At approximately 0358hrs, Firefighter Roy and the members of his ladder company responded with other firefighters to the report of a basement fire in a large 3-story wood frame balloon construction multi-family residence. Arriving firefighters found a working fire in the basement and hoselines were deployed to attack the fire. The fire, however, spread through the exterior walls of the building.
Firefighter Roy and 6 other firefighters were on the second floor of the building when fire conditions worsened rapidly. Firefighters, thinking their primary means of egress was blocked by fire, sought alternate ways out of the building. Firefighter Roy and another firefighter worked their way to the back of the building and reached a window. A ground ladder was raised to the window and the other firefighter descended, thinking that Firefighter Roy was right behind him.
When Firefighter Roy failed to descend, firefighters ascended the ladder to search for him. He was found unconscious on the floor with his PASS alarm sounding. Due to Firefighter Roy’s stature, firefighters were unable to get him to the window so another SCBA was attached to his facepiece, although it did not appear that Firefighter Roy was breathing. Firefighter Roy was removed from the building, treated, and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The cause of death was smoke inhalation. Investigators concluded that the fire was intentionally set.
Incident Location: 7 Lowell Street, Worcester, MA 01603