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Racheal Michelle Wilson

Firefighter-Paramedic Apprentice

Firefighter Wilson and the members of her Fire Academy Class were attending a live fire training exercise in a vacant row house in Baltimore. Firefighter Wilson was assigned to a group of apprentices and an instructor designated as Engine 1. Her group advanced a dry attack line into the structure. As they climbed the stairs, the line was charged. Engine 1 encountered and extinguished fire on the second floor but did not check the rest of the second floor for fire prior to proceeding to the third floor. On the third floor, they encountered and began to extinguish fire on that floor. Fire conditions began to worsen, with a marked increase in smoke and heat that appeared to be coming from the second floor. Engine 1 firefighters that were on the stairs began to receive burns from the fire conditions. The instructor for Engine 1 climbed out a window at the top of the stairs and helped one burned firefighter escape to the roof. Firefighter Wilson appeared at the window in obvious distress and attempted to escape. The windowsill was unusually high (41 inches) and she was unable to escape. Firefighter Wilson momentarily moved away from the window, at which time she advised other firefighters to go down the stairs to escape. When she returned to the window, her SCBA face piece was off and she was beginning to receive burns. She was able to get her upper body out of the window but she could not make it through. Firefighters on the exterior were unable to pull her through until firefighters were able to gain access on the interior and assist with the effort. When Firefighter Wilson was pulled to the roof, she was in full cardiac and respiratory arrest. She was immediately removed from the roof and received advanced life support care and transportation to the hospital. She was pronounced dead at 1250hrs. Firefighter Wilson received total body surface burns of 50 percent. The cause of death was listed as thermal burns and asphyxiation.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Racheal Michelle Wilson 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

Baltimore City Fire Department
414 N Calvert St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Chief: William J. Goodwin Jr.

View NIOSH Report

Age: 29
Rank: Firefighter-Paramedic Apprentice
Classification: Career
Incident date: February 9, 2007 12:00
Date of death: February 9, 2007
Cause of fatal injury: Caught or Trapped
Nature of fatal injury: Burns
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Training
Fixed property use: Residential

Last updated: November 04, 2014