As you will recall, City of Hamilton (Ohio) Firefighter Wolterman and his crew arrived at the scene of a working fire in a dwelling on December 28, 2015. Firefighters received word that 2 residents might have been trapped in the home. With Firefighter Wolterman on the nozzle, Firefighters advanced a handline through the front door of the residence…the floor collapsed and Firefighter Wolterman fell into the fully involved basement.
Firefighter Wolterman was rescued from the basement and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead approximately 60 minutes later. The cause of death was listed as asphyxiation.
The cause of the fire was incendiary. The homeowner and his nephew were found guilty on 11/22/2017 of aggravated arson and murder and sentenced to LIFE in prison.
In addition to arson being the cause of the fire leading to this tragic loss, contributing factors in this Line of Duty death according to the NIOSH investigation report include:
-incomplete size up
-wind driven fire conditions
-lack of incident action plan/tactical priorities
-lack of resource status management
-lack of command safety
-ineffective dispatch operations
-lack of professional development plan
Please take time to review the entire report to fully understand the fire behavior and tactical factors that lead to Firefighter Woltermans Line of Duty death.
HERE is the NIOSH Report:
Rest In Peace.