Back in Janunary I was making entry on a single family dewelling with smoke but no flames showing. It was about 9:00 at night so we were told there were possiby people inside. (later we found out they were out of town) Once the water supply was established the IC gave me the go ahead to go in. I made forceable entry in the front door. The house was cover floor to celin with smoke wth zero visablity. I droped to my knees to go in. My mistake was droping in over the threshold. Next thing I realize I am in the basemet of the house! The floor inside of the front door was completely gone and i fell about 10 or 11 feet in to he basement. There was a hole about 10 feet around in the living room and it started at the front door. What had appered to be a small fire in the beging stages of growth had acatualy been a fire that started in the basement and was in the smolderng stage. Once I hit the basemtfloor stuff was falling on top of me, I got to the wall and took what cover I could. Once the debris stoped falling I started yelling at my backup man not to come in. I yelled as loud as I could at him but he could not hear me. Next thing I know he is in the basement with me. Once we realized we were unhurt we tried to make radio contact with Comand. "FF McCurdy to command" no answer. "FF McCurdy to command we fell thorugh the first floor and we are in the basement inside the front door" BEEEP The radio battery went dead. Finally up top they realized something was wrong. The 2 out team (in our department also considered the RIT team) once some of the smoke cleared saw the hose goning stright down and finally saw the hole for the first time. They did not know if we were ok or not. My Lt later told me that was the most scared he had ever been on the fire ground in his 20 years in the fire service. I yelled up out of the hole and finally got the word out that we were ok and we just needed a ladder to get back out. While they were geting us a ladder there was still some fire left in the basement. Luckely I held on to the hose so I was able to get it out. A ladder was sent down and we were able to climb out. We came out with out a scrach. Later I realize how luckey, not luckey but how blessed we were to come out of this. People were talking about what IF's and any number of things could have gone wrong. I had a helmet cam on but it is too dark to see much but you can hear most of the audio. It was crazy to listen to what happend once we got back to the station. Thinking back I think of things I coud have done diffrent, but most of all I am thinkful for the quick actions of the crew and being blessed to be able to drive myself home the next morning once I got of shift. I still cant believe I did not get hurt.

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Someone was watching out for you. Glad to hear all went well. Next time, sound the floor, I am sure you have heard this before now. But, I guarantee you will never do that again. Stay safe.
Yea I heard that a few times lol. My Partner went to hit the floor with his hand to sound it and he fell foward into the basement behind me. You just never know things happen fast. Thanks.

REALLY Glad to hear you guys made it out ok. Someone must have been watching over you and your partner. I bet you have a newfound respect for the two in/ two out rule.

It is not that often that the "fire service" gets an opportunity to talk to survivors of a mayday. So I really appreciate the post and would love to talk to you about the after incident review. Like things that were changed or not...

I noted your radio transmission lacked the words MAYDAY. Did you have a communications policy? I am also a big fan of using a TIC, (you may not own one, but the next grant should cite your near-death experience and how it would have changed the incident) and ventilation before primary entry into a structure fire. Sounds like you guys were short staffed, seing it took some time to realize you guys were "gone". Sometimes the engine must selectively vent before pushing in. Especially if filling the ventialtion assignment may be delayed.

God Bless you, your partner and everyone who helped you guys get home at the end of the call...
Thanks for your response,
No i did not declare a Mayday, and looking back I should have. We do have a mayday police and by all means we were in a Mayday siuation. At the time I was thinking should I or shouldn't I. After talking to My training officers I should have.

My Partner had a TIC with him. Now I realize how vital of a tool it is.

According to Helmet cam were were in there about 6 mins. We had 3 Engines and 1 rescue truck and Asst. Chief on the inital call out. While we were makeing entry another engine was starting to vent. I Guess we could have waited until Venting was complete but We had the go ahad From the IC to make entry so thats what we did.

As for a after incident review we were asked if we were ok, then a big slap on the shoulder and a you guys scared the Heak out of me from the Deputy Chief, We talked about it in RIT class a few months later, Thats when they told me i should have daclared a mayday. Nothing really changed, but We did get a few new radio batteries!
Wow some times no matter how careful you are things just happen. I think the nossle my have slowed my fall also, but not sure. It happed so quick I really dont remember.
Other than the fact that you guys are OK, I am truly impressed by how your fellow firefighters reacted. This is truly the worst nightmare to have on a fire scene. It sounds like everyone, including yourself, stayed relatively calm and did the right things at the right time. Now, is a good time to ask for more training and RIT classes. Even though the outcome was awesome, calls like this usually motivate people to train in case the next one does not go so smoothly.
There are two basic rules for this, prior to entry:

1) SOUND THE FLOOR before you enter. It's not different than sounding a roof before you step off of a ladder.

2) If you can't feel the floor in front of you, STOP.

Back in the day, I had a friend severely burned in a very similar situation.
I'm glad you're OK.
Thanks, I was goning down on my knees to sound the floor.
Yea every on stayed clam on the scene.

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