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Daryl Gordon fought through heavy smoke opening doors looking for trapped apartment residents in Madisonville before the sun rose Thursday morning.One of the last doors he opened at Kings Tower building wasn't to an apartment at all. It was to an elevator that was often inoperable, according to residents at the Dahlgren Street complex.Those residents and firefighters said it would not be hard to mistake the elevator for an apartment door, especially in a dark hallway filled with smoke.Gordon stepped into the open elevator shaft and fell five flights. His body became wedged between the elevator car and the shaft, according to reports, frantic mayday calls and residents.The 54-year-old was pronounced dead at University of Cincinnati Medical Center."Today our Cincinnati firefighters did their jobs. They ran into a burning building and saved lives. Women and children were carried out of the building to safety,'' Mayor John Cranley said in an emotionally charged press conference just hours after Gordon's death."When it was over, God delivered all of the civilians to us, but kept one of our firefighters back. We know God is holding him tightly," Cranley said.Investigators were working through the day Thursday to determine what caused the fire that also left two other firefighters injured. The fire was first reported at about 5:45 a.m.Calling him a hero, Cincinnati Fire Chief Richard Braun said Gordon was searching the five-story apartment complex when he opened a door that was supposed to house an elevator and "the elevator wasn't there and he fell down the elevator shaft. That's what caused his demise."Fire officials said he fell from the fifth floor to the second floor of a building at 6020 Dahlgren St.City officials said women and children were pulled from the fire, and a total of 23 people were displaced. Two other firefighters suffered second-degree burns, as well.Gordon was a 30-year veteran of the department who was close to retirement. He served as a Fire Apparatus Operator for Heavy Rescue 14. He joined the department on June 30, 1985. His wife, Angela, and two daughters, Angelique and Chelsea, survive him.âWe lost a hero today, and we are all mourning,â Braun said. âDaryl lost his life in the line of duty to save others.âGordon's death comes almost 12 years to the day of the last Cincinnati firefighter killed in the line of duty. Oscar Armstrong III died on March 21, 2003 while fighting a fire on Laidlaw Avenue. Eight years ago, Colerain Fire Department Capt. Robin Broxterman and firefighter Brian Shira were killed battling a house fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 19 firefighters have died in the line of duty in 2015.Community Reacts to Fireman's Death"Giant teddy bear is what you'd call him," IAFF Local 48 union leader Matt Alter said of Gordon at a press conference at 11 a.m. "He always had a friendly smile. Big smile. Big burly laugh... Solid union man. Solid family man. A solid man."Alter was joined by Cranley, Braun and City Manager Harry Black to discuss the incident.Cranley said, "I can only imagine the pain and anguish his wife and children are feeling now. The level of grief is also shared by his brother and sister firefighters. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you as are all the prayers of Cincinnati and Cincinnatians today."The group promised Gordon's death would be thoroughly investigated.âI am deeply saddened to learn that FAO Gordon paid the ultimate price while in the line of duty,â Black said. âWe can never take for granted the work that the brave men and woman of the fire department do on a daily bases to protect and keep us safe."He added, âIt is a reminder that we know not when the hour is going to come but that it is going to come. Hopefully we can do what we can to follow his example in making the world a better place.âBlack said Gordon died doing the right thing.âToday is obviously a terrible day for the fire service," Braun said. "We look upon ourselves as familyâ¦ Daryl was a big part of the family.âHe went on to say the department is still dealing with Armstrongâs death as well.âItâs something that we, as firefighters, carry with us every day,â Braun said. âDaryl was an example for the new firefighters we bring on board and to the rest of us.âAlter said he worked with Gordon as a firefighter for many years. He said Gordon was also a bomb technician for the department.Alter said the city's firefighters will press on and continue to serve the community and try to live up to Gordonâs legacy."Many times I think people ask, what's next? What I will say is this. We continue to do our job. You have 200 firefighters out there right now still protecting you," Alter said. âDaryl died doing his job and thatâs what Cincinnati firefighters will continue to do. Weâll do our jobs."Gordon also worked for the UC Health Air Care and Mobile Care unit for 10 years.Firefighters Rescued Many in Madisonville FireThe fire was first reported at about 5:45 a.m. at the Kings Tower complex on Dahlgren Street.Several residents and two other firefighters were injured in the fire, officials said.Fire crews said the fire was in an apartment on the second floor and at the back of the complex. Firefighters had to rescue several people on the upper floors when they arrived.Commanders at the scene issued a mayday call just after 6 a.m. when Gordon fell down the shaft.Several residents of the apartment complex told WCPO reporter John Genovese that "it would not be hard to mistake the elevator for another door" in the building. Firefighters also corroborated that information, adding that the hallway in front of the elevator was pitch black and filled with smoke.The elevator is not a standard type of elevator with accordion style doors. People who have seen it told WCPO reporter Tom McKee that it has a door that opens outward.It's not clear if there's a latch that prevents the door from opening if the car is not there. It's also not clear where the elevator car actually was at the time of the fire.Residents also said the elevator has broken down "several times" in the past.It took crews several minutes to evaluate Gordon's situation and condition before they attempted to move him.At the time, a fire chief at the scene said, âWe could use the communityâs prayers and prayers for the family [because] we have one of our brothers in dire straits right now. â¦ Heâs not in good shape.âThe other firefighters suffered second-degree burns. They were treated at an area hospital and later released.Officials said several residents at the complex suffered smoke inhalation. Commanders requested extra medic personnel to help treat the affected victims.The fire was brought under control by about 6:15 a.m. However, firefighters remained at the scene to check the smoke conditions on the second through sixth floors of the building.The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing....
