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Ralph Stott, Jr.


Captain Stott and other members of his department responded to the report of a structure fire in a automobile body shop. Captain Stott was in command of an engine company. The first engine company to arrive reported a working fire with heavy smoke showing. Upon their arrival, Captain Stott and his crew deployed a 1-¾ inch handline into the front door of the structure. The on-duty battalion chief arrived on the scene and conducted a size-up of the building. The chief decided to switch to a defensive mode of operations. The IC attempted to contact Captain Stott and the other firefighter on the handline but was unsuccessful. A lieutenant entered the building and brought Captain Stott and his firefighter to the exterior. The IC ordered Captain Stott and his firefighter to the rear of the building with their handline for exposure protection. As the IC and Captain Stott walked in front of the building, a structural collapse occurred. Captain Stott was buried in the debris. Firefighters immediately began to dig through the rubble looking for Captain Stott. He was located and removed from the pile. CPR was initiated immediately and Captain Stott was transported to the hospital. Due to the massive injuries inflicted on Captain Stott when he was crushed by the structural collapse, he was pronounced dead at the hospital. The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma to the head and chest. An employee of the body shop was arrested and charged with murder and 2 counts of arson resulting in serious bodily injury.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Ralph Stott, Jr. was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Terre Haute Fire Department
28 S. 9th Street
Terre Haute, Indiana 47807

Chief: John Brighton

View NIOSH Report

Age: 50
Rank: Captain
Classification: Career
Incident date: September 30, 2002 02:10
Date of death: September 30, 2002
Cause of fatal injury: Caught or Trapped
Nature of fatal injury: Trauma
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Store/Office

Last updated: June 13, 2012