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John H. Tvedten

Battalion Chief

Chief Tvedten was a sector officer working inside of a warehouse that was involved in fire. Visibility in the warehouse was good and firefighters were putting water on the fire. About 45 minutes into the incident, interior conditions changed rapidly as thick black smoke enveloped the building. Command ordered the building to be evacuated and Chief Tvedten ordered firefighters to leave, the emergency evacuation signal was given over radios and by fire apparatus air horns at the scene. During the evacuation, Chief Tvedten became disoriented and lost. Chief Tvedten was in radio communication with Command. Six search teams swept the building but were not able to locate Chief Tvedten until it was too late.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
John H. Tvedten 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

Kansas City Fire Department
Third Floor, City Hall
414 East 12th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106

Chief: Rick Brisben

View NIOSH Report

Age: 47
Rank: Battalion Chief
Classification: Career
Incident date: December 18, 1999 18:15
Date of death: December 18, 1999
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Incident Command
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Manufacturing

Last updated: June 13, 2012

Watch America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters

Honoring line-of-duty deaths in 2019