Pete Piringer, spokesman for DC Fire and EMS, says firefighters were dispatched to the 800 block of 48th Place around 12:30 Friday morning for a report of a house fire. Crews arriving on scene found flames shooting out of a one story, single family wood frame home.
Crews called for a second alarm and began to attack the blaze. A rescue squad went inside the burning home to make sure no one was trapped inside. Moments after making entry, the extreme heat of the fire caused a portion of the roof to collapse on top of the search and rescue team.
Two of the firefighters were able to escape from underneath the debris on their own. A third firefighter had to be rescued by a Rapid Intervention team. Two more men were also burned during the rescue.
Piringer says four of the men were taken to Medstar's burn unit with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The firefighter who had to be rescued is said to be in critical condition. All five suffered varying degrees of burns.
According to Piringer, the injured firefighters are members of Rescue 3 in Anacostia and Truck 13 out of Trinidad. Their identities have not been released.
After the rescue, Piringer says crews were able to regroup, bringing the fire under control within 20 minutes.
The home is said to usually be vacant, however it is possible people may have been inside the house when the fire broke out. No civilians were injured.
I'll be using this when I teach a RIT class this weekend for a group of small, rural departments to my north.
It simply proves that a mayday/RIT situation can occur in a residental fire just as easily as it can occur in a warehouse, commercial building or other large structure.
Another video I love to use in my classes is the Houston mid-rise incident from a couple of years ago as it demonstrtates to the students the confusion and volume of radio traffic that can occur during a mayday/RIT operation. It also brings home the desperation of the situation when the trapped firefighter (captain) attempts to communicate.