Minute by Minute: What happened inside burning Madisonville apar - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Minute by Minute: What happened inside burning Madisonville apartment complex


5:31 a.m. – “Engine 49, Truck 31, District 4, Respond. King Towers Apartments. 6020 Dahlgren. Between Ward and Owasco for a fire alarm. Called in by Dial One. Second floor smoke alarm.”

While those crews respond, a neighbor calls and reports the smell of smoke. District 4 acknowledges the report while in route.

Companies dispatched: Engine 31 Engine 46 Truck 18 Truck 23 (RAT) District 1, District 3, Medic 46, Heavy Rescue 9 ALS 32 respond to the 1 Alarm fire. “Caller reporting smoke in the building. There's people trying to escape off a balcony”

Engine 49 arrives on scene, sizes up the scene and reports: “nothing showing”. Dispatch relays to the companies responding: “Be advised, one caller is reporting fire in unit D, that's unit D-David 27”

Crews outside report “Light haze of smoke forming”

Units inside the building report into the command on the scene: “Reporting a fire on the second floor and evacuating the building at this time”

More medics are dispatched to the scene Crews inside report heavy fire.

5:47 a.m.Crews on the scene call for a second alarm. Dispatch relays the second alarm.

“Engine 31 to command, we've got a bunch of people yelling in the back of the building. They need help getting out of the building. They are on the third floor.”

Command sends responding units to different areas of the team including the Truck 31 is the RAT team. So many crews have responded that firefighters from Truck 18 have to park down the street and walk to the scene.

5:50 a.m.Engine 18 (part of the second alarm) reports in and asks if they should bring water.

Command responds: “Negative, I need you guys to come forward to the crews we just need lines established, we need hose lines established to the fire floor”.

Rescue Company 9: “We've got fire on the second floor, extended in the hallway. We have closed the door to the apartment….We're working our way down the hallway trying to search apartments”.

Crews inside report the apartment door has burned through, the fire is now in the second floor hallway.

5:52 a.m. - Crews inside call for the extension of lines (hoses). They need 100 more feet of hose. Request the lines be brought in through the front door, down the hall up the stairs and to the apartment on fire. At this point, they still haven't gotten any water on the fire.

5:53 a.m.Firefighters call in a third alarm.

5:56 a.m. - A firefighter inside the building radios in: “Command Emergency! Command Emergency! We have a flash over in the back of the building!”

Firefighters call for water to be started on the lines pulled inside the building

6 a.m. - More units arrive scene and report to the command center. Third alarm company arrives: Engine 23, Engine 7 and Truck 19. They are told to stage 3 blocks from the fire scene.

6:02 a.m. – Command calls into Communications with a progress report:

"Progress Report #1 – We've got the fire reported knocked down at this time. I still have heavy smoke conditions on the upper floors - people presenting at the windows. We are in the process of conducting a primary search of floors two through six. My third alarm company is staged until I advise to respond in. And the fire should be… I'm going to mark this under control. We still have pretty good smoke conditions at this time.”

Crews inside call back to command: “I see heavy fire on the second floor rear. It is not knocked down”

Command relays the fire is not knocked down and will advise more in a second progress report. Truck 23 inside calls in and is conducting rescues.

District 1 crews on the back side of the building report the fire is knocked down on the back side of the building “There is heavy smoke on the second and third floor, we need to conduct primary searches”.

6:05 a.m.Firefighters inside apartment 27 where the fire started report it hasn't spread. Firefighters being searching the third floor (floor above the apartment on fire) to determine if there are any people to rescue. Command orders Truck 32 to go to floor four for a primary search. District 1 arrives on scene.

6:07 a.m. – “Companies are in the process of removing smoke. We still have people at the windows. We are attempting to shelter in place at this time”.

Communications: “Primary (search) on the second floor shows all clear, fire is under control. We have callers, they are in apartment one is at 527, 527 saying she's on her balcony”

Command calls for a third medic unit.

6:10 a.m. – “Search and rescue to command: We have two victims coming out. We've got one baby and one female adult.”

Crews inside complete their primary search of the third floor – nobody found

6:11 a.m. – Command to Communications: “Fire is out. Second floor apartment. No extensions. I need one additional medic unit. We are evaluating patients at this time. We have minor injuries. We have smoke inhalation injuries. We have one injury to one firefighter, so send me one additional medic unit.”

Engine 8 reports the fourth floor is clear and they're headed to the fifth floor. Fourth medic unit dispatched.

6:13 a.m. – “Engine 8 to Command: do you want all these doors open on the fifth floor?”

