Preliminary report on deadly Colerain Twp. fire released

Posted by Trina Kinstler - email

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP (FOX19) -- Investigators have released a preliminary report on the deadly fire on Squirrelsnest Lane that killed Capt. Robin Broxterman and Firefighter Brian Schira.

The report outlines a timeline of events of what happened the morning of April 4.

It was 6:11 a.m. when the Hamilton County Communications Center first received the call from ADT alarm company reporting an automatic alarm activation from the main floor smoke detector. A 911 call came at 6:13 a.m. from the female homeowner stating there was a fire in the basement. At 6:20 a.m., there was another call from the female homeowner via cell phone.

At 6:23 a.m., Engine 102, including Broxterman and Schira, arrived on the scene. Verification was relayed to Broxterman that all occupants were out. Four minutes later, Broxterman said they were making entrance to the basement because there was heavy smoke. At 6:34 a.m., contact with the firefighters was lost. At 6:35, a Mayday operation was called.

It is believed that at some point between 6:30 a.m. and 6:34 a.m., the flooring system of the house's main floor collapsed, trapping Broxterman and Schira in the basement. Broxterman's body was located at 7:08 a.m., and Schira was found at 7:29 a.m. Both were found covered in debris and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal has ruled the fire was accidental and caused by a oscillating fan in the basement.

Also in the report, the Colerain Twp. fire department listed a list of action with the following activities:

? Continued comprehensive review of structural firefighting tactical procedures - especially those involving basement fires;

? Enhanced support staff and command officer notification and response procedures;

? Supplemented first-alarm structure fire complement with an additional ladder company;

? Continued comprehensive review and modification to RAT response and operational procedures;

? Purchased additional thermal imaging cameras;

? Recommend the purchase of radio headsets for FAO personnel;

? Review of radio communication procedures;

? Research improved SCBA and portable radio interface technology;

? Review and expansion of General Operating Guidelines and Procedures Manual;

? Continued training in the department's Accountability System;

? Continued training in Incident Management and the Incident Command Simulator;

? Continued evaluation of personnel for Critical Incident Stress.

Additional items are expected to be identified in both the future comprehensive document and the NIOSH report.

The report concludes, "By sharing the knowledge gained from this very tragic and painful incident, the Department will ensure their sacrifice was not in vain and hope that other fire departments can avoid a similar tragedy."

Click here to view the complete report.

The report released on Friday is only preliminary; a full report will not be available until next year.