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Must see video: Neighbors help man rescue his wife from Spokane, Washington fire. Husband never makes it out.

Still pictures from fire

This is early video from witnesses to a fire Sunday evening in Spokane, Washington that took the life of a man identified as Perry Herriman. Herriman was found on the top floor of a three-story home at 1914 West First Avenue in the Browne's Addition neighborhood. The fire was reported just before 8:00 AM. The house had been divided into about ten apartments.


Neighbors and firefighters used ladders to rescue several occupants that had escaped the fire by exiting on to the front roof of the home.

Authorities said the fire was so intense that once fire fighters reached the second floor of the home they actually had to leave and enter from another area because of safety reasons.


According to neighbors the man who died carried his wife and passed her out the window to neighbors on ladder and saved her life. Fire investigators say the building has 3 floors with a basement and 10 apartments. Firefighters report the fire started on the 2nd floor. 


Comments - Add Yours

  • Anonymous

    So is it just me or does anyone else see some problems with what was shot in these videos?

  • Scooter

    Like a wise chief taught me years ago…Thank you Chief W.A.C.  "get the first line charged (30 seconds or less) get to the seat of the fire and darken it down and 95% of your problems go away"  Case true here, I think.  Looks like a room off when the video starts maybe some extension, fire two windows A and D side.  Lady is safe on the porch for a few minutes so two firefighters (and officer if a 4 person crew) stretch a line to the second floor inside and darken it down, then search.  Driver charge the line set up ppv and then assist the citizens getting the lady off of the roof.  When they get around to hitting it from the outside the fire on the A and  D side darken down then poor anyone inside has just been cooked like a lobster with all the steam.  I was not there so I may be missing something but don't think so.  Strike the Box!  K


    Much to see in only 14 seconds of chaos… Been there and done a few  of these.. No fun. Understaffed co.'s, automatic aid several more min. away. citizens doing the best they can on arrival. No line pulled… and on and on and on…
    10 Apts and no sprinklers?? woodframe legacy const., chopped up layout… at least one room in fully developed stage, read the smoke. .the customer is about to have one of the worst days of thier lives… arrive with 8-12 ff's early on and maybe save a life.. otherwise bad things are going to happen.

  • Barney Miller

    WHAT IN THE F**** DID I JUST WATCH????? MAN IF I COULD DO JUST THIS AND GET PAID MY JOB WOULD NOT BE STRESSFULL. Imagine the bragadotia at that dinner table.

  • Sandra

    Dont really Know But at least he tried and gave his life to save someone eleses, and sometimes thats all you can do, when its that far gone.

  • Gwoneg

    So what is coming across the initial company officer's plate.  Arrive on scene and immediately in rescue mode.  tons of crowd control/public safety issues right off the bat, a well involved room auto exposing to the third floor window, and a lady maybe screaming that her husband is on the third floor.  If you know your first due area, do you know that this place is cut up and may be a difficult one to operate interior?  Do you put guys on the porch roof to try and cut off the auto exposure in an attempt to keep it out of the third floor long enough to set up an interior search for the missing man. If they can cut down the volume of fire in the involved room, check its spread to the third floor and then enter through the left second floor window, they may be buying time.  I for one would not be so quick to judge the actions of this crew.

  • Shocked

    I thought if you had a confirmed victim trapped 2 in 2 out is out the window no effort to save a life. Why are they not entering from the first floor and pushing the fire out the window instead of pushing it back in?

  • JohnnyOV

    At first, one looks at these videos and says, "Wtf did I just watch, this is a career department, no?" Understandable. It looks like a complete mess from the get go, no interior attack, residence performing the rescues, ect.
    But then, when you look at it, what are we really looking at? An unnderstaffed, barebones department, that is making the best of a situation that they possibly can. The engine arrived, saw a need for life rescue, and went with that rather then initial extinguishment. There was no RIT on location, and although there was a need for a rescue inside, they took the safe approach of darkening down the fire from the outside. Not my original thought, but they made an operational choice and stuck with it. You can't really tell, but it looks like they went to VES the window adjacent to the fire at the end of the 3rd video. Tough run anyway you look at it.

