Reports continue to show that the initial response was poorly run and that the fire was not in a vacant building. A joint task force was established on the arrival of the fire department to investigate the fire and to provide other support to the initial responding companies. This joint task force has been described as the most difficult job in the fire service. It is said that at one time or another during the nearly 2 years that the HFD was in operation, their truck, engine and rescue team was stretched to the limit to get the fire out.

One of the rescue team members, a Lieutenant, was injured in the line of duty while trying to exit the building when the Lieutenant fell 20 feet through the roof of the building and struck a propane tank that was burning on the fire escape. The Lieutenant had descended 20 feet in flames. An engine and truck company were dispatched and a secondalarm received prior to the arrival of the full fire department. The full fire department arrived on scene and began extricating the Lieutenant from the building.

Extrication was carried out by the truck company and the rescue team from the building. The Lieutenant was removed to the roof of the burning building and transported by ambulance to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

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