The report also found that a radio transmission warning firefighters the shaft was open failed to go out due to the sheer volume of radio traffic as crews battled the four-alarm blaze at King Towers Apartments off Dahlgren Street March 26.
Firefighters wrote a warning in black marker on the door, but Gordon wasn't present for the discussion about it because he was searching for victims, fire officials announced at a press conference Friday.
He didn't see the warning due to heavy smoke. Moments later, he was able to easily open the door and fell head first into the shaft, where he was found feet up, they said.
Gordon, 54, died at a hospital after falling head first into the elevator shaft while trying to rescue trapped adults and children.
Three other firefighters were treated for minor injuries.
The results of the fact-finding overview will be used for a second, larger investigation that will determine if the fire department's procedures or training need to be altered.
The fire's cause already was ruled accidental due to food and vegetable oil left unattended on a stove.
Gordon was the first Cincinnati firefighter to die in the line of duty since 2003.
He worked for the Cincinnati Fire Department 29 years and left behind a wife and two children.