Firefighters Escape Burning House After Radio Fails

A faulty hand-held radio may have nearly cost four East Cleveland firefighters their lives, reports WKYC 3 Cleveland.

The firefighters were fighting a house fire when a flashover quickly developed with gases igniting in a stairwell, trapping the four firefighters inside, reports WTAM 1100 Cleveland.

A radio call asking that the water hoses be turned on was then made to the pumper truck. It was never received by the pump operator, most likely because the radio was not working properly, WKYC 3 details.

The fire is described by one firefighter as then going from bad to worse. Two firefighters jumped out a second-floor window. The other two trapped firefighters were able to scramble to a window then onto the front porch roof to make their way down a ladder placed by other Cleveland firefighters.

One firefighter suffered back injuries from the jump, reports The Cleveland Plan Dealer. He has been treated and released.


The East Cleveland mayor has now put 15 new radios into operation. They were scheduled to be activated next month. There are also plans to acquire a new communication system with a $100,00 federal FEMA grant.

The cause of the fire of the vacant home is under investigation and deemed suspicious.


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