Preliminary Report of Cincinnati LODD Released

Fire Apparatus Operator Daryl Gordon fell down an elevator shaft March 26 while searching for people trapped inside a burning apartment building.

The city of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Fire Department released the initial findings of the investigation into the March 26 death of Fire Apparatus Operator Daryl Gordon during the response to an apartment building fire. Gordon, 54, who had three decades of service with the department, fell down an elevator shaft while searching for trapped residents of the smoke-filled building. He was pronounced dead at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center later that day.

The city and the department created the Dahlgren Investigative Work Group and the Dahlgren Investigative Committee to investigate Gordon's line of duty death (LODD) and ensure appropriate actions are taken to prevent similar occurrences as far as possible.

The investigators found that fellow firefighters wrote a warning on the door to the elevator shaft – "Do Not Enter, Open Shaft" – two minutes before Gordon opened the elevator, stepped inside, and fell several floors. "We believe he did not see that marking due to heavy smoke," Assistant Fire Chief Ed Dadosky said during a Sept. 11 news conference.

The Dahlgren Investigative Committee will write a more comprehensive report that examines topics such as standard operating procedures, training and experience levels of fire personnel, equipment and technology currently used by the CFD, and other factors that may be relevant to the investigation into Gordon's death and injuries sustained by three other firefighters during the incident.

"What we are doing is working to determine ways to prevent firefighter injury and death," said City Manager Harry Black. "Methodically and thoroughly doing so is one way the City of Cincinnati will continue to honor the life and legacy of FAO Daryl Gordon."

Gordon’s wife, Angela, and two daughters, Angelique and Chelsea, survive him, according to the city’s news release.

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