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Thread: Killed Firefighter Identified

  1. #1
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    Killed Firefighter Identified

    Killed Firefighter Identified
    Man Dies Fighting Bond Hill Blaze

    Story by Channel Cincinnati

    CINCINNATI -- A local firefighter who died Friday morning battling a local house fire has been identified.

    The identity of Oscar Armstrong was kept mum until early Friday afternoon because he has a sister on vacation who hadn't been notified, WLWT Eyewitness News 5's Susanne Horgan reported. Armstrong, 25, had been with the Cincinnati Fire Department for three years.

    "One of Cincinnati's firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice," a visibly distraught Cincinnati Fire Chief Robert Wright told reporters outside University Hospital Friday morning. "I want you to know that he is a hero. He gave it his all."

    Armstrong was found in a yard on the side of the house that was on fire, at 1131 Laidlaw Ave. near Paddock Road in Bond Hill, WLWT Eyewitness News 5's Evelyn Robertson reported. It's not clear how he died, but an official said he was pronounced dead at about 9:30 a.m. after he reportedly went into the burning house and got caught up in an inferno.

    For a few hours after the blaze was put out, a couple dozen fire investigators and high-ranking police officials were still trying to piece together the incident. If investigators determine the blaze to be a case of arson, then homicide charges could be filed.



    "Our homicide investigators and our criminologists are teamed up with the fire department's arson investigators, looking for signs of accelerants or some type of intentionally set fire," Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher said.

    Before getting confirmation of Armstrong's death, WLWT Eyewitness News 5's Monica Abler reported that Wright's car, as well as the vehicles of other emergency medical technicians and paramedics, all were outside University Hospital, where Armstrong was taken to after he was found. Other firefighters still in their gear after putting out the Bond Hill blaze were at the hospital as well.

    Abler also reported that the somber mood outside the hospital then was exacerbated when Mayor Charlie Luken arrived shortly after 10 a.m. and ignored reporters' questions as he hustled inside.

    Eyewitnesses told Robertson that a young boy ran out of the house safely during the blaze, and did not appear to be injured.

    "The fire was coming out so bad from the back," witness Brenda Willingham told Robertson. "And the house was just engulfed in flames in the front. The whole place was on fire."

    Another witness, Sona Gibson, told Robertson that she observed a dramatic scene.

    "(The victim) was hanging out the first-floor window," Gibson said. "One of the (other firefighters) dropped his hose when he saw him, and dragged him out."

    Robertson reported that a young man was credited with helping two adults out of the home. He reportedly told investigators that flames were licking at his heels as he and the adults were rushing out.


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    Armstrong, III, Oscar

    Age: 25
    Rank: Firefighter
    Status: Career
    Incident Date: 03/21/2003
    Incident Time: 09:00
    Death Date: 03/21/2003

    Cause of Death: Caught or Trapped
    Nature of Death: Burns
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Activity Type: Advancing Hose Lines/Fire Attack
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Cincinnati Fire Department
    430 Central Ave.
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
    Chief: Robert Wright

    Initial Summary:
    Firefighter Armstrong died from burn injuries received in a flashover while working a residential fire.

    Wake: 3/26/2003 1600-2000hrs Funeral Arrangements: 03/27/2003 1000hrs

    Memorial Fund Info:
    A memorial fund has been established for FF Armstrong's family. Donations can be made to the Firefighter Oscar Armstrong Memorial Fund at any local Fifth Third Bank location (account #20311455) or mail to Fifth Third Bank, 38 Fountain Square Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45263 (write

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    City Mourns Fallen Firefighter

    City Mourns Fallen Firefighter
    Armstrong Called A Hero

    POSTED: 12:10 p.m. EST March 22, 2003
    UPDATED: 3:18 p.m. EST March 23, 2003


    Story by Channel Cincinnati

    CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati firefighter who died in the line of duty is being remembered as a hero.

    Oscar Armstrong, 25, died Friday while battling a house fire in Bond Hill, WLWT Eyewitness News 5 reported.

    "One of Cincinnati's firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice," a visibly distraught Cincinnati Fire Chief Robert Wright told reporters outside University Hospital Friday morning. "I want you to know that he is a hero. He gave it his all."

    Armstrong was found in a yard on the side of the house that was on fire, at 1131 Laidlaw Ave. near Paddock Road, WLWT Eyewitness News 5 reported. It's not clear how he died, but an official said he was pronounced dead at about 9:30 a.m. after he reportedly went into the burning house and got caught up in an inferno.

    For a few hours after the blaze was extinguished, dozens of fire investigators and high-ranking police officials were still trying to piece together the incident. If investigators determine the blaze to be a case of arson, then homicide charges could be filed.

    "Our homicide investigators and our criminologists are teamed up with the fire department's arson investigators, looking for signs of accelerants or some type of intentionally set fire," Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher said.

    Before getting confirmation of Armstrong's death, WLWT reported that Wright's car, as well as the vehicles of other emergency medical technicians and paramedics, all were outside University Hospital, where the firefighter was taken to after he was found. Other firefighters still in their gear after putting out the Bond Hill blaze were at the hospital as well.

