FDNY Waldbaum Fire and Collapse: 1978-2013 Remembrance Video The FDNY members killed in the Waldbaum’s fire included: • Lt. James E. Cutillo, Battalion 33 • Firefighter Charles S. Bouton, Ladder Company 156 • Firefighter Harold F. Hastings, Battalion 42 • Firefighter James P. McManus, Ladder Company 153 • Firefighter William O’Connor, Ladder Company 156 […]
“Firefighter Falkenhan was a well-respected and experienced firefighter. He died performing his duties during a very complex incident with severe fire conditions and unique fire behavior coupled with the immediate need to perform multiple rescues of victims in imminent danger. It would be easy if one particular failure of the system could be identified as the cause of this tragedy. We could fix it and move on. Unfortunately it is not that simple. No incident is “routine”. Mark’s death and this report reinforce that fact”. From the Baltimore County (MD) FD LODD Report.
This incident appeared from the onset to be a routine “room and contents” fire that the SFFD encounters on a regular basis. As the Companies were performing standard fireground operations, the incident rapidly deteriorated due to a hostile fire event. The failure of a window in the fire room allowed fresh oxygen to enter the room, providing a fire that was deprived of one of the key elements of combustion to rapidly intensify.
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