QUEBEC — Video shows firefighters battling a house blaze with two firefighters using a ground ladder to climb to the roof of the home.
When the two firefighters try to access the roof for ventilation, the ladder suddenly gives way sending both firefighters to the ground.
Other firefighters rush to help; the extent of their injuries is unclear.
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of FireRescue1.com or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Farrell HymanWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:06:38 AMThis is why you need someone on the bottom holding the ladder.
Patrick SenerchiaWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:07:23 AMWhat are they making the roof for?
Farrell HymanWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:08:06 AMdo you mean why are they cutting the roof?
Walter CasconeWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:08:15 AMI don't understand why they were making a hole, the house had already vented...
Jeff HesterWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:09:28 AMLets see- Snow and ice on the driveway, two people on the ladder- with NOBODY butting the ladder. Sorry for the injuries, but you had twenty other people in the garage and no one could grab the bottom of the ladder. Not safe.
Peter MuirWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:11:14 AMFoot the Ladder and then that don't happen! tut tut tut.
Deborah Tinter-DietrichWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:14:50 AMOkay firefighters..safety 101..... Really? Where were the others spotting the ladder for them? And why..oh why..oh why..were they cutting another place in the roof for ventilation? When it was already vented? And why oh why..were there firefighters there in the garage..underneath..try to use their pike poles to.vent the ceiling? Really? I belive I need to come and teach some safety to this fire department....
Ben ZoppaWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:15:06 AMI don't know if this is a lack of discipline, training, leadership, or all three, but this was completely avoidable with this much manpower on scene. I will be showing this at training tonight....
John LangWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:15:16 AMOk not to monday morning qtrback. But who was chief in charge and why would you allow anyone on that roof after its vented. Also why wasnt the ladder either secured or footed by another ff? Safety is allways everyones job. Injuries like this should never happen. This was preventable.
Tony SnyderWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:15:39 AMwhat are they doing. the fire is thru the roof.self vented. there is no fire in the garage so why would you ever think of cutting a hole there. hint hint the snow on the roof isn't melted. this is the stupid shit that kill people killed.
Jarrett CareyWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:18:37 AMBack to Recruit school and NPQ basics....HEEL THE LADDER!
Scott MewbornWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:24:42 AMWOW, The last thing I want to be is a Monday morning quarterback but DANG! Where to start hum Why would you want to vent that roof? it's already vented and why so many people waling around doing nothing and why wasn't someone healing that ladder? If I were that home owner I would have been really mad at what the firefighters weren't doing. They helped burn that home down.
Jared ClarkWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:31:07 AMI'm sorry to say, after seeing this video the accident was inevitable.
Terry MoodyWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:37:08 AMAnother one for STUPID FIREMEN TRICKS. And people wonder why we have SOPs.
Daniel O' ConnellWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:48:54 AMLooks like they were trying to get at some fire in the ridge area, the guys inside the garage are pulling stuff down...so I'm guessing they were trying to vent? or find fire in the ridge to fight? not sure doesn't make any sense with the roaring inferno in front of them...oh and no leg lock for #2, no using the roof ladder, noone footing the ladder...why no master streams at the roof too? What a mess....ah Canadians for ya....
Daniel O' ConnellWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:50:24 AMAdding insult to injury looks like the saw landed on #2 there when they fell. Nice.
Daniel O' ConnellWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:51:35 AMwhy no C-spine precautions either? What's up with the medical training of these guys?
Tommy ShawWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:55:04 AMOk here we go on this one. Why decide to vent when fire is through the roof of the majority of the structure? There is also obvious collapse of a good portion of the roof. 2. Why cut a hole over the fully ventilated uninvovled garage space? 3. A ground ladder on an asphalt driveway with no tie off or somebody footing the ladder. This one is obviously a lost cause guys! Get some master streams into place and focus on saving the block! I think videos like these in the future could cause a laugh for insurance companies while they stamp a deny on your claim!
Joe MorphewWednesday, December 05, 2012 9:58:13 AMwow. I hope they are okay, but this is like a video of what not to do, venting a roof that is already vented, no one holding the ladder on a icy driveway, this never should have happened.
