A veteran Colerain Township, Ohio fire captain and a firefighter were killed Friday morning as they searched a burning house. Initial reports indicate the pair may have fallen through the floor after entering the structure as the first-in crew, Capt. Steve Conn said in a press conference.
The victims have been identified as Captain Robin Broxterman, 37 and Firefighter Brian Schira, 29. Broxterman was the department's first female captain and the mother of two. Local news outlets reported that she was engaged to a firefighter from another area department. (Post Condolences)
Schira was hired by the Colerian department in November, and was formerly with Delhi Township. His friends have begun posting condolences on his MySpace Profile, which indidates he is single. His interests included softball, weight lifting, going to concerns and riding his motorcycle. He also worked at Home Depot.
The first call came in just after 6 a.m. as a carbon monoxide/smoke detector alarm and while enroute crews were advised that it was now reported as a full structure fire with fire reported in the basement.
On arrival, firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions. They entered the home to search for additional victims and find the seat of the fire, Conn said. At some point, there was a "catastrophic structure failure" and the firefighters apparently fell through the floor to the basement. There was no radio contact from the crew.
A second alarm was sounded as the Mayday was called by command and rapid intervention crews went to work, locating the bodies about 30 minutes later, just after 7 a.m.
According to its Web site, The Colerain Township Department of Fire and EMS serves the largest township in Ohio. Colerain Township measures 43.5 square miles, abutting the northwest corner of Cincinnati, and serves over 60,000 residents. The Colerain Township Department of Fire and EMS, formed in 1975 through the combination of two volunteer departments then serving the area, remains on of the largest and busiest suburban departments in the state.
The last line of duty death for the department was in 1977.
They are now saying it was due to the dope growing operation in the basement I'm usually pertty unbiased but that was a senseless reason for this to happen. I hope they get punished to the full extent.
The "dope" growing operations didn't cause the fire. The owner was growing orchids in the main part of the basement and there was some kind of fan that was there that shorted out which caused the fire. The fact that they found dope in the basement was a by product of the investigation they were doing due to the LODD. The owner of the house was subsequently charged with possession charges but the Ohio Fire Marshalls office deemed that the marijuana had no baring on the loss of life.
When I see any Firefighter die it makes me so sad, then I ask myself was it a accident or lack of training... Some of the time it is training and firemen not thinking things through on the fire ground they all want to help that person(s) but they don't remember that it is our saftey before the victims. I pound saftey almost every time at our firehouse when I see someone doing something unsafe I'll pull them aside and talk to them not yell or anything like that!