Steven Wayne Fierro, Firefighter

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Firefighter Fierro and members of his engine company were dispatched to a mutual aid structure fire involving a large bar. Once on-scene, firefighters observed heavy smoke but could not locate the source of the fire. Firefighter Fierro was equipped with an SCBA, integrated PASS device, and a helmet-mounted thermal imaging camera. He entered the structure with 2 other firefighters on an attack line to search for the seat of the fire. Initially, conditions were clear with only light smoke and good visibility. Conditions worsened rapidly, and visibility in the structure was reduced to zero. After one of the firefighters with Firefighter Fierro experienced a problem with his SCBA, he was forced to exit the building. The other firefighter with Firefighter Fierro also exited, believing that he had been left alone. Firefighters and the IC on the exterior of the structure noted structural failure and ordered all firefighters out of the building. Air horns were sounded to signal the evacuation, and the handline that had been advanced by Firefighter Fierro was pulled from the building. Firefighters noticed that Firefighter Fierro was missing and initiated searches of the building. Approximately 56 minutes after his initial entry, Firefighter Fierro was discovered approximately 25 feet from the entrance. He was found face-down and had been severely burned. Firefighter FierroĆ¢019s SCBA and wires from the thermal imaging camera were found entangled in a chair. According to reports, the entanglement was likely not significant enough to prevent Firefighter FierroĆ¢019s escape. Firefighter Fierro was obviously dead and was later removed from the structure. The cause of death for Firefighter Fierro was listed as smoke inhalation. His blood carbon dioxide level was found to be 51 percent. For additional information regarding this incident, please refer to NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program report F2004-10 (

Department information

Carthage Fire Department
401 West Chestnut
Carthage, Missouri 64836

Chief: John Cooper

View NIOSH Report »

Steven Wayne Fierro 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.
Age: 40
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident date: February 18, 2004 13:45
Date of death: February 18, 2004
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire

Memorial fund information