Ken GittensWednesday, December 05, 2012 10:00:17 AMMomma always said..."if you don't have anything good to say, then don't say anything". Taking mommas' advice
Stephanie StultzWednesday, December 05, 2012 10:08:49 AMThese guys need to go back through training... holy shit.
Ryan AllenWednesday, December 05, 2012 10:17:39 AMummmm LADDERS 101.... FOOT THE LADDER.
Rodney ShirleyWednesday, December 05, 2012 10:31:21 AMNo need for a vent! And no on healing the ladder...I hope the safety Officer watched this and hope brothers are ok.
Kurtis CookWednesday, December 05, 2012 10:31:29 AMI could see the problem before they even clinmbed. Ladder angle was way off and not having someone heeling the ladder. That was a disaster waiting to happen.
Greg EmbrickWednesday, December 05, 2012 10:39:27 AMyea snow and ice played fact but also there was no one holding the ladder at the bottom any firefighter knows when using ground ladders u always have a anchor man at bottom.
John GuerreraWednesday, December 05, 2012 11:08:03 AMum where if the water hose?
Jarrod MonetteWednesday, December 05, 2012 11:15:14 AMofficers besides doesn't make sense to me, typical french man, making us quebecers look stupid! should of never happened!
Phillip DanielsWednesday, December 05, 2012 11:20:16 AMThis was preventable. Nobody footing the ladder, two ff at the head of the ladder and why venting? Lets stay safe people.
Michael TremblayWednesday, December 05, 2012 11:23:22 AMUhm, the structure was already vented. This looks like a lightweight construction home, which means at this point, it is probably a defensive attack only. I see guys running a handline on the outside of the structure - why? The strategy should have been go through windows and safe portions of the house and try to push the fire into the area already involved. I'll bet this house went into the basement....
David GraceWednesday, December 05, 2012 11:43:53 AMStupid Queebs
Richard SpeakmanWednesday, December 05, 2012 11:47:06 AMwell sorry guys I hope your ok but you couldve tied that ladder safety first,
Jonathan UptonWednesday, December 05, 2012 12:17:54 PMif that had been me I wuold have whooped the person that set that ladder up.
Jack KronemeyerWednesday, December 05, 2012 12:33:00 PMSaw this yesterday... cant figure out why they were gonna vent there as the building was self venting through the roof anyways. Nobody heeling the ladder and there were firefighters inside the garage poking at the ceiling below where they were cutting. I dont understand this at all. In the beginning you see the only hose spraying the porch ceiling where there wasnt any fire yet.
Jack KronemeyerWednesday, December 05, 2012 12:37:20 PMAlso only one hand on the vent saw as he is trying to cut through the roof.
John SplashWednesday, December 05, 2012 1:14:18 PMI don't know if it's just me being paranoid, I would have had somebody at the bottom of the ladder, even if it wasn't snowy and icy.
Bill WaugamanWednesday, December 05, 2012 1:16:56 PMGeez, sure hope those guys are OK. read all the below comments and concur that a vent hole was not needed and sure wasn't a safe angle to be working on. We all learn from others and take this to heart.
Patrick SenerchiaWednesday, December 05, 2012 1:21:22 PMYes making the roof means ventilation
Paul MacConnellWednesday, December 05, 2012 3:13:54 PMWhere is the firefighter that should be spotting the ladder?
Pedro H. HinojosaWednesday, December 05, 2012 3:31:52 PMLooks like they are venting in an area that is not even involved, and shows the importance of footing a ladder. Just get the deck guns out!
Joe SummerWednesday, December 05, 2012 4:24:21 PMCriminy!
Mike MenchWednesday, December 05, 2012 4:28:09 PMtwo fire officers walked right by that ladder and never lended a hand holding ladder till someone else could take over never should have been on ladder the roof was already vented.
James DavidsonWednesday, December 05, 2012 6:26:21 PMWhat not to do on a fire scene. So much wrong with this!
Justin MackWednesday, December 05, 2012 6:57:10 PMDid anyone also notice that both of them we past the tipping point at the same time. Almost above the roof line on the tip.
