Fire Instructor I
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Poinciana, Florida Live-Fire Training Deaths — July, 2002
Lt. John Mickel and
Dallas Begg Act
NIOSH Report, 2002-34
Florida State Fire Marshal Report
Deaths and Injuries to Fire Fighters during Live-Fire Training in
Acquired Structures, CDC Workplace Solutions — November, 2004
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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
Division of State Fire Marshal
Bureau of Fire & Arson Investigations
SFM CASE NUMBER: 26-02-3753
DISPATCH INCIDENT NUMBER: 228086232
It should be noted that the fire scene investigation was conducted by
Lt. Charles LaCorte, (this writer) of the Division of State Fire Marshal,
Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations and assisted by Deputy Fire Marshal
Al Cialella of the Osceola County Fire Rescue Division.
Major Ron McCardle of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bureau of
Fire and Arson Investigations prepared diagrams and sketching of the fire
The structure is a one story CBS unoccupied dwelling which is located
at the southwest corner of Poinciana Blvd. and U.S. Highway #17-92. The
address is 1701 South Poinciana Blvd. Kissimmee, Osceola County, Florida.
The property is the former Florida Bible College. The property contains
six dwellings, two dormitory buildings, and an office building. These
buildings were contracted out to the Osceola County Fire Rescue Division
to conduct live fire training. This dwelling is located approximately
300 yards southwest of the main intersection of Poinciana Blvd. and Highway
17-92 and the main entrance faces east. The dwelling is approximately
1600 square feet and contained 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, laundry room,
living room, and kitchenette. There is a 4’6” X 24’
patio and porch on the east side at the main entrance, which leads into
the living room at the center of the dwelling. The bedroom at the north
side of the dwelling appears to have been converted from either a carport
or garage. There is a wood truss roof with asphalt shingles. There are
air vents at the peaks of two gables at the north and south sides. A third
vent is located at the peak of a gable that faces north, just south of
the north bedroom.
FIRE SCENE INVESTIGATION
A police line was established around the immediate area of the fire
scene and a contamination list was being kept by the Osceola County Sheriff’s
Office prior to the arrival of this investigator.
Outside visual observations revealed firefighter’s gear and EMS
equipment of the Orlando Fire Department and Osceola County Fire Rescue
Division and was spread throughout the fire ground on the east side of
the fire building. Close examination of this equipment showed the remains
of Lt. John Mickel’s firefighting gear were located approximately
25 feet east of the north bedroom. His helmet was located just east of
the main entrance door. The remains of firefighter Dallas Begg’s
firefighting gear were located just east of the window of the north bedroom.
Two 1-¾ inch attack hose lines were laid from Engine 21 of the
Osceola County Fire Rescue Division into the main entrance door. Attack
line #1, with a ¾ inch straight bore nozzle, was reversed and partially
came back outside and was located just east of the main entrance door.
Attack line #2, with a fog nozzle was located inside the bedroom at the
north side of the dwelling. A third line, (1 ¾ inch line with a
fog nozzle) was laid from an Osceola County Reserve Engine, which was
manned by the Rapid Intervention Team (R.I.T.) and was located inside
the living room.
Outside observations also revealed fire damage at the northeast side
of the dwelling at a large window, which was ventilated after the fire.
The vent at the gable on the north side was partially removed for ventilation
after the fire and showed minor heat and smoke damage. The eaves around
the entire house also showed minor heat and smoke damage.
Inside visual observations beginning with least amount of burn to most
severe burn patterns began in the bedroom at the southwest corner of the
dwelling. These observations revealed a metal bed frame leaning against
the north wall and an old television set on the floor at the west wall.
A 14-inch demarcation line of heat and carbon build up from the ceiling
down was noted on all walls in this room. A bedroom at the southeast corner
of the dwelling revealed 2 metal twin beds. The bed at the eastside of
the room contained a foam mattress with a cloth cover and bed sheet. The
bed at the westside of the room had a bed sheet and did not contain a
mattress. A 14-inch demarcation line of heat and carbon build up from
the ceiling down on all walls was noted in this room. The bathroom is
located between the two bedrooms at the south side of the dwelling and
also showed a 14-inch demarcation line of heat and carbon build up from
the ceiling down. The hallway between the bedrooms and north of the bathroom
contained a scuttle hole in the ceiling and did not have a cover and also
showed a 14 inch demarcation line of heat and carbon build up from the
ceiling down on all walls. The south wall of the living room and all walls
of the kitchenette showed a 40-inch demarcation line of heat and carbon
build up from the ceiling down. The east and north walls of the living
room showed a 33 inch demarcation line of heat and carbon build up from
the ceiling down. A mannequin with firefighting gear was located on the
floor in the kitchenette between the kitchen counters. There was a pass
through over the counter into the living room. An easy chair was located
in the southwest corner of the living room. There was a small hallway
at the northwest corner of the living room with an open door at the time
of the fire. The walls of this hallway showed a 46-inch demarcation line
of heat and carbon build up on all walls. There was a bathroom just west
of the hallway and its door was closed at the time of the fire. At the
northeast corner of the hallway was a 26-inch archway with no door leading
into the laundry room, which showed a 56-inch demarcation line of heat
and carbon build up from the ceiling down on all walls. The door at the
north wall of the laundry room leading into the north bedroom was in the
Just inside the doorway in the north bedroom was a closet at the west
wall with the door facing south and in the open position. The north wall
inside the closet had a two (2) foot hole at floor level, which led into
another larger closet with the door removed and the opening facing east.
Inside the larger closet were the remains of two wood pallets, several
pieces of 5’x 6” lumber and the remains of hay. The remains
of two wood pallets and a wood luan door were leaning at an angle against
the door opening on the outside of this closet. There were the remains
of foam rubber and cloth, which resembled the cloth on the mattress in
the southeast bedroom, and hay on the floor at the base of the two pallets.
There was a scuttle hole in the ceiling just east of the closets. The
inside wood cover was consumed by the fire.
Visual observations of the fire room revealed that a flashover had occurred.
Fire tracking of burn patterns and depth of char showed that the fire
originated inside the large closet at floor level and spread to the wood
pallets, hay, foam rubber and luan door on the outside of the closet.
The fire spread upwards to ceiling level and traveled east igniting the
scuttle hole cover and mushroomed across the ceiling. There was a rapid
buildup of super heated gases and by-products of combustion back down
to floor level. A flashover occurred when fresh air was induced into the
room from a window on the east wall.
Cleaning of debris from the floor in the fire room showed the remains
of Lt. Mickel’s helmet (eagle), SCBA face piece, and pieces of hose
and couplings just east of the wood pallets. The remains of Firefighter
Begg’s SCBA face piece, regulator, pieces of hose and couplings,
and helmet liner were located on the floor just inside the east window.
A fire ax was located in the southeast corner. The remains of a rescue
rope and bag were located two feet west of the ax. A Halligan rescue tool
was located three feet southwest of the northeast corner. This evidence
was photographed in place and collected as evidence.
Processing and reconstruction of the contents of the fire room confirmed
that the fire originated inside the large closet along the west wall at
floor level and ignition was by an open flame.
All firefighter gear and EMS equipment located on the outside of the
dwelling and inside the police line was photographed in place and collected
as evidence. On 08/23/02 all equipment with the exception of Lt. Mickel’s
and Firefighter Begg’s was returned to the Orlando Fire Department
and Osceola County Fire Rescue Division.
Photographs and videotapes of the fire scene were taken by the Osceola
County Sheriff’s Office and Investigator Dave Hollenbach of the
State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations.
continue reading—Florida State Fire Marshal Report, Supplement #5,
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