Home > High-Rise Training > LODD Anniversary: High-Rise Fire Claims Texas Captain

LODD Anniversary: High-Rise Fire Claims Texas Captain

Remember the fallen with the lessons learned


Building on fire. (NIOSH photo)


NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program


On October 13, 2001, a 40-year-old Captain (the victim) died and another Captain was injured while fighting a fifth floor high-rise apartment fire.

Read the Report:
High-Rise Apartment Fire Claims the Life of One Career Fire Fighter and Injures Another Career Fire Fighter

At 0448 hours, units were dispatched to a fire alarm. Units arrived on the scene at 0453 hours and reported heavy fire showing from the exterior of the building.

Crews made immediate entry and attack, but after running low on air the victim and the other Captain decided to exit. In the process, the victim apparently became disoriented and lost, whereas the other Captain was able to escape.

Rescue crews were sent to the fifth floor where the victim was located in the elevator common area.

The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead at 0615 hours.

NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should:

  • ensure that the department’s high-rise Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are followed and refresher training is provided
  • ensure that team continuity is maintained
  • ensure that personnel are in position to maintain an offensive attack
  • ensure that a lifeline is in place to guide fire fighters to an emergency stairwell
  • instruct and train fire fighters on initiating emergency traffic (Mayday-Mayday) when they become lost, disoriented, or trapped
  • ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) is established and in position
  • ensure that a backup line is manned and in position to protect exit routes
  • ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to immediately respond to emergency incidents
  • ensure that the Incident Commander (IC) continuously evaluates the present weather conditions (i.e., high winds) during high-rise fire operations


  • fire departments should establish and enforce standard operating procedures on the use of thermal imaging cameras for search-and-rescue operations
  • the authority having jurisdiction shall ensure that the receipt and processing of alarms is completed in a timely manner

Check Also

Fire in a 42-Story Manhattan High-Rise

Fire on the 26th floor at Box 1088     ©FDNY Response ...

Manhattan: Fire in a 22-Story Commercial High-Rise

Fire out the windows at Box 811     ©FDNY Response Videos ...

Two Dead in Manhattan High-Rise Fire

Fire on the 24th floor     NEW YORK (AP) — Two ...

Three-Alarm Fire at Paterson, New Jersey High-Rise

HighRise Operations Staff     PATERSON, New Jersey –NorthJersey.com reported that no ...

Fire at Winston-Salem, North Carolina High-Rise

Fire on the seventh floor     HighRise Operations Staff WINSTON-SALEM, North ...

Three-Alarm High-Rise Fire in San Francisco

At least five people were injured     HighRise Operations Staff SAN ...