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Gregory Shoemaker

Lieutenant

On January 5, four members of the Seattle Fire Department died when a floor collapsed without warning during a commercial building fire. Lieutenant Walter Kilgore, Lieutenant Gregory Shoemaker, Firefighter James Brown, and Firefighter Randall Terlicker died when a modified and unprotected wood floor support failed under heavy fire conditions. Contributing factors to this incident included an unusual and complicated building configuration, companies entering the structure on different levels from different sides of the building, a lack of pre-fire plans, conflicting interpretations of observed fire conditions from different locations on the fireground, personnel not recognizing the significance of their own observations and operations with respect to the overall incident, a lack of progress reports that would have permitted the incident commander to reevaluate his attack plan, and inadequate information passed onto responding companies about an arson threat against the building. The cause of the fire was determined to be arson and a suspect has been charged.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Gregory Shoemaker 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

Seattle Fire Department
325 - 9th Avenue #ZA-40
Seattle, Washington 98104

Chief: Claude Harris

Rank: Lieutenant
Incident date: January 5, 1995
Date of death: January 5, 1995
Cause of death: Fall
Nature of death: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Manufacturing

Last updated: April 18, 2016