Stricker Fire: O’Connor’s Statement
Three firefighters killed in January Collapse in Baltimore
Shortly after the fatal abandoned rowhouse fire, Baltimore Councilwoman Danielle McCray introduced legislation which would:
- “bar city firefighters from entering vacant buildings if 25% or more of the structure has been consumed by fire.”
- “Additionally, firefighters could only enter a vacant building if the department “confirmed” an occupant was inside and “structural and hazardous conditions permit a safe entry.” (Baltimore Sun)
O’Connor, a new member on the City’s Board of Fire Commissioners and a former firefighter and longtime IAFF union leader, calls the legislation “intrinsically flawed.”
According to O’Connor, both City fire unions oppose the measure, as well.
O’Connor added, “No one knows how to better ensure fire fighter safety than fire fighters — -labor and management”
The Washington Post stated, “McCray said her legislation was based on best practices from both the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.”
Since McCray is tapping professional best practices, perhaps O’Connor meant that only Baltimore firefighters know how to protect Baltimore firefighters.
His position would be enhanced if he refuted the specific application of the best practices McCray references.
The Stricker deaths have since been ruled homicides and the fire of incendiary origin, an important fact given the push-back to the McCray measure.
With a killer and possible copycats on the loose, caution would seem to be the watchword.