The Kansas City Star

Many tragedies, same mistakes

Firefighters continue to die under similar circumstances at structure fires.

Use the buttons above to explore data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Clicking an icon shows details about each firefighter.

The safety institute has completed reports in 201 deaths. Because of a lack of funding, the institute doesn't investigate all firefighter deaths. The Sept. 11, 2001, deaths of 343 firefighters at the World Trade Center in New York City, for example, were not investigated by the institute and therefore were not part of The Star's review.

The Star also did not review deaths from heart attacks, traffic accidents and fatal injuries suffered away from structural fire scenes.

In its analysis, The Star categorized the fatalities around four common contributing factors cited in the institute reports. Those factors included commanders' failure to size up and weigh the risks at a fire scene; errors in controlling air flow through ventilation; failure to control for the risk of potential building collapse; and failure to have an adequate water supply before entering a burning building. In addition, The Star looked closely at incidents where firefighters died while fighting fires at structures that were vacant or had been evacuated. Most deaths involved more than one factor.

The safety institute has not yet released its report on two Kansas City firefighters who were killed in October 2015.