âMayday. Mayday. Mayday. We have a firefighter down.âThose haunting words no first-responder wants to hear ring out over dispatch communication Thursday morning, seconds after veteran Cincinnati firefighter Daryl Gordon fell several stories down an elevator shaft while battling a blaze at a Madisonville apartment building.The four-alarm fire at the King's Tower complex on Dahlgren Street was first reported at about 5:45 a.m.Fire crews said the fire was on the second floor of the complex. Firefighters had to rescue several people on the upper floors when they arrived.Commanders at the scene issued the mayday call just after 6 a.m. when Gordon fell down the shaft.âMayday. Mayday. Mayday. We have a firefighter down,â a firefighter is heard saying over an edited audio clip that was posted online. The clip starts moments after the third alarm was struck. âHe went down the shaft, fifth floor. He went down the shaft on the fourth floor."For the next seven minutes firefighters are heard relaying audio updates on the situation to emergency dispatchers and other fire crews.âHe fell down the elevator shaft to the first floor,â a voice is heard speaking of Gordon, a 30-year veteran of the Cincinnati Fire Department.A firefighter is next heard saying Gordon was on âfloor twoâ and then requested to have crews âpop the door to the elevator.ââWe're sending help your way. We're sending help your way.ââBe 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 on the second or third floor.âIt took crews several minutes to evaluate Gordon's situation and condition before they attempted to move him.âWe have located the firefighter. Heâs right along side the car.âThey said Gordon was ânot responsiveâ at the time.âRescue 9, I need you to breach the side of the elevator. I need you to bring toolsâ¦ and breech the side of the elevator. Rescue 9. Rescue 14. Now, third floor.ââHe is wedged between the walls. He's unconscious at this time. And, he's bleeding profusely.âOver the next two minutes crews discussed ways to get Gordon out of the building so he could receive medical treatment.âI need Rescue 9 in the elevator to breach that elevator to get to the firefighter.ââI need a couple of companies... I need them in the elevator shaft on the first floor. [I need] ladders leaned against the wall. If he comes loose, he's going to fall another story.âEven as the rescue operation was taking place, fire crews were still working to help residents out of the building.âThe fire's out (but) we're still evacuating people in the building. We have an active Mayday in progress. We're attempting to extricate the firefighter at this time.âMedics got to him moments later, according to the communication tape.It took nearly six-and-a-half minutes after the original mayday call, but firefighters eventually got Gordon out of the elevator shaft. They moved him to the lobby of the apartment complex and called for help.âFirefighter's been extricated. Being treated, triaged and packaged right now. We're waiting to evacuate him out of the building.âMedics transported Gordon to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment.At the time, a fire chief at the scene said, âWe could use the communityâs prayers and prayers for the family [because] we have one of our brothers in dire straits right now. â¦ Heâs not in good shape.âGordonâs injuries were too much, though, and he lost his battle at the hospital."Today our Cincinnati firefighters did their jobs. They ran into a burning building and saved lives. Women and children were carried out of the building to safety,'' Mayor John Cranley said in an emotionally charged press conference just hours after Gordon was killed. Cranley ordered flags at City Hall to be at half-staff.Gordon is survived by his wife and two children.Several residents and two other firefighters were injured in the fire, officials said. But those injuries aren't considered life-threatening.Investigation into the fire and Gordonâs death are underway....
The Cincinnati Enquirer printed a nice piece this morning
about the events surrounding the tragic Line of Duty Death of beloved CFD
Apparatus Operator/Firefighter Daryl Gordon, a man well known throughout the
greater Cincinnati area and it's fire services.
will also find a link to the edited radio traffic from the scene.
Here is the piece from the Enquirer with links below:
The radio call went out before dawn Thursday from inside the
burning apartment building on Dahlgren Street. The fire was almost out,
but something had gone wrong.
