Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread: LODD Two Winnipeg Firefighters Die in Flashover

  1. #1
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    South West

    LODD Two Winnipeg Firefighters Die in Flashover

    Two Winnipeg Firefighters Die in Flashover

    Updated: 02-05-2007 08:47:05 AM

    Courtesy of

    The Winnipeg fire department is in mourning Monday after two firefighters were killed while battling a blaze in a burning home.

    "It happened around eight o'clock, firefighters arrived on the scene and quickly did a search in the house to see if anyone else was inside when this flashover occurred catching the firefighters inside the house," CTV's Kelly Dehn said Monday.

    "I'm told that this back draft was so intense that it melted the radio of one of the firefighters... that gives you an idea of how intense this flame was."

    Alex Forrest, president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg, described the flashover as "a sudden, violent burst of flames."

    "Our gear protects us to hundreds of degrees Celsius, so it was just unthinkable," he said.

    Forrest had the task of bringing the victims' families in to see the bodies. Both men were senior captains with more than 30 years experience.

    "Four other firefighters besides our two firefighters who died were taken to hospital," Alex Forrest, union president of United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg told CTV's Canada AM on Monday morning.

    "Two fire fighters have been released with burns and smoke inhalation. Two others are in very serious condition with burns and are currently in the intensive care units."

    The blaze burned intensely, even in the -39-degrees-Celsius temperatures. Aerial television images showed the home lighting up the surrounding neighbourhood and four Winnipeg Transit buses were brought in to evacuate 15 to 20 of the surrounding houses.

    The cause of fire is being investigated, Forrest said Monday.

    "The investigation has already begun and I can't go into great details because it will probably be months before we find out what happened, but it does seem there was some type of extreme flash over or back draft event that caused this tremendous damage," he said.

    Shaken area residents watched the scene unfold.

    "It's just been them trying to pull out firemen. One after another they were pulling them out into the ambulances," Mark Lemont told CTV Winnipeg.

    "They were just trying to get them out. everyone was yelling for medics. Trying to be as calm as it can be. but it looked pretty bad."

    One report indicated one stricken firefighter was convulsing.

    Neighbours say two teenagers were in the home. They were studying in the basement when the fire broke out, but got out safely.

    The parents are apparently away on a holiday.

    According to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation website, the last Winnipeg firefighter to die while on duty was Capt. R.W. Stoyko in 2003.

    In 2006, eight Canadian firefighters died on duty.

    Republished with permission of

    Local 867 web link.

  2. #2
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    South West

    Thousands Attend Memorial for Winnipeg Firefighters

    Thousands Attend Memorial for Winnipeg Firefighters

    Updated: 02-14-2007 12:21:09 PM

    CBC News

    More than 12,000 people are expected to attend a public memorial in Winnipeg Wednesday morning for two firefighters killed in the city 10 days ago.

    The memorial will include a public service at the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg and a march of thousands firefighters, police and soldiers in full dress uniform prior to the memorial service.

    Flags at all federal buildings in Winnipeg will be at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, and city employees will observe a moment of silence at 10 a.m. Wednesday, when the public memorial at the MTS Centre begins.

    Capt. Harold Lessard, 55, and Capt. Tom Nichols, 57, were among six firefighters trapped on the second floor of a burning Winnipeg home when they were hit by a flashover. Lessard and Nichols were killed by the huge fireball, which reached thousands of degrees Celsius within seconds.

    "It's been a horrendous time for all of us, just the amount of grief and tragedy that we're going through," said Alex Forrest, president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg.

    "As well, we always have to remember there are still two firefighters that are very seriously hurt that we have to assist and make sure they're not left out of anything."

    Three of the four injured firemen are expected to attend the memorial service; one is too seriously burned to leave the hospital. Another, if given the green light to attend, will arrive by ambulance, accompanied by a doctor, and will sit in a private box to prevent infection.

    "It's extremely hard on them because they're also grieving for the firefighters they lost," Forrest said. "These firefighters fought beside them when they died. Their physical wounds are one thing, but the mental anguish is another thing they have to deal with."

    Rich Couden, from Everett, Wash., is among thousands of firefighters who have travelled to Winnipeg to honour their fallen colleagues.

    "Whenever you hear about a firefighter going down, it really sends chills because it could happen to anybody," said Couden.

    "We take all the safety measures we can, but when it comes right down to it, we go into unpredictable environments and things like this can happen."

    The men who died knew the importance of travelling to memorials like this one. Lessard made a similar journey last year to attend the funeral of a Thunder Bay firefighter.

    Elected officials from the municipal, provincial and federal governments will speak at the memorial, which federal Liberal Leader St��phane Dion and NDP Leader Jack Layton will also attend.

    Local and international firefighter associations and representatives for the families of Lessard and Nichols will also speak.

    The service will also include musical tributes by the Canadian Air Force Choir and Band, and the Canadian Mass Pipe and Drum Band. The Snowbirds Demonstration Team will also fly over the site at 9:15.

    Streets closing for memorial march

    The memorial will begin at 10 a.m. Members of the public are asked to be seated by 9:30.

    The march is scheduled to leave the Winnipeg Convention Centre at 8:30 a.m. CT and will continue until everyone involved has arrived at the MTS Centre.

    To accommodate the march, city officials will close several downtown streets from 8:30 a.m., including:

    - Edmonton Street from St. Mary Avenue to York Avenue.

    - York Avenue from Edmonton Street to Carlton Street.

    - Carlton Street from York Street to Portage Avenue.

    Parking will not be allowed along the march route from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.; transit routes along Graham Avenue will be redirected to other streets.

    CBC Radio and CBC-TV in Manitoba will have live coverage of the memorial service starting at 9:30 a.m. CT Wednesday. It will also be streamed live at

    Local 867 Web link below.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts