A Denver Assistant Fire Chief has been fined 24 hours of pay in connection with a 2012 “close call” incident that nearly cost a Denver firefighter his life.
Denver’s Department of Safety issued the order April 22, docking Assistant Denver Fire Chief Dave McGrail the equivalent of three days’ pay for failing to ensure a written report on the 2012 incident was disseminated to department members.
The discipline is only occurring now, three years after the fact, after a CBS4 Investigation uncovered what happened and reported on it last October. Two weeks after that 2015 CBS4 report, the Denver Fire Department launched an internal investigation into what the CBS4 Investigation revealed.
On May 20, 2012, Assistant Chief McGrail was overseeing a fire scene at an auto salvage warehouse in north Denver. Lt. Joseph Duran stepped through a fiberglass skylight and nearly fell 25 feet to the ground. Duran was able to catch himself and was not injured.
Following the incident, Duran wrote up a report on what happened and said he turned it in to McGrail, assuming it would then be disseminated department wide so others could learn of the dangers of translucent fiberglass skylights. But that never happened, and three years after the Duran case, Denver firefighter John Whelan stepped through a similar fiberglass skylight, leading to his death.