"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! We have a firefighter down!"
Moments later, dozens of firefighters converged around an elevator on the
building's second floor, where Daryl Gordon, a bear of a man known for his big
smile and big laugh, had fallen down an elevator shaft. He'd tumbled from the
fourth floor and was wedged between the elevator and the wall. He wasn't
breathing when they pulled him out, so firefighters strapped him onto a
stretcher and raced outside in the rain to an ambulance.
No one spoke. The only sound was from the stretcher's wheels rolling and
clanging over the pavement.
Word came from the hospital more than an hour later: "A Cincinnati
firefighter died in the line of duty this morning. Rest in peace, sir."
Gordon's death in the Madisonville fire is the first line-of-duty fatality
involving a Greater Cincinnati firefighter in almost seven years. The loss
devastated Gordon's friends and family, moved fellow firefighters to tears, and
set in motion an investigation into how a veteran with almost 30 years on the
job fell into an open elevator shaft.
"You hear the word 'hero' thrown around, but if there was truly a hero, he
was it," said Matt Alter, president of the city firefighters' union.
"What it was to be a firefighter, what it was to be a man, was Daryl
"He was a firefighter through and through."
Gordon arrived at the scene with dozens of other firefighters around 6 a.m. The
building at 6020 Dahlgren, known as Kings Tower, has 38 apartments and all of
them were occupied. The place is more than 50 years old and building inspectors
have been chronicling problems there for at least a decade, from broken windows
and doors to animals chewing through holes in ceilings.
Gordon, 54, was a fire apparatus operator, which means he drove a truck and ran
the water pumps. But on this morning, he joined the team of firefighters that
fanned out inside the burning building to do what's known as a "primary
search" for victims â the dangerous job of going floor-by-floor,
room-by-room looking for someone to rescue.
They found plenty of people who needed help. The smoke was thick and many
residents had fled to their balconies to escape it.
"I heard someone hollering, 'Fire! Fire!," said Arrick Reeves, who
lives in the building. "I opened up my door and it was smoke-filled all in
According to radio calls from the scene, firefighters moved quickly but
methodically from door to door, evacuating residents. Within minutes, they
reported the fire had been "knocked down," but heavy smoke remained
throughout the building.
That's when the mayday call went out, cutting off the routine radio chatter and
launching a frantic search for Gordon. One firefighter reported he'd fallen
from the fourth floor. Others said they'd opened the elevator door in the first
floor lobby and spotted him stuck, on the second floor, between the elevator
car and the wall.
"I need rescue units ASAP!" shouted one of the firefighters. "We
have located the firefighter. He is not responsive."
For the next several minutes, they worked frantically to free Gordon. After
rushing him to the ambulance, many firefighters lingered in the parking lot in
silence. The fire was out by then and all of the residents were safe. Five
people, including another firefighter, suffered minor injuries.
Most heard the bad news before official word came around 9 a.m. from the
University of Cincinnati Medical Center's emergency room. Gordon was dead.
"Today our firefighters did their jobs," Mayor John Cranley said a few
hours later. "Women and children were carried out of the building to
safety. When it was over, God delivered all our civilians to safety, but he
kept a firefighter back. We know God is holding him tightly."
Investigators went to work immediately. They offered up little information
Thursday, other than that Gordon died from the fall.
"He was searching to see if there were more victims," said Fire Chief
Richard Braun. "The elevator wasn't there and he fell down the elevator
Why the elevator door was open is one of the big questions investigators must
answer. Residents described the elevator as unreliable and said some refused to
use it because it was "iffy." One said the outer door to the elevator
looked like a regular apartment door and, in the smoke and darkness, could have
been confusing for someone unfamiliar with it.
It's also possible Gordon or other firefighters forced open the interior
sliding door to the elevator while searching for possible fire victims.
The building's Boston-based owner, The Community Builders Inc., said the
elevator was inspected and serviced in February and the building had passed
recent safety inspections. The Enquirer has requested fire inspection reports,
but those were unavailable Thursday. The most recent building inspection
violation came in October 2013, when water in the building had been cut off for
at least four days.
City officials promised more details Friday. For most of Thursday, though, they
grieved the loss of a friend. Gordon left a wife and two daughters, and plenty
of admirers in the Cincinnati Fire Department.
"He was a giant teddy bear," Alter said. "He always had a big
smile. He had a burly laugh. He was good people."
Braun said Gordon was popular with veteran firefighters and an example to
rookies. "He will be sorely missed," the chief said.
In the hours after Gordon was rushed to the hospital, residents gathered in the
parking lot of the building. None had ever met Gordon, but they grieved for
him, too. He was a stranger who rushed into a burning building to save their
Someone who does that should be remembered, they said. And honored.