  • DL

    Understaffed is not really an excuse here.  What I saw was at least 3 ff on scene.  A driver and crew.  One FF in the first video didnt even have an airpack on yet!  And it wasnt the driver, who by the way should be able to pull and flake a line by himself if need be.  Just my opinon by either the two FF's should have stretched a line in and knock this fire or go in and do a search to the best of their abilities, either way at least they would have tried something other than standing around out front fiddle f@#king with the airpacks or whatever they were doing.

  • DL

    Ok looking back on the second video the driver did end up pulling the line by himself but then just stands around in front like the other two.  WTF go charge the damn line.

  • play4keeps

    This video of the SFD was a disgrace.  I am beginning to believe that most mid-size departments in the Western US should have "ride-along" programs with major cities, ie. LA City, San Fran, Chicago, Detroit, DC, whatever.  Get guys some ideas of what to do on the fireground upon hiring.  There was no interior attack on this fire.
     Does Spokane, a city with plenty of fire stations, practice "interior attack?"  From this video, it doesn't show it.  Maybe Spokane, like a lot of these well compensated "career" departments should go paid-on call or combination, because they keep repeating the same idiocy all the way up the ranks.  I guess they are tactically oriented towards WUI, but don't know about the Urban part.
    rule #1:  Put the fire out and your problems go away.  Control the stairwell.  Make a grab.  Obvious rescue can be done with 3 guys.  20 years ago in PG County, MD we would pull up with 3 on the piece and people trapped.  The line got on the fire, from the inside.  The driver put the pump in gear and threw a ladder or broke a window.  The officer got in with the line and searched and made a grab if there was someone inside.  Sure, it was tough but there was assumed no vacant building, zero aggressiveness you see like in the West.  

    • Tommy O’

      East vs West? Brunacelli versus lets say Salka? Fires burn the same everywhere. Just that us folks in the east dont sit inside a comfy suburban and try to run things. We stand out front and observe. May not be the best way, but ………

  • pumpman

    MY TWO CENTS …………….. With the intial report of the husband still inside,and the  last location  given from the wife. ( obtain as much info possible). With the protection of the line you can search off the line and possibly make a rescue

  • Sharppointy1

    HEY DAVE- My sis in Balto just texted me about your earthquake.  R U OK??

  • Sharppointy1

    DANG- I forgot you're in Atlanta!  bummer to miss the earthquake in your own home town.

  • 95%er

    best line of the day from a neighbor," if you don't have insurance, get online and buy it RIGHT NOW!"

  • clad cromwell

    Engine companies make rescues by putting the fire out.

  • Tommy O’

    Really..attacking them for doing what they could do with what they had? Quit arm chairing things folks. You were'nt there and you dont know. Old school says cut off the fire the best you can and give whatever rescue attempt you can.  Ever heard of VES? With 10 apts it was likely a mouses maze inside and the piece of cheese was way out of a timely reach. I have said it before and I will say it again, with short staffing we need to change our tactics to as safely as possible effect a knock down and rescue. Yes there were some time delays. How many of you have actually been in this situation before. I have and it sucks. The days of un burned side attack are over kids. The time has come to safely knock and slow down the fire to buy time to get into position and safely mitigate the rest of the situation. Water applied from anywhere with the proper volume will at least darken things down. Get out of your books and into the real world.

    • FFVA

      "the days of unburned side attack are over"
      Are you kidding?  It's firefighters like you that apparently have forgotten the basics.  I've seen plenty of the darken it down from the outside fires these days and its disgusting.  Lack of training and lack of the simple basic tactics like attack from the unburned side turn these incidents into foundation savers for this exact mentality.  You end up chasing this fire all around the house and eventually burn it down.  There are few departments out there that still attack from the unburned side and guess what they usually put the fire out quickly and efficiently solving all safety issues.  These days aren't gone they are just few and far between.  I'm sick and tired of this new safety generation using safety as a cloak for not knowing how to do their god damn job.  I won't question these FF's tactics but I will question their efficiency.  A man is reported trapped and they are moving like its a 3 am medic local for the lady who has fallen and can't get up.  The time is here to step up, train, know your job, and F$$#*&G do it. 
      Safety is necessary but last time I checked we swore to risk our lives for the citizens and a citizen was in fact in danger.  What happened to that oath.  
      Stay safe but do the dam* job

  • Anonymous

    "Engine companies make rescues by putting the fire out."
    It needed to be said again… Right on Clad!

