BOULDER FIREMEN: According to an article published in the Aug. 11, 1907 edition of The New York Times, a fire and explosion in Boulder, Colorado, killed two volunteer firemen - Roy La Favre and Issac O. Wilson - on Aug. 10, 1907. [Their names aren't listed on the state firefighters' memorial - Editor]
DENVER FIRE JOURNAL
COLORADO & WYOMING
DENVER FIRE DEPARTMENT
Lt. Richard Patrick Montoya
Engine Co. 9
Died May 21, 2006
(Injured May 14, 2006)
Dave McGrail's "Fire Nuggets" site
Sunday, May 14, 2006, a full first-alarm assignment was dispatched to 4306 Thompson Court in northeast Denver. This assignment included Engine Co. 9, first due, led by Lt. Rich Montoya, a 30-year veteran of the DFD, with only 15-shifts left before retirement. Prior to arrival, companies receive reports that a party was trapped inside the structure.
Upon arrival, once again in the finest tradition of the
truck company firefighters from Tower Ladder Co. 9 quickly entered the
proceeding to the second floor in order to initiate an aggressive
search. They quickly found an
unconscious, near-death, 16-year old female, and affected her rescue.
Immediately following Tower Co. 9 into the building was Lt. Rich Montoya and his crew from Engine Co. 9, equipped with a 1¾-inch attack line, in order to protect the Tower 9 members during their search and in an attempt to locate and stop the fire. The 16-year-old female was quickly rescued, and advanced life support measures where begun immediately.
At some point during the operation, Lt. Montoya felt that conditions were becoming too untenable and ordered a retreat. He ensured that all members were safely off the second floor prior to his retreat. At some point, for unknown reasons, Lt. Montoya ended up not retreating down the stairs, but rather into another second-floor bedroom. Perhaps he thought he heard something or someone and was completing one final search.
Members outside heard a PASS alarm and immediately initiated an aggressive search.
Firefighters Mike Gonzales and Kris MacDonald of Truck Co. 8 quickly located Lt. Montoya, and under extreme, pre-flashover conditions, struggled to free Montoya from under a mattress and affect his rescue.
These men went far above and beyond the call and were not leaving without their brother.
U.S. Fire Administration
Lieutenant Montoya's engine company, along with other Denver Fire Department units, was dispatched to a report of a structure fire in a residence. The caller reported that one person was trapped in the structure.
Firefighters arrived on the scene and found a working fire in a 2-story structure. Firefighters entered the house to perform a search; they located a victim and removed her from the structure.
Lieutenant Montoya's engine company laid a supply line from a hydrant and advanced an attack line into the structure. Firefighters advanced the attack line to the second story. Lieutenant Montoya, who had been on the nozzle, gave the nozzle to his firefighter. Smoke and heat conditions on the second floor began to worsen.
Firefighters had difficulty in finding the fire. The ceiling was opened and water was applied to the attic. Lieutenant Montoya's firefighter communicated with Lieutenant Montoya that the crew should go back to the stairs to regroup.
Thinking Lieutenant Montoya had exited before him, the firefighter left the structure. Firefighters operating inside of the structure heard the faint sound of a PASS device and began a search.
Despite difficult fire and debris conditions, firefighters found Lieutenant Montoya unconscious under a mattress. Firefighters reported to the incident commander that a firefighter was down; command activated the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT).
Fire conditions were worsening and firefighters crawled on their stomachs to push and drag Lieutenant Montoya to the stairs. Additional firefighters and RIT members removed Lieutenant Montoya down the stairs and from the building. The fire fighting strategy was changed to defensive after his removal.
Lieutenant Montoya was found to be in full cardiac arrest. CPR was initiated and paramedic-level EMS care was provided. Sometime prior to his arrival at the hospital, a pulse was restored. Upon his arrival at the hospital, Lieutenant Montoya's carboxyhemoglobin level was 23 percent.
Lieutenant Montoya remained in intensive care for 7 days. With no prognosis for improvement, life support was removed and he died on May 21, 2006. The cause of death was oxygen deprivation to the brain as a result of smoke inhalation. Lieutenant Montoya was 15 shifts away from his planned retirement.