Harold AlleyWednesday, December 05, 2012 7:06:38 PMHow come no one was footing the ladder. And why were they venting a roof that was already vented. This is a great example of what not to do. Lets learn from this.
Justin EdgertonWednesday, December 05, 2012 7:22:38 PMonly if you had some kind of shoe for the butt of the ladder, it would have made it "somewhat safe" all they had were two pointed but ends. would have been alot safer if they were on grass too.
Phillip CraddockWednesday, December 05, 2012 7:40:16 PMShame on not one but "TWO" CHIEFS not only for walking by the two FFs.that are on the ladder with no one too foot the ladder but also was a VENT truly needed at this point in the fire? the roof looked pretty well vented to me. I feel bad that the men got hurt but feel that these were injury's that were totally unnecessary. Shame on any Officer at this fire that was aware that this vent was taken place. Your lucky you didn't lose Two men.
Nick JonesWednesday, December 05, 2012 7:46:08 PMAlso, the ladder appears to be at an angle not estimated correctly. Most books say that it is supposed to be at an estimated 45o angle and this doesn't appear to be the angles I've seen on many fire scenes.
Richard SpeakmanWednesday, December 05, 2012 8:00:04 PMnick sorry some times you dont follow the books, the higher the ladder you go has to be farther out on the bottom because by the time you get to the top your climbing straight up
John UrquhartWednesday, December 05, 2012 8:04:51 PMThis is a structure fire, this is not a room and contents fire...This is lightweight construction...This is fire above the interior crews.....This is a defensive fire in our Department......This is an example of Command not Commanding......... There are numerous Company Officers and Chiefs with SCBA's on walking around with no focus on safety whatsoever...........This is a tragic mistake...............
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 8:48:33 PMthe proper angle is 75 degrees.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 9:29:36 PMOk, first the serious stuff. I hope those two brothers are ok. And I feel for the family who just lost everything. Now for the fun part. What is the purpose of cutting a vent hole when half of the roof is already gone? What are the two guys on the hoselines out front squirting water on? Watch the guy in the garage with the pike pole. How about the two chief officers walking around out by the garage, by the ladder, that nobody is heeling, that is against the house, that Jack built! When the ladder falls, there are about 5 guys in the garage, doing who knows what, while the house is burning like a MF. I agree with Pedro's comment, use the freakin deckgun. They are going to tear down the house anyway.From where this video starts, go to a master stream or two, a 2 1/2 on each side to protect the exposures, and let it go. Boys, all I can say is this one is a lost cause. Some of the guys running arounnd out front that are not doing jack sh#t could salvage some of the stuff in the garage. I keep watching this over and over as I post this, and it looks like there are handlines still inside, and I will assume that there are firefighters on them! I would venture to say that what is left of the roof is fixin to become intermingled with their bodies. I'm sure that I will catch some flack for my comments, but I don't give a rats ass. I've been doing this for over 20 yrs. and after you go to a few funerals of fallen brothers, you really learn to develop an attitude of let the shit burn! I am not going to say that I have not done some stupid stuff in my career, but as an instructor, I try to convey to the newbies, learn from my mistakes. I will risk alot to save alot, but you have to learn when to say when. This is real world, not some TV show! Go home alive and in one piece!
Keith SimmonsThursday, December 06, 2012 2:47:39 AMWas it really necessary to make a hole in the roof of a domestic garage! wouldn't it have m ade more sense and been much more easier and safer to cut the hole in the ceiling one the inside of the garage! was it really necessary to extend the ventilation process further when the roof was already well ablaze? As for the safety of fire fighters no ladder should be left without being butted, sounds like a receipy for disaster.
Retired British Fire Officer.
Gordon AlderThursday, December 06, 2012 3:15:34 AMMorning Grumpy. lol
Jeff RakThursday, December 06, 2012 6:01:31 AMThe house was a loss, and they're playing on a snoy/icy peak roof with a saw, no one holding the ladder and two guys up top. Risk vs benefit here guys....C'mon, this is firefighting 101. Hope they're okay, it coulda been a LOT worse with that saw. Plus, the 20 guys that walked right by then while they were up there and no one saw a red flag?
