Jeffrey Scott Bowen, Captain

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Asheville Fire Department units were dispatched to an automatic fire alarm activation reporting smoke on the 5th floor of a high rise medical office building. Arriving firefighters found a working fire in Suite 500 of the building. Additional fire department resources were requested. Captain Bowen was in command of Rescue 3, a unit assigned on the full structure fire dispatch. Captain Bowen and another firefighter were conducting a search of the 5th floor. Fire department operations were complicated by locked doors, extreme heat, low visibility, and difficulties with the building's standpipe system. Captain Bowen called a mayday when he and his firefighter were unable to exit the hazardous area. An additional alarm was called and a rapid intervention crew was deployed. Captain Bowen and his firefighter were not immediately located. Once located, Captain Bowen was removed from the building and provided with emergency medical treatment. Despite these efforts, he died as a result of smoke inhalation. The fire was determined to be incendiary, set by someone in Suite 500. Incident Location: 445 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC (USNG: 17S LV 5953 3841)

Department information

Asheville Fire Department
100 Court Plaza, PO Box 7148
USNG: 17S LV 5959 4012
Asheville, North Carolina 28802

Chief: Scott Burnette

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Jeffrey Scott Bowen 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: 37
Rank: Captain
Classification: Career
Incident date: July 28, 2011 12:30
Date of death: July 28, 2011
Cause of death: Out of Air
Nature of death: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Search and Rescue
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Store/Office

Memorial fund information

A Fallen Firefighters Fund has been established to help the family of Captain Jeff Bowen, who lost his life, and for his partner Jay Bettencourt, who is currently receiving treatment at the burn center in Augusta, Georgia and for other City of Asheville firefighters injured while battling a four-alarm fire at 445 Biltmore Avenue on July 28, 2011. Mission Health System, in cooperation with the Asheville Fire Department, has created the Fallen Firefighters Fund to assist the families impacted by the July 28 fire. Mission Health System will match all contributions up to a total of $10,000. The full amount of all contributions donated will go to the families, with no administrative charges applied. The Asheville Fire Department will distribute the funds. Contributions are tax-deductible and receipts will be issued by The Foundation. When all contributions have been distributed, any donor who wishes to view the usage of the funds may contact the Foundation for a full listing of all the payments made. Anyone interested in contributing to the Fallen Firefighters Fund may do so online or may mail contributions to Mission Foundation, 980 Hendersonville Road, Suite C, Asheville, NC 28803. Please mark your checks "Fallen Firefighters Fund." For additional information, please contact Kelley Webb, (828) 251-4011 or