Assistant Chief Charles Rawls Drennan
Died Sept. 13, 2001
U.S. Fire Administration
Assistant Chief Drennan went to the home of a fire captain to bring the captain to a meeting with the fire chief. Assistant Chief Drennan and the captain had been friends for a number of years. The captain had called Assistant Chief Drennan the night before to discuss personal problems with paranoia and depression and they had agreed to meet the next morning.
Shortly after Assistant Chief Drennan arrived at the captain's home, the captain walked into the room armed with a high-caliber pistol. Assistant Chief Drennan and the captain's wife tried to convince the captain to put the weapon down, but the captain fired.
Assistant Chief Drennan was hit twice in the chest and was dead upon arrival of law enforcement officials. The captain's wife was able to escape. The captain killed himself prior to the arrival of law enforcement officials.
Assistant Chief Drennan's son is a member of the Denver Fire Department. Press accounts cited the tragedies of September 11th as a possible contributor to the captain's recent depression.
Firefighter Robert Wayne Crump
Squirt Co. 10
Died Aug. 17, 2000
U.S. Fire Administration
Firefighter Crump and members of his squirt company were directing traffic away from an area that had been flooded by a very heavy rain. Firefighter Crump was wearing full structural protective clothing including a protective coat, protective trousers, and a helmet.
According to the police report, 2½ inches of rain had fallen in the 2 hours prior to this incident.
As the firefighters were working, a woman who was attempting to cross a flooded area stalled her car in the high water and was attempting to walk to a nearby bank to make a phone call. She attempted to cross a rain-filled ditch and fell into the water. She became stuck in a pool of water that covered a culvert but was able to grab onto a pipe to prevent being drawn underwater.
Unbeknownst to anyone on the scene, the ditch led to a 64-inch concrete drainpipe that was not equipped with any type of grating.
Firefighter Crump and another firefighter were summoned by the calls of citizens who saw the woman's predicament. Both firefighters entered the water to rescue the woman. As they made their way to the woman, Firefighter Crump was immediately drawn under the water.
Citizens assisted the other firefighter from the water, he returned to rescue the woman, and then turned his efforts toward attempting to locate Firefighter Crump.
Approximately 5 hours later, Firefighter Crump's body was located by a police officer near an outlet of the stormwater system. His cause of death was listed as drowning.
FORT COLLINS FIRE DEPT.
Photo: Fort Collins Public Library
Chief Clifford Carpenter
June 29, 1965, Clifford Carpenter, Fort Collins fire chief, was killed
by falling bricks and mortar at a book store fire. Carpenter was
directing hose lines at College and Oak streets when an exterior wall
gave way, according to the Fort Collins History Connection. Newspapers published photographs of the chief, in his white helmet, in
the seconds leading to his death. Carpenter was 49.
Photos: Daily Camera files
Boulder firefighters William J. Duran and Scott L. Smith died on Jan. 26, 1982 during a training fire in an abandoned shed near 15th Street and Hawthorn Avenue. The structure was "lined with combustible fiberboard," according to Fire Engineering magazine. Following the deaths, the National Fire Protection Association established strict standards for live fire training. Three other firefighters were injured in the 1982 tragedy.
Live-fire exercises are now conducted at the training academy; abandoned buildings are used to practice forced entry, etc. the Daily Camera said.
In 1982, "there was an assumption with training that because it was training, it was inherently safer," Boulder Fire Chief Larry Donner told the Daily Camera. "It was just one of those things where people didn't look at it with the same intensity as an emergency situation."
Coincidentally, the Boulder fire occurred on the 15th anniversary of the Apollo 1 launchpad fire that killed three astronauts at Cape Canaveral, Florida on Jan. 26, 1967.
PUEBLO FIRE DEPT.
Chief Robert Krague
"Two years after
taking office as the first paid chief of the Pueblo Fire
Department, Chief Robert J. Krague was killed when he was
thrown from his horse-drawn buggy. He was 37 years old. It was July 31, 1891, mid-afternoon.