Command: “If you can get them open without forcing them, I would like that to occur”

(Muffled radio transmission about opening the elevator doors)

Command tells Engine 8 again not to force the elevator doors open

6:15 a.m. – Search and rescue units report an all clear on floor two through four while they continue to search floor five and six.

Report floor five is clear. Secondary searches begin on floors two and three. Truck 23 crew moves from the second floor to third floor.

6:16 a.m. – “Truck 18, we're on the fourth floor”.

Truck 23 on the second floor asks command advises Engine 49 to re-pressurize the line (hose), they've found a small amount of fire that needs to be knocked down.

6:18 a.m.Search and rescue team on the fifth floor gives an all clear.

Commander asks Communications asks for a rundown of all the companies on the scene.

6:21 a.m. - Additional medical units and advanced life support (ALS) supervisor dispatched to the scene.

6:22 a.m. – “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! We have a firefighter down! He went down the shaft! Fourth floor! He went down the shaft on the fourth floor!”

“He fell down the elevator shaft to the third floor”

6:23 a.m. -- “Okay, all companies the first floor elevator door is open. He is on floor two! Floor two! Prop the door.”

“Command copies, we're sending help your way”

“Rescue to command, be advised – we see the firefighter. We've got the elevator door open on four. He's down between the elevator and the shaft. And he is probably on the second or third floor”

6:24 a.m.Fourth alarm called in to communications.

“Accessing the elevator shaft now”

Command locates a medic unit to transport the fallen firefighter. Advises he'll be coming out the alpha (front) of the building.

6:26 a.m. – “We have located the firefighter. He is lying alongside the car.”

“Command – go ahead and get me a RAT pack (Rapid Air Transport) up here for air. I'm going to need an extension ladder, portable ladder. And we need that stat!

“Rescue 9, I need you to breach the side of the elevator. I need you to bring tools up to breach the side of the elevator. Rescue 9 Rescue 4. Now! Third floor”.

6:27 a.m. – “Rescue 9 be advised. I'm on the floor below looking up. He is wedged between the wall…”

Firefighter describe the injuries to Firefighter Gordon.

“I need a fan to pressurize this hallway. We're still on air in here, we need a fan to pressurize this hallway.”

“Search and rescue, I'm also going to need someone to get to the penthouse for that elevator and cut that power immediately.”

6:28 a.m. -- “Negative! I need Rescue 9 to breach that elevator and get to the firefighter”

“Rescue 9 to Command, be advised we're getting tools now from our heavy rescue.”

Command: “Ok, Tom – I've received your information. You've got a firefighter down between the car. You're using Rescue 9. I'm sending Truck 23 your way with the RAT pack to assist.

“Copy that, we need to breach the D – Delta side of the elevator”

6:29 a.m. -- “Search and rescue to command: we're going to need Saw-zalls, we're going to need fans setup so we can get this air moving. And we're going to need air chisels.”

Command confirms.

Rescue 9: “I need a couple of companies with extension or little giant ladders. I need them in the elevator shaft on the first floor. Ladders leaned against the wall. If he comes loose, he's going to fall another story. So we need ladders up to the bottom of the elevator. They've got to catch him if he comes loose and falls.”

Command received. Command to all companies on the scene not doing an assignment report to the command post.

6:30 a.m. – “RAT: You need to do a PAR (personnel accountability report) so we know who we're missing.”

There is discussion that they might be missing another firefighter. He's later located.

6:31 a.m. -- “This is firefighter Daryl Gordon. It is not (another firefighters name)”

Firefighters call for additional heavy rescue tools and equipment.

6:34 a.m. – Command to Communications: “Progress Report #3: The fire is out. We're still evacuating people from the building. We have an active mayday in progress. We are attempting to extricate the firefighter at this time. Send me an additional ALS unit. Have them report to the command post for work.”

ALS 35 (Station 35/Harrison Ave) dispatched to Madisonville.

6:36 a.m. – “Firefighter has been extricated. We will be moving him out. I need a rescue unit in the lobby ASAP”

“OK Tom we got that, they're in the lobby waiting for your firefighter”.

Status report on the firefighter condition is given. Command asks radio silence and for face to face communication about the condition of Firefighter Gordon.

6:38 a.m. - Command asks for a police escort of the firefighters ambulance

6:39 a.m. – “Command we're making our way down the hallway to the down the stairs now. We're ready.”

6:40 a.m.Firefighters bring Firefighter Daryl Gordon out the front door of Kings Towers Apartments building D and rush him to a waiting ambulance.

“ALS 34, we've got Medic 19 (Corryville) in route to UC”

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