Report Notes Standpipe, Water Supply Problems at Fatal Asheville (NC) Fire

A new local report points to a faulty standpipe as a contributing factor in the death of an Asheville (NC) firefighter in a medical office building fire last month

Firefighters also went without water for longer than previously thought. Emergency radio recordings released with the report indicate nearly 38 minutes passed from the time the first Asheville Fire Department apparatus left the station to when firefighters were able to get water on the fire a problem attributed to the faulty standpipe.

There is no evidence someone tampered with the pipe, one of two in the five-story building, according to Fire Chief Scott Burnette, who discussed the matter with the local Asheville newspaper, the Citizen-Times.

Standpipe failures are very rare, according to the chief, and the standpipe in the fire July 28 passed a required inspection in April and passed several post-fire tests.

Capt. Jeff Bowen, 37, a 13-year veteran of the Asheville (NC) Fire Department, was fatally injured  while responding to the aforementioned fire, which injured a number of other firefighters.

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