Lessons Learned: Fatal, Illegal Renovation in the Bronx, August 2006

A repost in memory of Probationary Firefighter Mike Reilly and Lieutenant Howie Carpluk.


On 24 August 2006 a FDNY lieutenant and probationary firefighter were trapped in the floor collapse of a burning dollar store in the Bronx. Immediately after, Engine 75 lieutenant Howie Carpluk transmitted a mayday message and began trying to help the FAST truck and others locate him and probationary firefighter Mike Reilly.

“”You see where the line went in? There’s a hole for me to get air – we need a mask toward the back,”

“Mask. Get it back here. I’m out of air . . Keep coming straight back here, we only need a mask. There’s a void for me, come here, you’ll see it. All I need is air, bro.”

Pinned by a rooftop air conditioning unit and other structural debris, Reilly lay underneath his officer, suffering chest-crushing injuries. Subsequent investigations would later reveal that engineers had illegally removed supports from the basement, while repairing damage from a 2000 fire.

Originally assigned to Engine Company 42, Carpluk was working overtime that day in Engine Company 75. Ironically, Engine Company 42 was the first due engine at the box. During the collapse and rescue some of Carpluk’s transmission were missed but he continued to calmly guide his rescuers. Eight other members were missing as well.

“Come on, see the guy with the line. Forget the water, give me the mask first and turn around and hit it. You go down the left side, 75 mayday, go down the left side. You’ll see me sticking out my hand.”

Finally, by grabbing the leg of a passing firefighter Carpluk spoke his last,

“Save my probie,” he urged. “He’s underneath me.”

Dollar and 99-cent stores, even without illegal renovations, possess a huge fire load and difficulty traversing the store due to contents. Take the time to remember Lieutenant Carpluk and Firefighter Reilly by reviewing the NIOSH report and preplanning those occupancies in your first due area. If you need Photos and videos of current dollar store fires for an off-the cuff drill, you can find them online at Firegeezer: Dollar Stores.

References
“Floor Collapse at Commercial Structure Fire Claims the Lives of One Career Lieutenant and One Career Fire Fighter – New York”, NIOSH, November 2007
“Mayday! Mayday! Running Out Of Air”, New York Post, August 2006
“A Father of Two and a Mentor in the Neighborhood” New York Times, August 2006
“PROBIE DIES IN BRONX BLAZE. Vet lieutenant clinging to life after fiery plunge in 99-cent store”, Daily News, August 2006
“FAREWELL TO THE BRAVEST ROOKIE. Thousands turn out to honor firefighter killed in Bronx blaze”, Daily News, August 2006
“Heroes Remembered”, FDNY
“Before Firefighters, Engineer Pleads Not Guilty to Perjury”, New York Times, March 2008
“Engineer Faces Perjury Charge After Fatal Bronx Fire in ’06″, New Times, March 2008
The Michael C. Reilly Scholarship
Howie Carpluk,
2007 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award
, Fire Engineering, 2007

You are not authorized to see this part
Please, insert a valid App IDotherwise your plugin won't work.

2 Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Backstep Firefighter

β€œTo provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format.”

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
billcphoto Mindset March 29, 2015
Holding1And1Photo Into The Breech March 29, 2015
s13larger If Not Us, Then Who? March 17, 2015
Comments
Ron Ayotte
Mindset
Dave... you hit it to of he ballpark again! Every firefighter, fire service instructor and every fire chief should read this...i n some cases, it should be read daily as a reminder of what the core mission of our profession is.
2015-03-29 12:20:59
Bill Schnaekel
If Not Us, Then Who?
Chief Ayotte, Thank you, not only for your kind words but your informative response. You had stated that it was a judgement call as to whether or not the initial arriving company officer conducted a quick primary search on marked vacant buildings. I'm curious, would that same officer face disciplinary actions if that were the…
2015-03-23 18:19:02
Steve Yelich
Some Saw Bullshit, Volume IIShared Post from CMD-FD
Gabe- This was a personal pet peeve of mine when I was on the Truck. All you have to do is read the instructions for Warthog blade care and a little pride in your equipment. I always took a trash bag and laid it flat; sprayed WD-40 all over it. Laid the blade on it…
2015-03-19 22:52:36
Ron Ayotte
If Not Us, Then Who?
Bill... your article is definitely something that should be brought up in every firehouse, whether it be in a formal class setting or an informal firehouse kitchen table discussion. I was my Department's liaison to and a member of the City's Code Enforcement Impact Team. Part of what we did was marking abandoned properties with…
2015-03-18 06:28:13
mike clark
Our Riding List
Ric Jorge: Brother, if you could grow a mustache like mine we would look like twins. I had the opportunity to teach with Eric "Tatter"Hankins, E.J. Mascaro, Bobby Haas and Rusty Ricker. Your name came up and the success that you have realized with the SIT program and enlightenment it has provided to America's Firefighters.…
2015-03-18 01:03:20
AFTDIMage
BostonFireGearImage
Plugin from the creators ofBrindes Personalizados :: More at PlulzWordpress Plugins