Chief Krague was making a practice run in the vicinity of
Carlisle Spring (near what is now Dutch Clark Stadium).
Driving westbound on Abriendo Avenue at a high rate of
speed, his horse, Tom, apparently was spooked and was
running out of control. Near the Abriendo bridge his
buggy overturned, and Chief Krague was thrown to the
ground. According to a 15 year-old
witness, Chief Krague struck his head on a rock and
rolled several times. When the witness got to him, the
chief was unconscious and bleeding from the ears, nose
and mouth. He was taken by a police wagon
to the Sisters of Charity Hospital (St. Mary's), where he
never regained consciousness. He died in the early
evening with his grieving wife by his side." - Pueblo Fire Museum
Fireman Joseph Robida
"On Monday, May 9,
1945, fireman Joseph F. Robida was killed in an auto
accident. Riding on the back of Engine Company No. 4 with
fellow fireman Joseph Ferraro, the fire truck was struck
at the intersection of Mesa and Lake by a Rainbo bread
delivery truck. Responding
to a fire alarm at 512 Acero, the crew from the Bessemer
station was traveling west on Mesa. The bread truck,
driving north on Lake, made an effort to stop, but struck
the rear of the fire truck, throwing firefighters Robida
and Ferraro from the vehicle. Robida struck his head n
the edge of the curbing, killing him instantly. The
pumper traveled 172 feet after the impact. Fireman Ferraro was thrown to
the pavement, where he received four broken ribs, a
fracture of the spine, a punctured lung, cuts, abrasions
and other injuries. Ferraro had to retire from the
Department on a full disability, after being on the
Department for 8 years. Fire engineer Frank White was
driving the fire truck, with Captain Charles DiPalma
riding next to him. Each also sustained cuts and bruises,
with Engineer White suffering internal injuries also. the
driver of the bread truck received injuries to his legs." - Pueblo Fire Museum
Squadman William DeLong
"On Christmas Eve of 1949, the first aid squad of the Pueblo Fire Department was involved in a fatal accident at the intersection of West 9th St. and Grand Avenue. Killed was 57 year-old William A. DeLong, and 30 year veteran of the Pueblo Fire Department. The accident occurred as the first aid squad was answering a call at 1426 N. Grand. Traveling north on Grand, the first aid squad slammed into an automobile , which had proceeded through the intersection on a green light. The high impact of the collision hurled the first aid vehicle over the top of the automobile, throwing DeLong out of the vehicle. Fire Medic Sal Pannunzio, the other occupant of the first aid vehicle, sustained only minor injuries. The 42-year-old driver of the automobile had minor injuries. His wife sustained a fractured leg, cracked ribs and a bruised neck. The man said that when the light turned green, he proceeded through the intersection and neither saw nor heard the oncoming first aid unit." - Pueblo Fire Museum
On Dec. 18, 1974, Wilbur Unruh, a firefighter at Buckley Air Force Base near Denver, was among five people who died in the explosion of a jet fuel storage tank that was being cleaned, according to a history of the military facility. The explosion caused a 50-foot crater.
On July 6, 1994, fourteen forest service firefighters were trapped by flames and died at Storm King Mountain.
Kathi Beck, Tamera Bickett, Scott Blecha, Levi Brinkley, Douglas Dunbar, Terri Hagen, Bonnie Holtby, Rob Johnson, Jon Kelso
Roger Roth, Jim Thrash
Robert Browning, Jr., Richard Tyler
On Aug. 21, 1937, the Blackwater forest fire caused the death of 15 firefighters and injured 38 others near Cody, Wyoming. Some of the victims died in hospital. The fire started by lightning days earlier. It devoured 1,700 acres of land.