    A memorial fund has been set up for Armstrong's family. Donations can be made at any local Fifth Third Bank location; the account number is 20311455.


    Witnesses Describe Scene
    Eyewitnesses told WLWT that a young boy ran out of the house safely during the blaze, and did not appear to be injured.

    "The fire was coming out so bad from the back," witness Brenda Willingham said. "And the house was just engulfed in flames in the front. The whole place was on fire."

    Another witness, Sona Gibson, told WLWT that she observed a dramatic scene.

    "(The victim) was hanging out the first-floor window," Gibson said. "One of the (other firefighters) dropped his hose when he saw him, and dragged him out."

    WLWT reported that a young man was credited with helping two adults out of the home. He reportedly told investigators that flames were licking at his heels as he and the adults were rushing out.


    Fire Chief: 'Worst Day Of My Career'
    At a news conference later Friday, Wright was still emotional.

    "This is the worst day of my 30-year career," he said. "We lost a brother."

    Added City Manager Valerie Lemmie: "His mother did say to me, 'Only yesterday, he told me he made the best career choice ever by being a firefighter.'"

    Meanwhile, Luken said that the Armstrong's family members aren't the only ones grieving.

    "A family has lost a loved one, firefighters have lost a beloved brother and Cincinnati has lost a hero," he said.

    Armstrong had been with the Cincinnati Fire Department for three years. He had two children, and his fiance is pregnant with his third child, WLWT reported.

    Stay in touch with WLWT Eyewitness News 5 and refresh this ChannelCincinnati.com page for frequent updates.


    Copyright 2003 by Channel Cincinnati. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Funeral/Memorial Information
    Visitation will be Wednesday, March 26, 2003, 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at a location to be announced.

    Funeral services will be Thursday, March 27, 2003, at 10:00 AM, at a location to be announced.

    Additional specifics will be posted as soon as available, and may be found at the Local 48 Web site by clicking here.

    Contact Hotels (Government rate for LODD Service - $69.00):

    Westin Hotel (Host Hotel): 513-621-7700
    Crowne Plaza Hotel: 513-381-4000
    Hyatt Hotel: 513-579-1234
    Color Guards attending should notify Local 48 at 513-241-3541.

    A memorial fund has been established for Oscar's children and donations can be made to:


    Oscar Armstrong III
    Cincinnati Firefighter
    Engine 9 Memorial Fund
    213 West 9th Street
    Cincinnati, OH 45202


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...9&sectionId=39

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    Visitation For Fallen Firefighter Draws Hundreds

    Visitation For Fallen Firefighter Draws Hundreds
    Funeral Scheduled For Thursday

    POSTED: 4:57 p.m. EST March 26, 2003
    UPDATED: 9:14 p.m. EST March 26, 2003


    Story by Channel Cincinnati

    CINCINNATI -- The visitation for Oscar Armstrong III, who was killed last week doing the job he loved, drew firefighters from as far away as Canada.

    Mourners began showing up to the Zion Baptist Church on Glenwood Avenue in Avondale at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The visitation lasted until about 8 p.m., WLWT Eyewitness News 5's Sheree Paolello reported Wednesday.

    Armstrong, 25, died during a three-alarm fire at a home in Bond Hill Friday. Dozens of firefighters were needed to extinguish the blaze.

    Thursday's funeral procession is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., also at Zion, Paolello reported. When the procession gets to Central Parkway and Sycamore Street, walking firefighters, a color guard and bagpipers will join in as the procession heads to St. Xavier Church downtown. Armstrong's fire academy classmates will line the street in front of the church, as well as the first alarm crew that responded to Friday's fire.

    The funeral will begin at about 10 a.m., followed by another procession headed for Spring Grove Cemetery, Paolello reported. After the burial, a private wake is scheduled at Music Hall.

    Armstrong left behind two young sons, and a fiancee who is expecting his third child. He also is survived by his parents, as well as a brother and a sister.

    Paolello reported that firefighters from as far away as Chicago, New York and Canada were at Wednesday's visitation. Cincinnati Fire Department Chief Robert Wright was among the hundreds who attended.

    "This is numbing," Wright said. "My son is a firefighter in this department, and I just imagine this happening to him. It's too much to think about."

    Armstrong was with the Cincinnati Fire Department for three years.

    Please follow WLWT Eyewitness News 5 and ChannelCincinnati.com for coverage of Thursday's funeral, as well as information about road closures.





    Copyright 2003 by Channel Cincinnati. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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  5. #5
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    Fire Led Hero to Calling as a Firefighter

    Cincinnati Fire Department
    Official Press Release


    Firefighter Armstrong became a fire recruit on 1/2/00. After five months of rigorous basic training he graduated from the Cincinnati Fire Academy on 5/19/00.

    Thereafter he was assigned to Fire Engine Company 46 on 5/21/00. On September 23, 2001 he transferred to Fire Engine Company 9, and remained a member of that unit.

    Throughout his career he was recognized as an employee that did a good job, in some areas of his job performance he was rated superior, which is significant for a young firefighter. Oscar

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