Over the last two decades, hundreds of firefighters were killed and tens of thousands injured in incidents that bore a grim connection: They had happened before in almost exactly the same ways. Nationwide, in tragedy after tragedy, firefighters paid the price when fire departments didn’t learn from others’ mistakes. Reporters Mike Hendricks and Matt Campbell discuss their investigation into firefighter fatalities with Dave Helling on Facebook Live.
Grieving survivors and others raise questions about the deaths of firefighters killed at structure fires across the country. A Kansas City Star investigation found that many fatalities could have been prevented.
Dianne Little is the widow of Waycross, Ga. firefighter Jeff Little who died fighting a fire inside a vacant and condemned house. Dianne Little has filed a lawsuit alleging that her husband's fire chief David Eddins ordered firefighters inside the house long after it was safe because he had a grudge against one of the firefighters. The suit contends that Little, fearing for his job, went inside and died when part of the building collapsed.
Jenny Wilson is the widow of Dallas Fire-Rescue Department firefighter Stan Wilson. Wilson died when the ceiling inside an apartment complex collapsed on him while fighting a fire there. Authorities determined that a contributing cause to Wilson's death was the fire commander's decision to send him into a building that was in danger of collapse.
Ron Siarnick, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation says among firefighting organizations, there is a fine line between an aggressive firefighting community and a risk-taking community.
Dallas firefighter Greg Wright says his department’s focus on safety sharpened after a friend died on the job 31/2 years ago. Federal and state investigators criticized the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department for lax attention to safety.
Sean Simmons is the attorney for Dianne Little whose husband, Waycross, Ga. firefighter Jeff Little, died while fighting a fire in vacant and condemned house. Dianne Little has filed a lawsuit alleging that her husband's fire chief David Eddins ordered firefighters inside the house long after it was safe because he had a grudge against one of the firefighters. The suit contends that Little, fearing for his job, went inside and died when part of the building collapsed.
Jeff Cool survived falling from the fourth floor of a Bronx tenement that he and fellow firefighters had to escape when the fire they were fighting became too intense. The New York City fire department had stopped issuing safety ropes because they were added weight but Cool carried his own and was using it to escape the fire when he fell. Two firefighters died at the scene and one died years later due to an overdose of painkillers he used to deal with injuries from his fall from the building. The department began issuing ropes again soon after the fire but claimed immunity from legal claims.
In a conversation with The Kansas City Star, Kimmy talks about two nights that "profoundly impacted (her) life." She says it's scary to talk about sexual assault, but it's important to share stories in an effort to create change.
In a conversation with The Kansas City Star, Annette describes how her life changed after she experienced an assault as a teenager. She encourages survivors and others to "get mad" and advocate for change.
In a conversation with The Kansas City Star, Bonnie speaks about a divorce lawyer who sexually assaulted her in 1975. At the time, she didn't report the crime — but she shared her story with anyone she thought knew him or knew of him.