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CLOSE CALL ON THE ROOF

     

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 2-alarm fire at a 3 story multi-family dwelling. I was the officer on the ladder company assigned to roof ventilation above the 3rd story apartment that was on fire. We used the main ladder to provide access to the roof and I was in the process of straddling the beam of the ladder so that I could sound the roof when my foot slipped away due to a sheet of ice on the roof. I fell forward on to the ladder beam and did not fall on to the roof. If I had I would have slipped to the roof edge and would have fallen 30 ft. to the ground. I was close enough to the roof edge (4-5 ft.) that I would have had no time to stop myself from going to the ground.

We had a very warm day with precipitation that turned very cold that night freezing a thick layer of ice on the roof. Always pay attention to weather conditions and how they can effect the building. Always visually inspect the roof for ice even prior to sounding the roof for stability. This was at night so that would have required a flashlight which I had but did not use for this purpose.



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