Firefighter Falls Through Floor

Photo: Ford, Brad

Portland Fire was dispatched to a possible residential fire just before 8:30 AM in the Concordia Neighborhood within Alberta Arts District of NE Portland. The first arriving engine confirmed there was smoke showing upon arrival and took an offensive fire attack stretching hose lines to the front door and forcing entry to locate and extinguish the fire. 

Smoke was banked down to nearly the floor on the main level of the home but there was not a heavy presence of heat as reported by the first to enter the structure. As the first crew was making entry other arriving fire companies were being assigned tasks by the incident commander on scene to perform necessary search along with other essential tasks to paint a clear picture to the officer directing the scene and to inform the working crews of anything unusual or unsafe that could pose a problem in firefighting activities. 

The floor gave way and a firefighter fell into the basement just inside the front door as the initial attack team was making progress to find the fire. This firefighter followed department protocol and communicated a “mayday” transmission on the radio, successfully identified himself, what had occurred, and his location. The firefighter said that after he took a step forward “the floor that was there, just wasn't there anymore” and he ended up in the basement. 

The crew assigned as our Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) was performing a walk-around the structure when the mayday radio transmission occurred, and they were directed to make entry and locate to extract the firefighter that had fallen through the floor. This crew forced entry into the back of the house, found the stairs to the basement and descended in thick brown smoke to find the downed member. They found the firefighter unhurt and led the member out the way they had entered up the stairs and into the backyard of the residence.

The fire was extinguished shortly after the RIT team had reported that the downed firefighter was out of the structure safely. A firefighter was transported to the hospital because of a different fall for a laceration on their head. Steps have been taken to contact the Red Cross to assist the resident who was not at home to provide living assistance as the home is untenable. Portland Fire & Rescue Investigations Unit is on scene to determine a cause.

Source: Portland Fire Bureau

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