"I send my prayers out to him and the family," Reeves said.
"That's a heck of a thing, to lose your life like that, trying to save
THE ENTIRE ARTICLE:
HERE IS THE EDITED RADIO TRAFFIC:
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List
Authorities say a fire at a 6-story apartment building on the Upper East Side has been brought under control.A fire department spokesman says five firefighters suffered minor injuries in the early morning blaze at East 66th Street and First Avenue.He says the fire started in two apartments on the top floor and spread to the roof.The fire erupted at 1:18 a.m. Friday and was under control at 3:11 a.m.The cause of the fire is under investigation....
Two firefighters were hurt battling a fire that broke out on Fire Island early today and was still burning hours later, officials said.The blaze was
sparked about 1:30 a.m. in Cherry Grove, according to Suffolk County fire
officials.A fire spokesperson was unsure the number of commercial and residential buildings on fire,
but said âmanyâ we ablaze and that the fire was affecting âthe entire downtown
business districtâ near Holly Walk and Bayview Walk.Two firefighters
suffered minor injuries in the blaze and were taken to a hospital, the
spokesperson said.As of 5:45 a.m., the fire was still burning. Nine mainland
fire departments, seven mainland ambulance companies and all of Fire Islandâs
fire departments were on the sce...
OFFICE CONFIRMS FIREFIGHTER LINE OF DUTY DEATH
Secret List www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com
We regret to pass on to you that a Cincinnati Firefighter
has died in the Line of Duty this morning after suffering grave injuries in a
large, occupied four-alarm apartment fire.
The Mayors office confirms that Darryl
Gordon, 54, is the first Cincinnati Firefighter to die in the line of duty
Mayor John Cranley is holding an 1100 press conference to discuss the incident.
A second Cincinnati firefighter and some residents were hurt when flames ran
through the second floor of a building at King Tower Apartments on Dahlgren
Street about 5:30 a.m.
"We could just use the community's prayers, the prayers for the family, we
have one of our brothers in dire straits," Fire Chief Richard Braun said
at the scene.
The other firefighter hurt has second-degree burns, and residents suffered
smoke inhalation when flames broke out on the second floor shortly after 5:30
a.m., the Chief said.
Much More To Follow.
Our condolences to all affected.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List 3/26/2015-0930 Hours
There are media reports as well as reports from the
University of Cincinnati Hospital that the Firefighter who was critically
injured this morning has died in the Line of Duty. However, the City of
Cincinnati has not issued anything yet-but there is a new conference scheduled
for 1100 hours this morning.
Local media outlets include:
Keep Them In Your
Prayers. We'll pass on details when they are released.
Take Care. Be
Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List
We regret to pass on to you that a Cincinnati Firefighter has died in the Line of Duty this morning after suffering grave injuries in a large, occupied four-alarm apartment fire.The Mayors office confirms that Darryl Gordon, 54, is the first Cincinnati Firefighter to die in the line of duty since 2003.Mayor John Cranley is holding an 1100 press conference to discuss the incident.A second Cincinnati firefighter and some residents were hurt when flames ran through the second floor of a building at King Tower Apartments on Dahlgren Street about 5:30 a.m."We could just use the community's prayers, the prayers for the family, we have one of our brothers in dire straits," Fire Chief Richard Braun said at the scene.The other firefighter hurt has second-degree burns, and residents suffered smoke inhalation when flames broke out on the second floor shortly after 5:30 a.m., the Chief said.Much More To Follow....
There are media reports as well as reports from the University of Cincinnati Hospital that the Firefighter who was critically injured this morning has died in the Line of Duty. However, the City of Cincinnati has not issued anything yet-but there is a news conference scheduled for 1100 hours this morning. Local media outlets include:www.WCPO.comwww.WLWT.comwww.Fox19.comwww.cincinnati.comwww.Local12.comAlso watch:www.IAFF48.orghttp://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/fire/Keep Them In Your Prayers. We'll pass on details when they are released....
All-Grimm news this morning from Cincinnati from the scene of a multi alarm working fire with occupants trapped. Most of the injuries are reported minor, but a CFD Firefighter was very seriously hurt. He was reportedly unresponsive about 0620 hours after falling down an elevator shaft at the King Tower Apartments off Dahlgren Street. The firefighter was rescued around 0638 hours and crews removed him from the building.Video below shows some activity from the scene:http://tinyurl.com/nf96ea9 Much more to follow....here are some local links as well:www.fox19.comwww.wlwt.comwww.wcpo.comKTIYP's.Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.BillyGThe Secret List 3/26/2015-0710 Hourswww.FireFighterCloseCalls.com ...