Thursday, May 3, 2012
Ten years ago today,
Captains Rob Morrison and Derek Martin of the St. Louis Fire Department
received fatal injures while searching for a reported missing firefighter. The four alarm fire at Gravois Refrigeration
Company which distributed goods to local grocers, shortly after 9:00 PM. Approximately twenty minutes into the fire
attack, an accountability check showed one firefighter missing. Morrison and Martin entered the structure to
begin a search.
While this search was underway, concerns over the condition
of the building lead the incident commander to order it evacuated. A subsequent accountability check showed
three missing, including the two captains.
The third firefighter was located, but the Morrison and Martin remained
missing. Another search was initiated
and Morrison was found approximately eight feet from the front door and Martin
deeper in the structure.
Captain Morrison left behind a wife and two
children. Captain Martin was survived by
his wife and three children.
There were reported issues involving the Survivair
breathing apparatus worn by Captain Morris and subsequent lawsuits resulted in
multi-million dollar settlements and awards in the cases to the families of
Morris and Martin.
Author of Fire Men: Stories From Three
Generations of a Firefighting Family