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UPDATE Asheville, North Carolina Fire Captain Jeffrey Bowen dead. Seven other firefighters injured at medical office building near Mission Hospital. Watch afternoon press conference.

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Asheville Fire Department Captain Jeffrey Bowen died this afternoon at a four-alarm fire at a medical office building. Details of the 1:00 PM fire were released at a press conference shortly after 5:00 PM.

Officials report that Captain Bowen was able to voice a mayday before he was found. Bowen, 37, was the father of three children.

Firefighter Jay Bettencourt, who was working with Bowen, has been taken to a burn center in Augusta, Georgia. Six other firefighters were treated for heat related issues at nearby Mission Hill Hospital.

The last time an Asheville firefighter died due to a fire was in 1982.

Below is the raw video from the press conference by Chief Scott Burnette:


"This is a terrible tragedy for out city, for all of us in the Asheville Fire Department and most importantly his wife Stacey. We pray for her," Chief Scott Burnette said.

Bowen was a 13-year veteran of the department and assigned to Rescue Company 3.

"We will be doing a full analysis to find out what occured in this situation," Burnette said. 


One Asheville firefighter has died after a fire in a medical building near Mission Hospital.  Eight other firefighters were taken to the hospital, many suffering from heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.

Fire crews were called to the building at 445 Biltmore Avenue just after noon, Thursday.  Flames could be seen shooting from windows on the fifth floor of the building, which houses private medical practices and clinics.  Dozens of employees, patients, and visitors were evacuated.

From the AP:

Officials 3say several firefighters have been treated at Asheville's Mission Hospital emergency room following a fire at a nearby office building.

One firefighter died in the fire and eight others have been hurt, according WGHP-TV in Greensboro.

Mission Hospital spokeswoman Merrell Gregory says nine people were seen Thursday afternoon in connection with the blaze.

Gregory says she can't say whether the nine were still being treated, the extent of their injuries or what caused them. Calls placed to the Ashville Fire Department and city officials were not immediately returned.

Gregory says the fire occurred in a building called 445 Biltmore. The hospital has activated a command center and a triage unit to deal with the incident.

Image from WLOS-TV.


Comments - Add Yours


    Thoughts and Prayers for the Brothers and Sisters of AFD and their Families. Captain Jeffrey Bowen rest easy, Brother. We got it from here.

  • bill

    First of all RIP Captain Bowen and hope all other firefigthers a speedy recovery. Not 2 sure what happen by the video. Fire does not look that bad but if it is a medical building it is hard to tell what the crews had 2 deal with.Hopefully some updates soon

  • Captain1202

    Our Thoughts and Prayers go out to Capt Bowen and his family and the "family of brothers and sisters" that he leaves behind at the Ashville FD. May God watch over all!!

  • Jeff

    RIP Capt. Bowen
    Lt. Jeffery Bowen Baltimore County FD (No relation other then the brotherhood of firefighters)

  • Anonymous

    RIP brother….

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  • John Cole

    The Charleston Honor Guard would like to say our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and the department in this time of need.God bless

  • Jason Rawlins

    Waco Vol. Fire Department Kentucky
    Our thoughts and prayers go out tonight to the Asheville Fire Department and the family of Captain Jeffrey Bowen.

  • MDFF

    A terrible tragedy, my deepest and heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Captain Bowen.
    Would like to know more especially if the building had an automatic sprinkler system.

  • Ginger Stanley

    Condelences go out to family and friends.  This is a terrible and tragic accident. Thoughts and prayers are with family and friends.

  • Old Guy

    It is never easy to hear news of a brother firefighter injured, it is even worse to hear of the loss of one. I did not personally know any of the firefighters but feel like they are part of my extended family…with that I would like to offer the following words:
    Ashville Fire Department Capt. Jeffrey Bowen…Your tour is finished,go with God. To the familiy, friends and AFD, our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Capt. Bowen will always be alive in your hearts and remembered by the firefighting community of the world. To FF Bettencourt, wishes and prayers are with you in your recovery. To the other firefighters that sustained injuries, take comfort in knowing you all did your job well. 
    To anyone else affected by this tragedy, we wil pray that God will watch over you and bring you peace! 

  • ChrisK

    RIP Brother. Our prayers go out to the family!

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    Rest in peaceCapt. Bowen. Thoughts and prayers go out to all the brothers and sisters in Asheville area and to the family.
    Fireground audio on fire  will almost  put you in the middle of the incident if you care to listen. Hell of a fight…guys… many brothers attempted to rescue…. I hate Afd has to feel the pain and anguish that awaits them in the coming days.

  • Georgia Firefighter

    The Asheville Fire Department and Bowen's firends and family are in our thoughts and prayers!  Stay strong and support each other!

  • Lt Scalese

    have you guys listened to the audio? it sounds like that had it under control. RIP brother!! Thoughts and prayers to the brothers and sisters of Asheville

  • the ear

    Rest in peace brother.

  • Angel

    Rest In Peace brother.

  • V rod VF20206

    My prayers and thoughts go out to Captain Bowen and his family on their loss. also to the Asheville FD and the other firefighters who were will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • terry

    Prayers and thoughts with the ashville fire and the family of cpt.bowen rest in peace our brother your brothers and sisters of Leland fire and rescue

  • Brent

    May God comfort Captains Bowen's family and give strength and courage to all the members of the Asheville Fire Department. We mourn your loss.
    Brent Naylor
    Smith Grove Fire Department

  • Clint

    To the family and friends of Captain Jeffery Bowen, May God's presence keep you strong. Also prayers for Firefighter Jay Bettencourt, may you have a speedy recovery. 

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  • Susan Griffin

    My prayers are with the entire dept. of Asheville Fire Dept, and the family of Jeff Bowen. Also prayers are with the other firefighters who were injured in the fire. This was such a terrible tragedy. Just remember, God will never leave your side, He is always there. Stay strong in the Lord and be there for each other. God Bless.
    Susan Griffin, EMT/Firefighter