Monday, August 20, 2007
I worked at the fatal fire at the Lower Manhattan Deutsche Bank under demolition. The fire killed 2 Firefighters Robert Beddia and Joe Graffagnino. Whatever I blog, I check to to see if the city or newspapers says it first. It's better not cause cross chatter and speculation in my belief.
The newspapers and the city have mentioned toxic substances, non working standpipes, multiple maydays, and blocked stairwells. There were sectioned off areas where asbestos abatement was going on. The standpipes were dry. I was part of the multiple nozzle teams that stretched extra hoseline off a street level manifold and hiked 14 flights up to douse fire. We relieved a crew out of air and when we were spent as well- were relieved accordingly.
The victims were removed before I went up. The stairwells had blocked off plastic wrapped wooden air tight hatches which made it hard to evacuate or climb. It was something I have never seen in my short 4 years. I could only imagine patting around in the choking gas and fumes in complete darkness looking for these hatches in the pitch dark. These stairwells were hatched and narrowed to facilitate the demolition process.
When I was on the street level, I listened to multiple maydays. Like many others we observed radio silence so the maydays could be addressed. A hose line was already hoisted externally at this time because the standpipes were not in working order.
Posted by F Daum at 11:43 AM