WYOMING FIREFIGHTERS MEMORIAL
Jacob Cook - Evanston Volunteer Fire Department - April 18, 2005
On Jan. 31, 1989, Alan Lee Mickelson, 36, a member of the Gillette, Wyoming, Fire Department, fell to his death after a roof collapsed at a church fire. Unknown to the firefighters, the fire had been burning for seven hours in a concealed space between the ceiling and roof. Mickelson, a volunteer for ten years, was among the first firefighters in Campbell County, Wyoming, to achieve Firefighter III certification. - Fire Dept. website
Volunteer Aaaron Shallcross collapsed and died after fire at Planters Hotel. Feb. 23, 1875. First Denver firefighter to die in the line of duty. [Name not listed on state firefighters' memorial - Editor]
Alfred Gardiner killed by falling wall. March 19,1877. [Name not listed on state firefighters' memorial - Editor]
Benjamin Barret killed at fire at Eastbrook Stables. March 18, 1878. [Name not listed on state firefighters' memorial - Editor]
James Lloyd crushed by fire horse at Hose Company 4. Sept. 24, 1886.
Horrace Knight, driver of Steamer 5, killed at railroad crossing. Oct. 11, 1891.
Frederick Pierrepont, of Hook & Ladder 1, and Frank Mahoney, of Hose 4, killed by falling wall at Summit Fuel and Feed Co. March 24, 1893.
Harold Hartwell, Frederick Brawley, Richard Dandridge and Stephen Martin, all of Hose 3, killed in floor collapse at St. James Hotel. March 23, 1895.
Lee Bottom, driver, thrown from horse-drawn Steamer 7. Oct. 14, 1897.
Harry Robinson, driver for assistant fire chief, sickened by fumes at Western Chemical Co. June 18, 1899.
Charles Dolloff, John McGlade, Frank Lunt and Charles Eymann felled by nitric acid fumes at fire at Denver Post engraving department. Sept. 20, 1904.
Robert Geddes, lieutenant, fatally injured when street car struck Hook & Ladder 1 at 15th and Market streets. Capt. A.S. Greiber, six others injured. "The fire to which the men were making the run proved trivial," newspaper said. March 1, 1908.
Vincent Davidson, captain, fatally injured when Hose 13 skidded on wet pavement at 15th and Market streets. Sept. 18, 1910.
Harry Cox killed when Hose 4 struck by bus on Broadway at 16th St. Aug. 2, 1916.
Thomas M. Hyder killed when Pumper 21 collided with coal truck at East Virginia Avenue and South Clarkson Street. Aug. 23, 1928.
William Barber, Richard Schwairy and Silas Briggs killed when Pumper 7 and Truck 12 collided at 42nd Avenue and Federal Boulevard. Oct. 12, 1928.
James Moses, deputy chief, died of heart attack after returning from fire call. June 14, 1932.
Colin Taylor, of Engine 16, overcome by smoke at fire at 421 Williams St. June 20, 1934.
Andrew Mahon, assistant chief, fatally injured in wall collapse at Midwest Trunk & Bag Manufacturing Co., 1524 15th St. Nov. 30, 1934.
John Reisbeck killed when Engine 10 collided with meat truck enroute to a false alarm. March 20, 1936.
William Feely took ill while on duty at Station 12 and died in hospital. March 21, 1936.
Edward Carlson struck by car while shoveling snow at Station 9. Sept. 28, 1936.
George Brooks and James Simpson, both of Pumper 3, killed when their engine collided with Hook & Ladder 4 at 20th and Larimer streets. Brooks was a captain. July 17, 1938.
Ralph Johnston, captain of Truck 8, suffered heart attack while on duty. Oct. 9, 1938.
Elmer Hair suffered heart attack while on duty at Station 19. Dec. 28, 1940.
Stephen Keating, assistant chief, took ill while on duty. Sept. 3, 1941.
Douglas Parrish, James Williams and John Kennedy killed on mutual aid assignment for a fire in a railroad tunnel west of Denver. Sept. 30, 1943.
William Briggs, captain of Hook & Ladder 6, killed in collision at 12th and Larimer streets. Nov. 30, 1944. (Briggs father, also a Denver firefighter, died in collision between Pumper 7 and Truck 21 in 1928).
Leonard Shire and Fred Erb killed in floor collapse at Miller Furniture Co. fire, 1640 Larimer St. March 29, 1952.
Chester Block, captain of the rescue squad, suffered heart attack at quarters of Engine 2. Jan. 17, 1955.