Tony GildingThursday, December 06, 2012 7:26:09 AMShould have been someone footing the ladder! No way in hell would that have happened on my department!
Noel MoninThursday, December 06, 2012 8:34:11 AMTo Nick; 45 degree is too shallow a slope for proper placement of a ladder. 70 degree is typical. A good rule of thumb; stand at base of ladder with toes touching the base, reach hands forward and you should be able to touch the rails-thus you can stand upright on the ladder and still hold on. In this case, the cause for the ladder collapse was simply a firefighter standing on it several rungs past the roof line. You can see that as he plunged the saw into the roof and put more pressure on the rung, the fulcrum of the roof line acted appropriately. It could be argued that even if it was footed, the forces may have still been in favor of the topside load. There are other issues regarding this scene as many others have pointed out, however, using a ladder as a footing past the point at which it rests will generally result in the "slide-out" effect that has injured many people, not only firefighters. I hope these guys can recover and return to duty with speed.
Robert ShapleighThursday, December 06, 2012 8:56:17 AMPlacement and use of the ladder were an accident waiting to happen!
Donna WilliamsThursday, December 06, 2012 8:59:35 AMEveryone loves to criticize. How about hope you are both okay. The intent was to help. Sorry for the unfortunate accident.
Luis BerroaThursday, December 06, 2012 10:09:43 AM1. No safety measurements in place.
2. The house is already lost.
3. It could have been worse.
This is how we kill firefighters...
Thomas CallawayThursday, December 06, 2012 10:42:21 AMHow much fire has to be coming through the roof before you realize that it has vented itself?
Cathy Pankey DixonThursday, December 06, 2012 10:45:01 AMJeff great minds think alike. I was about to say the same thing well about the snow, ice, ladder, 2 men not a good scene.
George GesnerThursday, December 06, 2012 10:49:31 AMAgreed: No reason to vent. Even after the initial cut there was no smoke coming out from the cut. I'm just guessing that's because about half the roof was already gone, which is a pretty good vent over the right place. The second guy up the ladder appeared to have started footing it - not sure why he decided to climb. The angle, though not the best, didn't seem to be the real problem. A slippery surface made footing a key element. Absolutely no reason for the vent or for the ladder, period!
Lynda EdwardsThursday, December 06, 2012 11:03:54 AMThat's it you tell them!
Ken ReinertThursday, December 06, 2012 11:11:26 AMThe I.C. needs to be held responsible. They are the 1 responsible for every stupid action that shouldn't be taking place on scene. Crap can roll down hill from him.
Joseph A. KappThursday, December 06, 2012 11:11:45 AMThat was a nice house. Oh and heel the ladder.
Jim ReavesThursday, December 06, 2012 12:17:13 PM4:1 ratio is optimum for ladder usage. If you don't have some to heel it, you don't go up!!
Kevin KeddyThursday, December 06, 2012 12:28:57 PMI think its more like 70-75 degrees.
David ShraderThursday, December 06, 2012 12:42:26 PMWell, the correct angle for climbing a fire ladder is approximately 70 degrees. The lower the angle, the more likely that it will slip out, as this one did. Agree it should have been footed, but what were they doing in the first place? The fire had self ventilated (hint: look for the heavy fire coming out of the roof) and there was no fire where they were. Venting there would only provide an oxygen source to allow the fire to progress through the roof to consume the area over the garage. All that with people in the garage? FUBAR
Tom FlintThursday, December 06, 2012 1:22:31 PMWhat Happen to their training. Where was the Safety officer, Officer in charge? Does anyone in the garage pay attention to their surroundings? Before going up the ladder a heel person should be in place.
SAFETY FRST EVERYONE GOES HOME.
Barry CooperThursday, December 06, 2012 1:24:40 PMI don't know why they thought they needed to vent.
Brian BirdThursday, December 06, 2012 2:21:36 PMI am not a monday morning QB and I try to never second guess things like this, but can someone tell me what they were trying to accomplish by venting the garage of a house that had self vented and was nearing full involvement? Read the smoke it I snearing flashover to the right..
