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Thread: Texas Firefighter Suffers Fatal Burns in House Fire

  1. #1
    Moderator patries's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Heemskerk (the Netherlands)

    Texas Firefighter Suffers Fatal Burns in House Fire

    Firefighters in a rural Texas community are mourning the loss of a 74-year-old volunteer firefighter who was critically burned while battling a house fire Thursday, Jan. 27.

    Walter Gass, a 12-year veteran of the Sealy Volunteer Fire Department, was pulled from the blaze by fellow firefighters. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

    The Texas Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.

    Officials said Gass was in good health for his age.

    A memorial fund in Gass' name has been established at the Austin County State Bank.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Gass, Walter Harvey

    Age: 74
    Rank: Captain
    Status: Volunteer
    Incident Date: 01/27/2000
    Incident Time: 13:30
    Death Date: 01/27/2000

    Cause of Death: Exposure
    Nature of Death: Asphyxiation (includes drowning)
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Activity Type: Advancing Hose Lines/Fire Attack
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Sealy Volunteer Fire Department
    P.O. Box 736
    Sealy, Texas 77474
    Chief: Joseph Schmidt

    Final Summary:
    Captain Gass and other members of his department were dispatched to a residential structure fire that was caused when lightning struck a house. The first two firefighters on the scene, the Assistant Chief and the Fire Chief, confirmed a working fire with dark smoke and fire visible from the attic and dormers. Captain Gass and his crew were the first fire company to arrive at the scene. Captain Gass and two firefighters entered the structure through the front door to perform an aggressive attack on the fire. Shortly after entering the structure, the two firefighters who were with Captain Gass were attempting to feed more hose into the structure. There was a rapid buildup of heat and the hoseline seemed to drop. The firefighters exited the building and reported this situation to the Chief. Two Rapid Intervention Teams (RIT) were formed and, after four attempts, the second team was successful in recovering Captain Gass. Captain Gass was equipped with full structural protective clothing and a manually activated PASS device. The PASS was found in the "off" position. Captain Gass was located about 18 feet inside the front door of the structure. Captain Gass was removed from the structure approximately 20 minutes after his arrival on the scene. The cause of death was listed as smoke and soot inhalation with greater than 80 percent total thermal injury. Additional information about this incident may be found in NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation F2000-09.

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