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Thread: Blaze Takes Layton, Utah Firefighter

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Blaze Takes Layton, Utah Firefighter

    Blaze Takes Layton, Utah Firefighter

    ZACK VAN EYCK and LAURA HANCOCK


    Kendall O. Bryant lived to fight fires - Late Friday, he died that way.

    Bryant, a full-time Ogden firefighter who worked part time for the city of Layton, died in a house fire here while searching the home to see if anyone was trapped inside.

    Layton Fire Chief Allan Peek said Bryant was overcome by heat and died of smoke inhalation when a fire in the home's garage spread to and engulfed an adjacent family room.

    The family room was directly below the upstairs bedrooms and hall where Bryant and two other firefighters were searching.

    "Every one of us wanted to be a firefighter, but I don't know anyone who wanted to be a fireman as bad as Kendall did," said Layton Fire Department Lt. Jason Cook, one of the men who helped battle the blaze at 2365 N. 725 West.

    Bryant, 36, a native of the Parowan area, lived in Clearfield. He leaves behind his wife, Michelle, and their three young children.

    The other two men, Lt. Val King and firefighter Micah Redmond, were injured and hospitalized overnight.

    When King sensed a buildup of heat, he ordered the men to evacuate, Peek said. King and Redmond assumed Bryant was right behind them as they escaped down the stairwell, battling intense heat and flames.

    But it soon became evident, to the horror of the 15 other Layton firefighters engaged in the effort, that something had happened to Bryant.

    Peek said the fire began about 10 p.m. The three men were part of an initial attack crew assigned to search the premises and start bringing the fire under control.

    Peek, Cook and others said the fire seemed much like any other residential blaze and that the three firefighters acted accordingly.

    "It was a routine fire. It didn't seem menacing at all," Cook said.

    No one was inside the home, Peek said, but firefighters did not know that when they arrived. And even if they had been told the home was empty, they would have conducted a search anyway, he said.

    "I don't want anybody second-guessing what they did," Peek said, adding that a full investigation is under way.

    Temperatures in the hallway were already between 300 and 500 degrees when the firefighters, wearing protective gear and oxygen masks, entered, he said.

    But when the downstairs room became engulfed in flames, temperatures reached up to 1,000 degrees, and that heat swept quickly up the stairs and through a swamp cooler vent, Peek added.

    "The stairwell acted like a chimney," Peek said.

    Peek speculated that Bryant may have tried to re-enter the master bedroom and exit through the window. He was found 3 feet from the window, and his oxygen tank was empty, Peek said.

    Bryant was reported missing at 10:20 p.m. Crews tried three times to re-enter the second story to find him, but the heat was too much, Peek said.

    A fourth attempt finally reached Bryant at 10:47 p.m., the chief said. Repeated attempts were made to revive him.

    Bryant began working part time for the Layton Fire Department in 1992, while holding down a full-time security job in Clearfield.

    But Cook said Bryant desperately wanted to be a full-time firefighter. Bryant, who also worked on the crash team at Rocky Mountain Raceway, applied to fire companies throughout the West before landing the full-time position with Ogden 31/2 years ago, Cook said.

    "My fondest recollection of him is how he helped his wife battle through cancer several years ago," Cook said. "His kids absolutely idolized him."

    Peek called Bryant a gentle, kind man with many skills. He organized the department's softball team and was instrumental in helping the city begin ambulance service, Cook said.

    Ogden Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Wood said Bryant had an exemplary work ethic, "not just on the fire ground, but on daily routines. You could count on him to do his job well, then assist someone else with theirs."

    Bryant also had a gift with children, Wood said. When schoolchildren toured the fire station and when children of firefighters visited their parents, Bryant would talk with them or ask them to play a game of pool with him, he said.

    "It really impressed me," Wood said. "The guy had a good heart."

    Wood said Bryant worked a number of part-time jobs to help with medical expenses incurred with his wife's illness.

    "He was a real family man," Wood said.

    Peek said a high-powered light bulb and a cardboard box were to blame for the fire. The light, hanging down near the box to keep the family's dog warm, had been on since early Friday, he said.

    A five-gallon container of gas helped fuel the blaze, he said.

    The dog did not survive the fire. Damage was estimated at $75,000.


    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/2000/ut_apr1.html

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Bryant, Kendall O.

    Age: 36
    Rank: Firefighter/EMT
    Status: Career
    Incident Date: 03/31/2000
    Incident Time: 02:21
    Death Date: 03/31/2000

    Cause of Death: Caught or Trapped
    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:
    Layton Fire Department
    530 North 2200 West
    Layton, Utah 84041
    Chief: Allan Peek

    Final Summary:
    Firefighter/EMT Bryant and members of his department were dispatched to the report of a residential fire. Upon arrival, Firefighter/EMT Bryant

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