Lieutenant Carpluk (assigned to Engine 42 and working overtime at Engine 75) and Firefighter Reilly were working at Engine Company 75 on August 27, 2006. The company was dispatched as an additional unit to a working fire in a convenience store. Lieutenant Carpluk, Firefighter Reilly, and other firefighters advanced a second 2-1/2 inch attack line into the structure to support extinguishment operations.
A collapse occurred involving an area of the first floor of the structure. Lieutenant Carpluk and Firefighter Reilly fell into the basement. Lieutenant Carpluk was entrapped by the collapse debris, and Firefighter Reilly was encapsulated in the collapse debris. Other firefighters were caught in the collapse area as well. Firefighters were able to remove the members trapped in the upper part of the collapse area. It took an hour to remove the last of these members.
During that time, other members breached holes into the collapse area from an adjoining cellar. These members found Lieutenant Carpluk approximately 15 minutes after entering the collapse area. Lieutenant Carpluk was conscious when reached and he told firefighters that his nozzleman, Firefighter Reilly, was trapped under him. The extrication of Lieutenant Carpluk took more than 45 minutes. He was in respiratory arrest when he was removed from the structure. One to 2 minutes after Lieutenant Carpluk was removed, rescuers found Firefighter Reilly in the collapse debris. It took approximately 20 minutes to extricate Firefighter Reilly.
Firefighter Reilly died from asphyxia due to compression of the chest. Lieutenant Carpluk died of positional asphyxia and aspiration of blood.
The structure that was involved in fire had experienced a major-alarm fire in 2000.