Six Detroit firefighters were injured during operations at a two alarm fire at a commercial taxpayer fire on the city’s east side. Initial reports indicate a roof collapse and subsequent compromise and further collapse occurred on the alpha side of operations with additional reports of an explosion preceding the collapse. Additional information provided by the Detroit Fire Department indicated the building structure had sustained some degree of damage from fire operations a few hours earlier and that during the suppression operations at 07:00 hours, while companies were operating, a facade collapse of the perimeter brick wall occured.
The brick facade collapse trapped a number of firefighters under the debris pile requiring extrication and removal. Published report indicate that the following Detroit Firefighters were injured as a result of the collapsing facade wall;
• Lt. Gerald Rutkowski, 46; 23 years with department
• Shane Raxter, 32; 9 years with department.
• Brian Baulch, 31; 9 years with department.
• Jeron Whitehorn 30; 8 years with department.
• Eric Jurmo, 31; 11 years with department.
• Brendan Milewski, 31; 11 years with department
It appears the two story brick structure located at the corner block had commercial occupancies on the number one floor, with the second floor boarded up, evidenced by the coverings over the windows.
The facade collapse of the alpha side in the predominate location of perimeter windows is typically the least stable of areas in buildings of type III ordinary construction. Lacking any significant mass and increased wythe, non-bearing walls have less mass and require stability of the adjacent floor systems and load bearing lintels and beams to maintain structural stability and integrity. Gravity affects unstable brick veneer and in-fill walls greatly as does other imposed loads, hose and master streams impacts. We’ll post more building construction insights and safety aides to increase your operational awareness on these type of building structures.
Here are the links to the lastest information forthcoming;
The Newest radio show on FireFighter Netcast.com at Blogtalk Radio…
Taking it to the Streets with Christopher Naum.
On the Air Monthly on Firefighter Netcast.com.
A Buildingsonfire.com Series and Firefighter Netcast.com Production.
Advancing Firefighter Safety and Operational Integrity for the Fire Service through provocative insights and dynamic discussions dedicated to the Art and Science of Firefighting and the Traditions of the Fire Service.