Lincoln County Journal

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Report of county firefighter trapped in burning home not exactly accurate

Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 6:32 am

Barry Nuss, fire marshal for the Lincoln County Fire Protection District, issued the following concerning reports Tuesday night of a firefighter trapped in a home fire. “This evening, many listening in on our scanner radio traffic may have heard a report of a firefighter trapped inside a burning home,” said Nuss. “In fact, a firefighter was reported trapped via radio after a roof collapse. It was later determined the firefighter was in fact not trapped and that he escaped the structure just after the roof collapse.” At 7:20 p.m., Lincoln County Fire Protection District #1 was dispatched to a residential home on Deer Valley Court south of Troy, MO for a reported flue fire. On arrival fire units found the flue chase and a portion of the attic on fire. All occupants had safely evacuated the residence. At 7:52 p.m., eight Lincoln County Firefighters were inside the home, working to extinguish the fire in the attic above. Firefighters were ordered to evacuate the residence due to the instability of the roof structure. As they were doing so, a portion of the roof collapsed, separating the group of eight firefighters into one group of six and one group of two. Through the heavy smoke, fire and collapsing roof debris, one of the firefighters that escaped through the front door saw the roof collapse onto one of the two separated firefighters. Thinking, the firefighter was trapped, he reported it and the radio call of “one firefighter trapped inside” was made to the incident commander. The firefighter that was struck by the roof debris was not injured and immediately escaped through the rear door of the structure with the other firefighter. Firefighters immediately sprung into action and began searching through the burning roof debris for the injured firefighter. During this time a personnel accountability check was completed and it was determined all fire personnel were accounted for an in good health. “I think your heart stops for just a second when that call comes across the radio”, said Fire Chief Mike Cherry about the radio call from fellow firefighters reporting ‘one firefighter trapped inside.’ “Fortunately, we train hard for this specific situation and were able to quickly resolve that all of our team was present and accounted for,” he said. Lincoln County Fire Protection District #1 thanks all of the fire districts who responded to assist due to freezing temperatures and a lack of water supply in the area. Wright City, Wentzville, Warrenton, Hawk Point and Northwest Fire Protection Districts as well as Lincoln County Ambulance District.