The fire occurred at 87 Herrington Drive on April 8, 2009. This fire resulted in injuries to three (3) firefighters, including life-threatening respiratory burns to a 22-year-old male career firefighter.
The SIT completed the investigation in December 2009 and identified several significant contributing factors, which include:
– Failure to establish an initial water supply
– Incomplete size-up reports
– Improper tactics
– Lack of company-level supervision
– Lack of effective crew integrity
– Inadequate communication on the fire ground
– Failure to provide adequate ventilation
– Lack of training and experience in fire fighter survival skills
From the findings of the investigation, the SIT developed a total of nine (9) recommendations. Five (5) of these recommendations were identified as “primary recommendations” as they relate directly to actions, inactions, or factors that contributed in a direct way to the resulting injuries. The remaining four (4) recommendations were identified as “ancillary recommendations” because they were discovered in the course of the investigation and identified as issues, but did not contribute directly to the resulting injuries.
Prince George’s County Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor commented on the public release of this document by saying, “In the interest of communicating the lessons learned to prevent occurrences of a similar nature, I am officially releasing this report. Lessons learned by our department can be of value to others in preventing injury and death to firefighters across the country.” He concluded by saying, “I would like to thank the team that compiled this report. One of our most challenging tasks as an organization is to pause and conduct a thorough and honest critique of ourselves in an incident such as this.”
Andrew Pantelis, President of the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association, IAFF Local 1619, stated, “The intent of such reports are not to cast blame or second guess split second decisions that are made on the fire ground but rather to provide a tool for members to use to apply in training and future incidents.”
The report can be accessed through the Prince George’s County website.