Jeremy EspilThursday, December 06, 2012 2:25:06 PMWhile I don't want to armchair quarterback, Besides the obvious about butting the ladder why the heck were they venting the roof?
Rob DeforgeThursday, December 06, 2012 3:21:46 PMwhy the hell are you trying to vent when the place that is to far gone.and why are you venting a garage when1 other fire fighters are in side and 2 when you can pull down the inside.and from what I see some one could have been at the bottom af that ladder there was enough of them standing around.hope the two on the ladder are ok.
Ralph KingslandThursday, December 06, 2012 3:40:18 PMOK rob you saw the same thinks (dum)
Rodolfo Carrasco CarrascoThursday, December 06, 2012 5:30:07 PMaveces uno por tanta tecnica y profesionalismo se olvida de lo mas basico.............. Hacer pie en la escala.
Mary HeltonThursday, December 06, 2012 6:04:32 PMPraying that they are O.K.
Chance WinbornThursday, December 06, 2012 8:57:19 PMI'm guessing the need to ventilate the lone section of the garage not involved, was to ensure total loss... Oh and of course, on concrete or rock always heel the ladder.
Robert TaylorFriday, December 07, 2012 8:54:06 AMProper ladder angle is 75.5 degrees. The ladder appeared more correct when they started climbing so it had already slipped some. Two firefighters on a ladder with nobody heeling. We've got to watch out for each other and make safety a bigger part of the culture. The life we save may be our own!
Steve KiddFriday, December 07, 2012 10:30:05 AMLets face it, the root cause of these guys getting hurt is a lack of common sense and taking action on the fireground based on tradition (cut a hole in the roof) vs total situational awareness by Command. Some comment that we shouldn't "Monday morning quarterback" . That is exactly what we should do to help prevent needless injuries.
Bruce ZwegatFriday, December 07, 2012 10:53:16 AMWow. Steve , you hit the nail on the head. Let's see.....1. No one butting the ladder...2.Ladder not tied off......3. WHY are they cutting a hole? The majority of the roof appears to already be self vented and partially collapsed.....4. You have a crew in the garage pulling ceiling with a handline to start attacking from below in a safer manner. ......5. Talk about total lack of Fireground awareness. It's not "Monday Morning Quarterbacking".......It's just asking the questions why this happened.
Patrick SenerchiaFriday, December 07, 2012 11:31:30 AMI didn't know others did not use that term
Tim RohnerFriday, December 07, 2012 1:20:12 PMI agree. It's too late for that vent job.
Eddie WhiteFriday, December 07, 2012 1:39:55 PMLike many have already stated - The first thing to strike me was why ventilate? - the fire had already done that for them. Then of course the ladder not being heeled - but as earlier stated - where was Command? We in the fire service constantly train but I have seen too often we train on the more "fun stuff" and tend to forget the basics. The basics will bite us if we don't respect them.
Saturday, December 08, 2012 6:49:38 AMbingo I am glad someone else seen this beside me
Robert Craig WixSaturday, December 08, 2012 6:26:16 PMNot only that, but the 2nd firefighter was leaning over the contact point with the roof, creating a fulcrum. This probably helped lever the bottom out from under them.
Michael MarushiaSaturday, December 08, 2012 6:36:36 PMFirst thing I told my wife when I saw the video! You don't vent a vented roof!
Scott RoyalSaturday, December 08, 2012 6:46:42 PMThat's not a collapse, that's human error with no one heeling ladder and it sliding. Collapse would be if it broke down.
Josh ReneauSaturday, December 08, 2012 6:55:42 PMAll I have to say is DUH!
Derek SinesiSaturday, December 08, 2012 7:25:26 PMThis has to be one of the dumbest things if have seen in a long time.
Jkn Bobby KellySaturday, December 08, 2012 7:36:22 PMalways have a person at the foot of the ladder.
Joseph RobinsonSaturday, December 08, 2012 9:37:44 PMwhere was the heeler on the ladder.