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Matthew John Porcari


Captain Porcari responded to a mutual aid structure fire in Newark Valley that involved a two story residence. Captain Porcari responded aboard a fire department tanker (tender).

Upon his arrival on-scene, Captain Porcari and another firefighter were ordered to enter the structure to assist with firefighting operations. A MAYDAY was transmitted at approximately 2329 hours for two firefighters that had fallen through the floor into the basement. Captain Porcari fell from the first floor into the basement; his partner fell partially through the floor but was able to pull himself out of the hole.

Firefighters were able to place their hands on Captain Porcari from above but could not bring him back up through the hole due to fire and smoke conditions. Firefighters entered the basement, located Captain Porcari, and brought him to the exterior. The time from the floor failure to Captain Porcari’s removal from the basement was approximately 20 minutes.

Captain Porcari was removed from the building by firefighters at approximately 2349hrs and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. He arrived at the hospital at 0032hrs and was pronounced dead at 0037hrs on January 22, 2013.

The cause of death was listed as acute ventricular arrhythmia due to acute thermal inhalation injury. Captain Porcari received second and third degree burns over approximately 75% of his body. At autopsy, the carboxyhemoglobin level in Captain Porcari’s blood was 14 percent.

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Matthew John Porcari 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

Owego Fire Department
87 North Avenue
Owego, New York 13827

Chief: Edward Franz

View NIOSH Report

Age: 34
Rank: Captain
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: January 21, 2013 23:29
Date of death: January 22, 2013
Cause of fatal injury: Collapse
Nature of fatal injury: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Residential

Last updated: January 30, 2015