Life After Arlington StreetWorcester Firefighter Brian Carroll

"What am I supposed to be doing?

On 8 December 2011, Worcester firefighters Jon Davies Jr., Brian Carroll and other members of Rescue 1 as well as Engine 2 and 12 went back inside a burning three-decker to search for a missing occupant. The companies were withdrawn earlier but a civilian was insisting to the command officers that his friend was still inside. The Rescue 1 lieutenant and another member spoke with the civilian as well as the incident commander and the safety officer and made the decision based to conduct a secondary search for the missing occupant.

WORCESTER, MA — As December rolls into the city, the streets get colder, the wind sharper and the steps of men and women in the Worcester Fire Department get a little heavier. Recent history has shown December to be a tough month for the department with the Dec. 3, 1999, deaths of six firefighters at the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. and the death of Firefighter Jon D. Davies Sr. on Dec. 8, 2011, during a blaze at 49 Arlington St.

As firefighters were on the second floor, the safety officer reported an urgent message that the rear of the structure was collapsing. The incident commander called for the companies to evacuate as the Side D wall began to collapse as well. Firefighters Davies and Carroll would end up being trapped in the collapse. Carroll was rescued from the structure’s cellar. Davies’ body was recovered from the first floor.

On the eve of the first anniversary of the Arlington Street tragedy, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette spoke to Firefighter Brian Carroll who shared his thoughts on how he has been coping this year.

Audio from Arlington Street Fire, 8 December 2011.

Worcester Firefighter Killed, Another Injured in Collapse While Doing Secondary Search

NIOSH: Career Fire Fighter Dies and Another is Injured Following Structure Collapse at a Triple Decker Residential Fire – Massachusetts

Body Not Found in Collapse That Killed Worcester Firefighter


Bill Carey is the daily news and blog manager for Elsevier Public Safety (FireRescue Magazine/Firefighter Nation, JEMS and LawOfficer sites.) Bill also manages the network and is a former volunteer lieutenant with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland.

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