  • Fyrecapt

    Apparently PLAY4KEEPS is one of the best damn FF's around, even with only 3 FF's on a piece, they can do it all because they are paid call/Combo dept. at PGFD.
    Sit there behind your ipad2 and type away how the "west" isnt aggressive for your taste. I'm not here to bash another part of the country or another dept. We all F'up at some point in time. And having worked on the "West" coast for the last 20 yrs. I can tell you my dept is aggressive.  Do we make mistakes, yes. But like everyone else, we try and not repeat them. Not everyone can be trouble free and Perfect like PGFD.
    I'll bet if you go and look at some of the archive videos from this site alone, you will find plenty of east coast, west coast, southeast and midwest fires that have gone wrong. Paid and vollie as well.
    I'm not defending Spokanes tactics, but I wasnt there so I have no idea what all the facts are as to what was going on…..
    Stay safe brothers

  • Wagondriver

    Very well said, FFVA.


    and the beat goes on….. and the beat goes on….

  • hmmmm…..

    Tommy O'…….. you are a cancer to the fire service.  If you cant take the heat get out!

  • play4keeps

    Fyrecapt, you are right about the east and west thing.  Last time I was in Suburban Denver, I saw the same kind of things as this.  And outside of DC, similar follies. E vs W has nothing to do with it.  So I am wrong. I apologize. I'm just kidda jealous of those West Coast retirement packages right now, alright… LOL

  • Anonymous

    Tommy o thats Lame. We still attack fires from the unburnt side.  If you don't like that I suggest you find a new job, or maybe hobby because you are not a firefighter. I am not suggesting stupid tactics because its cool. Our job is Life Safety first. Thats what we do, paid or volunteer I don't care what type of department you are a member of.


    WTF, extinguish the fire and everything else gets better, A 2 1/2 sty balloon frame "dutch colonial" all hacked up because of 10 apts. You pull up to this understaffed and have to act period. What you decide to do comes from training, experience etc etc. This is a classic VES while someone knocks down that 2nd floor fire. You turned on a PPV at the front door in thoe conditions….. Training, Job knowledge, experience etc etc. That victim on the 3rd floor may have been saved, after the fan is turned on foregt about, not to mention the fire that extends up to the attic i the knee walls. "Do we go to 10 fires 10x or do we go to 10 fires 1 at a time?" If we don't train ourselves to pull up to something like this we're doomed to fail almost every time.

  • Fyrecapt

    Play4keeps: Its all good brother. I think it would be safe to say that as a whole our fire service needs improvement in the way we handle our tactics and strategies.  I include all areas of the country with that statement-both PAID AND VOLLIE! The pluthera of videos over the last few yrs proves that statement. Some on here will disagree with me and thats fine. But just look at the videos, Firefighter close calls, near miss incidents and yes even some of the LODD's.
    Even with the light weight construction and modern furnishings (i.e. petroleum based synthetics) we can still make interior attacks aggressively and safely. It boils down to training for all ranks!  With budgets the way they are, we are doing more and more with a lot less personnel….We cant become complacent in our work. Just a thought
    And as for the retirement pacakages, they are quickly disappearing. But I hear ya!
    Stay safe brothers and have a good weekend! Time for a beer at the pool….

    • Irish

      That’s the best answer by far! Thanks for contriunbtig.

  • Been there…..

    The time to be on your game is this exact scenario……  If you are a company that is short staffed, then train for it……  If you think you may have to stretch and rescue with 2 or 3 on a pumper, then train for it……  If you have 20 people on a box with 4 engines and a Truck, and you all get there at the same time in the perfect world, then train for it to get it right…..
    I have been where these guys were.  First in, 3 man crew, Heavy Fire first floor of a 3 story Garden Apt.  People jumping from windows, people missing, oh yeah and it was snowing….  We streched, attacked and rescued as others arrived…..  I am not saying this as  "stick my chest out", or "Im better than them or you".  The fact of the matter is pre-planning, and training for these scenarios, payed dividends……