Denver Fire Dept. Knew Of Dangerous Roof Problems 3 Years Before Firefighter’s Death

  • Source: KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver
  • Published: 10/30/2015 12:00 AM

A CBS4 Investigation has found that a Denver firefighter fell through a rooftop skylight and suffered a “close call” in 2012, three years before the same thing happened to firefighter John Whelan in June of this year, which led to Whelan’s death. But the information about the 2012 incident, which could have served as a warning about warehouse roofs and brittle skylights, was not widely shared with department members. “I’ll tell you, I have a concern with that incident,” said Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade when CBS4 asked him about the 2012 case. Tade was the Department Chief in 2012, but acknowledged he was never told that one of his firefighters had nearly fallen through a warehouse skylight to his death. When asked, “It seems like this was critical information that was not shared?” Tade replied, “I would agree.” On June 28, Denver firefighter Whelan stepped through a fiberglass skylight during a minor fire and fell 25 feet. He died three weeks later leaving behind a wife and son and a grieving department.


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