The work of fighting fires can be impacted by weather conditions, especially snowy, windy and blizzard-type conditions. On February 7, 2017 such conditions faced FF. Michael A. Moran of Ladder Co. 80 and all the units at a 2nd alarm fire in a wood frame Queen Anne. Upon arrival at the box, LT. Matthew T. Hanly of 80 Truck transmitted a 2nd alarm because of the heavy fire on the 1st and 2nd floors and attic, strong winds, and the sight of several civilians in need of rescue. The location and volume of fire made interior searches nearly impossible.
FF. Moran, the roof firefighter, and FF. Christopher Curto, the OV, split up for an outside perimeter search of the house with FF. Moran going down the exposure 4 side. FF. Moran immediately located a victim at an attic window. Thick smoke was all around the male victim as he went in and out of consciousness. The path to the victim down the exposure 4 driveway was blocked by large work vans and the path was very difficult to navigate because of the ice and snow. The outside team was assisted by FF. Suter, the LCC of 80 Truck, and the three members were able to get a portable ladder down the alley and extend it. The 24-foot ladder was short of the window and only provided access just below the eave that extended approximately 18 inches from the house. The high heat and heavy smoke forced the victim out of the window. With no time to waste, FF. Moran climbed the ladder to the top and used his height to extend his arms beyond the eave and reach the victim’s dangling feet. FF. Moran kept only his feet in contact with the ladder as he grabbed the victim by the feet. FF. Moran balanced the semi conscious victim by his feet over his head and descended the ladder. At no time during the removal did FF. Moran have his hands in contact with the ladder. FF. Moran then met up with FF. Curto who helped escort the victim to EMS for treatment.
After completing the rescue and gathering his tools, FF. Moran saw a hand and then heard the sound of an additional victim inside a first floor bathroom window. Since there was no time to try and get a ladder, FF. Moran dragged a large life-size plastic playhouse against the building and climbed on top of it, which put him 10 feet above the ground. He then took the window and waited for a blast of highly charged smoke and heat to vent out. FF. Moran then pulled himself waist deep into the window and reached in to make a quick search below the window. He located an elderly victim on the bathroom floor and got a firm grip on him and removed the unconscious man up and out the window. FF. Moran again passed off the victim to FF. Curto who then passed off the victim to Battalion 22 Chief Daniel O’Gara. Chief O’Gara got the badly burned victim to EMS for treatment of his life threatening injuries.
For his brave and determined actions in the rescue of two civilians, FF. Michael A. Moran of Ladder Co. 80 is being recognized at the Bravest Awards