The article on firefighter deaths from preventable mistakes was very insightful. It seems that we don’t learn from past deaths and continue to expose firefighters to unnecessary risks. Many years ago I taught a “Building Construction for the Fire Service” community college course. The course was based on a book written by a NYC fire protection engineer inspired by firefighter deaths associated with building collapse.
The Statesman might want to ask local fire departments how they have implemented lessons learned to prevent deaths and injuries of their firefighters. One of the key hazards in modern construction is the lightweight roof and floor truss systems that fail quickly when exposed to the heat of a fire. I recall a Houston fire at a fast-food restaurant that killed two firefighters. The AC units fell through the roof when the trusses failed and crushed the firefighters inside.
Every commercial building should have a fire plan based on a walk-through inspection conducted by the fire department. Certain buildings should be designated no entry nor roof access based on the type of construction and hazards noted. There is no reason to die trying to extinguish a fire in a building that is already lost.
Pete Scobby, Boise