New Blame Found In SF Firefighters' Death

The deaths of 2 San Francisco firefighters were due to errors.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Francisco Fire Department attacked blaze Sunday morning.

    A recently released federal report is placing new blame on the deaths of two San Francisco firefighters.

    According to the San Francisco Examiner, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health says a steep hillside and poor communication led to the deaths of Lt. Vincent Perez, 48, and firefighter-paramedic Anthony Valerio, 53.  The two were battling a house fire in the Diamond Heights neighborhood on June 2, 2011 and died while searching inside. They were in a room above the fire when flames shot up a stairwell. 

    The agency says the firefighters should have been given a better picture of the location of the blaze.   And commanders on the field, the report stated, should have assumed a worst-case scenario once it failed to get a radio response from them.

    The San Francisco Fire Department originally cited the deaths as accidental.  The department also completed an investigation a few months back finding excessive heat may have damaged radio equipment.

    The department now has several recommendations to quickly find firefighters who do not respond.