Prior to the emergency, Engine Boss Jones and her firefighter were working to fight fire outside of the engine at the roadside. The engineer was inside the apparatus. Fire conditions changed rapidly, and the engine was directed to leave the area.
The engineer honked the horn and attempted to communicate with his crew on the need to leave. The engineer exited the engine and directly communicated the need to leave.
The crew headed for the engine. The engineer jumped in the back seat of the cab, the firefighter ran from the scene on foot, and Engine Boss Jones ended up in the driver’s seat. In a very stressful and confusing situation and for an unknown reason, Engine Boss Jones operated the engine in reverse, and it went off the roadway and down an embankment that was involved in fire.
When the engine came to rest against a tree, the engineer was able to leave the engine and escape. Engine Boss Jones was unable to exit. The engine became engulfed in flames. Engine Boss Jones died of asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation. The fire eventually consumed the engine.
A Green Sheet was prepared on the incident. It is entitled Vehicle Accident Burn Over Fatality and Burn Injuries, Aug. 31, 2020, August Complex – Tatham Fire and it can be accessed at https://www.wildfirelessons.net/search