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Thread: Tennessee Firefighter Killed, Chief Critical in House Fire

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    Tennessee Firefighter Killed, Chief Critical in House Fire

    Tennessee Firefighter Killed, Chief Critical in House Fire

    LON SLEPICKA
    Firehouse.Com News

    A fire Friday afternoon in Jefferson City, TN took the life of 21-year-old firefighter Shane Murray and injured Fire Chief Lee Turner, Firefighters Sean Cameron and Bob Miller and Fire Inspector Geoff Woolard.

    The Jefferson City Fire Department responded to a single-story residence structure fire and advanced two teams, one on search and rescue and one on interior attack.

    Lt. Jesse Merritt said the cause of the fatality and injuries was still being investigated.

    Chief Turner, the most seriously injured of the four, was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center's burn unit in Chattanooga with burns to his arms, hands, neck and side of head. Merritt said he would be released in a few days. The other injuries were smoke inhalation and minor burns.

    Murray had been with the Jefferson City FD for nine months and previously with the Lakeway Central FD for two years. He was employed by the Jefferson City water department. He leaves behind a mother and stepfather.

    Arrangements are as follows:

    Visitation: Monday, March 4, 2002 from 5-8p.m. EST at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. 1610 Russell Avenue, Jefferson City, TN 37760

    Memorial Service: Tuesday, March 5, 2002 beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City In accordance with the wishes of Shane's family, the Jefferson City Fire Department, with assistance from the Knoxville Fire Department, will be providing full honors.

    Following the service, a processional will leave the church for the gravesite sevices at Jefferson Memorial Gardens in Jefferson City. Departments wishing to send apparatus or personnel should have the apparatus at the church by 12:30 on Tuesday. A staging area is being developed.

    In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donatations be made to the Jefferson City Fire Department's thermal imaging camera fund. For more information call 865-475-3616 or email jcfdfireinspector@hotmail.com


    Jefferson City Fire Department is a combination department with 30 on its roster. Jefferson City has a population of about 8000. Lt. Merritt believes this is the department

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    Memorial Page for Shane Murray


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    Murray, Shane

    Age: 21
    Rank: Firefighter
    Status: Volunteer
    Incident Date: 03/01/2002
    Incident Time: 15:00
    Death Date: 03/01/2002

    Cause of Death: Caught or Trapped
    Nature of Death: Burns
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Activity Type:
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Jefferson City Fire Department
    112 W Broadway Blvd
    Jefferson City, Tennessee 37760
    Chief: Robert Lee Turner

    Initial Summary:
    Firefighter Murray died from injuries received while working a house fire. Circumstances related to the fatality and to several other firefighter injuries incurred at the scene of this incident are pending further investigation. Funeral: Tuesday, March 5, 2002 beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST. at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City In accordance with the wishes of Shane's family, the Jefferson City Fire Department, with assistance from the Knoxville Fire Department, will be providing full honors. Memorial Fund: In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Jefferson City Fire Department's thermal imaging camera fund. For more information call 865-475-3616 or email jcfdfireinspector@hotmail.com


    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application....cfm?p_id=1256

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    Tenn. Firefighter Death Probe Cites Hazards

    Tenn. Firefighter Death Probe Cites Hazards

    JAMIE SATTERFIELD
    Reprinted with Permission, Knoxville News

    Updated: 02-26-2003 10:54:21 AM


    Jefferson City firefighter Shane Murray died five feet from the door that would have led him to fresh air, a report on his March 2002 death shows.

    The house fire that raged around the 21-year-old volunteer fireman did not claim his life. Instead, Murray suffocated, his lungs choked by carbon monoxide from the toxic smoke he inhaled as he tried to escape, the report revealed.

    Murray was the first firefighter to die in the line of duty in the Jefferson City Fire Department's 93-year history. His death left the agency's members shaken, and awakened the tiny community to the risks firefighters face.

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, concluded after an investigation into Murray's death that the risks could have been "minimized."

    A report on the NIOSH probe identifies 10 problems that heightened the risk of death during the handling of the house fire on Eastern Avenue. Those include:


    Garbled radio transmissions.
    The decision to fight the fire from the inside instead of a more "defensive attack."
    The lack of a team approach that would have given Murray a firefighter "buddy" inside the house.
    The need for a rescue team to go after a fallen firefighter.
    How many of those recommendations have been implemented at the Jefferson City Fire Department is not known.

    Fire Chief Lee Turner, who was severely burned in the fire, was out of town and could not be reached for comment. An assistant chief declined to comment.

    An official with the countywide E-911 system could not be reached.

    A Tennessee investigation showed that Murray's death was not the result of any state safety violations.

    An attorney for Murray's family declined comment.

    The NIOSH report reveals the following series of events leading up to Murray's death:

    The fire was reported at 3:08 p.m. on March 1, 2002. Seven firefighters, including Turner and Murray, responded. Murray, Turner and two other firefighters, one of whom was newly hired, went inside the house in search of occupants. There were none.

    While two firefighters remained inside, using a hose to try to douse the fire, Murray and Turner left the house long enough to get another water hose and returned for an "interior attack."

    The incident commander kept watch on the fire's condition from outside the structure. But he also pitched in by helping set up a ventilation fan and breaking out a window for more ventilation.

    A second fire engine arrived at 3:17 p.m. Flames continued to grow. Firefighters' "efforts had little effect in knocking down the fire," the report stated. A tank serving one water hose "ran dry," and the hose "lost pressure."

    "Several minutes passed, and conditions worsened," the report stated. "Fire was now showing from the eaves on all four sides of the residence."

    At 3:33 p.m., the incident commander "saw fire venting through the roof," the report stated. "Using his radio, he ordered the interior teams to exit the building."

    A minute passed, but Turner, Murray and two other firefighters remained inside. The commander yelled into his radio, "come out of there now," the report stated. But his radio transmissions were "garbled" and muffled by static.

    "Central dispatch contacted (the commander) several times, alerting him that his radio transmissions were breaking up and not being fully received," the report stated.

    Inside the burning house, one of the firefighter's air tanks began to run out.

    "As interior conditions deteriorated further, (Chief Turner) made a decision to evacuate the structure," the report stated.

    Two firefighters made it outside. Turner, struck by burning debris, collapsed at the doorway and was pulled to safety. His hands and arm were severely burned. At 3:35 p.m., firefighters realized Murray was still inside, the report stated.

    The NIOSH report suggests that Murray became disoriented as he tried to escape. He knew he was in trouble, activating an alarm on his gear that is supposed to help rescuers find him.

    The intense heat damaged his facemask, further obstructing his view. At some point, he began breathing in smoke and crumpled onto the floor near the door.

    By then, the house was ablaze. Eighteen minutes passed before Murray's fellow firefighters were able to douse the flames enough to rescue him.

    "After two attempts, firefighters grabbed the victim by his (breathing apparatus) straps and dragged him into the front yard," the report stated.

    The NIOSH report does not indicate whether there was a problem with Murray's breathing apparatus or his air tank supply. A Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health report states that Murray's "air intake was comprised by the removal of the air-pac hose from the face mask from the air supply, allowing the toxic smoke and fumes to enter his breathing zone."


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...7&sectionId=39

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