Coroner: Firefighters Died From Burns And Superheated Gases - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Coroner: Firefighters Died From Burns And Superheated Gases

Hamilton Co. Coroner Dr. O'dell Owens addressed the media on Friday on the cause of death of Robin Broxterman and Brian Schira Hamilton Co. Coroner Dr. O'dell Owens addressed the media on Friday on the cause of death of Robin Broxterman and Brian Schira
Capt. Robin Broxterman and Firefighter Brian Schira Capt. Robin Broxterman and Firefighter Brian Schira

(CINCINNATI) -- During a press conference Friday, Hamilton County Coroner Dr. O'dell Owens said the cause of death for firefighters Robin Broxterman and Brian Schira were burns and inhalation of smoke and superheated gases.

Dr. Owens said carbon dioxide levels were 22 percent in Broxterman and 8 percent in Schira. Anything over 10 percent is considered high. Owens said the discrepancy is probably because Broxterman breathed in more smoke than Schira.

Dr. Owens said toxicology reports on the firefighters came back clean, meaning there were no traces of drugs or alcohol. Testing for such substances is standard procedure, he said.

The firefighters were probably in the living room when the fire-weakened floor collapsed, sending them to the basement, where the fire had originated.

"They fell into the heart of the fire," said Dr. Owens. "They were deceased within minutes."

The firefighters' masks melted from the heat, said the coroner, but he feels their equipment did hold up alright. The heat from the fire was just too intense, he said.

Dr. Owens said he could not tell how much of their bodies had burned before death and after death, but he could still identify tattoos on their bodies.

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