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Thread: Pensacola, Fla. Firefighter Killed Battling House Fire

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    Pensacola, Fla. Firefighter Killed Battling House Fire

    Pensacola, Fla. Firefighter Killed Battling House Fire

    A Pensacola firefighter died early this morning when he was trapped inside a burning house while searching for its occupants, who unbeknownst to him, had already escaped.

    Professional Firefighter II Maurice Bartholemew, 30, died at the scene.

    Two other firefighters -- Capt. David Allen, 36, and Firefighter Charles Walters, 25 -- were taken to Baptist Hospital for treatment. Allen was burned on one of his ears and a hand and Walters was burned on one of his hands. Both were treated and released.

    "This is one heck of a loss for the Pensacola Fire Department," said Deputy Fire Chief Matt Schmitt. "It is the first experience for many of our firefighter to lose one of our own. Our hearts and sympathies go out to Firefighter Bartholemew's family."

    Cause of the accidental fire at 800 E. Hatton St. is being investigated by the State Fire Marshal's Office. Battalion Chief Matt Phillips said the fire caused an estimated $40,000 in damages to the wood-frame house, which was occupied by Willie and Barbard Ladd, 74 and 64, respectively.

    Emergency personnel were dispatched to the house around 1:35 a.m. after Barbard Ladd called 911 and said a pan had caught on fire while her husband was cooking. The couple then managed to get outside.

    However, when firefighters arrived, they did not know the Ladds had escaped so Batholewmew, Allen and Walters went inside to perform a routine search.

    While the three firefighters were searching the house, a room at the back of the house burst into flames and trapped Bartholemew. Allen and Walters managed to escape the intense flames and thought that Bartholemew was behind them. It was not until firefighters were outside that they realized Bartholemew was still inside the blazing house but they were unable ot rescue him at that point because of the intense fire.

    The Ladds were also taken to Baptist Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

    Firefighter Bartholemew was stationed at the Spring Street firehouse and had been employed as a firefighter with the City of Pensacola since Sept. 3, 1996, He is survived by two children and his mother, Velma Jones of Pensacola.

    This was the first City of Pensacola firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty since 1983, when two firefighters died from fighting a fire at Markham Sign Co. on West Government Street.


    There will be a prayer service at The Benboe Funeral Home, 416 W. Wright Street, Pensacola, Florida on Thursday at 7:00 P.M.

    There will be a funeral Mass with full fire department honors at The Cathedral of The Sacred Heart, 12th Avenue at Mallory Street, Pensacola on Friday at noon.

    After the Mass, there will be a marching procession approximately one mile from the Cathedral to the Holy Spirit Cemetery. Fire Departments are encouraged to respond with as many available firefighters and apparatus as possible to fill out the procession route. It is suggested that personnel should arrive at The Cathedral by 11:00 a.m.

    A trust fund for FF Bartholemew's two children has been established in the name of:

    The Firefighter Marvin Maurice Bartholemew Fund
    Account # 3401189891, Routing # 063210112
    Am South Bank
    70 N. Baylen Street
    Pensacola, Florida 32501



    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/2000/fl_nov25.html

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    Funeral services were held Friday for Pensacola Firefighter Maurice Bartholemew. Fire, EMS, and Police departments from all over the Southeast were present.

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    Bartholemew's coffin was taken to the Holy Cross Cemetery atop the same engine he was riding the night of his death. Hundreds of people perticipated in the one mile march from the Sacred Heart Cathedral to the Holy Cross Cemetery.

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    Bartholemew, Marvin Maurice

    Age: 30
    Rank: Firefighter II
    Status: Career
    Incident Date: 11/25/2000
    Incident Time: 01:41
    Death Date: 11/25/2000

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

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Pensacola Fire Department
    239 N. Spring St.
    Pensacola, Florida 32501
    Chief: James Dixon

    Final Summary:
    Firefighter Bartholemew responded as a member of an engine company to a report of a residential fire. Upon arrival on the scene, the first company officer reported a working fire with approximately 50 percent of the building involved. Firefighter Bartholemew was assigned to join the crew of a rescue and perform a search of the structure. A handline was stretched by the search crew and carried into the structure. Five to ten minutes after arrival, the company officer from the rescue realized that fire was spreading behind them. He ordered his crew to abandon their efforts and leave the house. All three firefighters headed for the exit as the flashover occurred. The company officer and the firefighter from the rescue emerged from the structure, both were burned. Firefighter Bartholemew was not with them. The company officer reported Firefighter Bartholemew missing. At least four searches were completed before Firefighter Bartholemew was located. His body was located approximately an hour after the flashover. He had apparently become disoriented and ended up in the kitchen at the back of the house. The cause of death was listed as asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. The carboxyhemoglobin level in Firefighter Bartholemew

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    CURT ISAKSON
    Lieutenant, Pensacola Fire Department


    At 01:37 hours on Saturday, November 25, 2000, the Pensacola Fire Department responded to a fire in a single family dwelling at 800 E. Hatton Street. Upon arrival Engine Company 5, under the direction of Captain Tom Roberson, found a heavy fire condition in the rear of the single story house.

    Capt Roberson established command and ordered an inch and three quarter hand line stretched to the front door. Operating under the assumption that the occupants were still inside the house, Firefighters Maurice Bartholemew, Chuck Walters and Captain David Allen of Rescue Company 32 advanced the line into the house and encountered a heavy smoke condition.

    While searching near the rear of the house, Captain Allen realized that the fire was advancing behind them and that the room was about to light up. He ordered his hose team to abandon the line and leave immediately. The three firefighters turned and were beginning to make their way out when the room did in fact flash.

    While exiting the building, somehow Firefighter Bartholemew became separated from his the other two firefighters. Captain Allen and Firefighter Walters escaped and were transported to Baptist Hospital for burns of the ears, face and hands. Both were treated and released.

    Captain Roberson ordered the transmission of a second alarm and special called an additional engine and rescue to the scene before the fire was brought under control. Firefighter Bartholemew's body was located at approximately 02:50 hours.

    Bartholemew was hired on September 3, 1996. He is survived by a three month old daughter, a five year old son, an ex-wife, his girlfriend and his mother. Funeral arrangements are pending.

    The Pensacola Fire Department employs 135 career firefighters and operates 6 engine companies, 2 ladder companies, 3 rescue companies and 2 airport crash fire rescue trucks out of six stations under the direction of Chief James A. Dixon.



    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/2000/fl_nov25.html

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