Robert Parrahm, captain of Engine 5, killed in collision with automobile enroute to false alarm. March 20, 1960.
Joseph Hotchkiss, captain of Engine 2, suffered heart attack at fire at Alton Wright Welding Co., 2077 South Cherokee St. July 29, 1960.
Victor Sullivan killed when Pumper 6 collided with automobile enroute to false alarm. June 28, 1967.
John Keller, of Station 15, died at home after being exposed to cyanide while on duty several days earlier. Jan. 13, 1968.
Wayne Manaugh suffered heart attack at Station 21. Sept. 17, 1971.
Mark Langvardt, of Station 16, suffered smoke inhalation at three-alarm fire on South Broadway. Sept. 28, 1992.
Douglas Konecny, of Station 10, shot by gunman while assisting police at standoff on Humboldt Street. Jan. 31, 1993.
COLORADO FIREFIGHTERS MEMORIAL
James Lloyd Denver FD 9/24/1886
Robert J. Krague Pueblo FD 7/31/1891
Horace Knight Denver FD 10/11/1891
Fred A. Pierrpont Denver FD 3/24/1893
Frank Mahoney Denver FD 3/24/1893
Harold William Hartwell Denver FD 3/23/1895
Fredrick S. Brawley Denver FD 3/23/1895
Richard Dandridge Denver FD 3/23/1895
Stephen Martin Denver FD 3/23/1895
Jerry O'Keefe Lake County FPD 9/20/1896
Lee E. Bottom Denver FD 10/15/1897
Harry Robinson Denver FD 7/20/1899
Charles Dolloff Denver FD 9/21/1904
John P. McGlade Denver FD 9/22/1904
Francis P. Lunt Denver FD 10/12/1904
Charles Eymann Denver FD 10/21/1904
Robert Geddes Denver FD 3/2/1908
Vinson Davidson Denver FD 9/19/1910
Harry Cox Denver FD 8/2/1916
Roy Hood Durango FD 7/19/1918
Thomas M. Hyder Denver FD 8/23/1928
William Barber Denver FD 10/12/1928
Silas Briggs Denver FD 10/12/1928
Richard Schwairy Denver FD 10/12/1928
Elmore C. Palmer Denver FD 9/17/1931
James Moses Denver FD 6/13/1932
Curtis Dendinger Denver FD 6/21/1934
Colin Taylor Denver FD 6/28/1934
Andrew J. Mahon Denver FD 12/1/1934
William Feely Denver FD 3/20/1936
John H. Reisbeck Denver FD 3/20/1936
Edward Carlson Denver FD 9/28/1936
Roy Nusbaum Greeley FD 11/6/1936
George W. Brooks Denver FD 7/17/1938
James E. Simpson Denver FD 7/17/1938
Ralph Johnson Denver FD 10/15/1938
Henry Miller Denver FD 11/25/1938
Elmer Hair Denver FD 12/27/1940
Stephen Keating Denver FD 9/2/1941
John H. Kennedy Denver FD 9/21/1943
James Williams Denver FD 9/21/1943
Douglas V. Parrish Denver FD 9/21/1943
William Briggs Denver FD 11/30/1944
Robert V. Parker Denver FD 3/17/1945
Joseph F. Robida Pueblo FD 4/9/1945
W. A. DeLong Pueblo FD 12/25/1949
Fred Erb Denver FD 3/29/1952
Leonard Shire Denver FD 3/29/1952
Clyde F. Summers Rocky Ford FD 7/12/1953
William M. Lueker Rocky Ford FD 7/12/1953
Louis G. Hoffman Durango FD 2/19/1954
Elzie Briggs Durango FD 2/19/1954
Chester T. Block Denver FD 1/17/1955
Harold Hubbell S. Adams CO VFD 4/17/1955
Charles McCadden Denver FD 3/14/1958
Robert W. Parrahm Denver FD 3/20/1960
Joseph H. Hotchkiss Denver FD 7/29/1960
Robert Babcock Golden VFD 2/9/1964
Sherman C. Reed W. Adams CO FD 2/19/1965
Clifford R. Carpenter Fort Collins FD 6/29/1965
Victor H. Sullivan Denver FD 6/28/1967
John D. Keller Denver FD 1/13/1968
Clyde H. Bussey Westminster VFD 8/30/1968
