Veteran Fire Corps Crewmember Haxton suffered a medical emergency and collapsed 200 yards from the finish line while participating in the Wildland Firefighter Work Capacity Test. Medical care was immediately rendered by local emergency medical responders who had been staged on-site for the test. Crewmember Haxton was transported to an Advanced Care Facility where he passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined. At the time of the fatal incident, Haxton was serving at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Sasabe, AZ, preparing for a series of prescribed burns scheduled to take place at the Refuge.

Student Conservation Association – Veteran Fire Corps, Arlington, Virginia

Fatality status is provisional and may change.

Age: 31
Rank: Veteran Fire Corps Crewmember
Classification: Wildland Part-Time
Incident Date: Jun 6, 2015
Date of Death: Jun 6, 2015
Cause of Death: Unknown
Nature of Death: Unknown
Activity Type: Fitness Activity