Ill. OSHA issues FD citations after 3 FFs hurt in 2021 apartment fire

The Beardstown firefighters got lost, declared a mayday and exited the building from a second-floor window, falling about 21 feet, the report states


By Leila Merrill

BEARDSTOWN, Ill, — The Illinois Department of Labor, Division of Occupational Safety and Health has issued several citations to the Beardstown Fire Department for violations it says contributed to the injuries of three firefighters in a May 2021 apartment fire.

The firefighters, ages 46, 35 and 23, suffered serious injuries and were hospitalized after becoming lost on the second floor of the building, declaring a mayday and exiting the building from a second-floor window, the report states. They fell about 21 feet.

Three Beardstown firefighters suffered serious injuries and were hospitalized after becoming lost on the second floor of the building, declaring a mayday and exiting the building from a second-floor window, the report states.
Three Beardstown firefighters suffered serious injuries and were hospitalized after becoming lost on the second floor of the building, declaring a mayday and exiting the building from a second-floor window, the report states. (Photo/Beardstown Fire Department)

In a news report from last year, Beardstown Fire Chief Brian Becker, 46, was identified as one of the injured firefighters.

The report lists the direct cause as “Exposure to a fall hazard of approximately 21 feet from an emergency bailout due to rapidly deteriorating fire conditions.”

The report also lists 15 indirect causes such as a lack of code enforcement, lack of department guidelines for incident command and mayday response, training deficiencies, an inadequate size-up, lack of radios, and equipment issues.

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