Raymond Dovala Cherryvale FPD 1/8/1969
John Cernich Littleton FD 4/28/1969
Wayne D. Manaugh Denver FD 9/17/1971
Calvin Clark Lakewood FD 2/28/1972
Wesley I. Pittman DeBeque FD 2/20/1974
Nick P. Parks Durango FD 8/26/1974
Wilbur E. Unruh Buckley Ntl. Air Base 12/18/1974
Jack Lackey Sheridan FD 7/13/1975
Guyon Zimmerman Federal Heights FD 1/7/1976
Donald Wescott El Paso CO VFD 5/7/1976
Anthony A. Czak BLM Hand Crew 7/17/1976
Stephen H. Furey BLM Hand Crew 7/17/1976
Scott L. Nelson BLM Hand Crew 7/17/1976
James M. Wood Parker FPD 2/20/1981
William J. Duran City of Boulder FD 1/26/1982
Scott E. Smith City of Boulder FD 1/26/1982
Richard D. Watts SO Adams CO VFD 4/29/1982
George R. Burton Parker FPD 4/17/1983
Colin T. Boast Inter-Canyon FD 10/4/1984
Richard McConnell Castle Rock FD 2/3/1985
Phillip Hamilton US Dept of Interior 8/5/1986
Harald Siewers US Dept of Interior 8/5/1986
Lee Steingoetter US Dept of Interior 8/5/1986
Darrel D. Sutton City of Boulder FD 12/27/1986
August Valentine Spanish Peaks FD 7/31/1987
James L. Seela Franktown FPD 3/16/1988
Barry Halvorsen Lakewood FD 4/11/1988
Scott A. Reynolds Deer Mtn. FPD 10/19/1988
John P. Hager Castlewood FPD 9/10/1989
Kirke L. Martin Wellington Lake FPD 6/15/1992
Richard Wilson Glenwood Spgs. FD 6/29/1992
Mark Langvardt Denver FD 9/28/1992
Douglas Konecny Denver FD 1/31/1993
Martin G. Kautz Brush VFD 8/31/1995
Richard Kent Tyler BLM Helitac Crew 7/6/1994
Robert E. Browning BLM Helitac Crew 7/6/1994
Don Mackey USFS Smokejumper 7/6/1994
Roger Roth USFS Smokejumper 7/6/1994
Jim Thrash USFS Smokejumper 7/6/1994
Jon R. Kelso Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Tamera Jean Bickett Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Scott Alan Blecha Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Levi Brinkley Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Douglas Michael Dunbar Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Terri Ann Hagen Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Bonnie Jean Holtby Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Rob Johnson Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Kathi Walsleben Beck Prineville Hotshots 7/6/1994
Robert W. Crump Denver FD 8/17/2000
Jay Alan Shaffer Larkspur FPD 3/17/2001
Lazaro Martinez Fisher's Peak FPD 7/26/2001
Charles R. Drennan, Jr. Denver FD 9/13/2001
Ralph Vance Elk Creek FPD 12/14/2001
Daniel Rama Grayback Forestry 6/21/2002
Retha Shirley Grayback Forestry 6/21/2002
Zachary Zigich Grayback Forestry 6/21/2002
Bartholomew Bailey Grayback Forestry 6/24/2002
Alan Wayne Wyatt USFS NF 7/2/2002
Milt Stollak Hawkins & Powers 7/18/2002
Rich Schwartz Hawkins & Powers 7/18/2002
Leonard Gordon Knight CSFS Contractor 7/30/2002
Michael E. Lynch Penrose FD 2/3/2004
Barrie J. Niebergall Red, White & Blue 3/16/2004
EL PASO COUNTY COLORADO
The Donald Wescott Fire Protection District in El Paso County is named in honor of the firefighter who died in the line of duty at the Yorkshire Apartments fire in May 1976. Several other firefighters were injured in the fire caused by gasoline stored in open containers. A family of three also died.